Getting Started in MMA

We receive a lot of messages from people asking about how you get started in MMA. Hopping into a sport like MMA can be very intimidating. Especially when you see videos like this one (video). I first want to say that this isn’t what happens when you step into a gym… any gym.  I know Josh Neer and this was the result of a guy heckling and, for lack of a better term, bullying him online, if you showed up at Elite Edge Gym in Ankeny, IA, (Josh Neer’s Gym) you would be welcomed with open arms.

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Finding the right gym

Finding the right gym doesn’t have to be difficult.  If you google MMA Gyms in your area your bound to find a couple to go check out. Most gyms offer free trials, go watch a class, meet the coaches, take a class and decide if it’s the right gym for you.

Where to Start

Know what you want to do. Don’t just jump into an MMA class, but be sure to join a gym that has what you want. Most “complete” MMA gyms will offer BJJ, Muay Thai, Boxing, and Grappling classes, but not all gyms are created the same. You may not get along with one of the coaches or maybe you want to focus on Jiu Jitsu, but they only offer it once a week.

Know the Difference in Practices

These are some quick rundowns we’ll be adding longer descriptions and adding links at a later date.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ)

BJJ is a submission art typically practiced wearing a GI. BJJ has no striking but teaches the art of defense and submissions normally on the ground. In Jiu Jitsu you would learn things like Triangles, Armbars, Rear Naked Chokes and how to defend them.

Muay Thai

Muay Thai is a traditional for of striking coming from Thailand. Muay Thai teaches kicks, striking, dirty boxing and working withing the clinch.  Muay Thai is closely related to American Kickboxing.


Boxing is pretty simple, through boxing you would learn striking with your hands.  Things like Jabs, Uppercuts, overhands, and head movement.

Grappling (Wrestling)

Grappling or wrestling is close to Jiu Jitsu, wrestling teaches you to control the other persons body and how to get yourself into a dominate position.

What Will you Need?
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Well if you’re planning on training MMA you’re going to need several things.  We’ll list below what types of classes you’ll need the for.

  • Mouth Guard (you’ll want this regardless of sport)
  • Cup (If your a guy probably should have this)
  • GI (BJJ, or really and Martial Art)
  • Boxing/Muay Thai Glove (Boxing and Muay Thai)
  • Shin Guards (Muay Thai)
  • Head Gear (Boxing and Muay Thai)


What’s it going to cost?

This is important, your not going to find a descent MMA gym for the same price as your Anytime Fitness membership.  Low end cost of a membership to a descent MMA gym will range from $75-$100 and that may only include a couple classes a week.  But honestly you should expect to pay somewhere between $100-$150 a month for a gym membership.  Those prices may differ in your area, but from my experience that’s about where they are at.  And don’t think because you’re going to be the next big thing you’re any different then every other schmuck in the gym. They have to pay their bills to.

If you have any other questions feel free to write up at or join the conversation on our facebook page



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