Do you train MMA fighters?

I enjoy helping a limited number of people pursue their goals in MMA. When I started, most of us were here for the purpose of learning how to fight. We all took fights, and developed the core elements of our game around the possibility of getting our heads knocked off. Those were great lessons, but are quickly becoming ancient history. Times have changed, and for the better. Long term sustainability is our top priority, and most of us don’t want to be hit anymore. I’m not going to bullshit you, fighters have a bad reputation. If you train with me or decide to go somewhere else, keep these things in mind and try to make a good reputation for yourself.

Fighting is a phase of life. I want you to train before, during, and after this phase. My first time in a Bjj gym, someone said this is a journey and not a destination. That really threw me off, because I tend to be a very driven and goal oriented person. They were right, each fight ended up being a lesson on the way.

You will be asked to sell tickets. Not for me, for the promotion you are fighting on. Go to class regularly, be enthusiastic and sociable. The majority of us are here for a healthy social activity that has opportunity for less violent competition. This is good for our fighters, because we have a base to sell tickets to. The 40 year old guy you roll with would love to bring his friends from the office to support a kid he trains with. But he’s going to decide based on your attitude and the way you treat people. If you’re an asshole who sees training partners as disposable, you’re not going to last in any decent gym.

You will still have to pay gym dues. I know, the money thing again. For some reason, fighters have a reputation for wanting to train for free. We like training with you, and want to see you succeed. But we gotta keep the lights on. Working with fighters is more work for me, not less.

You need to show up consistently. I strongly suggest a fighter get a blue belt before their first fight, and at least a purple belt before turning pro. You want to have basic movements automatic before competing in that environment. Ideally, take several Bjj tournaments first. This gives you more competition experience with less brain damage. We can have ongoing conversations about what to develop to prepare you for your goals. If you’re not in the gym at least three times every week, there is no reason to waste a weekend cornering you. Do not set up your own fight and then decide it’s time to start training.

You will need to get into shape on your own. Wake up early, run a few miles every day. Watch your diet on your own. Spend an hour a day throwing hands. I’m happy to discuss what we are looking at, but it’s up to you to follow through. I can introduce you to some gifted trainers to help you get started. If you need a personal cheerleader, this will not go well for you.

This is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gym. We have some great people with decades of experience in wrestling and striking, and many of them would love to help a few fighters get started. We are not currently planning on having a striking class or any large scale MMA training. Don’t offer to be our striking coach. We have a small group of trusted guys with permission to train in off hours. You can develop that trust only by training Bjj. I will know how exactly how your self control and ego are. The most important thing about our training is sustainability. MMA is a great platform to demonstrate that good technique works, but has little long term value for you as an individual. You can train Bjj for the rest of your life, if the approach you choose is well thought out.

Have a clear vision for what you are trying to do. Do you want to take a single fight before deciding if it’s something you want to commit to? That’s a reasonable approach. We can help you get started. Maybe it’s a bucket list thing? Yes, we want to make sure you go about this as safely as possible. Are you wanting to see if you’re a naturally gifted fighter? You’re not. Do you have a lot of pent up anger, and see this as an opportunity to express it in a legal way? Ok, slow down a bit. Come train. Don’t get in any unnecessary bar fights. We can talk about fighting after learning more about you as a person. Training will help. Are you planning on being a famous champion? We can get you to a certain point, and then have a look at where you want to go to prepare for fights beyond a specific level. But first, you do realize the expected return on investment for this idea? Someone definitely has to do it, and many try. This is going to take a tremendous amount of focused work and strategic planning on your part. Just be aware that you could make a lot more money with a lot less damage doing many other things. Learn a trade, start a business, or go to school for something specific. Anyway, yeah I guess we can help you too.

Personally, I took 3 and decided that was enough. I value the lessons that came from the experience, but am also glad I stopped when I did. This was from a different era of fighting in KC. Lots of things have changed and are continuing to change. Both coaches and fighters need to be in tune with current trends and strategies to be successful.