Finding a good MMA gym can be a difficult task and you need to make sure whether an MMA gym good or not before you join. After all, you don’t want to break the bank and get nothing in return, do you?
So according to my research and experiences, I gathered 6 suggestions for you to find a good MMA gym. Without further ado let’s start with a really important criterion.
Trainers should know what they are doing, period and there are some questions which can determine how knowledgeable they are.
For example how long they have been teaching MMA? Did they actually fight in the ring before?
Do they know all the used techniques in MMA? For example, not all judo techniques are suitable for MMA, however, judo throws and takedowns are just essential.
If they don’t have enough experience, I should highly suggest you look for another MMA gym
In addition to that, they should be able to create a training routine for you. Basically, this should be customized for your need. For example, if you have a boxing background like me, you don’t want to practice boxing all the time in an MMA gym. So they should be able to create a routine according to your weaknesses and strength.
With that, the attitude of your trainers is just as important as teaching. For example, are they patient? Because you just can’t learn the techniques fast. Just think about it, you need to learn jiu-jitsu escapes, judo takedowns… Trust me these will take time and patience.
In my opinion, training with right trainers should be your first concern.
2. Are You Safe?
Do they allow you to spar on your first day in an MMA gym? If they concern for your safety, they should never allow that.
After a few months of training, you need to match with someone who is more experienced than you.
With that, there are other things to be careful as well.
For example, do they check your MMA gears (shin guards, mouth guard etc.) before you spar? These should be suitable for sparring. For example, the type of shin guards should be grappling and your MMA sparring gloves should have a lot of padding etc.
These definitely should be controlled before you start sparring.
With that, how is people’s attitude towards sparring? Are they just trying to beat each other or is the goal learning?
If you like the answers to these questions, go to that MMA gym.
3. Equipment and Cleaning
I have seen so many MMA gyms which don’t take care of the equipment and are not cleaned regularly. I get it, I generally go to local MMA gyms and don’t expect too much about it. But if I see blood stains on the floor and mats all the time, I simply get irritated. It also jeopardizes your health as well.
If a gym controls the soft and hard spots of heavy bags (this can hurt your knuckles and shins) and the drums of speed bag platforms are conditioned regularly, you honestly found a gem.
4. Research about the Gym
There are many MMA gyms which have reviews on forums. People, who write these reviews, also know the instructors in these gyms as well. You can read these feedback and if you have any more questions, just send messages to these people and tell them that you can be their new MMA sparring partner. I am sure that you will get at least some replies. In that way, you can get information about equipment etc. You can even ask the brands of the gears and understand whether these have good quality or not. You can also get information about the trainers and as you know it just has vital importance.
With that, if you do a research about a local gym, you can check out the local forums. However, keep in mind that these will not be MMA forums. You can search it by typing “the gym name + forum” on Google.
However, not all MMA gyms are famous like American Top Team or have reviews online. So, just go to an MMA gym nearby and see how they train. There is a chance that they will let you join a free class so you can evaluate it and decide according to it. In this way, you can also see the chemistry. This is also something to consider. For example, you can see whether the instructors are patient or not.
5. Consider joing more than one MMA Gym
A gym may have perfect jiu-jitsu instructors but it may not have good MMA sparring environment. However, another one may provide good sparring sessions. I know that many MMA gyms are just not complete. So you can always consider going to more than one gym.
For example, you can learn wrestling techniques in an MMA gym and you can focus on striking in another. So joining more than one MMA gym can be your answer. There is nothing wrong with that and if you have this opportunity, I say go for it. However, you need to make arrangements with these gyms about the price and schedule.
6. My Observation
This is just my observation and you may have experienced the same or opposite.
I experienced that many MMA gyms give a lot of importance to explosive strength, improving hand speed etc. However, footwork is generally overlooked. So I recommend you to ask what they do for improving it.
As I said this is only my experience but keep in mind that as you might have seen it on my social media, I have trained in many different MMA gyms (both local and commercial) in many different countries and generally low-quality MMA gyms don’t give importance to footwork.
Guys, you know the importance of MMA gyms. If you go to a good MMA gym it can help you step up your MMA game. So you should definitely take your time and find a right gym for you.
The tips above are my experiences and research about finding a good MMA gym. If you take these into consideration, I am sure that you can pick the right MMA gym for you.
With that, after you find a good MMA gym, you may need a good MMA gym bag.
I really hope that you can find a right MMA gym for you and if you have any other thoughts on the topic, just share it in the comment section.