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I like the fitness & fighting aspects of martial arts, what should I do?

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I really enjoy MMA, and eventually want to fight in an amateur fight.  I am doing the Insanity workout video series RELIGIOUSLY in order to reach the fitness level - at least for now (it is working really well!  I would definitely recommend it.)  I want to learn how to fight/grapple now.  The only issue is the only place I can do so is at my school's Kyukushin Karate club (I am studying abroad in Africa currently and have no access to transportation).  The issue is that while they do spar and work out for part of the practice, a good percent of the time they work on things I do not care about (forms, katas, unrealistic to fighting scenario moves), and it is tough for me to go to all of the practices (busy schedule).  

Should I go to this club or really push myself on my own?  I mean if its the best option, I should just suck it up and go to the club practices, but are there resources for getting ready for an Amateur MMA fight on my own (whether they are online, in book form, etc.)

Also, it should be noted that while I am quite fit right now, I think that a couple years of hard training will be necessary to move me to this goal.  I am thinking very long term.

I am new to NF and so I thought I'd ask this awesome community what you all think.  

Thanks for your time, and I appreciate anyone reading this :)


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Any true fighter will tell you that what you learn in training at your gym is all related to developing skill as a fighter. This includes discipline, theory, scenarios, etc.

I AM going the distance


'Cause all I wanna do is go the distance. Nobody's ever gone the distance with Creed, and if I can go that distance, you see, and that bell rings and I'm still standin', I'm gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I weren't just another bum from the neighborhood.

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I agree with cline. Kata and "scenarios" may not seem directly applicable, but they develop body awareness, muscle control, timing, and distance. Especially the latter two. Training with others is important to develop those traits, particularly since you want to get in the ring with other people later :D

Posted from my phone. I apologize if I missed anything or if it is not quite coherent.

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Thanks for the replies Kline, SwoleTroll, and Mightstone 2k!  I suppose I never really thought of the theory in that way... but I probably should!  The more I think about it, although the training they do has a few different goals in mind, it definitely can't hurt.  Unfortunately there is no boxing or wrestling, but I heard that there was a judo club... :pride:   So I may try that as well!  I definitely will try to go when I can, which should be more often as I get finished with finals.

Last question:  Do you guys know of any online resources or books that could help prepare me more?  I am thinking a workout/training regimen that could help me get more explosive, or books discussing basic strategies and training in different areas (Muay Thai, Boxing, Wrestling, etc.)  

Again, I appreciate the replies!

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Think of the katas like you would college. You can't just take everything that interests you. You have to have all sorts of electives and prerequisites etc.

It'll just make you more rounded.


As for books, best book I ever read was Kill-As-Catch-Can: Wrestling Skills for Street Fighting.

Also check out Championship Streetfighting: Boxing as a Martial Art. Both by Ned Beaumont


Keep in mind these books are not in depth how to's, but they are a great for a couple basic moves and focus a lot on building strength.

For instance in KACC he talks about how is you walk in and see a guy whos forearms look like steel cables, you probably don't want to fight him.

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Honestly, I watch training vids from MMA gyms.  Vids that have coaches teaching skills (not just vids of fights). 

I AM going the distance


'Cause all I wanna do is go the distance. Nobody's ever gone the distance with Creed, and if I can go that distance, you see, and that bell rings and I'm still standin', I'm gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I weren't just another bum from the neighborhood.

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If you want a workout to get more explosive strength, do plyometric workouts. 

You could also buy a punching bag and practice different punches, kicks etc. Also, practicing on a punching bag is a pretty good workout if you go hard enough.

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Thanks Combat Boot! I forgot about plyometrics, those would be clutch!  I remember doing those for football (I played in high school)  and they certainly helped my speed.  

Ah yes, working the bag.  One of my favorite workouts of all time.  It is so exhilarating to hit that bag!

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CombatBoot is totally right on doing plyos for explosiveness. As far as books and videos go, none of that matters if you don't have any ability to practice it. You need a partner to work with. You can watch and read all day, but it is all to be found in the actual execution. Get somebody else to work with you and try to learn together. It isn't the best way to learn, but it is better than trying to do it alone. Good luck.

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First post yay!


Being one month away from going for Shodan (Thats 1st Dan Black Belt for the unordained) in Kyokushin I think I might be able to give an opinion... 


From what I have learned everything in Karate has a purpose. 


The reason you probably find the kata and self-defence techniques boring or unrealistic is because they are unrealistic. But not in the way you think. They work, they just work REALLY WELL.

For instance its quite unrealistic to learn choke people out and/or snap their neck and come back to a ready position as if it's no big deal :tongue:.

That's what kata teaches you. Control.

From my experience (which may be different as I don't know your instructors) I get a well rounded amount of fight training and the above cool stuff in my classes. 


That being the case I haven't ever done a tournament so if you just want to fight/spar in a unrealistic ring situation ( ;)   :tongue:) and you definitely feel the classes are eating your time then you might find it best to train on your own if you can't find an MMA specific gym. Most places except maybe boxing won't teach you how to fight in tournaments.


But seriously I would make the time to do the classes they're very good (at least where I am) and I totally agree with Spider-Dan about partners and I think being taught by someone is the best way to learn.


In any case good luck training!


PS: For getting the best of everything or the "mixed" part of MMA my 2 cents is: boxing classes/resources (See Art of Manliness), Tae Kwon Do or Muay Thai for Kicking and Knees (see youtube) and also Brazillian Jujitsu or some similar wrestling style for ground work. At least thats the feel I get from what I know and have been taught. 

If you don't know your basics you know nothing because everything depends on how well you know your basics. Therefore KNOW YOUR BASICS!


Mixed Martial Arts is not a style! That's why it's called mixed.

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What up earthbear!  

Thanks for the well thought out post!  I am beginning to see the usefulness of the katas - the body awareness and control are very useful!  Not exciting ( :playful: ) but useful!  I really appreciate the advice, and I am doing my best to soak it all in and find all the resources that I can.  Currently the Karate program is on hiatus, so that means my first foray into body weight fitness  :pride:  wish me luck!

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If your two options are practicing karate, or work out by yourself. Karate is definitely the best choice. Sure, you can learn a lot of theory by reading books, see the instructional videos and more. But when it comes to grappling / striking against an opponent, you will not learn enough. Far from it. Practicing karate, learn striking. Then you could try to get someone to train grappling with (Techniques and sparring). It does not matter if you are both beginners, as long as you train. 

I apologize if my spelling and grammar is not correct, English is my second language .. But I hope you understand my point :)

Best reg /

"Opportunity does not knock, it presents itself when you beat down the door." 

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I think doing martial arts and working out go hand in hand. You can use your workouts to increase striking power and speed but it is a good idea to also be in an environment to safely practice said strikes. In your case, learning karate and having someone to work with will help build muscle memory, that I feel is the most important aspect because it doesn't matter how hard you can hit if you can't even get close to your opponent. Practicing katas and sparring will give you a much better idea of where your body needs to be and over time you'll also develop a sense of continuity of motions so that your body will automatically react with the correct block and counter. That would be the most important part I think.

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