T Nation

MMA Training

Hey guys just hoping to get some info on MMA. I am very interested into going into this, not hoping for UFC or anything, just would like to train and maybe fight in small venues. Anyways my main question is how old is too old to start? And is there any good gyms in alberta?

Depends what you mean by ‘get started’.

If you mean you have no experience in any grappling/striking sport it is probably already too late (unless you are really young). Most americans in the sport have been involved in amateur wrestling since since they were kids, and most non-americans have a traditional martial arts background dating back to childhood. There are some pretty glaring exceptions (Rich Franklin, Jeremy Horn and Evan Tanner are all self-taught and didn’t start until they were in their 20s), they are few and far between.

OTOH, if you have a background in any one facet of combat sports, there are plenty of guys who didn’t get started in MMA until their late 20s or early 30s. Randy Couture, Matt Hughes & Dan Henderson made the transition from amateur wrestling to MMA, Chuck Liddell made the transition from kickboxing to MMA, and George St. Pierre, David Louiseau made the transition from traditional martial arts to MMA.

You can start training in MMA at almost any age. There are only age limits and recomendations if you want to compete on a high level. In amateur competitions you shouldn’t have a problem if your coach thinks your ready.

Anywho, if you have no experience in any combat sport it will be a while before you will have the skills to fight. You will need to hook up with a good gym with a proven fight record.


How much time do you have to dedicate to training? I started boxing at 30, started BJJ at 34. I know I will never fight MMA because at my age, and with a family, I only have time to train/spar 2 nights per week. If you cannot train at least 4-5x times per week for the next 2-3 years minimum, chances are will not be able to fight competitively. However, don’t let this discourage you from training. There is still plenty to be gained from training in any discipline even if you have no intention of getting in the cage/ring.

The most common ladder I see is to start with BJJ/wrestling, enter grappling tournaments after 3 months, and work your way up the tournament divisions. This is a great way to judge your skill level, dedication, and ability to perform. Once you are doing well here you can enter fights with MMA-like rules but no punches/kicks to the head (I believe it is called pancraese). Win here, gain some experience, then you can think about MMA in smaller venues.

Reddman is correct about pancrase, a lot of folks get experience that way.

However, I would like to offer up this movie quote for the people saying you’re too old:

“It’s never too late, that’s what they invented death for!”

If you want to fight sooner rather than later, just MAKE SURE you go through a matchmaker you can trust. I’ve seen guys fight after 4-6 months of training, but they were fighting other guys with 4-6 months of training. You don’t want to be a can for some guy to pad his record with.

Good luck.

thanks guys, anyone know of any reputable gyms either in ontario or alberta?