Ugh, this is a ridiculous question. You don’t “train MMA”, you train Boxing, Muay Thai, and one of or a combination of BJJ, Pankrase, Combat Sambo, and perhaps Judo though you could use the skillsets for ALL of them.
This is the problem facing MMA today, there are far, far, far too many one dimensional fighters and people that think “Oh I’d better specialize in BJJ and maybe train some boxing or muay thai on the side just in case…”
NO. This is flawed thinking. Horribly flawed thinking. It’s like a bodybuilder only doing “curls for girls” exercises. It doesn’t matter if you are new, it doesn’t matter if you only train on a local level and never intend to take it far enough to get paid for it. Whatever your intention is, give it your best shot. Find a gym that offers more than one class by quality instructors and take both a striking class and a submission class.
I’ve wanted nothing more than to train Martial Arts all of my life, and I was particularly struck by a line from an early Jet Li movie of all things. In the movie Jet Li is facing a Master Japanese Martial Artist and the man says to him “The key to being a good fighter lies not in mastering one form, rather it lies in learning to adapt to all forms.” I probably haven’t got the quote exactly right, but the principle is the same. Don’t use just one style, use ALL styles. Take a little bit from everywhere and become a more well rounded fighter.
Personally, I’m a huge fan of striking, I’m tall, long arms, long legs, powerful build, I love Muay Thai more than anything. But I still take boxing classes so I can be a more rounded striker. When it comes to grappling I prefer Pankrase over BJJ, but I still sit in on and learn from the BJJ classes because you never know when you’ll have to adapt on the fly and you really don’t want your skillset to be limited.
Unfortunately we’ve seen far too much of that in the UFC, Affliction, the now dead EliteXC, Strikeforce and even Dream and most noticeable is The Ultimate Fighter reality TV Show. You’ll see guys who are REALLY good grapplers, but they suck at striking, or they’re REALLY good strikers but as soon as they get taken down they’re like a fish out of water, struggling to fight but ultimately losing the battle. And it makes me sad. People are so eager to get into the scene that they are ignoring what is fundamentally important.
So do yourself a favor, even if you just want to be a weekend warrior, maybe join some open competitions sometime or even compete in the amateur circuit locally. Train BOTH Muay Thai AND a grappling art. Find a decent BJJ or Pankrase Class and stick with the Muay Thai at the same time. You won’t regret it and perhaps someday if and when you do decide to step into the ring or octagon you’ll end up facing a guy who used to be like you and chose one over the other instead of both and you’ll punish him on your feet and on the ground and walk away not only the Winner, but knowing that you’re the all around better fighter.