Why Did You Start Training Combat Sports/ Martial Arts?

Why did you start? Hobby? Self defence? Fitness? Discipline?

It caught my eye for a while and i’ve always wanted to try combat sports, plus i needed something to do so i signed up. Also because of a recent physical confrontation with my dad.

whats your story/reason?

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I started once I retired from football (soccer), after a argument/disagreement with my club. There were no other options for me to join another team as I live in a one team town.

I lifted for awhile and rode my bike to keep fit, but I wanted to do something more, and I felt it was important I had some human contact outside of work and home.

I always thought that it would be cool to not only look like a beast, but also to have the skill to kill to go with the muscles.

I train BJJ 2-3 times a week, and attend a boxing class when I can (usually 1-2 per week).



Father/son/brother bonding. We tried to get my mother in, too, but she didn’t go for it.

We had so much fun I kept doing martial arts on and off for years, and I first got into weight lifting to cross train for martial arts. Now I mostly do weight lifting and do some martial arts on my off days or when I’m on the road and can’t get to a gym.


I was tricked into thinking I was going to a Brazilian Steakhouse.


Fell in love with the UFC from the first event. My neighbor got it on PPV and I went over to watch. I was hooked immediately. Had two MMA fights in college the summer before my senior year in 2003 (with barely any training). Always wanted to get back into it but work wouldn’t allow. When work finally did allow (or so I thought), and I went back to the gym, I realized that things had changed a lot in the intervening decade. Even amateur fighters are spending way more time training than I had available with a fairly demanding career, wife, and 4 kids. I kept going to the MMA classes though since it was good cardio and fun. Bought my first gi about 3 months in, and got my ass kicked in my first bjj class by a 150 lb blue belt. He might have triangled me 7 times. Been obsessed with bjj ever since.


Ive answered this before but its always worth sharing.

I was a tiny tiny kid, big mouth and angry as F.
moms and pops put in a YMCA judo camp - and I stayed.

I started HS at 4’10 and 93lbs in clothes in 1984.
some big kid grabbed me in the hallway and
was like “coach simpson wants to see you .”

I went to one practice and was hooked.
what other sport can you beat someone’s ass
when you weigh under 100 lbs.

black t-shirt anger- teen angst wanting to get out of the
shit of 80’s crack NYC and family bullshit.
fueled me thru HS wrestling, jr college, two D1 programs
post college international greco back to judo and then BJJ.
gave me the confidence and balls to deal with life

really @twojarslave answer is the best ever


I was a fat kid who got picked last at team sports.


I haven’t posted on T-Nation in a long time, but I feel like this is a good first post back.

Started when I was younger with my dad and brother. I loved watching Bruce Lee movies and wanted to do all the stuff he could do. Ended up getting away from it to focus on sports in middle school and high school. Got bullied a lot in high school for my size and skin color though, so I got back into it.

I don’t ever want to feel like a victim again.


I had always been interested in martial arts since I was a little kid. After 8th grade football my dad put me in TKD and I took to that like a fish in water lol, but financial troubles pushed me out. So all through high school I wanted to get back into martial arts, so I wrestled and made friends w a guy who did bjj but never had money for the lessons. I was broke the next 10yrs after hs until I finished college and ended up moving to japan. I had always wanted to do kakutogi, but I detached my retina a few years back so no contact sports for me. Now I do kendo, which is also something I had wanted to do for a long time, so it’s koo! I take my 1st kyu Test in June!!


I watched way too much DBZ as a kid (and adult) and always wanted to be able to move like the Saiyans. Dad put me in karate when I was 8 or 9 and I loved it.

Since than I have given a couple different karate styles a go including kyokyshin and I have dabbled a bit in Muay Thai.

Also you can’t be an international merc / assassin / ninja without being awesome at hand to hand combat!


There is no such thing as too much DBZ !!


Thank you all for sharing!

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I never grew up as the kid who could deal with shit getting real. I got bullied in grade 8, and it affected me. As a young adult I was at my then pot dealer’s place and he said, “show me your wallet.” I at first pulled it out, and then refused to comply, so he just grabbed it. When I indicated I wanted it back he asked me what I was going to do about it, and I fell short like an imbecile. So he said, “you’ve got lots of feathers but you’re not much chicken”.

Several years later when I was a member at a regular gym, I ran across a semi professional boxer who sold me some ad hoc lessons at the same gym, but I never kept it up for long enough, and I wasn’t in a fighters’ environment.

Several years later, I had been a member of another regular gym, got slightly fit, but wondered how it might play out with that capability if as I said the shit gets real.

after converting to a home weight setup and using web boards for information, I broke the seat on my pressing bench, but instead of fixing it I saw Big Boss’ shout out to rope skipping video and I committed to combat.

I ran across a club bouncer whose friend had a boxing club and I could afford the lessons. Nearing the end of the 10 lesson block, we sparred a couple of times, but when I posted the video here I got panned seriously.

Some time later I joined as a regular member an MMA Gym that was known to have pro fighters and amateur competitors, I figured it had to be legit. Towards the end of 4 months membership I went to sparring class 3 weeks in a row, and got thoroughly humbled.

I am now training at home as best as I can and I am not sure when I will be able to be seen by a skilled eye, whenever I can.

I figure sport context is fun to train, so I am more likely to keep it up, and if that is what I use in a reality martial arts scenario I am not going to have to justify eye gouging, biting and squaring.

I liked the idea of doing a sport because of issues at home when I was in HS and I’m just naturally restless, but I didn’t like team sports. So I ended up stumbling into kung fu at my church. The irony is that I ended up with an instructor that actually knew how to teach it unlike all the mcdojos around my town in a church. Ha!

I quit because of a really bad relapse into depression, but many years later I joined an MMA gym because I was getting burnt out on weights and I remembered how much I loved the kung fu. The kung fu actually carried over to a significant degree. That’s not to say I didn’t have a lot to learn.

I wanted to beat up the guys who bullied me when I was a kid. I was a foreigner in Germany and back then Germans were not very friendly towards aliens.

Germans aren’t immediately friendly to anyone to be honeset - they just don’t warm up quickly. However, I can say that once I made a German friend, they took the friendship very seriously - like long after I came back to US, they would call or send cards on my birthday (this was before Facebook)

I was in middle school and being bullied, and I took up Japanese Jujitsu to learn how to defend myself and de-escalate. I figured learning how to strike would just escalate the situation into a fight. Honestly, never had to do anything but I figured later on kids didn’t mess with me just because of fear of the unknown. My instructor had us do Wing Chun to supplement our Jujitsu, which was an odd combination.I didn’t really like it, but I got more into boxing towards high school.

Around high school, I got back into DBZ after my family got cable TV. And then I saw Carlos Newton in the UFC whos style was listed as “Dragonball Z Jiu Jitsu” and that got me into MMA. My Jujitsu Sensei was also into MMA, and eventually started training with AKA guys and eventually 10th planet. They basically transitioned out of traditonal martial arts and went into MMA. On my end, I realized I liked striking more than grappling when MMA sparring, so I got into boxing with a different coach.

When I was in college, I started up Muay Thai and got into K-1. I really liked Masato and I studied Japanese in school. I eventually studied abroad in Tokyo and trained at his gym. Unfortunately, I stopped fighting around the time I graduated. I was broke as shit after graduating and every time I’d try to fight, Id get sick or hurt. I did a comeback fight in 2014 (last major fight was 2009), and got my ass beat. It was time to quit.


Ive replied in the past with these similar threads.

Judo around age 7-8 because I was a hyper kid.

As a 90 ish lb HS freshman some big kid grabbed me in the hallway and said’ Coach needs to see you for the wrestling team’
Dragged me to see said coach and I discovered that a 98 lb kid could kick another 98 lbs kids ass.

so judo thru childhood
HS wrestling
2 year D 3 school
two years at two D1 programs
a few years of international and club Greco
back to Judo thru my mid thirties
BJJ somewhere in the 30’s

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Pretty sure you already did in this thread it just got bumped haha

that is aweoseome had a senior moment