10 Things To Look For When Choosing An MMA School


Now that you’ve decided to start training, the next step is to find a school that is right for you. When searching for the right MMA school, there are many things to think about, here are 10 key factors you should consider.

  1. Instructors:

    There is no single more important factor when considering MMA gyms than the identity and quality of the instructors who teach there. In your search, you should strive to meet the best, most effective and most motivational instructors you can find.

  2. Location:

    Joining a gym that is close to your home or your job will make your life substantially easier. MMA training is tough, very tough, so there’s no need to make it even tougher by traveling crazy distances just to get to the gym. When it’s raining or clod outside, that distance might make you reluctant to train. The shorter your commute to and from the gym, the better.

  3. Comprehensive Training Programs:

    Schools that specialize in one discipline like Muay Thai or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are great, but if you’re looking to train MMA, then you’ll need to learn both( at least). Look for schools that offer programs in both grappling and striking. Schools that offer additional performance programs like strength & conditioning as well as Physical Therapy are even better!

  4. Good Training Partners:

    Perhaps the second most important factor in your search should be identity and quality of your training partners. MMA schools are designed to help everyone – each and every student – improve. They are not typically training They are not typically training camps for professionals wherein amateurs are brought to the slaughter and summarily whipped. Look for training partners that push you hard, but also treat you with respect. Look for training partners that are skilled and work as hard as you do, but who also know how to control themselves on the mats.

  5. Camaraderie:

    As an extension of #4 above, it’s important to develop camaraderie with your training partners. You will be spending a significant amount of time with your training partners, so if you don’t get along with them or relate to them, your interest in the gym will diminish. Get to know your training partners on a personal level and always treat them with respect. It will pay tremendous dividend for you, both on the mat and in your personal life.

  6. Facilities:

    In furtherance of #3 above, part of having a comprehensive training program is having the facilities students need to train. A BJJ gym without mats may not be the best place to develop your grappling. A Muay Thai gym without heavy bags might not be the best place to develop your striking. Make sure the places you visit have the equipment and space you need to train. 

  7. Safety:

    Are your instructors and fellow students safety conscious? Do the instructors let students spar or grapple unsupervised and without knowing the they can handle it first? Do they let pairs of students grapple near each other without separating them? Are your training partners trying to hurt you or are they trying to teach you? These are all serious issues that you must consider when joining a gym. Some injuries are unavoidable, of course, but others are not. An ideal gym minimizes the avoidable injuries by taking prudent and thoughtful safety measures.

  8. Cleanliness:

    As abd extension of #7 above, good MMA schools are very conscious about cleanliness, hygiene and infection control. We all share the mats ad the heavy bags and, in most cases, our sweat. Staph infections are too common in gyms that don’t practice proactive infection control, so be wary of this as well. Are the mats and heavy bags clean? Are your training partners rolling with dirty Gi’s? If so, you should probably keep looking.

  9. Pricing Plans:

    This is at the bottom of the list for a reason. Price is certainly a factor you should consider when joining a school, but it should NOT be the determining factor. You are not purchasing a t-shirt, there. You are making an investment in yourself; your mind, your body and your future. The old saying “you  get what you pay for” applies  here. A bargain basement price for a MMA school likely means that the quality of the instructors and/or facilities is lacking. By all means, search for the best gym you can find, considering all the factors above. But then, when you have it narrowed down to a few that you like, consider the pricing plans. Speak with the instructor to find out if there is any flexibility, as well. It never hurts to ask.

  10. Instructors!:

    So nice, it is on the list twice. The importance of training with good, qualified, experienced instructors cannot possibly be overstated. MMA training is extremely technique specific. It’s not all brute force, power and effort. Those with the best techniques have a tremendous advantage over their opponents. The better your instructors, the better you will become as a mixed martial artist.