Have you ever been interested in combat sports? Chances are you’ve seen a few movies, read a book, or even tried a class.
You may have done a few rounds of San Diego wrestling or went to the big rings in Vegas. But how much do you actually know about the field?
What about the ins and outs? Do you understand how it works, and what differentiates it from other martial arts?
In this article, you’ll delve into the exciting world of combat sports and find answers to some basic questions. From MMA and kickboxing to krav maga—this article will discuss everything from safety protocols to training tips and gear guides.
What Are Combat Sports?
Combat sports are physical competitions where two opponents engage in unarmed combat. Many kinds of combat sports, such as MMA, muay thai, judo, and taekwondo, require their participants to maintain the utmost physical and mental strength to succeed.
Depending on the type of combat sport you’ve chosen, you may use punches and kicks to fight. Grappling techniques, like take-downs, submissions, and chokes, may also be used.
Bouts can get intense, so building up your mental game is essential. Practicing meditation and visualization will make up a huge part of training to become a better fighter.
Popular Types Of Combat Sports
Among the many forms of combat sports out there, some have maintained a strong following to this day. These include:
- Wrestling: This has many subcategories, each with unique rules. Standard bouts involve two wrestlers competing against each other by pinning the opponent’s shoulders to the mat for at least two seconds or forcing the other wrestler to submit.
- Boxing: It’s a popular sparring sport that only involves fists. Matches usually occur in a ring, with participants wearing protective gear and guards. The goal is to knock your opponent out or get them to surrender to win the match.
- Mixed Martial Arts (MMA): It’s an intense combination of martial arts such as muay thai, taekwondo, boxing, karate, and jiu-jitsu. It can get quite dangerous, so safety protections such as headgear and mouthguards are worn during matches. MMA also allows for both standing and on-the-ground techniques, so there’s no one set strategy for winning.
Regardless of which one you choose, improving your physical form and mental toughness is important to fully pursue them. Following preventive rules and procedures is also important to stay safe.
How Long Does It Take To Master A Combat Sport?
This mostly depends on the individual. Like any other skill, the time and effort you’re willing to put into mastering your chosen sport will determine how quickly you master the skills and techniques. You should also factor in your age and state of health.
Factors That Affect How Long You Need To Train
Your level of skill development depends on the following factors:
- Dedication: The amount of dedication you possess when it comes to practicing and training for your combat sport
- Natural ability: Your natural predisposition for learning certain skills, as well as aspects like memory and stamina
- Experience: Your ability to recognize and repeat certain moves and patterns over a length of time
- Frequency of training sessions: The number of times you participate in training sessions
- Mentoring: Having an experienced mentor or coach to help guide your learning process
No matter which combat sport you pick up, remember that the only way to become an expert is through hard work and dedication coupled with the right environment for your learning journey.
The Physical Benefits of Different Combat Sports
Pursuing combat sports offers a lot of physical benefits. Here are some examples:
Boxing is a great overall workout that tones and sculpts all of the muscles in your body. It also helps you burn fat and build endurance.
Kickboxing is an intense workout focusing on core strength, agility, power, and balance. You can get stronger without lifting weights in the gym or doing other traditional forms of exercise. This combat sport also gives you a great cardio workout.
Jiu-jitsu is a great way to build strength and flexibility simultaneously. You’ll need to know how to move your body in different positions and angles, which requires strength and flexibility. This martial art also focuses heavily on technique, so it’s a great way to sharpen your mental focus.
These are just a sample of the many physical benefits you get from the combat sports you choose. From building strength and agility to improving endurance, these sports offer something for everyone.
Safety Gear In Combat Sports
Each combat sport has its gear and equipment to ensure the utmost flexibility and safety. Here are some examples from the most gear-intensive ones:
- MMA Gear
MMA is an intense full-contact combat sport requiring you to use a variety of combat styles, such as striking and grappling. Due to the nature of most bouts, it’s important to have the following pieces of safety gear:
- Mouth guard
- Shin guards
- Groin protection
- Hand wraps
- Rash guard
Additionally, you may want to invest in more advanced gear, such as MMA gloves, shin protectors, and ear guards from a trusted combat sports brand for your training sessions and competitions.
- Boxing Gear
Boxing is one of the oldest forms of combat sports, with two opponents fighting with only their fists. Essential gear required for this sport includes:
- Boxing shorts
- Hand wraps/gloves
- Mouth guard
- Headgear for additional protection
If you’re serious about boxing, investing in protective gear from reliable brands will help reduce injuries and maximize your performance during competition time.
Overall, protective gear in combat sports is important because of the risks you expose yourself to during practices and matches.
Common Injuries Associated With Combat Sports
Speaking of risks, the most common injuries sustained during combat sports are bruises and cuts. Those caused by trauma, such as a punch or kick, are usually superficial but can be quite painful and take some time to heal. Cuts, meanwhile, can be deeper and more severe if left untreated.
Combat sports can also result in more serious injuries such as fractures, dislocations, and sprains. These happen when the body is put under a lot of stress from inside and out.
In addition to physical injuries, combat sports can lead to psychological issues such as anxiety and depression. These mental health issues may arise from the sport’s intensity or difficulty managing emotions. Fighters need to be aware of their mental health while participating in combat sports and seek professional help if needed.
Once you understand these common issues associated with combat sports, you can make an informed decision about whether you wish to pursue them further or not.
Understanding combat sports is key to taking full advantage of their physical, mental, and social benefits. From the varying types of combat sports to the gear and level of commitment necessary to excel, you must be willing to put in the work.
Whether you’re someone just getting into the world of combat sports or an athlete looking to go pro, you’ll find that combat sports offer a unique experience to test yourself and push your boundaries. Just be prepared.