Does the above photo of Keith Jardine's face getting pummeled into hamburger by Chuck Liddell make you sick, or does it make you want to run to your nearest gym to learn how to develop the skills to impose your will on an opponent as equally determined to splatter your DNA across the cage?
If you answered yes to the latter, you might just have what it takes to become an MMA fighter.
Training for MMA is much like training for any other skilled discipline you can think of. You have to have a deep love for the sport in your heart, and the iron will to overcome the many obstacles that will inevitably present themselves.
One of the many benefits of MMA training is the strength of character that develops along with the strength of body. The MMA athlete must learn to accept with humility the fact that, as tough as he thinks he is, there will always be someone bigger, stronger, faster, smarter than himself.
He must drive himself beyond the point of breaking with the resolve that, all other factors being equal, only his will to conquer shall result in victory.
The road to becoming such an elite athlete is long and hard. Improper training may lead to injuries, family/work/school commitments may drain the athlete's energy and will to train, and the simple lack of appropriate facilities or partners may deter some from even trying.
The good news is that due to the steadily growing popularity of the sport, there are far more people willing to train than there were even five years ago. DVD instruction videos are readily available for home study, and many traditional martial arts gyms are capitalizing on the trend by offering MMA courses.
Do you have to be tough enough to get beat down for five five-minute rounds to train in MMA?
No, nobody said you have to.
You do have to have the persistence to train hard and train well. Respect your partners and coaches, and above all, have fun.