Founder, President, and Head Instructor of the Ronin Training Institute.

Tag: MMA

Tips For Beginning Mma Training

Tips for Beginning MMA Training

While many people are interested in mixed martial arts, not all of them know how to channel that interest. MMA is thrilling also quite intimidating for newcomers. The sport is also among the fastest-growing, meaning it can be challenging discerning which gyms are best for training and which are only in it for money. Presented below are several tips for potential MMA students.

Do the Research.

MMA hopefuls should look around their area to investigate the local gyms. After finding a few viable candidates, the person should visit whichever ones seem the most promising, often the ones that offer a free or discounted trial run. After trying out each of the viable gyms, the person should choose whichever gym best resonates with his personality.

Be Ready to Work.

While beginners do not need to be in fighting shape, MMA gyms need their participants to be at least moderately fit. Because warm-up routines can be more challenging than most non-martial art workout routines, a basic level of strength and physical conditioning will do a world of good.

Remember Pacing.

While it is understandable for beginners to want to push beyond the basics, mastery involves a considerable investment of time and effort that only takes longer if the student frequently overexerts himself and winds up sick or injured while training.

Beginners should start with a once- or twice-weekly routine, complemented by cross-training exercises on the other days and one day dedicated to rest. Routines should intensify as the student becomes noticeably more acclimated to training.

Spar When You Can.

While it does a student no good to immediately jump from training to full-contact sparring matches, holding off on sparring can be just as bad. Sparring allows students to put their techniques into practice and is fundamental with advancing within MMA. Rather than going full force, students should start off by sparring with grapples and technical work. There is nothing wrong with consulting a coach for advice.

Never Give Up.

While everyone has days where even the warmups cause people to consider tapping out, students should bear in mind that everyone has those days. It can also be quite daunting to put the formula of different styles’ maneuvers into practice effectively. Remember, that losses teach far more than wins do. Anyone coping with frustration should remember that they are always improving.

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Difference Between Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo

When classifying certain martial arts, they usually fall into two very distinctive categories: grappling and striking. Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fall into the grappling side of martial arts, and they share a lot of similarities. Even though they are under the same category they are different in a few ways as well. Each sport and the way you are awarded wins defines the differences mainly in the rules of each.


Judo came first in the history of the two and was founded in Japan in the 1800s. It is also officially an Olympic sport, which started in 1964. Competitively there are a few ways to win a match within the rules. The main way to win is to throw your opponent with enough force on his back to gain something called an “Ippon”. An Ippon is a match-winning point that is only awarded when the former move is completed. You may earn other points that don’t result in an instant win, which is when you throw your opponent but he doesn’t land on his back or with enough force. There is also winning by submission from pinning. Patience is key in judo, waiting for your opponent to make a move for you to capitalize on. Judo uses the patience to find leverage on your opponent and uses throws from the standing position.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was formed later in 1909, just like the name implies, in Brazil. BJJ is mainly fought while on the ground. There are strikes and grapples involved but most of the fighting is while you are on your back. There are different ways to win but mainly by scoring points that are awarded by completing different moves on your opponent. You can also win by submission from pins or holds as well. While it is not an Olympic sport, there are plenty of tournaments to take part in across the world.

So in parting, you can see there are a few differences between the two. While BJJ comes from Judo, the key differences come from the style or positions. Judo brings the standing aspect of martial arts while BJJ has the ground portion. This is where the confusion comes from, where the similarities match between them. With the beginning of each match starting from standing positions, but the way the match progresses and win conditions are set to stand different from each other.

Tips For Teaching Martial Arts To A Mixed Skill Level Class

Tips for Teaching Martial Arts to a Mixed-Skill Level Class

Teaching mixed martial arts is difficult in itself. However, learning classes that are inclusive to a variety of skill levels will incite additional challenges. It is necessary, in these cases, to cater your teaching style to make sure that all students of varying skill levels are getting the most out of your class. Here are some tips to help you teach a mixed-skill class in martial arts as effectively as possible:

Be in tune with the varying needs and wants of the group. What the older, and more experienced, athletes are seeking in your class will be drastically different than what the beginner or more intermediate athletes are finding. It is essential to stay in tune to that so you can make sure that each skill level accomplishes their goals and feels as though they got something out of the class, and thus are likely to return to another.

Stay flexible and ready to change your teaching strategy on a whim. This point goes hand in hand with the previous tip. If something does not seem like it is working well or benefitting the class to the extent you imagined, do not be afraid to adjust your strategy on a whim. On this note, don’t be nervous to try new things that you think may work–if anything your students will tremendously appreciate your willingness and ability to change and personalize strategy in response to them.

Do your research. Find options for exercises and moves that have a sliding scale of modification options that people can independently decide to add or detract when they want to. This way, you don’t have to spend time explaining five different moves, just one with tier-based variations based on skill levels. There are also a good variety of moves that are beneficial for beginnings and intermediates, or intermediates and advanced martial artists alike. It also never hurts to go back to refresh or perfect technique that was learned previously.

Get to know your students. Getting to know your students, especially those who are regulars in your classes, will help you be able to maintain a connection with them, especially while teaching at a higher level. It will also help you stay personal and establish a unique teacher-student connection with each student, while simultaneously maintaining a relationship with the larger class as a whole.

Teaching Tips: Ways to Improve Your BJJ Instructing Tactics


We’ve all been there. Sitting in that course in college or in that huddle on a sports team. The the teacher, coach or instructor has no idea how to efficiently lead a group of people. Being the most knowledgeable person in the world about a particular subject  only gets you so far. Not having the ability to effectively put in place your knowledge won’t get you anywhere in the teaching realm. In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, instructors hold the key to an up and coming practitioner’s success.  Students could have all the natural abilities in the world. If they aren’t taught how to properly channel such skills, their likelihood of success will be rare.


We often find students struggling with their comprehension of a sport. This can be due to the fact that learning abilities across a team can be widespread. As an instructor, it is up to you to create techniques and tactics that are inclusive to all learning styles and capabilities. Sometimes, it can be best to follow the “lowest common denominator” aesthetic. This doesn’t mean that the whole class needs to stay on the same skill until they all achieve it. It more means that that each course you teach should continue to review the most basic moves as a refresher for all. Paying that little bit of extra attention to the lowest level student ensures that they are receiving a quality education.


Communication is an extremely crucial aspect of being an instructor. Adaptation of communication methods goes right along side in importance. If you are unable to teach in a way that most, if not all, of your students can comprehend, they re-evaluating your technique should be a high priority. In BJJ there are many moves that require extreme persistence and practice. Being able to descriptively enlighten your students on safety measures must be done in the clearest way possible. For me it’s always important to make sure I cover, and my students clearly understand, the What, How, Why. This is What we are going to do, this is How we are going to do it and this is Why we are doing it.


One of the final ways that you can be sure your teaching methods are up to high standards is by reflecting on each class that you lead. Ask yourself questions such as; Did everyone seem to see the main takeaways from the course? Were there any students who seemed to not comprehend certain moves or drills? Though you should not get too caught up in any negative aspects of a class, assessing yourself and your style only leaves room for improvement. In any teaching scenario, having the ability to critique yourself and make strategic changes, is what will ultimately get your students further.


Benefits of Getting Children Involved in Jiu-Jitsu

Most parents spend their weekends watching their children attempt to play a complex sport using equipment they need years of practice before mastering. Although getting children involved in any structured activity at a young age presents benefits in social and physical skills, sports using only a child’s body give them a greater chance of mastering the skill much sooner. A Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) training program is a great place for children of various ages to begin their involvement in organized sports. BJJ is one facet of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) that not only keeps children active, but teaches confidence, respect, self-defense, and discipline at every level of engagement.


The art of Jiu Jitsu stems from the ground fighting aspect of judo and the combat technique advocates the idea that a smaller or weaker individual has the capability to stand their ground against someone much larger and stronger than them. These methodologies easily instill confidence in children and as they learn the techniques, they gain an understanding that size does not always matter. Though many advances have been made to end bullying, it unfortunately is still a part of society. Learning Jiu Jitsu inevitably gives the skills to defend one’s self but additionally boosts confidence in a child by knowing they possess such abilities to take action if ever necessary.


Many MMA programs assist in building confidence in their students. Jiu Jitsu separates itself from the rest, through the style of fighting it promotes. Other facets of MMA use striking techniques which, for children, are likely not beneficial in real world scenarios. A post in Jiu Jitsu Times makes a valid point, sharing that the unrealistic story lines presented to students in other forms of MMA could unavoidably give false confidence to children. Parents of BJJ students are also likely to appreciate the sport’s no striking approach, especially at ages when hitting and kicking become problematic.


The diverse culture revolving around Jiu Jitsu has become a great tool in guiding children on a positive path regarding respect. Looking around a BJJ training school, participants are able to see men and women interchangeable in teacher and student roles, teaching children the importance of receiving and accepting instruction from anyone. People of all ages, ethnicities, and economical backgrounds gather to learn the art, and immersing children in such a diversified environment reaps benefits unteachable in most settings.


Other added bonuses to involving children in Jiu Jitsu at a young age is the consistency of the programs. Most team based sports have seasons that come and go depending on the time of year. Unlike those sports, trainings in Jiu Jitsu continue year-round, consequently supporting the discipline aspect of the art. When children have time off from their extracurriculars, it often takes time for them to get back into a structured routine, but such trends do not take place in Jiu Jitsu. Another advantage deserving recognition is the overall health benefits of the sport. Those training at advance levels of BJJ are inclined to follow healthy diet and nutrition plan. Instructors are likely to bestow this lifestyle in the young athletes and their parents, encouraging all around health.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has become one of the greatest aspects of MMA due to its accessibility for people of many backgrounds. The benefits of engaging a young child in the sport helps develop not only physical, but social and emotional skills, able to support them throughout their lives. Developing positive relationships and gaining skills that will be useful throughout life. What more could a parent ask for?

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