A lot of great MMA fighters got their starts in the sport as youngsters.
Antonio Nogueira got an early start in MMA. He began boxing at age five. By the time he was fourteen, he was studying Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Royce Gracie got his start when he was just a toddler, learning Jiu Jitsu from his father and older brothers and was competing at the age of eight. He earned his blue belt when he was sixteen.
With MMA the fastest growing sport in the world, more and more kids are wanting to learn it.
Mixed martial arts involves a combination of various styles of martial arts such as tae kwon do, jiu-jitsu and wrestling.
Grappling and Sparring
Just the thought of words like "sparring" is enough to make some parents cringe, but when taught properly, MMA can be quite beneficial to your child. Not only is MMA great fun to participate in, it can boost self confidence, teach self defense and is fantastic for helping kids get in shape. A good instructor teaches control and injuries should be minimal.
If your child is taking up MMA, you will need to purchase some things. Don't be overwhelmed, you can start small with the necessities and add on as you can.
Here are some guidelines, but be sure to check with your instructor before you purchase.
Protective gear is the best place to start. It's a must! Headgear is one of the most important protection pieces as it protects the head from injuries that could incur during a fall or by a punch. Be sure headgear is top of your list!
A mouthpiece is of great importance too. It is designed to absorb the shock from punches and blows to the face and offers a custom fit to the teeth and gums so it protects them as well.
Gloves are worn to protect from finger, wrist and hand injuries. They offer protection while throwing punches and from receiving them. Be sure to purchase good quality gloves that are the correct size and weight.
Ankle wraps and shin and foot guards should also be worn. They protect the feet that can come from kicking and they also help guard against kicks from the opponent.
Knee and elbow pads are good investments too.
The Right Instructor
Finding the right class is not unlike doing so for an adult. Take into consideration the focus on safety, class size, structure and atmosphere. Prices can vary so that is a factor to consider as well. Once you have narrowed down the choices, check out all the reviews you can. Be sure to listen to your child's own opinions about the class and assure him or her that the decision is not set in stone.
Practice makes perfect. Just like piano students reap the benefits of having a piano to practice on at home, and a baseball player improves when someone gets out and plays catch with him, the same is true in MMA.
Kid size equipment such as Bob Bully and Wavemaster Jr. will help your child advance in MMA.
Be sure to pay attention to your child's progress and praise him or her often. It's a great idea to display accomplishments like a certificate on the wall and by hanging belt display to show off belts your child earns.
Take part in the sport. It is important to your child that you attend events such as level testings and competitions. Even if your child comes up a bit short, point out the good things he or she did.
MMA can add awesome positive influence on your child's self esteem and help him or her get in physical shape as well. It can be a bonding between the two of you, something you share in common. Life is about making memories so let MMA help make them great ones!