I am looking to get into MMA. I think being able to defeat another man in mano-a-mano combat is one of the manliest, most enjoyable, and most challenging endeavors you can engage in. I should have done this thing years earlier, but now I am prepared and ready to get into a cage and beat a man senseless. I am starting on this journey now.

I am surely on the old side to start a sport, being 28. But, I believe in myself. I feel that I have talent in this area, and regret that I didn't start sooner. But, better late than never I suppose. Are there any MMA or Boxing, Wrestling, Karate/Judo guys, etc. on here?

I figure that, within about 3 years, I'll be in solid, formidable fighting shape. I'll train hard, and get about 20 or so amateur fights in. Then, I'll have at least a chance to go pro depending on what I can accomplish up to that point. 

 

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There are plenty of success stories of fighters in boxing in their late 30s and even 40s. John Williams won on his MMA debut at 70, but he seems to be a fairly exceptional physical specimen

I've met several older gentlemen who were quite effective at the sport. But you're not an 'older gentleman'.  You ought to be fine.

I have a different opinion about combat. The sport of MMA is something entirely different. I wouldn't conflate the two. One is life and death, the other is a kind of game.  

If what you care about is sport, then I would suggest getting into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu first, and I mean with the gi. It's an elegant and effective martial art (at least potentially), and you will take fewer punches to the face while training. 

 And make sure you find a gym with a positive atmosphere where things like honor and respect still matter. There are plenty of places with way too much machismo in the air. Some jerks like to seek out the weaker players to put them in pretzels for fun. They treat every sparing match like a championship fight. Don't be their grappling dummy/punching bag.      

+1 for BJJ/judo

Have you looked at Chess Boxing?

I read it as "Ass-Kissing"; sorry.

 

If you haven't already start taking wrestling/judo classes.  The problem I've seen with MMA and any of the hand/foot style of fighting is that they suck at grappling and get their asses handed to them by someone who has experience at wrestling or judo.  That's not to say that fists and feet are not necessary but a style that mixes all of it together may be better for the Octogon.

So did I.

 

JB

 "...a style that mixes all of it together may be better for the Octogon."

That's what MMA is, Mr. Shelton. Stands for Mixed Martial Arts.

It's been dominated by grapplers for some time.

But you're right. Judo and wrestling...

Free-style wrestling is probably better for MMA competition as it doesn't rely on the gi for gripping. But Karo Parisyan made good use of judo style throws in the MMA arena. So it's not totally inapplicable.   

Judo by itself though... That is a much funner game. There's nothing better for the ego than effortlessly throwing your opponent through the air, if you're slick and he ain't.

In a combat situation, where your opponent will not be fighting you in his underwear like in MMA, a basic judo hip throw on the concrete would end the fight real quick. And could potentially paralyze a fella....  especially since he will not know how to break fall. Training with the gi has some practical use, it seems. Plus, you can learn to choke a man with his own jacket.    

This was my favorite throw. Tai Otoshi.

Try Akido, talk about fun.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concussion

 

"Those who have had one concussion seem more susceptible to another, especially if the new injury occurs before symptoms from the previous concussion have completely resolved.[9] There is also a negative progressive process in which smaller impacts cause the same symptom severity.[7] Repeated concussions may increase the risk in later life for dementia, Parkinson's disease, and/or depression.[9]"

If you're looking to defend yourself using combat then I'd suggest you stay away from MMA. 

Yes, MMA is demanding and brutal, but... it has rules. As someone who has been in martial arts for over 25 years I can tell you that you want to learn an art that takes full advantage in combat. 

I'm not dissing MMA. Not in the least, so no offense to the many MMA fighters out there. 

As a martial artist I will avoid going to the ground because my training isn't restricted by the rules of a sport. If needed I'll blind my attacker in the first couple of seconds of a fight. I can strike to the throat and end his breathing, or hammer to the heart and badly disrupt his heart beats. I can kick to the knee and destroy the joint. 

Sure, there's always a chance my attacker wants to grapple, but I'm not interested in getting my shirt dirty. I don't have time to spar and circle. If he moves at me, or throws a strike then I act. 

Ask any martial artist and they'll tell you they need less than 10 seconds to finish a fight. 

There's going to be lots of MMA folks who will speak up and tell you they are just as combat capable. They could be right. I do not claim to be an expert on MMA. What I can tell you is that a good martial art will train you disarm someone. They'll train you to use weapons, and not just traditional things, but anything at hand. They'll teach you the psychology of combat, confrontation, and much more.

I've been a student of Kung Fu San Soo and of the arts I've been a student of this is the one that's the most comprehensive to street combat. We do not compete for trophies because San Soo isn't a sport. Sports have rules. Bad guys don't and neither does San Soo. 

I have nothing but respect for all martial arts, so if anyone has taken offense it was not intended. 

These are great points that are not entirely lost on everyone who appreciates MMA as sport.

Bottom line is this: if you're in a combat situation, if you have to fight with you're hands, things went really wrong for you. Weapons are our great neutralizers. When life hangs in the balance, go for the weapon.  

Another thing I might point out is that MMA players are playing the SAME game, and train to play THAT game, and they expect their opponent to play THAT game. Things become predictable. A player can EXPECT one guy, padded and even ground, referee intervention, no intention to kill. He can also EXPECT Thai kicks, jabs, free-style shooting (because dropping your knee like that only makes sense on a nice padded mat), etc. None of this holds in a combat situation.     

While over seas I had the good fortune to be trained under this gentleman, B. Salas. He trained us mostly in MMA for fun on his free time, and particularly in BJJ. He was also a huge fan of MMA. But his forte was as a trainer for actual hand to hand combat. Every now and then we'd do knife fighting techniques and weapon retention exercises. The man was brilliant at what he did. That's why uncle sam hired him, and sent him where his services could be useful.

The reason I bring this up is because he would agree with what you say. He recalled a story to me once of a situation he was involved in as a police officer. He was attacked by an individual, and without thinking he attempted to utilize his jiu-jitsu (grappling/ground), He told us his thoughts during that interaction were something like, "Oh my God, am I really resorting to Jiu-Jitsu this early?" The lesson was to be that one can train themselves into a hole. MMA fighters are trained for a very specific enviroment.

Here's an example of a move you will never, EVER, see in an MMA bout. But it is applied with expert precision, and most importantly it worked.

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