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If you are training or thinking of starting MMA training, you may be wondering how long does it that to learn MMA? Well, you are in the right place because we will give you an answer to that question, as well as guide you to learning it in the shortest period of time.
It takes four years to learn MMA if you practice three times a week, three hours a day.
So how did we come to this number, and why we think that is how long you need, find out below.
How Long Does It Take To Learn MMA
As we said, it needs about four years to learn MMA. That doesn’t mean you will learn everything you can about it, or that you will instantly become champion, that is just some approximate number after which you can become good, or adequate, in MMA.
Actually, it depends on a lot of factors and it is really hard to tell the exact years, because everybody is different, and we are not learning at the same speed.
That said, if you train at least three hours a day, three days a week, you should be good at MMA in those four years.
How did we calculate the time needed to learn MMA
MMA is composed of different martial arts. Usually, that includes BJJ and/or wrestling, and some sort of striking art, such as Muay Thai and/or kickboxing.
Some fighters use other martial arts as well, such as Karate, Judo, Boxing and such, but if you want to learn MMA in four years you will have to choose two or maximum three.
So let’s say you choose BJJ, wrestling, and Muay Thai for your MMA journey.
In BJJ you will need to be at least a good blue belt, if not even higher. This is needed if you’re going to be relying on submissions. In many schools, it takes about two years to advance from white to blue, and another two years to advance from blue to purple. And that assumes you’re practicing an average of perhaps three times a week. So as you can see, only for BJJ, you need four years. Good things is, you can combine other martial arts while learning BJJ.
BJJ in combination with wrestling makes you a beast on the ground, and that is a beast with great takedowns. You should be wrestling at least at a high school varsity level. Even better if you can achieve the college level. Some kids make varsity level in 18 months. That means you need to practice five days a week, and also attending camps during the summer. If you’re not practicing five days a week, then it’ll take you longer.
And then there are striking arts, such as Muay Thai or Kickboxing. They also need at least 2-3 years to get good at.
So if you are training each of those martial arts – BJJ, Wrestling and one of the striking arts – at least three times a week, you will probably be good in them in about three years. And then comes in MMA.
You have to modify those skills you have learned to make them most effective for MMA. That takes about a year to get good at.
So as you can see, this is why we think you will need about 4 years of hard training to learn MMA, but don’t full yourself, you probably won’t become a big champion right after it, but a competent amateur MMA fighter.
Is learning MMA hard?
As you can see from above, it needs a lot of training and years to become ‘only’ competent amateur MMA fighter, if you are striving for more, then it is much harder.
But MMA is a thrilling sport, that can also be intimidating if you’re not already part of that universe. So hard training shouldn’t turn you away from it, but you should embrace it and start loving it. If you think you can’t, then MMA maybe isn’t the right choice for you.
Can you teach yourself MMA?
To be blunt, no you can’t.
There are just too many techniques for one person without guidance to learn. You need to learn standing techniques, projection techniques, and ground techniques, which is impossible to learn on your own.
You need to train for hundreds of hours to learn all these techniques in a fluid, strong, and fast movement because your opponent is heavily trained and wants to win no matter what.
It is best for you, and fastest way to learn MMA, to get into some good MMA gym, or separately into BJJ, Wrestling, Muay Thai and/or Kickboxing, try to find the best trainer you can in your area, and train hard, and I mean really hard.
We have a complete MMA training guide if you are interested, so you can check it out on the link.
What age is too late for MMA?
Are you too old to start MMA? – no, you are not! There is no bad time in life to start doing sports, and MMA is not an exception. People might look at you queerly, but you should not mind that, you’re doing it for yourselves!
Still, you have to bear in mind that you have to predetermine your goals before starting. If you want to remain a (solid) amateur, the age limit is practically non-existent, because as an amateur you’re the one dictating the pace, the pressure, and the decisions. On the other hand, if you want to become professional, then the late thirties are probably too late.
We have a whole article about what age is too late for MMA, and you can check it out on our link.
How much does MMA training cost?
You will need to see exact prices in your area, and don’t forget you need to see the prices of BJJ, Wrestling, Muay Thai and/or Kickboxing, but if you are in the US, prices of all those gyms are from $50 a month to upwards of $200 or more depending from the gym to gym.