Myth no. 1 – Training MMA will make you look like a man
This is complete nonsense. To see how unfounded this myth is, watch any amateur or professional female MMA bout. These women are beautiful and strong, but more importantly, they are feminine.
Take a look at some of the more successful female fighters, such as Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Holly Holm or Gina Carano (for that matter, do watch Gina’s action movie Haywire). Several female MMA fighters are also models and actresses – with looks to match.
Myth no. 2 – You will never get married/find a partner
This is a really persistent myth in some parts of the world. I have met truly talented female martial artists who are held back by concerned parents, loved ones and friends. The scary thing is that this is not just limited to so-called “developing countries” – it is at least as prevalent in the western world.
There is no reason you can’t get a good partner/boyfriend/husband if you do MMA. If anything, the training will make you more fit, healthy and attractive. Since you learn to assert yourself, you are also less likely to get stuck with an abusive partner.
I have been in a stable relationship for over 10 years – and he would probably not be as crazy about me if I was not a fighter!
Myth no. 3 – You will get injured/hurt
This is a very valid concern. MMA has a reputation of being brutal and without rules – a reputation often enhanced by the media. Fortunately, the reality of an actual MMA class in a good gym is quite different. A real-world MMA class is not only safe, but great for your fitness as well.
Of course, you can get injured in any sport – anyone who has played football or cricket will know that. You can get brain injuries from rugby and american football, tennis can ruin your elbow joints and a misdirected cricket ball can easily knock your teeth out (or worse). These risks don’t stop people from playing the sports and the reason is simple – to play footbal, tennis or cricket you start by learning the basics of the sport and taking the necessary safety precautions. It is the same in MMA.
Just like in any other sport, safety boils down to common sense. You master the basics before you start with the advanced stuff and only take on tougher training once your body is ready for it. Most importantly – you wear your protective gear:
- Mouth guard – protects your teeth, jaw and neck
- Headgear – protects your head
- Handwraps – protect your wrists and knuckles
- Gloves – protects your hands and your training partner
- Shin pads – protects your shins and your training partner
A good MMA gym/academy will focus a significant amount of time on physical training and conditioning that builds up your strength, endurance and flexibility. This will help you stay safe and injury-free as you progress into more advanced MMA.
If you train at a good gym/academy and take the standard safety precautions (wear your protective gear, tap early, listen to your coach, etc.), then MMA is one of the safest sports you can practice.
Competitions are a different matter!
If you choose to compete, you are stepping into a much more demanding world. It is vital that you listen to your coach, because if you are not prepared and you don’t know what you are getting yourself into – then you do stand a good chance of getting hurt. On the other hand, it is the same with any demanding sport – horseback riding, kayaking or dirtbiking.