7 important qualities that separate a good MMA gym from a bad one?

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) improves your physical and mental health over time, allowing you to let off steam within a safe and fun environment. There’s no better way to do that than with an MMA Gym.

MMA, unlike other types of exercise, works on your entire body. You receive both strength and cardio training at the same time, or you can further concentrate on a specific part of your body in order to tone and sculpt your body.

It can also improve your mental health. MMA allows you to lower your anxiety and stress levels. Many people are having difficulties in their life, having an outlet can help with that need. It can therapeutic to punch a heavy bag or work on your fighting style with a grappling dummy. At the end of a session, you are sure to feel calmer after pouring out all of your frustrations.

When you decide to join an MMA gym, you must keep in mind that not all are created equal. There are several qualities to look for in finding the right MMA gym for you. From safety to equipment, there are several things you need to be considering when looking into gyms.

MMA sparring at the gym


When finding one, it is important to consider the safety of the training available. While some gyms are about going slow and safe, other gyms will go hard to ensure that people can handle the rough nature of the sport. Another aspect of safety to be concerned about is if the gym teaches how to do slap falls, which is the ability to fall without injuring yourself. If a gym does not teach slap falls, they are failing you. Finally, it is also important to note whether they have someone who intervenes when people are going too rough against one another and in drills.


The cost of this is an important aspect to consider. You will need to find something that fits within your own budget. However, it is important to remember that the costs do not stop at a monthly fee. Some places require that you sign a contract. This contract can consist of 6 months to a year, that can be billed to you each month as a monthly fee. These contracts require payment until the time-frame for it runs out. There can also be a sign-up fee that is required of some MMA gyms.

You will need to pay for your own gear when joining. The gear you need to get could be head protection, a mouthpiece, gloves, tape, hand wraps, cup, shin guards, multiple uniforms, and a jump rope if they require you to have your own.

Locality and Time Restraints

The accessibility of these courses can also be a major concern of those wanting to participate in them. Time restraints are a major aspect of concern. You will not want to go to a gym that only offers classes around the time that you have work or school. While some MMA gyms only offer classes at specific times, others will allow you to still use their facilities outside of class in order to work out. The locality of the gym is another aspect to look into, especially if you cannot stray too far from home or work due to the aforementioned time restraints.


While some gyms tend to be relaxed and easygoing with training, making it easy for a beginner to get acquainted with. Other gyms are all about the chance for competition and becoming the best you can be. Sometimes, gyms will offer a mix of both of these types of training. It is important to discover which type of gym you will be attending in order for it to match your skill level and the style of training you enjoy.

MMA class with instructor

Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Theresa Gualdarama


First and foremost, ensure that your instructor is certified. The way your instructor teaches is an important factor in your understanding of the material within the MMA gym. Many people prefer someone who gives step-by-step instructions with an explanation of why each step is important. While this type of instruction is slower, it teaches the importance of each part. The relationship between the instructor and students is also a vital part of the atmosphere. An instructor should try to motivate you at every opportunity and want you to succeed.

Try to talk to your instructor about their experience as well as the credentials they might have. It is important to have a successful instructor when you want to be successful yourself.


There are two types of gyms: ones with the bare minimum and those that aspire to be full-blown gyms. The MMA gyms that have the bare minimum are not necessarily bad. MMA courses are a workout so it may be best to avoid gyms if you are tired after these courses. In another sense, full-blown gyms are not bad if you are allowed to use them on the days you don’t have courses. You must keep in mind that your body needs time to heal and rest as well though. Without time and rest, you will fall victim to injury.


This goes beyond whether the equipment is put up after use. Are people washing their uniforms? Do people change their shirts after an hour of sweating? You don’t want to have to put your hands on something that is drenched in sweat and has not been washed in weeks.

Most importantly, do people spray and wipe down the mat and other equipment after using them? Some gyms will require students to wipe down the equipment they use after each class. However, other gyms will just wipe down the equipment at the end of the night.

Cleanliness is important in order to halt the spread of germs. It is imperative that you discover a gym that is concerned about how clean their equipment is.

In the end, it is all about your own preference for what you are looking for in an MMA gym.  By keeping in mind what to look for at gyms, you will be able to find an MMA gym that is perfect for you.