Two men in boxing gloves and shorts are fighting in cage using grappling technique

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a sport where different martial arts styles are all combined.

It is a great sport to engage in if you are looking at learning what works when in a fight.

Is MMA good for self-defense? MMA is a great martial art to learn for self-defense. The reason is you are learning all 3 ranges of fighting which include long-range (kicks), short-range (punch, knee, elbow), and ground fighting (chokes, joint locks).

The most powerful martial art systems in MMA include Muay Thai, Judo, Wrestling, Taekwondo, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. They all sum up to make one combat style.

The training that practitioners do mainly involve striking, taking an opponent down and making them submit.

MMA is very much a sport but everything that is taught in MMA can be used for self-defense.

The techniques can be useful when defending yourself against a mugger or attacker on the street.

You have people who say MMA is not effective when it comes to self-defense. There are no rules and no referee involved when you get into a street fight.

However, the different tactics incorporated from various forms of martial arts. These martial arts such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Boxing, and Muay Thai, give the user the ability to defend themselves from an attacker.

Let’s take a look at MMA and why we think it will work for self-defense.

MMA is a Sport

MMA is a martial art that focuses on attack and defense. When training in MMA your skills are honed for attacks and to defend.

If you have trained in mixed martial arts and you are attacked you will react instinctively. You will unleash a barrage of combinations that will seriously hurt or knock out an attacker.

Check out Roger Huerta UFC fighter blast a guy that hit and knocked out a woman.

The MMA fighter 1 street fighter 0!!

Training in MMA Does Not Include Multiple Attackers

In the ring MMA fighters are only dealing with one attacker so what would they do with many attackers?

This is a good argument but most martial arts systems do not train people to fight multiple attackers.

The ones that do train you to fight multiple attackers would be a bit more useful but is it really that big of an advantage.

Fighting multiple attackers no matter the martial art you have trained at would be tough. Sure, if I have trained 20 years in multiple attackers then your chance of success goes up.

The problem is most people training in martial arts do not train for 20 years.

They train for a while to get in shape, for discipline, or because they love martial arts. Then they quit or take up classes sporadically throughout their life.

I train in MMA and I feel my skills against two attackers are better than most but still not good.

If you are in a situation where you have to fight more than one person, that will not be a good situation you should escape or run. It is hard enough to fight one person let alone two or more.

Training in MMA is better than having no training.

Self-Defense Anything Goes

It is said how you train is how you fight so an MMA fighter does not train to strike the groin, gouge the eyes or punch the throat.

Since MMA fighters do not train in the street fighting tactics they might not do any of these hits in a real-life situation.

Realistically they are fighters and they will do what they have to do to win which includes the strikes above.

I remember when I started training in MMA and I had not done a groin kick for years. Before class one day I was doing a few kicks on the heavy bag and the power and speed were still there.

MMA fighters will know how to knock an attacker out or knock them down.

I do not believe they need to train in self-defense to be deadly in a self-defense situation. The picture below proves my point.

Here is a woman MMA fighter and the guy she beat up when he tried to steal her purse. (Full Story)

Again MMA fighter 1 and street attacker 0!!!


MMA does not train you on how to deal with weapons. This would be a problem when an attacker faces you with a knife or a gun.

I will be honest this is a problem even if you have trained to face an attacker with a knife or gun.

If an attacker has any weapon then the best thing to do is run.

The most skilled weapons fighters can still get shot and killed because it’s a weapon against bare hands.

It is important to realize that even with the above-listed scenarios, MMA is a useful self-defense martial art.

The MMA fighter is skilled in how to react in real-life fighting scenarios. They can still use their skills if in a corner and have to fight to survive.

MMA Training

MMA fighters have developed their cardio, flexibility, and speed to make them tough to beat in a fight.

Most fights are so short because in less than a minute the attacker is out of breath because their cardio is bad.

MMA fighter just has to wait till they are tired.

Most techniques in MMA lay the groundwork for good self-defense, striking, and grappling.

What are Some of MMA Lessons That can Help you in Self-Defense?

Learning how To strike

It is essential to learn how to strike to defend yourself. MMA incorporates different striking styles from Muay Thai, Kickboxing, and Boxing to give you an edge against your opponent.

Everyone has a preconceived notion on how they should use their punches and kicks to attack. However, it is a very technical skill to grasp.

Even with most of the martial arts styles having a background in sports, they should not be discredited.

A good example is the skills learned from Muay Thai allow you to develop an incredible amount of knowledge on the different weak points of a body.

It also helps you learn how to turn your body into a weapon. This comes about with rigorous training.

Becoming skilled in striking gives you an upper hand when faced with an attacker in any situation. You can stop the threat before it poses any further problems.

The only aspect that can change the problem is when the attacker faces you with a weapon. If cornered your skills may still be enough to stop the aggressor and neutralize them.

Learning grappling

Many street fights end up on the ground. Due to this, grappling is a useful technique to learn when it comes to self-defense.

You can learn grappling from wrestling or even Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Both of them instill in you the skills required to take an opponent down and control them until they submit.

You can learn how to make use of your body and fight off from your back all of which are essential skills when it comes to self-defense.

Jiu-Jitsu is the skill most MMA fighters work on to master for their ground fighting game. The techniques include:

  • Rear naked choke
  • Guillotine choke
  • Arm-bar
  • Triangle choke
  • Ankle lock
  • And much more

MMA will teach you how to react when faced with a first-hand real-life fighting scenario.

MMA Will Give You Confidence

Once you practice MMA, you will increase your confidence in your ability to protect yourself and your loved ones. When you are confident in yourself, it shows and hopefully, this prevents confrontations.

The confidence really helps to even avoid fights.

My son was in 2nd grade and a 4th grader was bullying my son’s friend. My son had taken Jiu-Jitsu for a year so he walked up to the boy and said that he needed to leave his buddy alone.

The bigger 4th grader said get out of my face and my son just warned him again and went back into line. That boy never bothered them again.

The confidence won the battle with no conflict. Bullies do not like when someone fights or pushes back.

MMA teaches you how to hold your emotions

When you are faced with a threatening situation that demands self-defense, you need to remain calm to be able to diffuse the situation.

MMA helps you learn how to control your emotions and analyze the situation first before acting.

Mixed martial arts training may not solve every problem, however, it gives you an upper hand against unarmed attackers.

Why Should You Train in MMA?

There are many advantages linked to training in MMA apart from self-defense.

By training in MMA, you can grow in confidence, lose weight, and improve your health as well as to attain a high level of discipline.

I remember when I first started training in MMA and I could not go the full 3-minute rounds because I was out of shape. Once I was there for about 3 months I had no problem keeping up with all the other MMA fighters.

MMA takes you out of your comfort zone and helps you become a stronger person. You can grow in character and as well as mentally and physically.

How Do You Train At Home In MMA?

Training for MMA does not only have to be at a gym. You can transform a space in your home and begin working out.

There are several ways to start you can buy a DVD set that teaches MMA techniques or you can take our free online course.

These are the only two ways you can train without paying the high memberships at an MMA school.

Shadowboxing at home is one of the best ways to train in front of a mirror. You can see your strikes and adjust what you are doing to get better.

You would need a heavy bag or BOB the punching man to really work on the techniques. The Jiu-Jitsu training you can get a partner or buy a Jiu-Jitsu dummy to train with at home.

You will also need hand wraps and boxing gloves to keep from hurting your hands when punching the heavy bag.

Once you have done training online or through a DVD set you may want to further your skills.

We recommend for more in-depth training of MMA, you need to find the nearest facility with coaches that can help you.

Is MMA the Best Martial Arts?

This is a really good system to train how to fight and to learn to defend yourself.

The best means different things to different people so MMA may not be what you are looking for.

That is ok, there are so many different martial arts systems for all the different people in the world.

MMA is indeed one of the most spectacular fighting arts today.

Not only does it give you the top physical shape, but you can also grow in your fighting skills.

However, when using MMA in self-defense, it is essential to have the right mindset when facing your opponent.

Understand the difference between controlled fighting and fighting on the street so adapt your training accordingly.


We reviewed why we think MMA can be used to learn how to defend yourself. It will be up to you to decide if this is a fighting system you want to learn.

The great thing about MMA is it encompasses many martial art systems.

I trained with a guy in MMA but his true love was kicking so after training with us for 4 years he moved to train in TaeKwonDo. Discover what you like and then go train in it.

You may also like: What is MMA? (All You Need to Know) and How to do MMA Training

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