This is a phrase I've heard a great deal in recent years. Both MMA and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are both increasing in popularity, in both spectators and participants. Despite this I still hear people flirting with idea of trying MMA or grappling, the main excuse being "I'm not fit enough".
Now the cold hard reality of this is simple, the only way to develop your fitness for MMA or grappling is to train in an MMA or grappling class.
When I begun training in BJJ, I considered myself to be in relatively good shape. I played football Saturdays and Sundays (all be it as a goalkeeper) and regularly went to the gym. Despite this, my fitness went out the window the moment I started rolling in the class. But like most things, the more I did it, the more my body grew accustomed to this type of training.
To take an analogy outside of martial arts. If you want to get fit for swimming, you're not going to achieve this on a treadmill!! You'd have to get in the pool and put yourself through it, this is exactly the same in regards to martial arts.
Even though it was challenging, the enthusiasm for MMA and eagerness to pick up new skills got me through the initially difficult stages when going through this endeavour.
If you have other concerns about trying MMA or grappling, here are some other tips to help you.
With the internet and social media, it is very easy to look up martial arts gyms. So take the time to research a few gyms to get a good idea of the of gym that they are and if it would suit you.
Stick to The Basics
Most well established gyms will have one or two basic classes during the week. This is aimed directly at people wanting to start in MMA or grappling. Often more experienced participants will join in the class to brush up on their basics and help guide the beginners through the session.
Go With A Mate
When I started I was very fortunate that I become friends with someone who is a black belt in BJJ!!! He took me to one of his classes that he was teaching at and the rest is history. If you have a friend that already goes to a MMA or grappling class, ask to join them. If not encourage a friend to give it a try as well, at least then you know you guys are both in the same boat.
Leave You're Ego at the Door
If you don't you won't last long. Particularly when it comes to grappling, there are a lot of technical elements to it that requires a lot of time on the mat. So unfortunately when rolling you will get tapped, a lot. This is ok though, as long you approach this with the right attitude. Don't get angry or upset, just try and established what you could have done better and attempt to put it right next time. Everyone, including the top fighters in the UFC get submitted in training. So relax it's not the end of the world if you get tapped out in training, you simple learn from it.