10 Things To Look For When Choosing An MMA School

10 Things To Look For When Choosing An MMA School

Deflecting the Front Kick and Understanding Elements of MMA


Now that you’ve decided to start training, the next step is to find a school that is right for you. When searching for the right MMA school, there are many things to think about, here are 10 key factors you should consider.
  1. Instructors: 
    • There is no single more important factor when considering MMA gyms than the identity and quality of the instructors who teach there. In your search, you should strive to meet the best, most effective and most motivational instructors you can find.
2. Location:
    • Joining a gym that is close to your home or your job will make your life substantially easier. MMA training is tough, very tough, so there’s no need to make it even tougher by traveling crazy distances just to get to the gym. When it’s raining or clod outside, that distance might make you reluctant to train. The shorter your commute to and from the gym, the better.
3. Comprehensive Training Programs:
    • Schools that specialize in one discipline like Muay Thai or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are great, but if you’re looking yo train MMA, then you’ll need ti learn both( at lest). Look for schools that offer programs in both grappling and striking. Schools that offer additional performance programs like strength & conditioning as well as Physical Therapy are even better!
4. Good Training Partners:
    • Perhaps the second most important factor in your search should be identity and quality of your training partners. MMA schools are designed to help everyone – each and every student – improve. They are not typically training They are not typically training camps for professionals wherein amateurs are brought to the slaughter and summarily whipped. Look for training partners that push you hard, but also treat you with respect. Look for training partners that are skilled and work as hard as you do, but who also know how to control themselves on the mats.
5. Camaraderie:
    • As an extension of #4 above, it’s important to develop camaraderie with your training partners. You will be spending a significant amount of time with your training partners, so if you don’t get along with them or relate to them, your interest in the gym will diminish. Get to know your training partners on a personal level and always treat them with respect. It will pay tremendous dividend for you, both on the mat and in your personal life.
6. Facilities:
    • In furtherance of #3 above, part of having a comprehensive training program is having the facilities students need to train. A BJJ gym without mats may not be the best place to develop your grappling. A Muay Thai gym without heavy bags might not be the best place to develop your striking. Make sure the places you visit have equipment and space you need to train. 
7. Safety:
    • Are your instructors and fellow students safety conscious? Do the instructors let students spar or grapple unsupervised and without knowing the they can handle it first? Do they let pairs of students grapple near each other without separating them? Are your training partners trying to hurt you or are they trying to teach you? These are all serious issues that you must consider when joining a gym. Some injuries are unavoidable, of course, but others are not. An ideal gym minimizes the avoidable injuries by taking prudent and thoughtful safety measures.
8. Cleanliness:
    • As abd extension of #7 above, good MMA schools ate very conscious about cleanliness, hygiene and infection control. We all share the mats ad the heavy bags and, in most cases, our sweat. Staph infections are too common in gyms that don’t practice proactive infection control, so be wary of this as well. Are the mats and heavy bags clean? Are your training partners rolling with dirty Gi’s? If so, you should probably keep looking.
9. Pricing Plans:
    • This is at the bottom of the list for a reason. Price is certainly a factor you should consider when joining a school, but it should NOT be the determining factor. You are not purchasing a t-shirt, there. You are making an investment in yourself; your mind, your body and your future. The old saying “you  get what you pay for” applies  here. A bargain basement price for a MMA school likely means that the quality of the instructors and/or facilities is lacking. By all means, search for the best gym you can find, considering all the factors above. But then, when you have it narrowed down to a few that you like, consider the pricing plans. Speak with the instructor to find out if there is any flexibility, as well. It never hurts to ask.
10. Instructors!:
    • So nice, it is on the list twice. The importance of training with good, qualified, experienced instructors cannot possibly be overstated. MMA training is extremely technique specific. It’s not all brute force, power and effort. Those with the best techniques have a tremendous advantage over their opponents. The better your instructors, the better you will become as a mixed martial artist.

Calm Body Equal Calm Mind: The Power Of Breath In MMA

Calm Body Equal Calm Mind: The Power Of Breath In MMA


One of the first things a student does when faced with a challenging technique in class is to hold their breath while performing the move. When the new technique is performed under a restricted condition it is usually performed poorly. However, once the student is told to take a deep breath before initiating the technique and to breathe slowly while performing the technique a significant improvement in performance is noticed.

Why is that?

The hypothesis is that by having the student take a deep breath and consciously slowing down the breathing when learning the new move may help decrease activity in the sympathetic nervous system. Thereby, the better breathing places the student in a more relaxed state. Once in a relaxed state the effort for the mind and body to learn a new task may be reduced.

The realization stems from a phenomenon called the relaxation response based human physiology textbooks by Rhodes and Pflanze. It states: the relaxation response is characterized by a decrease in activity of the sympathetic nervous system and during this response there is a decrease in oxygen consumption, heart rate, blood pressure, respiration rate and an increase in alpha waves on electroencephalogram.

Alpha waves are produced when your brain and body are relaxed and at peace.

The one big caveat to my hypothesis is that the relaxation response is achieved through conditioning and training associated with meditation learned from various Eastern religions such as Zen Buddhism.

You might be asking, what is the sympathetic nervous system?

The sympathetic nervous system is one of the peripheral components of autonomic nervous systems which coordinate the body’s response to stress.

In a nut shell the autonomic nervous system (ANS) coordinates bodily functions need for survival. “It senses the need for food and activates the digestive processes; it senses the need for water and activates processes for retention and consumption for fluid.  The ANS aids in removing waste products from the body and it prepares the body for the stress of life-threatening conditions.” The actions of the ANS are all performed subconsciously.

What is a Low Leg Kick?

The Muay Thai Low kick is one most effective kicks to lean. If perform well it will stop an attacker dead in his tracks. In this video you learn the proper biomechanics that will help you position your foot, leg, hip and trunk to execute the Low kick with devastating power

Heavy Bag Workouts The Lost Art

Heavy Bag Workouts The Lost Art


Let’s face it running on the treadmill and peddling on a stationary bike gets boring fast. However, there is something romantic about wailing on a heavy ( It may just be me seeing a romantic side of taking your frustration out on a heavy bag). The heavy bag is one primary tool used to develop striking skills and once you get over the hurdle of learning technical skills to hit the bag correctly, it becomes exciting and fun. If you are the type of person that hates conventional cardio, it’s time to lace up the gloves and knock out this corona fat out (lol). 
Come Down to Jonesly MMA on 61 Main Street Norwalk CT and Learn the Lost Art Hitting the bag. Our instructors are 100% committed to your personal development in becoming an MMA athlete.

What is a Front Kick in MMA?

What is a Front Kick in MMA?

Deflecting the Front Kick and Understanding Elements of MMA


What is a Front Kick in MMA?

The front kick in martial arts is a kick executed by lifting the knee straight forward, while keeping the foot and shin either hanging freely or pulled to the hip, and then straightening the leg in front of the practitioner and striking the target area. It is desirable to retract the leg immediately after delivering the kick, to avoid the opponent trying to grapple the leg and (unless a combination is in process) to return to stable fighting stance.

A front kick can be delivered forward in a penetrating way (hip thrust), or upwards to attack the head.

In martial arts implying either barefooted combat or very light footwear, the strike is usually delivered by using ball of the foot (while pointing the foot toward the target area and keeping toes up to prevent injury) or by heel. When heavier footwear is used, there is an option using whole sole as a striking surface. It is also possible to kick with the top of your foot (the instep) in cases of striking at the groin or under the arm which can be very damaging.

The front kick is typically performed with the straight and balanced upper body, but it allows for variety in motion of hips and body overall. Martial arts systems exploit this ability in different fashions. Hips movement may be used to increase the reach and to thrust one’s leg into the target, resulting in more powerful strike .

Physical Therapy Guide and Exercises for Leg Strengthening and flexibility:

1)  Ask Your Physician or Physical Therapist about your current exercise regiment

2)  Understand your existing flexibility

3)  Be sure to warm up before any exercise or training

4)  Straight Leg Raises

5) Hamstring Curls

6) Prone Straight Leg Raises

7) Wall Squats

8) Calf Raises

9) Step-Ups

10) Side Leg Raises

11) Leg Presses


What is the Kimura Transition

Kimura Transition

Understanding Elements of MMA


What is Kimura?:

Named after Masahiko Kimura, a Kimura is an double joint armlock, used in MMA. This technique applies painful pressure on the opponent’s shoulder and is typically difficult to escape. If your opponent refuses to submit, he or she could suffer from a broken arm, torn rotator cuff, or dislocated shoulder. A tapping motion is customarily used to indicate when too much pressure is being applied on your or your partner’s shoulder.

An Inside Guide to Prevent Torn Rotator Cuffs

The “rotator cuff” is the group of 4 muscles and their tendons responsible for keeping the shoulder joint stable. Injuries to the rotator cuff are common—either from accident or trauma, or with repeated overuse of the shoulder. Risk of injury can vary, but generally increases as a person ages. Rotator cuff tears are more common later in life, but also can occur in younger people. Athletes and heavy laborers are often affected; older adults can injure the rotator cuff when they fall on or strain the shoulder. When left untreated, a rotator cuff tear can cause severe pain and a decrease in the ability to use the arm. Physical therapists help people with rotator cuff tears address pain and stiffness, restore movement to the shoulder and arm, and improve their activities of daily living.

How MMA Works: A look Into One Of The Fastest Growing Sports

How MMA Works

A look Into One Of The Fastest Growing Sports


Many of my clients ask me this question once they come into the gym for an introductory class. How Dose MMA Work? What is MMA? My answer usually goes as follows… MMA (mixed martial arts) is a martial art created to overcome the reality of one on one hand to hand combat. Through the overwhelming empirical evidence of UFC fighting competitions the martial arts community finally had their cliche’ question answered. Which martial art style would work best in a fight? As the current evidence shows the martial art styles that best work in hand to hand combat has to be effective in three phases of combat Striking, Clinching and Ground fighting. However, one of the most influential coaches in MMA John Danaher has expanded on the 3 phases of combat concept and broke it down even further. As it pertains to successful fighting in the octagon… No matter what fight promotion UFC, Bellator or One FC… The first phase shoot fighting, second phase the Clinch, third phase Wall fighting and the fourth phase ground fighting.

As the current evidence shows the martial art styles that best work in hand to hand combat has to be effective in three phases of combat Striking, Clinching and Ground fighting?

What is Shoot Fighting?

In this phase of combat a variety of striking combinations and takedowns are used to defeat an opponent. The striking martial arts that has found success in this phase of combat are Boxing, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Karate, Free style Wrestling and Greco roman wrestling… For the uninitiated… You may be asking… What is a takedown? Simply put a takedown is the phase of combat where an opponent is forced to the ground from a standing position with the use of grips, off balancing maneuvers and specific techniques. The Shoot fighting phase of combat uses certain principles of these 6 martial arts with the goal of out striking the opponent or taking him down to the ground.

What Is The Clinch?

The clinch phase of combat occurs when two opponent are grabbing each other in the standing position. An opponent strives to obtain dominant grips where strikes can be employed, off balancing maneuvers performed and specific techniques delivered to take the opponent down to the ground. The martial arts that has found success in this phase of combat are Muay Thai, Judo, Dirty Boxing and Greco roman wrestling.

What is Wall Fighting?

Wall fighting occurs when opponents fight off the cage. The cage acts as a wall to contain the fight. Engagement between two combatants are inevitable.The goal of wall fighting is to pin an opponent on the cage with a dominant grip where strikes or takedowns can be delivered. The added variable of the cage adds a layer of difficulty for the opponent being pin against it. If an opponent is immobilize against the cage significant damage can occur. The martial arts that are highly successful in this phase of combat are Muay Thai, Free Style wrestling, Greco Roman Wrestling and Dirty Boxing.

Ground Fighting

Ground fighting is the phase in combat where submissions, strangulations and strikes are employed to end the fight. The martial arts that has shown to be highly successful in this phase of combat are Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Free Style Wrestling and elements of striking from Muay Thai, Boxing and Karate. If you are unaware of what submissions and strangulations are? Let me explain. Submissions are techniques use to manipulate joints with leverage and body mechanics. Where as strangulations are chokes that are applied with your limbs to subdue an opponent.

So The Next Logical Question Is How Do You Train For a MMA competition?

In my opinion there are several phases of training required to complete before competing. The first phase is skill acquisition. As mentioned previously the most important skills to obtain in the sport of MMA are striking, wrestling and grappling. The martial arts that has shown to be useful in these areas are Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Boxing, Kickboxing, Free Style Wrestling and Greco Roman Wrestling. Remember this phrase “the rule of the game dictates the way it’s played”.

You may be asking… Why is that phrase important? In the skill acquisition phase proficient use of individual martial arts technique must be learned. Once learned the martial arts technique must be applied under the stress of competition within its individual sport. The student should be able perform boxing techniques under boxing rule sets, Brazilian jiu-jitsu under grappling rule sets, Muay Thai under Muay Thai rule set and wrestling under wrestling rules sets. Hence the phrase the rule of the game dictates the way it’s played. Once proficient skills of each individual martial art has been obtained. The second phase deals with blending each of the martial arts and creating a style that is individualistic to each student. This individualistic style has to be stress tested under competition. Through out the entire process physical fitness, nutrition and sport psychology are implemented to create a individual that is ready for a MMA competition.

If you are looking for an MMA school to learn self defense or looking to compete in MMA please click the free trial button to schedule a free private lesson.

Thank you


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