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  • Writer's pictureClare

MMA: The Origins (Part 2)

As mentioned in the previous post, there are many factors as to what lead to the rise in popularity of MMA in Singapore. If you have no idea what I am talking about, check out the Part 1 of this series here.

Contrary to popular beliefs, MMA isn’t just for those who wants to fight competitively. MMA benefits anyone who is willing to put in hard work and dedication to constantly improve themselves in the art. People train either for the sake of their health, or as a form of a fun and engaging hobby, or simply to pick up chiobu(s) at the club (Metaphorically speaking. Please do not physically pick up random girls just because you are capable of doing it after training MMA. Heard of Women’s Charter?).

Bottom-line, MMA is open to all. Regardless of age, gender and size.

MMA has been proven multiple times by professional fighters that it is indeed for everyone, regardless of background. For example, former UFC middleweight champion and ONE Championship Vice President, Rich Franklin, was once a high school mathematics teacher before officially becoming a professional MMA fighter. From tackling mathematical equations, to tackling down fighters.

So, what actually drives people in Singapore to dive into the world of MMA? Read on to find out what are some of the popular reasons.

Weight Loss

For most people, they join MMA classes to lose weight. Unlike other generic sports, MMA is much more intensive as it activates the body’s “fight or flight” response. MMA training incorporates different routines and moves as it consists of various types of martial arts, such as Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), to name a few. Therefore, MMA training pushes you when you’re both on your feet and on the ground. As though training when on your feet isn’t intense enough, try doing both in one class! All in all, a typical MMA class will help you burn approximately 1000 calories!

Strength & Conditioning

MMA not only improves one’s overall strength, stamina and endurance, it also helps to improve one’s flexibility, balance, coordination and even reflexes. MMA training is both an aerobic AND an anaerobic workout. During MMA training, you will need to hold on for as long as you can while grappling on the ground (aerobic) and still be able to generate enough strength to give powerful kicks and punches (anaerobic) when on your feet. For professional fighters, it takes a lot of strength and endurance to be able to endure 15 minutes in the cage without gassing out.

Gas out, and you get knocked out. Even if you have no intention to fight in the cage, at the very least you get to achieve the body like those of the Lee siblings. Everybody wins!

Self Defence

One of the most popular reason why people choose to learn MMA is to equip oneself with the necessary skills to defend themselves. BJJ in particular have been recommended for women as self defence against sexual harassments. Not only does it teach you to defend yourself, but it also teaches you to defend your loved ones when in dangerous situations. Additionally, it helps to sharpen your reflexes when being a surprise target of physical violence.

Mr Azman, one of the resident coaches at The Jungle Gym, shared that he has been practicing (and still learning) MMA since he was as young as 13 years old. It all started when he wanted to learn how to defend himself from school bullies.

“When I was in my primary school, I would often get into fights. Bigger students would come and beat me up. As a result, it sparked the fire in me to learn how to defend myself. I started to learn Silat (which is a martial art originated in Indonesia) from my father at the age of 13. From then onwards, I progressed to learning kickboxing, and later on Muay Thai and Jiu-Jitsu”, said Mr Azman.

Hence why MMA is also recommended to children and also why more parents are sending their children for MMA classes. So that they are able to defend themselves from bigger and stronger attackers if (touch wood) such situations arise.

With that being said, the MMA skills learned is not to be used irresponsibly. By no means should you pick fights just so you could show off your skills. MMA is still a respected form of martial art and not for people to use it on the defenceless. Being humbled and disciplined is what MMA truly all about, and any true martial artist does not seek out violence.

Bonus pro tip: Never pick a fight with someone that has cauliflower ears.

There are many reasons why more people are getting interested to learn MMA. These are just some of the main pointers. Whatever the reason is, it is never too late to start.

You can start by joining The Jungle Gym where the coaches are always happy and welcoming to teach the skills and knowledge to others.

Most of the time people are worried about getting injured at the gym. Rest assured that at The Jungle Gym, the classes are conducted to ensure optimum safety among the members.

The coaches do not bully the newbies too. Neither will they intentionally use the newcomers to demo some new combos and techniques with. They have the regulars for that. We have the bruises as proof.

Even during the sparring sessions, the coaches there will constantly advice the members to sayang one another. The only time things get rough are when the regulars partner each other. Hahaha helpme hahaha.

Regardless, The Jungle Gym is a friendly community, with some labelling it as their 2nd home.

You can check out and follow the gym’s IG where it is regularly updated with the happy (probably borderline tortured) faces of the members. If you have any enquiries about the classes or memberships, you can slide into our DM and drop a message there too!

Signing out,


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