A Dad’s Guide to Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Training

I’m about to violate the 3rd rule of Fight Club – Don’t blog about Fight Club.

I’m taking the risk because I want dads to know that they can work off their stress, excess weight, and any aggression through a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) workouts.

I first became interest in MMA after watching elite fighters, Anderson Silva and Jon Jones command the octagon with style, grace, and incredible skill. I also took Taekwondo and Judo when I was in college and I really enjoyed them. When a MMA dojo opened in my neighborhood, I was immediately drawn to it.

The dojo specialized in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I chose the Muay Thai path because I’m more of a striker than ground guy. Coach Miguel Castro, took me into the fold and commenced my training.

I must admit that the first class was tough. My body wasn’t used to such a physically demanding workout. Not only did we work on strikes (punches and kicks), but we also did stretches, aerobic exercices, and strength training all in the course of an hour. The next day, my body ached. But it was a good kind of hurt.

Half of our class was comprised of dads who were at least 35 years old, the other half was comprised of 18-22 year olds. We dads formed a coalition to work together to outlast the young guys during each training session.

Although I was constantly trying to get the better of my younger opponents, I did like their sense of style. They always wore these cool T-shirts while I was stuck with wearing whatever I happened to grab from my drawer. If I wanted to intimidate these guys, I knew I had to dress the part.

I went to Walmart and browsed their MMAElite section and found a good selection of apparel, but my purchase had to fit two criteria: the shirt had to be black and it had to be a bit intimidating.

I chose a black shirt with a skull on the front and back. Nothing is more intimidating than a skull (Note: When I put on this shirt, my wife, kids, and sister-in-law were freaked out by it. Those young boys didn’t stand a chance).

With my new gear, I was ready to resume my training. Unfortunately, life had other plans. Because of my work schedule, I had to stop training at the dojo. Therefore, I set-up a small gym in my garage. I designed a MMA training program for myself with dads in mind. I won’t say that it’s easy, but I will say that you will feel invigorated after doing it.


I usually warm up with some stretches and then spend 15 minutes jumping rope. I try to jump high and fast to get my heart rate pumping. I like to use a weighted jump because it makes the workout a little harder. 


I work out with 20 and 40 pound dumb bells. I do a a 15 minute circuit of bench presses, rows, curls, squats, lunges, and push ups.


I spend the final 30 minutes on bag work. I alternate between different striking techniques – jabs, crosses, uppercuts, low kicks, high kicks, side kicks, etc. (note: I recommend your using your shins to strike).



My MMA training has not only made me more fit and stronger, but it has also built up my confidence. It’s good to know that I can still go toe-to-toe with guys who are half my age. More importantly, I’m better able to keep up with my 5 and 9 year old boys when they want to play.

Stay Strong,

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Join the discussion: How do you stay fit?

For more information on my experience, check out my Google+ story.

Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias Social Fabric Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insight study for Collective Bias and MMA Elite. All opinions are my own.

About author

Frederick J. Goodall

Frederick J. Goodall is the founder of Mocha Dad - a parenting website focused on fatherhood. He is passionate about parenting and helping men to be great dads, husbands, and role models. You can contact him at or on Twitter at

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