Want to try MMA?

Posted at 05/10/2013 3:08 PM | Updated as of 05/10/2013 3:42 PM
ONE FC's Rey Docyogen (right) whips out a kick against his opponent. Photo by ONE FC

Experts share tips for beginners getting into mixed martial arts


MANILA, Philippines – So you want to fight?

Do you want to try out mixed martial arts training and emulate MMA superstars like Georges St-Pierre, Jon “Bones” Jones, Anderson Silva or even our local fighters ONE FC’s Eduard Folayang ang Honorio Banario?

ABS-CBNnews.com sat down with two Filipino MMA fighters/coaches at the sidelines of the recent One Asia MMA Summit to ask what an aspiring fighter needs to know before entering the world of mixed martial arts.

Raysaldo Biagtan, founder/owner of Biagtan Muay Thai, and Rosenberg Rosete, managing partner of F.I.S.T. MMA Gym, were more than happy to share their insights.

What does an aspiring fighter need to do before undergoing MMA training?

Biagtan: Firstly, kinakailangan ng medical exam para malaman kung kakayanin nilang mag-undergo ng intensive training kasi kung di kundisyon ang katawan baka kung anong mangyari sa kanila.

‘Pag ang tao ay may sakit, hindi siya pwede dahil ang MMA ay full contact sport, may body contact.

Rosete: They need to sign a waiver that you are fit to train, na wala kang mga heart ailment. If you sign that disclaimer not to indemnify the gym that's good enough na makapagstart ka na.

Mark Munoz uses his wrestling skills to take down his opponent. Photo by UFC 

Does it require basic martial arts skills before being allowed to do MMA?

Biagtan: Kailangan nilang mag-train muna sila for stand-up skills kagaya ng Muay Thai, then isusunod na ‘yung training ng ground fighting, like wrestling and ju-jitsu.

Rosete: For any aspiring mixed martial arts fighter, he or she should have a base discipline or base martial art… the reason being, if anything else, for example lumalaban na siya, ‘yung cardio n’ya drops down, mahirapan na siya, may fight situation sya na hindi niya mafigure out, ‘yung base martial art niya yung go to martial art niya. ‘Yun yung naka-ingrain sa kanya, hindi mawawala 'yun.

Is there any equipment or gear that you need before you enter an MMA gym?

Biagtan: ‘Pag mag-e-enroll sila sa isang MMA gym, kailangan din nilang mag-invest sa MMA shorts, gloves, mouth guards, supplements and vitamins.

Rosete: ‘Pag fighter ka, kailangan mo ng handwraps, kailangan mo ng MMA gloves, kailangan mo ng mouthpiece, mouth guard, groin cup and for training purposes kailangan mo ng knee pads and elbow pads.

For fitness, wala kang kailangan kundi basic sportswear lang, kasi kung wala ka pang training gear, as far as F.I.S.T is concerned, we lend naman handwraps, boxing gloves or mixed martial arts gloves, so walang problema.

Eventually ‘pag nakita mo na kung what fits you, kung anong brand ang gusto mo, dun ka namin ii-encounrage na mag-invest. Kasi hindi mura yung mga gamit.

How does a typical MMA fighter train?

Biagtan: Kailangan mo ng disiplina, kailangan linisin mo muna ang sarili bago mag-training. Kailangan mag-decide ka na kung lalaban ng maayos mag-training ng maayos.

Sa Muay Thai, we train hard and fight easy... sa sistema namin sa Muay Thai, kapag i-aapply namin sa MMA, we do a lot of running… we run long.

 
 Brandon Vera (right) is known for his superb Muay Thai. Photo by UFC 

How much time do you devote to training?

Rosete: ‘Pag walang laban, we usually train once a day. That includes ‘yung pinaka-basic MMA training skills plus a bit of conditioning.

Pero 'pag may laban, usually dini-divide namin sa groups, sa umaga at sa gabi. ‘Yung umaga would be the MMA conditioning, it would be the long run and the explosiveness. ‘Yung mga functional biometric work outs para ma-condition ‘yung body.

Sa gabi naman, ‘yun yung actual techniques na ginagawa. multidiscipline yan eh, may nakaset kaming araw for them to focus on Muay Thai, Ju-jitsu, boxing, wrestling.

On a certain day, like twice a week, may mga sparring na kaming ginagawa.

What is the profile of a typical Filipino MMA fighter?

Biagtan: Most of the fighters I know fight to earn, lumalaban para kumita... kino-consider na itong trabaho kapag mataas na ang fight purse. But there are also some who fight to become famous.

Rosete: Tingin ko may halong demographics ‘yan… meron talagang “fight to earn,” meron din namang akong mga estudyante rin na “fight to fight.” "ike meron akong mga office workers na "uy may napanood ako sa UFC, subukan ko nga", until maging sersyoso sila hanggang talagang subukang lumaban.

Sa tingin ko 20% ng fighters ay "fight to earn" at meron akong 70% na to "fight for experience". Kaya yung iba lumalaban kahit walang fight money pa.

How do Filipino fighters make their way to the pro ranks?

Biagtan: Kinakailangan na nilang makipag-compte sa mga amateur fights kagaya ng ginagawa namin na nag-ii-spar... paglalabanin namin sila sa kumpetisyon, then pipili kami ng mga best fighters para ilaban sa pro leagues gaya ng URCC, ONE FC.

What are the challenges or problems being encountered by MMA fighters?

Biagtan: ‘Pag nagte-training ka, minsan hindi hindi maiwasang ma-injure. Risky rin talaga kumbaga malapit na ang laban mo, pero merong nag-pop dahil in-armbar ka o sinipa ka. Kapag naiispar tayo kelangan maging maingat ka.

Rosete: You're only good as ‘yung quality ng training partners mo, yung mga training partners minsan, may trabaho sa araw sa gabi nagtetrain. Minsan dahil sa other commitments ng sparring partners hindi kayo nabubuo… minsan kulang. Wala ‘yung si ganyan, wala yung si ka-spar so the fighter is left alone to train. ‘Yun yung challenge.

Thanks for the interview. I hope future Pinoy fighters out there learned something from you.

Biagtan: Maraming salamat din.

Rosete: Thanks!

Honorio Banario slugs it out during one of his cage fights. Photo by ONE FC