Advice on starting a MMA club

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by chewabacca, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. chewabacca Blue Belt

    chewabacca
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    Hi guys, I'm considering starting an MMA club in my college. To get time in a hall on campus which supplies mat's and bag's is free for students so I though it might be worthwhile.

    My reason for hesitating starting this club is that I don't want people who've to come to the club expecting to be taught "UFC". I've trained BJJ for 3 years and been fighting amatuer MMA for 2 years(although I've taken a few months off training and want to do some light sparring and rolling before going back into hardcore training for a fight).

    Because I'm inexperienced I know I shouldn't be teaching anyone and don't want to be responsible for people going starting fights because of their new moves. Long story short I have no right to teach anyone MMA and won't me hiring a trainer as it would be too costly.

    My college is small so I'm not sure if there are many people who train MMA, although minimal experience would be perfectly fine. I'd also welcome grapplers but as I said I'm in a small college and I'm in Ireland where MMA isn't very popular yet. I don't want people to be expecting classes, just a session where people with any experience and their own gloves, pads etc. can come and spar with some new people for free, a privilege to all people who pay gym fee's.

    I'm just looking for advice on what I could do to both promote the club so that people find out about it so I don't have to do any solo sessions but don't wan't people to see an MMA club and go to it expecting to be the next Chuck Liddell. I have free access to printers so posters wouldn't be a problem but as I don't know any other fighters in the college (I'm in 1st year) how could I make sure they all find out. I was thinking of asking MMA gym owners if I could put posters up in their gyms but I don't drive so this would be difficult.

    Help me out guys because I think free sparring/rolling would be a great asset to all fighters and not having to go out of the way to train, but I don't want thugs and other undesirable wanting to learn how to "UFC someone". Any advice on how to get the ball rolling and how to achieve my aims as mentioned would be welcomed.

    All advice, however insignificant, is much appreciated.
     
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  2. Mike Wilson Jr. Amateur Fighter

    Mike Wilson Jr.
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    Presumably you're at least a blue belt after training for 3 years right? Why not start off teaching some BJJ or sub grappling.

    I don't know much about the legality issues in Ireland, but i know it'd likely be a hard sell to the school to let people spar without having to have a qualified EMT or something. Not to mention the insurance issues that come with full contact sparing.

    My advice would be to talk to the rec. director of your school and see whats possible. See what if any classes you need to take to. Then look into promotion, and getting people in.

    Unless you find someone who has more experience, you're probably gonna be the one teaching most of the techniques. Especially considering it'll be your club.

    Again, you should speak with the school to see if this is even a possibility before worrying about promotion.
     
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  3. Balto Silver Belt

    Balto
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    Make sure that establish yourself as the instructor if you are the most experienced guy there. Otherwise people will just do whatever they want and end up hurting themselves.

    I think you have enough experience to start teaching a little. Just remember to be honest with your students about what you do or do not know, and you should be fine.
     
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  4. singdawg Orange Belt

    singdawg
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    I disagree, don't proclaim yourself to be an instructor, explicitly say how much experience you have, and that you can lead if you have to. Do so if you must. 3 years isn't really that much, and im sure you'll be able to find people who have trained for like 10 years in TMA's. Be willing to take everyones opinions as worthy, but make sure if you know something someone else doesn't help them, if they know more ask them. Make sure you eliminate mistakes.

    other than that, good luck.
     
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  5. Balto Silver Belt

    Balto
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    Yeah because all the dudes from TMAs know so much about MMA.

    Have you ever tried training at a college club where there isn't an instructor? It's a disaster waiting to happen.

    If someone else at the club would just be a better instructor period, then let that person do it. But I get the feeling that this guy is probably going to end up being the most qualified at least at first.
     
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  6. chewabacca Blue Belt

    chewabacca
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    There are also kickboxing and Judo clubs in the college so I don't think I would be an issue for the college unless the person in charge is a halfwit but I think it would be okay.

    Sorry about my lack of clarity but only on reading back on my post now I realise that my descriptions were too vague.

    When I said club I didn't mean club as in fight team of gym or anything like that. All of the sport or recreational societies are called clubs so that's why I said club. My aim is to have a place where students who train can do some sparring and rolling, light at first to figure out everyones skill level and go from there. I wasn't planning on having an instructor per say but more that the more experienced could help out others. Just a friendly environment where people can come to train with new people and not kill each other. If anyone was going crazy I'd ask them to stop and if it continue'd I'd ask them to leave entirely.

    I'd mention to all people joining that experience in MMA or grappling would be required (I'd hesitate with stand-up experience being sufficient as many grapplers have minimal stand up training but 99% of strikers have no ground experience and I do not want to be responsible for anyone getting hurt).

    Do you that not having a trainer would be a problem? Of course I'd be the one in charge if their are any problems and I would always keep an eye out at all times but I wouldn't want to teach anyone new moves as I feel it's not my place and if people want to learn from scratch they are much better off joining a proper gym.

    Going to the rec officer is great advice an I'll be sure to book an appointment.

    Sorry about the confusion.
     
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  7. Broncoi Quite the stir Sir

    Broncoi
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    I go to the Kempo club in the university, if there were an mma club it would be the shit
     
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  8. Mike Wilson Jr. Amateur Fighter

    Mike Wilson Jr.
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    Yeah no worries bud.

    I agree with Balto. I think you need to establish that you are in charge. And if someone else is more qualified in a particular field, they may take the reins during the class to teach the technique. Thats fine, but overall its likely you will be the most experienced one there, therefore, you need to be in charge and need to be responsible for both saftey and instruction.

    Again, be honest with everyone about your skill and knowledge. And if someone has more skill and rank, dont be afraid to allow them to teach as well.

    But overall, i wouldn't have 10 white belts teaching each other. Because as we all know, thats a recipe for disaster.

    btw, what rank do you hold in BJJ? And you said you had to Am fights right? I doubt someone will have more experience, but you never know.
     
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  9. DonkeyKong Frazier > Ali

    DonkeyKong
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    Have at least a purple belt and a black belt striker or intermediate level boxer/ muay thai guy

    beyond that, good luck
     
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  10. Mike Wilson Jr. Amateur Fighter

    Mike Wilson Jr.
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    ^ Its a club not a gym! There is no reason to have a paid instructor for a college club. That would kinda defeat the purpose of having a CLUB where people could train for free.

    And i dont know about you guys, but ive never met a Black Belt that would instruct at a place for free. lol
     
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  11. dasmoose1234 White Belt

    dasmoose1234
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    Chewabacca, check your PMs
     
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  12. YeahBee Samdog Original Nine

    YeahBee
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    why don't you just kickbox and do judo to get back in shape? (and pick up new skills)
     
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  13. chewabacca Blue Belt

    chewabacca
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    Thanks for the input.

    I agree it would be wise to establish myself as the authority in the beginning. I have friends in various gyms that would put up posters for me and I would likely get people who are in the college who are as or almost as experienced as myself. I could also go to the kickboxing club and see if anyone was interested in giving me a hand and keep an eye on people while sparring.

    I'm still a white belt in BJJ but have never attempted a grading and have been told by my trainer that I am at blue belt level. I have some am MMA matches and recieved a no headshots mma rookie(people fighting for less than 2 years) title late last year. I just don't want to be properly teaching people as I feel its not my place. Sure if people answer questions ill answer if I can and i'll help people out if they are doing something wrong or need to be helped with techniques though.
     
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  14. chewabacca Blue Belt

    chewabacca
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    The club is not just for me. It just happens to be a good way of getting back in shape. I just want the college to have a place for fighters to get some free training in times of such economical troubles.
     
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  15. singdawg Orange Belt

    singdawg
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    well, im not saying don't take charge. Just don't proclaim to be an "instructor".
     
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  16. Balto Silver Belt

    Balto
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    I think if you are starting a club, you need to be prepared to be an instructor. If you are really uncomfortable with that idea for any reason, don't bother making a club out of it. Just find some training partners on your own and use the gym on the off times.

    The reason why you need to be prepared to teach is because there is no way in hell that a bunch of experienced guys are going to come in. Trust me, I know. I was involved in running the college clubs in Pittsburgh for about three years.

    You are going to get all types of people. You are going to get random kids who think they are ninjas. You are going to get wrestlers. You are going to get 40 year old homeless dudes who wander into the gym. Any kind of informal club at a multi use university gym space like that is going to attract the whole spectrum.

    You may get some experienced guys from time to time, but they are quickly going to leave when they see what a mess it is with no instructor. You have to have some sort of system for dealing with clueless people who show up to train, and to do that you need to have a basic curriculum in place.

    It's actually quite a bit of work to run a club like that, so only do it if you really want to. Most clubs fail miserably, but if you can manage to pull it off I think it's worth it.

    So if you are able to teach, go ahead and set up a formal club that you advertise around campus, etc. If you aren't going to be comfortable being the teacher for any reason, I would recommend that you just find some training partners on the side and don't advertise. That way you can remove the headache of dealing with random people every day.
     
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  17. Balto Silver Belt

    Balto
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    Also, especially since you are in college, be prepared to fight some challenge matches if you start this thing.

    Being the head of the MMA club is like an open invitation for all the toughest frat guys to come down and take a shot at you. You can be guaranteed that they will. Since you're an amateur fighter this shouldn't be a big deal for you, but just be prepared for that reality.

    The existing martial arts clubs may or may not challenge you as well depending on the nature of their club and how skilled they believe you are. Again, it's not usually tough to handle these situations, but just be ready when you see it because I guarantee it will happen a lot, especially at the beginning.
     
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