The best way to get started on the path to success in MMA is to build a strong foundation in wrestling, boxing, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ). At Paradigm we offer youth programs in each of these sports.
There are several advantages to this approach:
1. Technical foundation. Participants in our youth programs refine techniques that are essential in MMA. Wrestlers learn to control their opponent. Boxers learn to use head motion to avoid punches. BJJ practitioners learn to use proper positioning rather than relying on strength to escape bad positions.
2. Competition Experience. Kids can safely compete in sports like wrestling and BJJ as early as six years old. MMA fighters without a background in combat sports have a harder time adjusting to the nerves, weight cutting, and the other factors that become second nature for athletes with extensive competition experience.
3. Character development. Kids learn more than just technique from participating in combat sports. They learn focus, discipline, goal setting, and sportsmanship. The lessons learned prepare our youth for success later in life as leaders of families and in the community.
4. College acceptance. As an NCAA sport, wrestling can be the ticket to help a student go to college on a scholarship or be the difference maker in helping a student athlete gain acceptance to a highly selective school.
Most successful mma fighters had extensive amateur experience in sports like wrestling or BJJ before they transitioned to MMA. A summary of some of the most successful NCAA wrestlers turned MMA fighters can be found here: https://www.ncaa.com/news/wrestling/article/2015-09-23/ncaa-wrestlers-ufc-or-mixed-martial-arts