How to Become An MMA Trainer

Daniel A., February 18, 2022

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The training industry has many different avenues that a person can choose to find themselves busy in that field. It all comes down to what your expertise and interest lie in, then you can pick a niche. If you are a fan of combat sports, a division of training that has fallen into a niche category is Mixed Martial Arts Training (MMA).

MMA has grown exponentially over the past 20 years and is on its way to becoming one of the most popular combat sports in the world, even surpassing boxing. The rising popularity of the sport has brought more money into the sport which in turn has allowed for trainers to make more money in it as well. You can read our full article about how much do personal trainers make. As lucrative as the profession can be it still takes a lot of hard work and prior certification and training to be able to be successful. 

How to become an MMA trainer

Fulfilling the Role of A Trainer 

Fortunately for the “average joe”, it is very attainable to become an MMA trainer if you can answer one question, “How much do you love MMA?” If your answer to that is not “100%” then this might not be the career for you to try and accomplish. The amount of physical work and time that needs to be put into this can wear on you. Thus it would not be smart to dive into a field of work that you do not love enough to push through those tough times.

Also, unlike the average trainer, you will be working with individuals that have very high and important goals. These individuals are trying to become champions and are literally a part of a sport where the goal is to knock down and preferably knock out their opponent. Your training is what can be the difference between the individual being the one “knocked out” or doing “the knockout”. Training has to be high energy and intense for your client to come out as the victor so if this is not your personality then it may not be for you. However, if you have read this far and fit the criteria then the following aspects of this article will be full of information to help you have a successful MMA training career.

Persona’s Benefits

As you embark on the road to becoming a trainer for MMA, it would be of great benefit for you to become a part of the Persona user family. Though MMA may be a niche interest that makes no difference to how much the app can help you in your career. 

Persona is a finance app that allows for individuals that run their own business to be able to focus on their business much easier because they handle time-consuming tasks. You can read our full article about how to attract coaching clients. ( After signing up for the app you will have access to hassle-free scheduling that gives your clients the ability to see your availability and book with you. Clients will also be able to pay you through the app as well and Persona keeps track of all those transactions for you. You can also create your own online store through the app which will completely eliminate having clients calling and texting your personal phone as they will be able a site to go for all information necessary. 

Adding the usage of Persona to your arsenal when you are on your way to becoming an MMA trainer will make your days easier and more organized.

What Do You Need to Become An MMA Trainer?

As previously discussed, you will obviously need to be in peak physical shape as well as approach training your clients with as high of intensity and energy as they would need to compete in their matches. Beyond that fact, you will also need to gain expertise and training in the field of MMA. 

For starters, you will need certifications both formal and non-formal. On the non-formal side of it, you will definitely require a black belt status in at least three disciplines of martial arts. MMA is a combination of several techniques so as a trainer you should have a solid foundation in as many arts as possible. This can take years to achieve even in the most accelerated of programs so remember to remain patient. 

Becoming an MMA trainer

Then you will need to get a formal MMA certification. Though not all MMA trainers possess this it will definitely help you increase your qualifications as an up and comer in the sport. Certification processes usually involve tests that are both practical and theoretical. Some may even require you to spend time as an assistant trainer before you can be approved for your license. There are certification programs available all over and it is beneficial for you to research which specific certification is the best for what you wish to accomplish as a trainer. You can read our full article about the best personal trainer certification.

Finding Your Footing in MMA

After you have achieved the steps given in the former paragraphs, you can give yourself a pat on the back because you are now officially an MMA trainer. However, that celebration will be short-lived because now the work of promoting yourself as a trainer begins. 

One of the most recommended ways you can do this is by becoming a member of MMA professional organizations. Besides the membership making your resume superior there are a lot of networking possibilities and connections to be gained from your involvement. You can definitely receive help in finding employment, which is your priority. Some of the top MMA organizations are:

  • United States Mixed Martial Arts Federation
  • Mixed Martial Arts Conditioning Association
  • The Martial Arts Teachers Association

Another route that can be done with or even instead of the prior suggested is to join an MMA gym. If you are working diligently at your local MMA gym then your work will show for itself and your reputation in the sport will grow. Once it grows you will be able to gain a form of clientele that comes in to train directly with you. As that roster of clients grows you can now consider taking the next step which is opening your own gym.

Opening Your Own Gym 

If you are really serious about becoming a prominent trainer in the sport of MMA then you will, without a doubt, have to open your own gym eventually. After soaking up all the knowledge you can from working at another trainer’s gym you can take what was learned and apply it for yourself. 

The first step is finding the right location for the gym. Ideally, you want your location to be visible and easy to locate. Aside from that, you want to make sure your current base of clients are able to easily commute to you and those future clients will want to come as well. Whether you want to buy or rent the space you will utilize as the gym is a personal decision because you must go based on your finances and budget. 

Next, you want to invest in quality equipment for the gym. Unless your budget is massive, more than likely you will not be able to buy every single item you want at first. However, prioritize what you will need to start along with the kind of classes you will be offering and build up from there. 

Gaining Clients

The basis of finding new clients is making sure you are accessible and people are aware of your presence. To begin, you should definitely have a website and business cards. You must try to make them as attractive to your potential clients as possible. If you are not an expert in this area you should seek outside assistance from a professional. However make sure both the cards and website clearly display your location and contact information, preferably top right corner. 

MMA training - how to

Though budgets vary it is of no cost to develop social media pages for your gym to start. An Instagram account can be good to use so that potential clientele can see the ins and outs of your gym and snippets of your classes. Facebook can also be a great way to communicate with current clients and gain clients as you are able to post more long-form content there. Also set up a Google My Business page, through this people can see photos, hours of operations, location, and reviews that can be left.  

You can also utilize the surrounding community as word-of-mouth marketing, this will raise awareness of your presence in the community. Create a referral program with discounts for those that bring in new clients to you.

Some advice that most do not receive is to make sure that you involve yourself with a lawyer that is experienced with consumer affairs about the potential need for injury waivers. MMA is a potentially dangerous sport and people get hurt all the time, waivers give you a level of protection against any student that may get hurt training with you. Of course, anyone that trains with you should already be aware of all these risks but it does not hurt to have the paperwork handy, just in case.

Persona is the #1 management platform for independent business owners. it's 100% free, download it now.


Persona is the #1 management platform for independent business owners. Download it now, it's 100% free.

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