Frequently Asked Questions

Because the only stupid questions are the ones you never ask.

Who is MMA for?

Mixed martial arts is a great sport for anyone looking to get in shape, gain confidence, make new friends, connect with his or her inner badass, and learn to fight. Our gym is home to men and women of all ages and experience levels.

How do I get started at Columbia Training Academy?

Give us a call at (573) 424-5744, or just stop by our training center a few minutes before one of our scheduled classes. We’ll be happy to point you in the right direction and discuss our membership options.

Do you have to be a fighter to train at Columbia Training Academy?

Absolutely not. We have a wide range of people who train here, from those just looking to get in shape to amateur and professional fighters. While many of our members do join with the goal of taking a fight — whether that’s three months or three years from now — we have plenty of members who have no intention of fighting competitively. If you're dying to get in the cage, let your coaches know. They'll help push you to improve your game so you can get in fighting shape!

What do I need to know to start training MMA?

Not much. Of course, any prior martial arts, wrestling, or boxing experience will help you, but it is not required. We have members who walked in the door as black belts and members who’d never thrown a punch in their lives. All you really need is a willingness to learn, work hard, and check your ego at the door.

What classes should I start with?

Blending a variety of fighting styles together is one of the main draws of mixed martial arts. But as a beginner, it’s often easier to start training one or two components of the sport separately.

Our kickboxing class on Mondays and Wednesdays is an excellent place to start. If you’re new, we’ll walk you through the basics, and you can expand your level of participation at your own pace. If you’re nervous about walking into the unknown, bring a friend along to your first class. Everyone is welcome.

What equipment do I need for MMA?

For our grappling and wrestling classes, we recommend a mouthpiece and MMA grappling gloves. For kickboxing, you'll need hand wraps, 14 oz. boxing gloves, shin guards, and a mouthpiece. For our HIT Fit class, just wear comfortable clothes you’re not afraid to sweat in.

What sort of contact can I expect?

MMA is a contact sport. But for regular training, control is key. If you’re new, it’s your responsibility to communicate with your training partner on how hard or light you want to go. Don’t worry! All of our members remember what it was like when they first started, so they’ll be more than happy to work to your comfort level.

For kickboxing, light punches, kicks, sweeps, and trips are part of our regular class drills, with sparring classes every three to four weeks. If you aren’t comfortable with light sparring, you’re welcome to watch at first or limit the number of rounds you participate in.

For ground and wrestling classes, you can expect ground drills and “rolling” — the ground version of sparring.

What if I’m out of shape? Can I still train MMA?

Everyone has to start somewhere. Our classes are designed to be challenging, but our coaches understand that everyone is at a different level with their fighting and fitness. If you're worried you won't be able to keep up, ask about our personal training options, or come try one of our HIT Fit classes.