why martial arts isn't just for kids

Why Martial Arts Isn’t Just For Kids

Looking for martial arts for your kids? You’re not alone. Parents often chose to enroll their kids in martial arts because of the benefits of developing discipline, focus, and confidence. But did you know that martial arts isn’t just for kids? In fact, even if you’ve never trained in martial arts before, there are several surprising benefits to starting your training as an adult.

De-stress In Style

Any fitness routine is great for relieving stress, but add punching and kicking to that routine and you’ve got a super-powered program to get you feeling strong while you melt away that stress. Martial arts training combines two great benefits: 1. it reduces stress hormones and 2. it stimulates the production of endorphins. So, after a stressful day at work or a tense day at home with the kids, there’s no better feeling than being able to disconnect for a bit while you punch and kick a bag. You’ll leave feeling refreshed and ready to tackle whatever life throws your way.

Kick Those Unhealthy Habits

Even though parents tend to enroll their kids in the martial arts for the discipline and self-control, adults can also benefit from developing these character traits. We’ve heard time and time again how adults who start training in the martial arts are finally motivated to adopt a healthier diet and even quit smoking or drinking. The expectation to train multiple times per week in the pursuit of the next belt rank keeps adults accountable and on track to achieving their fitness goals.

Strengthen Your Mind

Training in the martial arts is both physically and mentally challenging. Whether it’s strengthening your body to punch faster, kick harder, or perform more reps of a physical exercise like push-ups, training in the martial arts challenges your mind to overcome temporary physical discomfort in the pursuit of self-improvement. There’s also a focus on problem solving under pressure, especially during sparring. Developing a strong mind, even under adrenaline stress, is a skill that directly translates into any career setting.

Improve Balance & Coordination

As we get older, our ability to balance slowly declines. The more we focus on exercises that target our stabilizer muscles and joint stability, the more we can maintain and even improve our balance and coordination. Martial arts styles like kickboxing and Muay Thai that focus on kicking while balancing on one leg, help adults learn to control their bodies and improve their balance as they strengthen their muscles. Additionally, most of our stability comes from a strong core. The majority of techniques in martial arts directly impact the core. This isn’t just limited to the abdominal muscles but also includes the lats, gluten, and lumbo pelvic hip complex.

Love Your Body Better

So many adults begin an exercise program with the goal of loosing weight and feeling better in their bodies. The typical standard here is that if they look better, they will feel better. The challenge is that it takes consistent training and time to achieve results that are visible when it comes to physical transformation. People will often get impatient with their perceived lack of progress and give up their fitness goals before they have a chance to benefit from their efforts.

Training in the martial arts helps shift the focus from what our bodies look like towards what our bodies are capable of doing. Of course, as we build strength in our bodies, we start to feel better and after a few months we start to see the results, too.

Ready to start training in the martial arts as an adult? At Invictus, we help you do just that! And it’s easy to GET STARTED.

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Martial Arts For Teens

Benefits Of Martial Arts For Teens

Teens today face so many unique challenges. From bullying and stress to anxiety and depression, as a parent, it’s difficult to know how to help. Now more than ever, it’s so important to ensure our teens are surrounded by a positive and supportive community to keep them on the right track.

Martial arts programs have long been praised for their many benefits among people of all ages, such as improved focus, discipline, and confidence. Unfortunately, most traditional martial arts programs are more geared towards serving younger children, leaving older teens feeling left out and under-served.

After over a decade of developing and leading martial arts programs, we understand the need for a comprehensive mixed martial arts program designed to get teens moving, connecting with other like-minded individuals, and having fun…OFF their device of choice.

We’ve put together a quick list of benefits of MMA training for teens to get you started:

Physical Fitness & Strength

If given the choice, many teens would much rather sit in front of a device all day than even think about doing any kind of physical fitness training. This can make motivating them to get involved in school sports that involve early mornings and long practice sessions multiple times per week.  Most of our teens train in MMA two to three times per week…because they LOVE it! There’s something about getting to punch and kick a bag or pads that doesn’t feel like working out and is just plain fun. Plus, it builds both mental and physical strength which helps combat any negative self-talk they may be dealing with as a result of bullying.


So many teens struggle with a lack of self-confidence due to their lack of maturity and perspective. On top of that, bullying and cyberbullying are still a major problem in many of our middle and high schools. Rather than focusing on all the ways they “fall short”, training in MMA gives them a place where they can focus on all the ways they excel. With opportunities to earn new belt ranks and learn new and challenging techniques, MMA training will have your teen feeling motivated and proud of themselves and their accomplishments.

Motivation & Work Ethic

One of the most challenging things about raising a teen can sometimes be just keeping them motivated. As they inch closer to adulthood, parents begin to worry about their future success when it comes to higher education and even careers. Martial arts training teaching the importance of committing to a goal and following through. Experienced martial arts trainers and coaches will know how to hold teens accountable for their class attendance and weekly practice time. This helps them build a strong work ethic which will serve them tremendously in their future.


While the focus is typically on how they are being treated by others, it’s important for teens to understand that having self-respect will help other to see and treat them with dignity and worth. Having a healthy level of self-respect will enable them to have the confidence to set firm boundaries that align with their values. Martial arts training consistently reemphasizes the concept of respecting themselves as well as respecting others. Teens quickly learn that when they demonstrate good respect towards others, they are deserving of being treated with respect in return. Understanding this, they are much less willing to settle for anything less when interacting with their peers at school or other social situations.

A Sense Of Community

With anxiety and depression being so prevalent among teens, it’s so important to make sure they have a supportive community they can rely on. Martial arts communities are some of the tightest-knit groups of kids, teens, and adults. It feels amazing to see teens surrounded by people with common interests and goals that will support them on their good days and bad. It’s easy for them to make awesome friends that they actually enjoy hanging out with. It’s no wonder so many parents choose martial arts training for their teens!


Ready to start seeing your teen benefit form martial artists training? At Invictus, we help you do just that! And it’s easy to GET STARTED.

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Get Moving With Martial Arts

Get Moving With Martial Arts

According to the CDC, a staggering 25% of U.S. adults are considered physically inactive. The health repercussions of not getting enough physical activity can be severe: obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even cancer. Of course, the benefits of physical activity are numerous including a decreased risk of chronic disease, improved mental health, and better sleep to name a few. Bottom line, as adults, we need to get moving.

There are several reasons adults don’t exercise. The most cited reason is a lack of time. Also noted are a lack of support or lack of desirable options. Let’s face it, the idea of spending half an hour on a treadmill isn’t exactly inspirational.

So, what can adults do to get moving that’s fast, effective, and includes a positive and supportive community?

Martial arts training is an ideal solution. Surprisingly, only 5% of adults have ever trained in a martial arts discipline. With so many benefits, we want to do our part to share our passion for mixed martial arts training and grow that number.

There are a variety of physical, social, and emotional benefits to training in martial arts. Need to loose weight? Want to feel stronger? Could you use a confidence boost? Is a lack of accountability crippling your progress? Regardless of what your fitness goals are, you can completely transform your life with martial arts training. We’ll show you how!

Get Moving With Martial Arts


Ready to become part of the 5% of adults that consider themselves martial artists? It’s time to get moving and start getting the results you deserve. At Invictus, we help you do just that! And it’s easy to GET STARTED.

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Best Hispanic Mixed Martial Artists

Top 5 Hispanic Mixed Martial Artists

Since the 1980s, Mexico has boasted it’s fair share of impressive boxers. Names like Oscar De La Hoya and Julio Cesar Chavez dominated throughout the 80s and 90s and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez continues to dominate even today. But up until the last 5-10 years, hispanic fighters have been under-represented in the sport of MMA. Fortunately, the UFC now has a growing number of fighters with Mexican roots who display the same heart, desire, and physicality we’ve come to expect from Mexican boxers.

MMA fighter Efrain Escudero recently said, “For Mexicans, not only in boxing but also in MMA, we are warriors. We like to fight. We like to be involved in tough wars inside a ring or Octagon.”

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re taking a look at five Hispanic fighters who have faced insurmountable odds to become some of the best mixed martial artists in the world.

Here’s our list of the top 5 Hispanic mixed martial artists of all time:

Tito Ortiz

Ortiz grew up in Huntington Beach, California with his Mexican father, Samuel and French mother Joyce along with three older brothers. He had a difficult childhood due to his involvement in street gangs, exposure to drugs, and frequent trips to juvenile halls. In high school, he began wrestling and quickly found his passion for the sport winning a CIF championship and finishing fourth in the state tournament his senior year. He went on to attend Golden West College where he became a California Junior College State Champion and All-American for two consecutive years.

Ortiz‘s mixed martial arts debut was at UFC 13 in 1997. He has a record of 21 wins and 12 losses. He went on to become the UFC light heavyweight champion. In July of 2021, Ortiz was inducted into the UFC hall of fame.

Dominick Cruz

Cruz grew up in Tucson, Arizona with his mother, grandmother, and brother. He began wrestling in middle school and went on to compete for Flowing Wells High School. He was on track to secure a wrestling scholarship to the University of Northern Colorado; however, due to an injury he sustained his senior year, he lost the opportunity. Before becoming a professional fighter, Cruz worked at Lowe’s while he attended community college where he studied to become a firefighter.

Cruz began his professional mixed martial arts career in 2005 at the age of 20.  He quickly became known for his quick footwork, head movement, and use of feints and angular strikes. In December of 2010, he won the inaugural Bantamweight Championship. After successfully defending the belt twice in 2011, he was sidelined in 2012 due to an injury and subsequently stripped of the title in 2014. In early 2016, he regained the Bantamweight Championship in what many media outlets called the greatest comeback story in MMA history. Cruz has a record of 21 wins and 3 losses. Besides his amateur wrestling experience, he is also a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. While Cruz still actively fights, he is now also a regular commentator for UFC.

Brandon Moreno

Moreno was born and raised in Tijuana, Mexico where his family owned a piñata business. He started training in mixed martial arts at the age of 12. While he had early ambitions of attending law school, he decided to focus solely on his mixed martial arts career.

Moreno made his professional MMA debut in Mexico in early 2011 at the age of 17. In 2014 he joined the World Fighting Federation promotion where he won the Flyweight Championship before being cast on the 25th season of The Ultimate Fighter in 2016. Moreno has a record of 19 wins and 5 loses and is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. In June of 2021, Moreno became the first  Mexican-born UFC Champion in history. He is expected to defend the Flyweight Championship at UFC 269 in December of 2021.

Cain Velasquez

Velasquez was born in Salinas, California but raised in Yuma, Arizona.  His father, Efrain, was an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who gained his citizenship when he married Velasquez’ mother, Isabel.  Velasquez attended Kofa High School where he served as the captain of both his wrestling and football teams. He had a very successful wrestling career winning the 5A Arizona Wrestling Championship twice. After high school, he attended Iowa Central Community College for one year where he won the NJCAA National Championship in the heavyweight division. He transferred to Arizona State University where he placed 5th in the country in 2005 and 4th in 2006. He graduated in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies.

Velasquez made his UFC debut in 2008. He became known for his cardiovascular endurance and aggressive fighting style. In 2013, he was ranked number 1 for the most strikes landed per minute in the UFC. He has a record of 14 wins and 3 losses and is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Velasquez is also a former two-time UFC Heavyweight Champion.

Jessica Aguilar

Aguilar was born in Poza Rica, Veracruz, Mexico. Her family immigrated to the US and settled in the Houston, Texas area. After losing her father and older brother at a young age, she went on to graduate high school and attend San Jacinto College before taking a semester off to pursue a career in acting in Hollywood. Success did not come easy, so she made the decision to move to Oregon where she worked as a corrections officer and gained extensive experience in self-defense. At the age of 24, she moved to Miami where she first began training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Aguilar made her professional debut as a mixed martial arts fighter in 2006. She went on to fight for Bellator Fighting Championships from 2010-2013. She became the first female fighter to sign with the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) promotion in 2013 and in 2014 became the first WSOF Women’s Strawweight Champion. Aguilar went on to successfully fight in the UFC from 2015-2019.

Currently, Aguilar uses her martial arts expertise to teach self-defense classes. She says, “Being able to share the importance of self-defense with men and women makes everyone involved feel so empowered and confident. I love that I can share my skills to help people protect themselves.”

Aguilar has had a decorated career in mixed martial arts. Her accomplishments include: FILA Grappling World Championship Women’s Senior No-Gi Gold Medalist (2009-2010), 2010 female fan favorite of the year, 2011 female flyweight of the year, 2012 Florida MMA Female Fighter of the year.

Aguilar was part of the first female team at American Top Team from 2006-2020. She has a record of 20 wins and 9 loses and is a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.


Ready to start training in mixed martial arts? Try a FREE training session at Invictus!  Which class below are you most curious about?

Preschool ages 3-5 (CLICK HERE)

Kids ages 6-12 (CLICK HERE)

Adults ages 13+ (CLICK HERE)

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Tips For Sparring Success

5 Tips For Sparring Success

Over the last decade, we’ve helped hundreds of martial arts students achieve sparring success. There’s no shortage of helpful advice we can offer when it comes to technical tips:

  • Keep your guard up
  • Maintain a stable stance
  • Focus your eyes on your partner
  • Retract your punches and kicks
  • Keep moving

But if you’re new to martial arts training, and especially just starting to spar, these technical tips can sometimes fall short of being helpful. So, if you’re frustrated with your most recent sparring experience or you’re just ready to take your skill development to the next level…keep reading.

First, it’s important to acknowledge that sparring is more than just a physical exercise. There’s a mental component to sparring that must be equally developed. Clearly, the best tips for sparring success encompass both the physical and mental.

Keep in mind that sparring is simply an opportunity to try out your martial arts skill development on a resisting partner and, with the right mindset, it’s quite fun!

Here are our five tips for sparring success:


Have A Plan

Sparring is just as much a tactical exercise as it is a physical one. Sparring requires you to constantly be thinking about your next move. While your plan will need to adapt to your sparring partner, it’s always advisable to start any sparring match with a general plan. Knowing your personal strengths and limitations is a huge benefit. If you’re taller than your sparring partner, you can use your legs to keep them out of range. If you’re smaller than your sparring partner, you’ll want to get in close to take away their optimal range.

Sparring with different partners is also a huge learning opportunity. Want to level up quick? Spar with people who can out-pace, out-punch, and out-plan you. Study what they do and ask them for help. Some of the most effective strategies we’ve learned have been from sparring partners who were better than us.

Stay Calm

It’s ok to feel nervous before sparring. Unless you’ve been training for a while, you’re probably not use to the idea of someone punching and kicking at you.  It’s important to accept that in a sparring situation you’re going to get hit (after all, even the professionals do!). The key is to control where you get hit and how you respond after. Practicing offense and defense drills that help you experience what it feels like to absorb a punch or kick will build your confidence in this area. As you build trust with your sparring partners, you’ll realize it gets easier to remain calm, even with punches and kicks being thrown at you.

Most importantly, remember to breathe. It’s common for people to inadvertently hold their breath as they spar. Practice exhaling when you strike so that breathing becomes routine, even when your focus is on blocking, evading, and countering. Ultimately, breathing and remaining calm will help you conserve energy and strike with better precision.

Stick To The Basics

When your adrenalized, complex movements are more challenging to pull off successfully. When you first start sparring, use the most basic techniques you know: jab, cross, hook, and round kick. Sticking to the basics will increase your skill and also keep you mentally focused. In fact, simple and direct works best 80% of the time. Save the more complex moves for the remaining 20% of the time.

While it might be more comfortable to throw one strike at a time, using combinations will increase your chances of connecting with a viable target. Counters are also key. It’s easy to find yourself in a position where your partner is doing all the striking and you’re doing all the defending. Look for opportunities to counter after defending every strike your partner throws.

Check Your Ego

Every sparring match begins with a respectful bow as a reminder that both partners are prepared to help and not harm the other. Sparring is not about beating up your partner. Ultimately, ego clouds judgment and can cause you to rush and even loose control of your power. If your primary focus is striking with power, your technique will suffer and you will miss the opportunity for growth and advancement in your skill development.

When it comes to having the best sparring experience, adopt a givers mindset. Sparring is not a competition, it’s a partnership. When both sparring partner focus on helping the other improve, magic happens. Mutual challenge and respect results in mutual development and benefit.

Focus On Learning, Not Winning

Sparring is not about winning or loosing. Some days, you won’t be able to miss, while other days, you won’t be able to hit a single target. Sparring is all about learning. Every time you spar, try to improve from the last time.

As we mentioned before, sparring is just as much mental as it is physical. While you’re sparring, rather than focusing on winning, focus on your mental state:

  • Stay calm and remember to breath
  • Be aware of your position and guard
  • Concentrate on your opponent or partner
  • Practice those problem-solving skills
  • Stay in control of your emotions

Most importantly, have fun! Remember, it can take years to get really good at sparring. The best martial artists are the ones who show up, consistently put in the work, and enjoy the experience.


Ready to up your sparring game? Try a FREE training session at Invictus!  Which class below are you most curious about?

Preschool ages 3-5 (CLICK HERE)

Kids ages 6-12 (CLICK HERE)

Adults ages 13+ (CLICK HERE)

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personal trainer

Finding The Right Personal Trainer

Finding the right personal trainer can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, we’re here to help! Maybe you took some time time off from your fitness routine and suddenly a few weeks turned into a few months. Perhaps you’re bouncing back from a minor injury and feeling uncertain about what exercises are best for your current activity level. It’s possible you’ve never had a consistent exercise regime and you could use some guidance. Or maybe you’re just struggling with feeling unmotivated. We’ve all been there. You know a personal trainer can help, but how do you find a coach that’s right for you?


Regardless of why you’re considering working with a personal trainer, one thing is certain. You want to see clear and consistant progress.


When you think of a personal trainer you probably think of a typical training session including some cardio as well as strength training with weights. But did you know, there’s an alternative? If running on a treadmill and working with free weights doesn’t get you excited, an MMA coach may be the perfect fit for you. Getting in shape with martial arts training isn’t just possible, it’s also a lot of fun! Understanding the benefits of working with an MMA personal trainer is as easy as A, B, C!

A. All About Accountability

One of the main reasons people hire personal trainers is for accountability. It’s a lot harder to blow off your training when there’s a coach waiting for you at a set time every week. Knowing you have a coach who is fully invested in your growth and development helps you stay motivated to keep doing the work and keep showing up.  An MMA coach will specifically challenge you to develop your upper and lower body as well as your cardio during each training session. MMA training is a full-body, aerobic activity that uses body-weight resistance training to develop strong bones, encourage weight-loss, and strengthen muscles. Whatever your fitness goals are, having an MMA coach as your personal trainer will keep you focused on why you started and give you the support you need to achieve lasting transformation.

B. Beat The Boredom

Let’s face it, nothing sucks the life out of you like doing the same exercises week after week without seeing any progress. In fact, many people will quit their gym memberships because they just aren’t motivated. Keep things interesting with an MMA personal trainer! A good MMA coach has mastered the art of disguising repetition. Whether it’s mixing up combos and pad drills or working through sparring techniques, every training session is different. Ultimately, you’ll stay engaged and excited about your training while working up a great sweat.

C. Customized Training

Your fitness needs and goals are uniquely yours. Shouldn’t your training program be too? A personal trainer will customize your training experience to ensure you get exactly what you want out of your workout. A good MMA coach will help you understand your body and train you to be able to maximize your performance the way only you can. In addition to training you how to perform each technique, your MMA coach will also train you why each technique works with your specific body mechanics. Worried about an old injury? Your personal trainer can suggest modified movements that will still help you make progress while avoiding re-injury.


Ready to give personal training a shot?  Reserve a FREE private coaching session at Invictus where REAL people like you are getting REAL results for the REAL world!

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All rights reserved. Used with permission. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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Round Kick

Round Kick Shin Conditioning

From karate to Muay Thai to MMA, the roundhouse kick (or round kick) is one of the most used and widely recognized kicks in the martial arts. In fact, most people would agree that it’s also one of the most effective kicking techniques. But there’s a lot more to it than just performance and power. In fact, the round kick can be quite a complicated kick that, when properly executed, can not only generate devastating force but also deliver awe-inspiring elegance!

But there’s often some confusion when a person is first learning the round kick. To be specific, people always want to know: what part of the shin do I use? So, let’s take a quick look at applied science to give us the answer we seek.

Human Anatomy

The bones in the legs are some of the largest in the human body. Because of this, they’re also clearly the most durable. But what’s the difference and which one do I use? Let’s briefly discuss the two largest bones:


The femur is the largest bone in your body and located in your upper part of your leg often referred to as the thigh. This area houses not only the femur (the bone extending from your hip to your knee) but also the largest muscles– the quads (a series of interconnected muscles on the top/front of your thigh).


The tibia and fibula are the second and third largest bones (respectively) that make up the lower part of your leg. This area is often referred to as the shin (front) and calf (back). The shin area on the front of your leg houses several muscles as well as your tibia bone (the bone extending from your knee to ankle). The calf area on the back of your leg houses the calf muscles as well as your fibula (a supportive bone).

Now that we know what part of the leg is responsible for the final portion of the round kick, let’s discuss how to use the tibia (shin) correctly in our round kicks.


There’s quite a lot of physics happening when you use a round kick: lever, velocity, and torque, just to name a few. The proper application of physics in this context is what generates maximum power or force (mass x acceleration = force).


When kicking, you want to think of your leg like a baseball bat. You want to use a baseball bat to hit the ball near the thickest part of the bat (barrel) near the edge and NOT near the grip or handle.

Likewise, you want to use the thickest part of your tibia when you kick. To do that, you need to understand which areas are the thickest (good to use) and which area is the thinnest (worst to use).

Since one of your goals when using the round kick to extend your range, the ideal part of the tibia to kick with is the lower third of your shin known as the medial tibia (see image below). Practically speaking, a simple way to find this area is to take your left hand and place it just above your right ankle. When you do this, the place where your hand is on your tibia/shin is where you want to focus your kicks.

Shin conditioning tibia

Image Credit: GetBodySmart

Not only does this effectively give you the longest reach it also helps you kick with a thicker part of your tibia/shin.


When checking (or blocking) a round kick with your leg, the upper third of your tibia is an ideal area to use. Again, to find this area, simply take your right hand and place it just below the knee cap (patella) near the bony area where your leg begins to taper (see image below).

shin conditioning tibia

Image Credit: GetBodySmart

Checking someone else’s round kicks in this area gives you the most amount of protection. Please note that this area of the leg is a poor choice to use to kick. From an applied physics perspective, the maximum force in a lever is realized near the end of the lever and not near the fulcrum (in this instance, the knee).

Clearly, this means the remaining portion of the tibia is less than ideal to use for a round kick whether offensively for kicking or defensively for checking. The central area of the tibia/shin is less dense and more susceptible to potential breakage. In fact, when a professional does break their tibia (like Anderson Silva and recently Chris Weidman), it’s typically in the middle part of the tibia/shin (see image below).

shin conditioning tibia

Image Credit: GetBodySmart


Now that you understand which part of your leg is most ideal to use for a round kick, it’s time to consider how to condition your shins and use that tibia properly.

Conditioning refers to the act of building up a tolerance to kicking with less pain and possible damage to you and your legs. Initially, when you start using round kicks, it’s common to bruise or even feel some pain or discomfort. This is normal. Eventually, those pain signals that your leg nerves are sending to your brain will lessen with time and practice. Fortunately, there are several ways to accomplish this but here are three of our preferred methods…

  1. Heavy Bags: Traning in a professional gym like Invictus that utilizes heavy bags is a safe and effective way to start the process of building up shin endurance. It requires good control and effective use of technique at the proper range but has the potential to maximize your results.
  2. Sparring: Using shin guards while sparring helps you feel some of the impact without direct bone-on-bone feedback and can help you train with confidence. At Invictus, we only partner with suppliers known for specializing in combative martial arts (like Hayabusa, Revgear, and Venum- official sponsor of the UFC).
  3. Pad Work: When you’re working with a partner you’ll always use much less power than you would if you were kicking a heavy bag. That said, pad work is essential to developing good control and proper accuracy, precision, and target acquisition while continuing to condition your shins.

The round kick is obviously a fun kick to learn and we’ve only just started talking about how to use such a versatile and effective kick. At Invictus Martial Arts we’re committed to leveraging applied physics and sports science to give you real results and have fun developing amazing skills. Whether you’ve been training for years or just starting to think about it, you’re always welcome to JOIN US and try it out for yourself!

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Three Benefits Of Sparring In MMA Kickboxing

Why does martial arts training include sparring? Sparring is really just another word for fighting, isn’t it?

Not really.

Everyone knows that mixed martial arts (MMA) is absolutely great for functional fitness training and essential for developing everyday skills like discipline, focus, confidence, self-protection, and a powerfully positive mindset.

But at Invictus Martial Arts, we know that you want to do more than just feel good about your training, you want to feel resilient, adaptable, powerful. But in order to do that, you need need to know the coaching and mentoring you receive isn’t just good in theory but proven to help you achieve your goals. The problem is you don’t exactly know how to get it— you know, how to really dial-up the intensity with control whenever you need it. Additionally, what role does sparring play in really help you achieve your goals? This, of course, makes you feel unsure about how to approach sparring and maybe even feel a bit vulnerable to life’s uncertainties. 

Fortunately, we believe in giving practical, proven tips-and-tricks to help you develop mental toughness and emotional resiliency through safe and effective sparring techniques. And we understand that safety is important to you which is why we not only educate you on sparring best practices but also allow for progressive skill advancement drills to help you feel confident while you’re developing essential martial arts skills.

Let’s take a look at how we do it…

1. Learning Environment

At Invictus, we believe that sparring is a learning environment where we get to try out our techniques with a resistant partner for the sake of mutual betterment and personal growth. This means that we can confidently know that our sparring partner is there to help us and not harm us. This understanding and agreement allow us to try out our skills in a growth-minded culture knowing we’re getting better, together. Of course, this makes sparring fun while also encouraging experimentation and improvement feedback. 

2. Cognitive Flexibility

One of the lesser-known benefits of sparring is this: being able to think “outside the box.” Combinations (short and long forms of individual movements), technical and performance drills, and equipment techniques are often memorized patterns that help develop muscle memory for almost instinct-like responsiveness which is great for self-protection and performance. As good as all that is (and it really is the best), sparring takes it even further and reinforces neuroplasticity. This crucial adaptability allows you to see things from a different perspective encouraging you to adjust to changing environmental stimuli. Many people believe that this can help with achieving the much sought-after “flow state” and experience shows that it always helps a person develop increased mental toughness and improved emotional resiliency. After all, who doesn’t want more of that?

3. Adrenalized Control

The ability to manage and mitigate adrenaline and cortisol stress is a critical skill to develop for self-protection and much needed in today’s frenzied life. Fortunately, sparring affords you the opportunity to experience both in a safe and controlled environment. Nothing can ever truly prepare you for the unexpected. However, it is possible to train for chaos and, in fact, sparring does just that. The adrenaline and cortisol dump that occurs in your body when triggered by a stress-related event creates a cascade of minor motor deficiencies making typically normal movements more challenging to execute with precision. Controlled breathing, hand-eye coordination, muscular endurance, cardiovascular durability, and total-body proprioception are just a few of the excellent benefits you can readily achieve when training in an adrenaline-controlled environment. Luckily, sparring helps give you upgraded self-discipline and equips you with the tools you need to successfully navigate through the stresses of everyday life. In other words, you manage life better.

Sparring is more than just sweating and smiling; it’s learning, it’s collaborative, and best of all, it’s confidence-building. So, we invite you to take your first step today and schedule a FREE Private Consultation with us. We would love to get to know more about you and partner with you to help you achieve your goals!

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