We speak to Christopher Leow of Klinch MMA gym in Publika this week. The 29 year-old himself is relatively new to the MMA scene, having only started MMA training in 2012 when he realised that he needed to drop some pounds. He found MMA and has not looked back since.

How did you get into MMA?

I just wanted to lose some weight. That was the main point of me starting MMA, for fitness. But I really enjoyed it and once I had achieved my goal weight, I actually didn’t stop losing weight.

What is it about MMA that you enjoy?

MMA is like a Mass Communications degree. You get into it and it is really broad. But there are 3 main elements to MMA – striking, control and submission. These three take the best from all the different types of martial arts and combine it into one system to overcome your opponent. For example, striking is made up of moves from Muay Thai and boxing. Once you strike, you need to control and that is part of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training. Only with that can you achieve submission.

What advice can you give to beginners who want to try out MMA?

MMA is tough. But if you want to learn, don’t feel like if you cannot do certain workouts that it isn’t for you. Like everything else, training for MMA is a progression and a journey. You have to build up the endurance. MMA is a great way to help you control your heart rate and that adrenaline rush from fighting.

The first time you spar with someone, you will feel that high. The adrenaline will be pumping and you won’t be able to think straight. This is what happens when someone is being attacked. But through MMA training, you will be able to regulate your reaction to the rush. All you have to do is remember your training and combinations, then stay calm during the fight. Only then will you be able to make safer┬ádecisions on the fly. This is also helpful for those who do martial arts for self-defense.

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