Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) at Viva

MMA is a combat sport that many refer to as “Cage Fighting”. There are many different Mixed Martial Arts events the largest one being the Ultimate Fighting Championship, UFC. We prefer the term MMA. Mixed Martial Arts is much more than fighting, it is an Art in itself. Many people dedicate their entire lives to the study and honing of one range where as a Mixed Martial Artist must be a jack of all trades. To quote Bruce Lee “You must be shapeless, formless, like water”.

MMA covers techniques used in many other martial arts such as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Wrestling, Sambo and Judo. In modern MMA this gives a huge opportunity for individuality and diversity. We often say there is no bad technique, just the wrong technique at the wrong time.

Our MMA sessions are structured in a way that make sure you have a good grounding in solid basics and core fundamental techniques for each range. The sessions are tailored to the abilities of the people in them and practiced in a safe progressive manner.

The majority of our members do not train to compete and we will only put people forward for competition once they are physically, mentally and technically ready.

A normal session will begin with an SAQ (strength, agility and quickness drills) or some conditioning. Followed by technique and drilling. The sessions usually end with sparing appropriate to the ability of those who are ready.

There is a misconception around MMA, in which some people believe that training more than one martial art, means they are training MMA, however in 2015 MMA refers to Mixed Martial Arts which is a sport in it’s own right. MMA is a live combat sport that can encompass a broad range of techniques synonymous with many fighting styles. We are proud to be one of only two active and competitive MMA gyms in Tameside, don’t accept imitation.


What time are the classes?

Here is a link to our up to date Timetable

What should I wear for my first class?

For the MMA classes you just need to wear shorts or joggers and a T-Shirt (we even give you a free T-shirt on joining!)

What training gear will I need?

As a minimum you’ll need a gumshield and groin guard everything else we are able to provide for you. You will probably want some 7oz MMA sparring gloves (note we don’t wear 4oz gloves in the gym, these are a fight glove and not for training), A head guard and some shin/instep protectors. We stock good quality gear at sensible prices and can give you advice on what you need.

I’ve never done martial arts before will I be ok to train?

Yes, everyone was new once and we know how it is to walk into a new gym. Our classes are always pitched at a level accessible to everyone in them.

Am I too old?

No, you’re never too old to start training.

I’m in bad shape can I train?

Yes, It might be that you need to take things a little slower, but where required we can offer alternatives or you can get a breather. We’re only interested in you working to YOUR maximum potential whatever that is day 1.

Do I have to Spar?

No, sparring will only become available to you once you have sufficient technique and control to spar safely. We introduce sparring gradually, starting with situational drills, free grappling, sparring with body shots only then moving to full MMA sparring with several minor steps between each of these. We aim to build your confidence gradually so you are comfortable and competent enough to spar when you are ready.

Do you have women in the classes?

Yes, all our classes are mixed gender. Training MMA for women is in our eyes the best way to prepare for self defence.

Marcus helps Arron out in a demo in the MMA session
Oliver and Tom wrestle for top position in our Manchester MMA class
Viva Combat Athleticsts T-shirt