by Patrick Bamburak & Raymond Horwitz
Photo by Peter Lueders
Have you wondered exactly how to become a MMA fighter? Have you asked yourself how the fighters know all those MMA techniques? Do they take MMA fighting classes? If yes, then where? If you’ve been asking these questions, then you have come to the right place.
In his book, Let’s Get It On! The Making of MMA and Its Ultimate Referee, pioneering ref “Big” John McCarthy gives you as close a look as you can get of the rise of the sport of mixed martial arts without having to take a punch.
As MMA’s original official, McCarthy’s opening command of “Let’s get it on!” is the battle cry that has sent countless MMA fighters charging headlong toward glorious victory and agonizing defeat.
From his unique vantage point just inches from the action, McCarthy has witnessed all the ligament-stretching, bone-breaking, unconsciousness-inducing MMA techniques that are behind the sport’s greatest victories.
He’s seen the best of the best duke it out for that coveted W inside the cage. If you’re looking for answers as to how to become a MMA fighter, watch McCarthy demonstrate five of his favorite MMA techniques in these five exclusive videos shot at his Ultimate Training Academy in Valencia, California, where MMA fighting classes show a wide variety of students how to become a MMA fighter!
“Big” John McCarthy’s Favorite MMA Techniques #1: Rear-Naked Choke
Style: Brazilian jiu-jitsu | Learn it from: Royce Gracie
“This choke, when properly applied, can force a submission or knock the opponent out,” McCarthy says. “Royce effectively used the technique against larger and stronger opponents time and time again to prove that size doesn’t matter when you have a weapon like this in your arsenal.”
MMA Techniques Video #1
“Big” John McCarthy Shows You the Rear-Naked Choke
“Big” John McCarthy’s Favorite MMA Techniques #2:
Style: Boxing | Learn it from: Anderson Silva
“A good jab can go a long way in MMA, but it’s still very underutilized,” McCarthy says. “The jab in MMA is not the same as boxing and needs to be employed differently, but it remains the quickest and straightest punch a fighter has in their toolkit. Having a good jab helps you maintain the proper distance and can keep your opponent off-balance, disrupting their striking game and takedown attempts.”
MMA Techniques Video #2
“Big” John McCarthy Shows You the Jab
“Big” John McCarthy’s Favorite MMA Techniques #3: Double-Leg Takedown
Style: Wrestling | Learn it from: Georges St-Pierre
“This basic wrestling technique is usually taught on the first day of practice, and its importance in MMA is huge,” McCarthy says. “Having a good double-leg can keep you in position to control the fight by giving you the ability to bring your opponent to the ground when you want to go there.”
MMA Techniques Video #3
“Big” John McCarthy Shows You the Double-Leg Takedown
“Big” John McCarthy’s Favorite MMA Techniques #4:
Style: Wrestling | Learn it from: Randy Couture
“Randy set up many of his attacks by using the clinch and often combined it with his superior grappling skills to grind his opponents down,” McCarthy says. “It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but there’s a lot going on when two fighters end up in this position. The clinch is tiring and causes you to use excess energy to defend against it if you’re not as accomplished in the technique as your opponent. Having a good clinch can easily be the difference between winning and losing in the cage.”
MMA Techniques Video #4
“Big” John McCarthy Shows You the Clinch
“Big” John McCarthy’s Favorite MMA Techniques #5: Roundhouse Kick
Style: Muay Thai | Learn it from: Jose Aldo
“Jose Aldo showed what a good roundhouse kick can do against Urijah Faber,” McCarthy says. “He attacked from all angles, and the power he generated and the damage he caused with his roundhouse eventually eliminated Urijah’s takedown ability — and ultimately Urijah’s ability to even move in the fight. A properly delivered roundhouse kick is like being hit with a baseball bat.”
MMA Techniques Video #5
“Big” John McCarthy Shows You the Roundhouse Kick