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The Best Gyms and Trainers in Chicago for Aspiring MMA Fighters

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Justin Lovrich XFO lightweight champion

Justin “Juice” Lovrich moments after his high-elbow guillotine finished Tim Carpenter. (Photo: Tomba Images/XFO)

The Best Gyms and Trainers in Chicago for Aspiring MMA Fighters

If you are an aspiring MMA fighter in Chicago, you might be wondering where to train and who to learn from. MMA is a complex and dynamic sport that requires a high level of skill, fitness, and discipline. You need to find a gym and a trainer that can help you achieve your goals and prepare you for the challenges of the cage.

In this article, we will review some of the best gyms and trainers in Chicago for MMA, based on criteria such as location, facilities, equipment, fees, schedule, class size, coaching style, credentials, reputation, and more. We will also provide some tips and advice for aspiring MMA fighters in Chicago on how to train effectively, avoid injuries, prepare for competitions, network with other fighters, and more.

Criteria for Choosing a Good MMA Gym and Trainer

Before we dive into the list of the best gyms and trainers in Chicago for MMA, let’s first discuss what factors you should consider when choosing a good MMA gym and trainer. Here are some of the most important ones:

  • Location: You want to find a gym and a trainer that are convenient for you to access. Ideally, you want to train at a place that is close to your home or work, or that has good public transportation options. You also want to avoid gyms and trainers located in unsafe or crowded areas, or that have parking issues.
  • Facilities: You want to find a gym and a trainer that have adequate facilities for MMA training. This includes having enough space, mats, cages, rings, bags, pads, gloves, and other equipment. You also want to check the cleanliness and hygiene of the gym and the equipment, as well as the availability of showers, lockers, water fountains, etc.
  • Equipment: You want to find a gym and a trainer that have quality equipment for MMA training. This includes having durable, comfortable, and safe gear that suits your size and level. You also want to check the variety and quantity of the equipment, as well as the maintenance and replacement policies.
  • Fees: You want to find a gym and a trainer that have reasonable fees for MMA training. This includes having transparent and fair pricing policies that match your budget and expectations. You also want to check the payment options and methods, as well as the cancellation and refund policies.
  • Schedule: You want to find a gym and a trainer that has a flexible schedule for MMA training. Cam, a busy professional from WeBuyHousesChicago emphasizes that you also want to check the frequency and duration of the classes and sessions, as well as the attendance and reservation policies. This includes having classes and sessions that fit your availability and preferences.
  • Class size: You want to find a gym and a trainer that has optimal class size for MMA training. This includes having enough instructors and students to ensure quality instruction and feedback. You also want to check the ratio of instructors to students, as well as the diversity and compatibility of the students.
  • Coaching style: You want to find a gym and a trainer that have an effective coaching style for MMA training. This includes having instructors that are knowledgeable, experienced, certified, professional, respectful, supportive, motivating, inspiring, challenging, fun, etc. You also want to check the teaching methods and techniques, as well as the communication skills and rapport of the instructors.
  • Credentials: You want to find a gym and a trainer that has credible credentials for MMA training. This includes having instructors with proven track records of success in MMA as fighters or coaches. You also want to check the qualifications and certifications of the instructors, as well as the affiliations and accreditations of the gym.
  • Reputation: You want to find a gym and a trainer that have a positive reputation for MMA training. This includes having instructors that have good reviews and testimonials from their clients or peers. You also want to check the ratings and rankings of the gym and the instructors on various platforms such as websites, social media, blogs, podcasts, magazines, etc.

Top MMA Gyms and Trainers in Chicago

Based on these criteria, here are some of the top MMA gyms in Chicago that you can consider. Most of these coaches have trained amateur and professional MMA fighters. Click any link to visit their website.

Midwest Training Center
Coaches: Alex Trujillo, Barry Hoppen, Mikey Bernabe

Mission MMA & Fitness
Coaches: Said Hatim, Ramiro Mota, Chali Syah, Milos Jeftic, Josh Horsley

Chicago Mixed Martial Arts
Coaches: Misho Ceko, Chuong Pham, Rosie Aybar, Shah Zolfaghari, Shonie Carter, Patrick Gatbunton, Alex Rajacic

Wrecking Ball MMA
Coaches: Clint Blackburn, Kendra Kazmaier

Intercept MMA
Coaches: Danny Somers, Anna Somers, Tyler Jones

DeLaRosa Submission Wrestling
Coaches: Jonathan James, Jeremy Cuttill, Louisa James, Erin Weldon, Joe Girgenti

MMA Stop
Coaches: Daniel Millraney

Team Colon MMA
Coaches: Steve Colon

Team Z Kickboxing
Coaches: Rob Zbilski, Carrie Riedel, Amanda Ginski

Northern Illinois Combat Club
Coaches: Shayne Adams

Combat Do
Coaches: Bob Schirmer

Team Curran
Coaches: Jeff Curran, Chuck Pilcher, Justin Seeberger, Kyle Perkins

Maximus Muay Thai
Coaches: Richard Abraham, Mike Cimmarusti

Top Notch
Coaches: Mac Ramos, Ricardo Luna

Mango Combat Sports
Coaches: Doug Mango, Chris Hartwig, Brian Norris, Sarah Curran, Tim Cho, Domenica Jaramillo

Valle Flow Striking
Coaches: Mike Valle

Chicago Muay Thai
Coaches: Jim Glasgow, Chris Ortiz, Ryot Waller, and more.

Chicago Fight Team
Coaches: Roberto Ramirez

Tips and Advice for Aspiring MMA Fighters in Chicago

If you are an aspiring MMA fighter in Chicago, here are some tips and advice that can help you train effectively, avoid injuries, prepare for competitions, network with other fighters, and more:

Train smart: You want to train smart by following a balanced and progressive training program that covers all aspects of MMA: striking, grappling, wrestling, transitions, clinch work, ground work, cage work, etc. You also want to train smart by listening to your body and your coach and avoiding overtraining, undertraining, or cross-training with incompatible styles or methods. You also want to train smart by supplementing your training with proper nutrition, hydration, recovery, sleep, etc.

  • Train safe: You want to train safely by following the safety rules and regulations of your gym and your trainer and using the appropriate gear and equipment for MMA training. You also want to train safely by warming up, cooling down, stretching, and mobilizing before and after each training session. You also want to train safely by avoiding injuries, infections, or illnesses that can hamper your performance or health. If you do get injured, you want to seek medical attention and follow the advice of your doctor and your trainer.
  • Train hard: You want to train hard by pushing yourself to the limit and beyond in each training session and challenging yourself with new and difficult techniques, drills, sparring partners, etc. You also want to train hard by setting realistic and measurable goals for yourself and tracking your progress and improvement over time. You also want to train hard by competing regularly in local, regional, national, or international events that match your level and experience.
  • Network: You want to network with other MMA fighters in Chicago by joining online forums, groups, communities, etc. related to MMA. You also want to network with other MMA fighters in Chicago by attending events, seminars, workshops, camps, etc. that are hosted by reputable gyms, trainers, organizations, etc. You also want to network with other MMA fighters in Chicago by being respectful, friendly, supportive, helpful, etc. to your fellow fighters.
  • Have fun: You want to have fun by enjoying the process and the journey of MMA training. You also want to have fun by expressing yourself creatively and authentically through MMA. You also want to have fun by celebrating your achievements and learning from your failures.

We hope this article has given you some useful information and inspiration on how to find the best gyms and trainers in Chicago for MMA training. Remember that MMA is a complex and dynamic sport that requires a lot of dedication, discipline, and passion. But it is also a rewarding and fulfilling sport that can bring you many benefits such as fitness, health, confidence, self-defense, etc. So go ahead and start your MMA journey today!

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