How hard do professional MMA fighters beat

Munich - It is one of the new martial arts in Germany: Mixed Martial Arts. The place: a cage. The rules: there are few. Our tz reporter dares to try himself.

Three fighters hit the punching bags powerfully and with a crash. A hell of a noise fills the gym, the smell of sweat is in the air - and as soon as I enter the training room, it becomes clear to me: Today you definitely can't be a wimp!

I, the tz reporter, start a self-experiment today. Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is on the training program. Alex Poppeck greets me, he is a professional mixed martial arts fighter. With a big grin on his face, he explains to me that his sport does not only consist of standing combat, as we know it from kickboxing, for example: “Mixed martial arts consists of several martial arts: boxing, kickboxing, wrestling and Jiu Jitsu - so you definitely need it a wide repertoire of fighting techniques in order to be able to practice the sport professionally. "

To make this more understandable and to simulate a fighting situation, he asks me to sparring in the "field" where coach Jawid is already waiting for me and where normal fights are being fought: a cage! Yeah, padded all over my body, explains the most important punches to me at the beginning and then demands everything from me: punching fists and kicks, dodging attacks, holding hands in front of the face to cover and constantly dancing in motion - after just a few minutes I am I'm completely out of breath, so it is easy for the muscle man to pull me to the ground.

Attacks are also allowed on the ground

Due to the mats on the floor, I land softly and then I can get up again - neither is the case in regular fights that last three rounds of five minutes each: Even if one of the fighters is on the boards, his opponent is allowed to do so to continue attacking with fists or strangles.

So is mixed martial arts a martial art in which two bullies fall on each other without any rules? “Not at all,” says Alex Poppeck. “Deep blows, nuts in the head, stabs in the eyes or pulling on the opponent's hair are absolutely prohibited. In addition, the referees intervene in good time if there is a risk that one of the fighters will be injured too seriously. Apart from one black eye, I haven't sustained any serious injuries. "

Will, heart and discipline also count

The 23-year-old emphasizes that despite all the sporting rivalry among each other, there is friendly and collegial interaction - an impression that is confirmed during training: wild tigers inside the cage, friendly young people outside. So how do you get into such an intense martial arts as such? “As a teenager, I went on vacation to Thailand several times and was able to watch Thai boxers training there. I then decided to try this sport myself and after a few weeks I started to practice mixed martial arts. ”He learned that not only strength, quick reactions and athleticism are crucial, but also discipline, heart, will and assertiveness play a role played.

The appeal of doing MMA is therefore not only of a sporting nature: "I see MMA as a personal way to improve myself, to set myself a goal and to work on it every day" - reflected words of a man who works for up to six days Week trained to reach the next stage goal, a victory next Sunday in the "Aggrelin Cage Fight", in which a total of 20 fighters compete against each other. No matter whether he manages it - he has my respect. Because of the harshness of the fighting - and because of the respect with which the fighters treat one another.

Max Kramer