How We Train – St. Louis MMA Club

Aliveness – Progressive Resistance – Informal – Safe – Fun


At St. Louis Training Circle we feel that for martial arts training to be effective it must be performed in an alive training environment. Aliveness means that the drills and exercises performed are not performed against a compliant training partner that allows you to do the movement. It means that the movement must be performed with energy and movement similar to that used in an actual competition or self defense situation. However, we don’t train you to swim by throwing you in the river. Instead we utilize the training method of progressive resistance to ease you into fighting at your own pace.

Progressive Resistance

In our MMA classes we don’t haze you when you show up – we don’t beat you up to “find out if you are serious”. Rather, we take great care with each other and train with safety – and we are especially careful when working with beginners. We use progresive resistance drills to train our fighters no matter their level of ability. “Progressive Resistance” means that we start out at a level you are ready for, based on where your ability level is currently, and build up the pressure level as you get better. This is the best way to build a fighter, as very few bad habits are created. When you train at a level you are prepared for you have the presence of mind to work on whatever new movement pattern you are trying to learn. You are always working against a resisting opponent but you are never so overwhelmed that you cannot work on the new movement.


At our MMA Club it is fine to show up and train without calling anyone “Sir” or “Sensei” or “Guro” or “Master” or any other types of false respect demanded at many other clubs. Here we prefer an air of informal friendship to the mock seriousness of the old school dojo. You won’t have to bow to anyone, we’d really rather you didn’t. Instead of calling others Sir or Guro we’d like you to call us by our first name. It’s not that we don’t respect one another, we most certainly do. We have merely shrugged off the unnecessary window dressing that so often only impairs the class environment. We’re easy going and we all have a good time.


Whether you train at our gym, or another, your very first concern should be your own safety. If you show up to a club and feel the instructors or the other students are being unnecessarily rough – or that you are at a pressure and power level you are uncomfortable with – you should immediately let your training partner know. If that person does not yield to your request for less power or less pressure, you should find another training partner and avoid the individual that does not care for your safety. If everyone at the club seems to rough you up, or you cannot avoid those that do, then come on over to our club. We take your comfort levl and ability level very seriously. First and foremost your fight school or mma club should be safe and should listen to you when you aren’t comfortable. The simple truth is any other kind of training will only build bad habits into your game – so its a lose/lose at schools that do this to you.


In the end our way is a hell of lot more fun, it’s a hell of a work out, and you quickly learn to handle larger, stronger opponents in all out sparring matches. All you have to do is show up, have a good time, work out, and try not to take it all too seriously. Before you know it you’ll be ready for hard and fast contact in all three ranges – boxing, clinch and ground. And if you do it the way we show you, you won’t be riddled with injuries. MMA can be very, very safe. And you’ll look around the gym, and see every face is a friend of yours.