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How To Become A Certified MMA Referee?


Some people dream of being MMA fighters and others dream of being MMA referees. Being right in the middle of the action and keeping the fighters safe.

Those that are curious about wanting to be an MMA ref often look into how to become one. We’re here to help you out and tell you all you need to know to become a certified MMA referee.

Going through the certification process and detail how to be a good MMA ref.

How to become a certified MMA referee? To become a certified MMA referee, you have to go through a certification program or course. Once you’ve completed the MMA referee course, you then can apply for a state license in whichever state(s) you wish.

How was MMA Referee Certification Established 

Before MMA refs were certified it was basically chaos. Especially before there were rules implemented within MMA.

Referees were basically there to prevent fighters from killing each other and didn’t enforce any rules. Even when rules were first implemented, the quality of officiating would be quite poor for many years.

State athletic commissions would basically put in anyone that was given a referee license. Whether they had any knowledge of MMA or not.

Most of the time, boxing refs would be put in charge of MMA bouts with no knowledge of the sport.

Big John McCarthy Helps Implement Referee Certification

Big John McCarthy is an MMA icon and considered the best MMA ref of all time. McCarthy saw early on that the quality of MMA referees needed to be improved in order for the sport to grow.

He was one of the first people in MMA to push for a certification program for MMA referees and judges. John would work closely with different commissions from Nevada, California, and New Jersey.

After years of work, the Association of Boxing and Combat Sports(ABC) created a referee certification program. The most in depth MMA referee training program that is available in the US.

All state athletic commissions in the US recognize this certification whenever candidates apply for referee licenses.

MMA Referee Certification Programs 

There are now various MMA referee certification programs, but by far the best are the ABC approved programs. You can take certification courses from the most known and respected MMA referees in the world.

MMA refs that provide their own training courses under the guidelines of the ABC includes.

  • Big John McCarthy
  • Herb Dean

COMMAND(Big john) 


Big John offers his own MMA referee training course called C.O.M.M.A.N.D. A company that provides training to aspiring MMA referees and judges.

COMMAND runs a handful of certification seminars annually. Three days for the referee course and two days for the MMA judge course.

The referee course consists of four sections that you go over during the three days.

  1. Going over basic MMA techniques in a classroom setting.
  2. A written test covering everything you went over on your first day of class.
  3. Officiate a mock fight to show that you have the ability to work a fight.
  4. A mock pre fight rules meeting where you explain the rules to fighters and answer questions.

In order to pass this certification, you must pass all three tests with a grade of 90% or above. If you score lower than 90% in any part, you will have to go through certification training again.

Herb Dean’s Course


Herb Dean also has his own MMA referee training course that he makes available annually. Just like Big John’s course, Dean’s is a three day workshop that goes through everything about being a ref.

Dean follows the guidelines of the ABC unified rules and is broken down into three different tests. A written, video, and technique class.

In Dean’s course, there is a technique test where you must demonstrate that you know different MMA techniques. You will not be passed if you cannot execute the MMA techniques that you’re asked to demonstrate.

Then just like in Big John’s course, you will be put in the cage put through a mock fight. Being put through different situations and taught how to properly react. 

ABC MMA Referee Training Course


The organization, ABC also runs referee training seminars throughout the US. Each one of those seminars are run by some of the best MMA referees in the world.

The list of certified coaches that run ABC seminars for potential MMA refs includes:

  • Big John McCarthy
  • Herb Dean
  • Kevin McDonald
  • Jerin Valel
  • Blake Grice
  • Rob Hinds

To become a certified MMA ref under the ABC, you must have a long list of experience in MMA. Including five years as a MMA ref, proof of grappling experience, as well as knowledge or experience in other martial arts.

It isn’t easy to become certified by the ABC and it shouldn’t be easy. This list of prerequisites helps weed out those that are unfit to officiate fights.

IMMAF Referee Course


The International MMA Federation(IMMAF) runs courses for those that live outside of the US or want to work internationally. This organization’s MMA ref certification program is run by UFC referee, Marc Goddard.

Their website doesn’t show much about what all their ref course entails. It states that they’ll consider candidates that can prove they have experience as a ref within their country. If you’re interested in this course, Marc Goddard’s email is available on the website.

They also offer class A, B, and C licenses if you wish to be a certified IMMAF cutman.

How to Acquire a State License to Work as an MMA Referee 

Acquiring a state license to work as an MMA referee is pretty straightforward. Once you acquire your MMA referee certification you can then apply for a state license to work as a ref.

Each state will make you pay a fee in order to receive your state referee license. On top of your license fee, some states may also make you take a physical in order to be approved.

This is a good practice, because if you aren’t physically fit, then you shouldn’t be allowed to be an MMA ref. Once your referee license expires you will have to do this process all over again.

Other Prerequisites To Be An MMA Referee 

Aside from having a recognized MMA referee certification and license, there are other prerequisites for becoming an MMA referee. Particularly two things that will really help you in becoming a good MMA referee.

  1. Experience training in martial arts or particularly MMA
  2. Fighting Experience

A good MMA referee should have experience in one or both of these prerequisites. They will make you a better referee and more respected by the fighters and state commissions.

Chase Your Dream and Protect the Fighters

Being an MMA referee is an incredibly important job. You are there to protect the fighters and potentially even save their lives.

The sport of MMA is in dire need of more good MMA. If you think you have the dedication to be a good referee, then chase your dream and help grow the sport.

MMA Athletes Who Won Olympic Medals


In the history of MMA, there have been numerous Olympic medalists that have transitioned to the sport. That’s why we’ve made a complete list of every Olympic medalist that has competed in MMA.

Below is a list of every gold, silver, and bronze medalist that competed in MMA with short bios of each one.

How many Olympic medalists have fought in MMA? There have been nearly 40 MMA athletes who won Olympic medals in the history of the sport.

Bronze Medalist MMA Fighters

Randi Miller

Randi Miller was a bronze medalist in freestyle wrestling at the 2008 Olympics. Miller transitioned to MMA in 2012 and won her only fight in the sport by TKO in the third round.

Vladimir Tchanturia

Vladimir Tchanturia was a Georgian native that won a bronze medal in boxing at the 2000 Olympic games. He fought a young Alistair Overeem and lost by RNC in his only MMA bout. Tchanturia would move to pro boxing and have a short career.

Ben Spijkers

Ben Spijkers was a judoka that won a bronze medal at the 1988 Olympic games. He had a poor run in MMA, going 0-2 and famously losing to Renzo Gracie for the World Combat Championship promotion.

Eldari Kurtanidze

Eldari Kurtanidze was a two time bronze medalist in freestyle wrestling, winning at the ‘96 and 2000 Olympics. Kurtanidze only had one MMA fight which was a loss to Kazuyuki Fujita at Pride Shockwave: 2006.

Damian Janikowski

Damian Janikowski is a Polish wrestler that won a bronze medal in Greco-Roman wrestling at the 2012 games. Janikowski has actively fought for the last decade in the Polish promotion KSW, where he’s earned a record of 7-4.

Alexis Vila

Alexis Vila was a 2x freestyle wrestling world champion, along with winning a bronze medal at the ‘96 Olympics. Nine years later, Vila would transition into MMA. In his MMA career, Vila would go 15-7 and fight in Bellator, WSOF, and Titan FC.

Ronda Rousey

Ronda Rousey was a bronze medalist in Judo at the 2008 Olympics. She was a pioneer of women’s MMA and responsible for its rise in popularity. Ronda was the inaugural women’s bantamweight champion in the UFC and went 12-2 in her career before transitioning to pro wrestling.

Silver Medalist MMA Fighters

Sara McMann

 Sara McMann was the second female Olympian to fight within the Ultimate Fighting Championship(Ronda Rousey being the first.). She was also the very first woman to win an Olympic silver medal in the 2004 Olympics in Athens. McMann is still active in MMA and is currently fighting in the UFC with a record of 13-6.

Yoel Romero 

The ageless wonder, Yoel Romero was a freestyle wrestler that one a silver medal at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. After defecting to the US years later, Romero transitioned to MMA. He is currently signed with Bellator MMA where he fights at light heavyweight and currently holds a record of 13-6.

Matt Lindland 

Matt “The Law” Lindland actually began his MMA career before earning a spot on the 2000 US Olympic team. Lindland would win a silver medal in Greco-Roman wrestling before moving back to MMA full-time. He would earn a record of 22-9 and fight in every major MMA promotion.

Townsend Saunders 

Townsend Saunders was a silver medalist in freestyle wrestling at the ‘96 Olympic games in Atlanta. He would try to transition to MMA, but would lose both bouts that took place within the UFC in  1997.

Naoya Ogawa 

Naoya Ogawa was a world champion Judoka that earned a silver medal at the ‘92 Olympic Games in Barcelona. Ogawa would first transition to pro wrestling and then into MMA, which was encouraged by former pro wrestling promoter Antonio Inoki. He would go 7-2 in his career and notably fought Fedor Emilianenko, who gave him his first loss.

Matt Ghaffari 

Matt Ghaffari was a Greco-Roman wrestler that earned a silver medal at the ‘96 Olympic games in Atlanta. He would have one MMA fight against another Olympic medalist Naoya Ogawa that he lost by first round TKO.

Dennis Hall 

Dennis Hall is a Greco-Roman wrestler that earned a silver medal at the “96 Olympics in Atlanta. Hall fought only once in MMA for the Japanese promotion Shooto that he lost by submission.

Min Soo Kim 

Min Soo Kim is a Korean Judoka that won a silver medal at the Olympic games in 1996. Kim transitioned to MMA, but had poor results. Fighting ten times and earning a losing record of 3-7.

Aleksei Medvedev 

Aleksei Medvedev is a Belarussian freestyle wrestler that earned a silver medal at the ‘96 Olympics. Medvedez only fought one time in MMA, which was a TKO loss to Semm Schilt for the promotions 2H2H.

Bu Kyung Jung 

Bu Kyung Jung is a Korean judoka that won a silver medal at the Olympic Games in Sydney. Jung would have an unsuccessful transition to MMA that resulted in a record of 0-4.

Katsuhiko Nagata 

Katsuhiko Nagata is a Japanese Greco-Roman wrestler that won a silver medal in 2000 at the Sydney Olympics. Nagata would fight in 13 MMA bouts and earned a record of 6-7 before retiring.

Stephen Abas 

Stephen Abas is an American freestyle wrestler that won a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. He would go undefeated in MMA with a 3-0 record before moving on to be a full-time wrestling coach.

Hiroshi Izumi 

Hiroshi Izumi is a Japanese judoka that won a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Izumi was an active MMA fighter from 2009 to 2011. In that time, he earned a record of 4-2 and notably fought reigning Bellator champion Gegard Mousasi in his last bout.

Mark Madsen

Mark Madsen is a Danish Greco-Roman wrestler that won a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Madsen is currently undefeated as an MMA fighter with a record of 12-0. He is currently under contract with the UFC and fighting his way up the ranks. 

Gold Medalist MMA Fighters

Kenny Monday 

Kenny Monday was one of the first Olympic gold medalists to transition to MMA. He only fought one time in 1997, which was a TKO win over John Lewis. Monday would then transition to being a wrestling coach and also a long time wrestling coach for MMA fighters.

Kevin Jackson 

Kevin Jackson was another one of the first Olympic gold medalists that transitioned to MMA. Jackson was also the first Olympian to fight in the UFC. Earning a record of 4-2 before retiring and becoming a full-time wrestling coach, which included being the Olympic wrestling coach.

Ray Mercer 

Ray Mercer is a gold medalist in boxing before becoming a multiple time world champion in the sport. Mercer had one MMA fight in 2009 against former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia. 

In the fight, Mercer said that Sylvia agreed to no kicks, but then leg kicked Mercer. He then knocked out Sylvia with one punch after being hit with the leg kick.

Makoto Takimoto 

Makoto Takimoto is a Japanese judoka that won a gold medal at the 2000 Olympic games in Sydney. As a MMA fighter, Takimoto went 6-5 and notably fough most of his career in Pride.

Istvan Majoros 

Istvan Majoros is a Hungarian wrestler that won a gold medal in Greco-Roman wrestling at the 2004 Olympics. Majoros would fight one time in MMA for K-1 Dynamite, where he lost by TKO to the late Norifumi Yamamoto.

Karam Gaber

Karam Gaber is an Egyptian wrestler that won a gold medal in the 2004 Olympics in Athens. In the same year, he would have an unsuccessful transition to MMA. Losing his only MMA bout by TKO against Kazuyuki Fujita at K-1 Dynamite 2004.

Mark Schultz

The legendary American wrestler Mark Schultz won an Olympic gold medal in 1984. In 1996, Schultz came in as a replacement to fight MMA vet Gary Goodridge at UFC 9. Schultz would win the bout by TKO and return to coaching wrestling. 

Rulon Gardner 

Rulon Gardner is an American wrestler that specialized in Greco-Roman wrestling. He famously beat wrestling legend Alexandr Karelin in the finals. Gardner would fight one time in MMA beating fellow Olympic gold medalist Hidehiko Yoshida at Pride Shockwave 2004.

Alexandr Karelin 

Alexandr Karelin is considered the greatest Greco-Roman wrestler of all time. Only losing one time in two decades of competition. Karelin fought in one mixed rules event in 1999 that he won by decision.

Hidehiko Yoshida 

Hidehiko Yoshida is a Japanese judoka and MMA legend in Japan. He would go 9-8 as a pro MMA fighter that mostly took place in Pride.

Satoshi Ishii 

Satoshi Ishii is another Japanese judoka that won an Olympic gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Ishii is still active in MMA, where he has earned a record of 25-12 and has fought around the world.

Kayla Harrison 

Kayla Harrison was the very first American woman to win Olympic gold in Judo. Harrison has successfully transitioned to MMA and currently holds an undefeated record of 15-0. She is currently signed with PFL and is lobbying for a fight with Cyborg Santos.

Henry Cejudo

Henry Cejudo is considered one of the greatest combat sports athletes of all time. Cejudo earned a gold medal at the Olympic games in Beijing. He would go on to become the first MMA fighter to successfully hold the UFC flyweight and bantamweight titles simultaneously.

More Olympian Fighters To Come

Olympic medalist combat sports athletes are always tempted to make the transition to MMA to chase fame and fortune. The number of MMA athletes who won Olympic medals will no doubt increase as time goes on.

What Is A Checked Kick In MMA?


When new MMA viewers tune in to watch a fight, they will often hear fight lingo that they don’t understand. One common thing they’ll hear is that a fighter needs to start checking kicks.

We’re going to explain to you exactly what a checked kick is in MMA. Going over where the move was developed and explaining how to properly check leg kicks.

What is a checked kick in MMA? A checked kick is a defensive maneuver, where an MMA fighter blocks a leg kick with their shin. It was adopted from Muay Thai and used often within MMA.

What Martial Art Started Started Checking Kicks

The defensive move of checking kicks comes from the art of Muay Thai. In Muay Thai, fighters throw a wide variety of kicks.

One of the most common and popular is the leg kick. A power kick that can completely devastate an opponent’s legs. Muay Thai practitioners had to develop a way to defend against this kick.

What they developed is what we in English call the check. This is where you block an opponent’s leg kick by turning your shin into their leg.

The shin bone is better equipped to absorb kicks than your leg muscles, because obviously it’s a bone. It’s hard and developed to take more impact than your leg muscles.

Checked Kicks Adopted Into MMA

When the sport of MMA was developed, fighters with a background in Muay Thai brought leg kicks with them. After fighters were getting their legs destroyed with leg kicks, they figured out that they needed to learn checks.

Checking leg kicks have become a must know defensive technique that you must know to be successful in MMA.

What Happens When A Fighter Does Not Check Kicks?

The short answer is severe pain. Failing to check kicks in a fight can devastate a fighter in various ways.

Human legs are not meant to be battered repeatedly with leg kicks. Eventually a fighter’s legs will be black, blue, and purple, and they won’t be able to stand anymore.

Notable MMA Fights Where Checker Were Used 

When a check is properly executed, they will dissuade an opponent from throwing more kicks. Mainly from the danger of damaging their shins. Here are some notable fights where leg checks were properly used.

Anderson Silva vs Chris Weidman 

Chris Weidman successfully used leg kicks in his rematch with Anderson Silva. Silva would damage his leg on one of the first leg kick attempts.

Weidman would check the next leg kick by Silva that would shatter his leg. One of the most hideous injuries in MMA history.

Chris Weidman vs Uriah Hall

In Chris Weidman’s last fight against Uriah Hall, he would suffer the same fate as Anderson Silva. Uriah would check the very first kick from Weidman and Chris’s leg shattered.

Notable MMA Fights Where Checks Were NOT Used

When fighters decide to not use leg kicks in their fight, this will lead to drastic consequences. Here are some notable fights, where MMA fighters decided to not check any leg kicks.

Pete Spratt vs Robbie Lawler

At UFC 42, a young fan favorite Robbie Lawler went up against a relatively unknown Pete Spratt. Lawler had already knocked out multiple opponents, but Spratt exposed  flaws in his style.

Robbie was very heavy footed in order to land powerful shots and did not defend leg kicks. Spratt proceeded to evade Lawler’s powerful punches and land nasty leg kicks.

By the second round, Lawler couldn’t stand and was submitted. After the fight, Lawler’s doctor discovered that the leg kicks tore his hip flexor.

Jose Aldo vs Urijah Faber

At WEC 48 in 2010, Jose Aldo faced Urijah Faber for the promotion’s featherweight title. What fight fans would witness was a devastating barrage of leg kicks delivered by Aldo.

For 25 minutes, Aldo would land nonstop kicks to Faber’s left leg on his way to a decision win. After the fight, Faber posted a picture of his left leg after the fight.

His leg was completely purple. Faber was quoted as saying it was the most pain he’d ever felt from fighting.

How to Check a kick in MMA

There’s various techniques for checking leg kicks, but we’re just going to list important details for doing. Read below to see the most important details for checking leg kicks in MMA.

Lift Your Leg Up

The first step for checking a kick is to lift your leg up. Some trainers will tell you to lift it high, while  others will tell you to lift it to a moderate level. To check a leg kick, you only have to lift your leg slightly up. 

Turn Your Leg Out

The first detail to remember when checking kicks is to turn your leg outward. Putting your shin bone in the path of your opponent’s kick.

Which Part of the Shin do I Use?

A very good question and important to know when checking kicks. When you throw a kick, you aim to land with the bottom of your shin.

For a check, you’re actually going to use the top of your shin. This is the strongest part of your shin bone, which makes it the best part to use for checks.. 

Drive Shin Forward

A check isn’t just lifting your leg up and blocking a kick with your shin. To do a good check you drive your shin slightly forward when your opponent throws their leg kick. This bit of force forward to meet your opponent’s shin makes your check extra hard.

Base Foot

Your back foot is your base and it must be planted firmly on the ground when doing leg kicks. If it’s not, the power of an opponent’s kick can throw you off balance and open to follow up strikes.

The Toe Placement Debate

There has been an ongoing debate about how you should hold your toes when checking kicks. One camp believes that your toes should be down and the other thinks your toes should be up.

Toes Down

Those that think your toes should be down when checking kicks think this for two reasons.

The first is because they think pointing your toes up could have a higher possibility of breaking your toes. They also believe by pointing your toes down it covers for surface area.

Toes Up

Then there are those that think you should have your toes up when checking a kick. This group thinks lifting your toes up makes your check stronger. 

The Reality 

The truth is that it doesn’t matter how you hold your toes when checking a kick. You can break your toes whether you hold them up or down and holding them up doesn’t make your check stronger. What is important is that you block the kick.

Always Remember To Check Leg Kicks

Learning to check leg kicks is an important defensive technique that you must know in MMA. Always remember to check leg kicks if you don’t want to have a purple leg like Urijah Faber had.

How To Become An MMA Fighter


Many young MMA fans aspire to be fighters from the first moment they watch a fight. They want to become an MMA fighter, but don’t know where to begin.

If you’ve ever wanted to know how to become an MMA fighter, this is your chance. We’ve put together a full guide of everything you need to know to begin your journey as an MMA fighter.

Buy MMA Gear

Before you can start training to be an MMA fighter, you’re going to need training gear. Most MMA gyms sell gear, but if you want to be prepared, you should buy your gear beforehand.

You’ll need:

  • MMA Gear Bag
  • MMA Gloves(6-8oz)
  • Boxing Gloves
  • Shin Pads
  • Hand Wraps
  • Rash Guards
  • MMA Shorts
  • Water Bottle

MMA Gear Recommendations

If you need some MMA gear recommendations, we can help you out with that. Here are some gear recommendations for you to buy before you start training.

RDX MMA Gloves: RDX makes a great pair of value MMA gloves that are great to pick up when you’re just beginning your MMA training. They have the look of high priced gloves while having the qualities of one. Offering great wrist and knuckle protection along with an open palm design that won’t overheat your hands.

Venum Contender Boxing Gloves 2.0: These boxing gloves from Venum are a great choice and will last you a long time. They are comfortable semi-leather gloves that give a perfect fit and make you feel like you’re a fighter.’

Elite Sports Shin Guards: Elite Sports Shin Guards are an Amazon’s Choice product that are affordable and have a clean look. They are versatile pieces of equipment that can be used for both kickboxing or MMA. Fully adjustable and designed to keep your shins fully protected.

Anthem Athletics MMA Shorts: Anthem Athletics make some of the best MMA shorts that are available on Amazon. They made their shorts with tear resistant fabric that is quick drying, so you don’t get weighed down during training.  These shorts are currently available in 9 styles and 10 sizes.

Find A Good MMA Gym

The first step to become an MMA fighter is to find an MMA gym. Not just any MMA gym, but one with a reputation for being a good school and producing fighters.

Don’t pick any random gym that’s near your home out of convenience. If you have to travel a little to go to the best gym, you’ll have to make that sacrifice.

Many of the best MMA fighters travel to train for their fight camps. It’s just part of the job.

Do Your Research

You’re going to have to do your research and see which are the best gyms in your area. Look into who the coaches are and what their backgrounds are.

The most known and respected coaches are easy to find on the internet. You can easily find their credentials online and see what their reputations are.

Schedule Visits

Once you’ve narrowed down the gyms you may like to train in, you should contact them and schedule visits. Go see the gyms and meet the coaches to see if you mesh well with them

While you’re there, you can get all of the information you need.

  • Training Schedule
  • What They Teach
  • Prices
  • Beginner Classes
  • Does the gym sell MMA gear?

Try Free Classes

You don’t have to sign up at the first MMA gym you visit. See what gyms offer free trial classes and take advantage of them.

Trial classes are the best way to see if you like the gym and like the way the classes are run. If you train at one that you really like, then that’s the one you should sign up at.

What Discipline Should You Learn First? 

One of the biggest questions that aspiring fighters ask before they start training is which fighting discipline they should learn first. A very good question that has a different answer depending on who you ask.

Let’s go over the benefits of learning either grappling or striking first.

The Benefits Of Learning Striking First 

There are numerous benefits to learning striking first for MMA. The biggest of course being that you know how to strike.

Being proficient at using your fists, elbows, knees, kicks, and being able to mix them together in combos. As you learn striking, you’ll also have an understanding of different striking ranges.

Knowing these striking ranges will also make you able to defend against an opponent’s striking.

The Benefit Of Learning Grappling First 

Learning grappling first also has numerous benefits. As you’ve probably seen in the old UFC fights, straight grapplers almost always beat strikers.

When you put a striker on their back, this cancels out their striking ability. Knowing how to grapple can also open up your striking game and make you more well rounded.

The Real Answer

Either learning striking or grappling first does have their benefits, but neither is the right answer. The real answer is that if you’re in an MMA gym, you should be learning both aspects of the sport simultaneously.

You will need to learn both disciplines in order to be a good MMA fighter. Good modern MMA gyms have both high level striking and grappling coaches to help you learn the basics of the sport.

Learn both disciplines at the same time to become a more complete fighter.

What Techniques Should I Learn?

MMA consists of many different martial arts techniques that you will learn over the years to develop your skills. Here is an overview of all of the basics you should learn when first training to become an MMA Fighter.

Basic Striking

When it comes to learning striking, you of course have to start with the basics. You won’t be learning how to throw jump knees or 360 roundhouses right from the beginning.

The main elements of striking that you will need to learn first include:

  • Stance
  • Guards
  • Proper Punching Mechanics
  • Proper Kicking Mechanics

Everything starts with your stance and learning to keep your hands up. These are the foundations of a good striking game.

Once you learn how to hold a good stance and move in it, you can then learn basic striking combos. These skills won’t develop overnight, so be patient.

Basic Jiu Jitsu

Grappling is a large part of MMA, which is why you have to learn how to handle yourself on the ground. When you’re first learning Jiu Jitsu for MMA, there is one aspect that you should really focus on first. Your defense.

Begin developing your Jiu Jitsu game by developing a great defense. Focus on learning how to defend everything from submissions and escaping bad positions at the beginning.

After developing a great defense, you can then open up your game and not be afraid of anything your opponents try.

Basic Wrestling

Wrestling is arguably the most important aspect of MMA that you must learn. In modern MMA, almost all of the top fighters have a background in wrestling.

You will have to learn how to execute everything from:

  • Single Leg Takedowns
  • Double Leg Takedowns
  • Sprawls
  • Sit-outs

To go along with these wrestling basics, you will also have to learn to fight from the clinch. Knowing how to hand fight to defend takedowns and get in position to land takedowns.


You’re not only going to have to spend hours training, but also dedicate part of your week to doing conditioning. Every MMA fighter in any of the big organizations does some form of conditioning to build up their strength and endurance.

The options you have for conditioning training are literally endless, but here are some of the best options for you.

HIIT Training 

HIIT training is a go to style of conditioning for many top MMA athletes. The short rounds of explosive movements followed by brief recovery periods are perfect for the demands of MMA.

These types of workouts mimic how a real fight can really feel. Quick bursts of energy during attacks followed by brief rest periods when you’re setting up your next move.

Also one of the great things about HIIT training is that they aren’t time consuming. You can get in a great conditioning session in less than 30 minutes.

Circuit Training 

Circuit training is another great idea for conditioning that is similar to HIIT training. In circuit training, you can implement elements of MMA training into your workouts like bag work and ground and pound.

Mixing these in with a variation of light weights, plyometrics, and explosive movements like hitting a tire with a sledgehammer. Then just like with HIIT training, you have endless possibilities for your workouts that can be done in a short timeframe.

Roadwork & Weights

Then of course, there are the oldest methods of conditioning that include roadwork and lifting weights. Roadwork is the old boxing term for running.

Since combat sports became a profession, fighters have implemented running and weights into their routines. Going for 3-5 mile runs everyday and lifting weights every other day in between training.

These styles of conditioning have been proven effective, which is why fighters have used them for years.

Training Schedule 

If you really want to be an MMA fighter, you’re going to need to be dedicated. You are going to have to sacrifice almost all of your free time in order to become a fighter.

Everything you do will revolve around your training schedule. If you have a job or school schedule that allows it, you should be training just about every single day.

Five days per week is the minimum with each session being 2-3 hours per day. Training twice a day would be even better to help you get in shape and progress your skills.

On top of your training, you will also have to make time a few days a week to do conditioning workouts. This is the life of fighters, whether they’re training for a fight or just developing their skills.

A Really Important Thing To Remember When You’re Training

When you’re beginning your training, there is sort of an unwritten rule about telling your coach you want to be a fighter. They’ve heard thousands of people tell them they want to be fighters and next to none made it happen.

You can tell your coach that you want to be a fighter, but don’t tell them when you want to fight. They will know when it’s the right time to let you try an amateur MMA bout. 

Trust in your coaches and they will guide you in the right direction to become a fighter.

When Will I Be Able To Fight?

When you’ll be able to fight will depend on if you already have a base in another combat sport. If you already have a background in boxing, wrestling, or Jiu Jitsu, you will be able to fight soon.

For those that are starting from the ground up in MMA, you will have to wait much longer to fight. You will have to train at least two years before you can even think about getting an amateur fight.

But don’t stress about how long it will take for you to be able to fight. Just train and when your coach thinks you’re ready, you’ll fight.

What Type of Fighter Should I Be? 

The type of fighter will depend on what facet of MMA you are best at and your body type. For example, if you are gifted with power, then you’ll probably be more of a striker.

But in all honesty, you should strive to be a complete fighter. Being well versed in every area of MMA, so you can handle yourself wherever the fight may go.

Amateur Boxing, Kickboxing & BJJ 

To develop your skills as a young fighter, you should also take the opportunity to do other amateur combat sports. This includes amateur boxing, kickboxing, and BJJ competitions.

Amateur Boxing & Kickboxing

Testing your skills in amateur boxing and kickboxing competitions can really help sharpen up your striking games. Training for one of these competitions will help you develop better punching or kicking mechanics. 

They will also help you understand the two different striking ranges by fighting in both styles. It’ll also give you knowledge and experience if you ever wish to transition between different combat  sports.

BJJ Competitions

BJJ competitions might be the best thing that you can do to improve your grappling for MMA. The intensity is like a fight, except you’re not getting hit, which is a positive.

A lot of young fighters will routinely compete in grappling competitions to sharpen up their ground skills. There are also numerous BJJ competitions put on, so you can always be competing in between MMA fights.

Amateur MMA

If you have a good coach, when they think you’re ready they will sign you up for an amateur MMA fight. These are fights where wins and losses don’t mean anything.

You’re competing to gain experience and develop skills to maybe transition to pro if you’re good enough. Since amateur fights are about gaining experience, you should fight as much as possible.

Try to fight more than 10 fights during your time as an amateur. Then if your coach thinks you’re ready, you will go pro.

Be Patient & Train

The best piece of advice that we can give you is to just be patient and train. Training to become an MMA fighter is a marathon and not a sprint.

You have to take the time to develop your skills and make sure you’re ready to fight. If you are patient and take the time to train properly, then you’ll have a better chance at a fighting career.

Why Are There 2 Bronze Medals In Judo?


When you watch Judo in the Olympics, you may notice that they give out two bronze medals. Have you ever wondered why there are 2 bronze medals in Judo?

Let’s go over the reasons why there are two bronze medals in Olympic Judo. We’ll also go over other Olympic competitions that also give out two bronze medals.

Why are there  bronze medals in Judo? There are four different reasons why Judo has two bronze medals. This is due to the nature of the brackets, no rematches, time, and team medal count.

The Nature Of The Brackets 

The nature of the brackets is the biggest reason why Judo has two bronze medals. Some call the Judo tournament system “the last eight repechage.”

In this system, the last eight competitors will compete for medals. The finals decide the gold and silver medalist, and four other consolidation matches or repechages decide the bronze medalists.

These repechage matches are between the losers of the quarter and semi-finals matches. The four losers of the quarter finals matches go against each other first to decide who faces the losing semifinalists.

After the initial repechage matches take place, the bronze medal matches are set. Whoever wins these last two consolidation matches become the bronze medalists of the tournament.

No Rematches

The way this type of bracket works means that there will be no rematches. If a competitor beats their opponent, they will not have to face them again.

They could possibly compete in the consolidation rounds, but not against one another. It’s even possible that a competitor and a previous opponent they beat could both end up in third place.


Time restraints are another reason that this system is in place. Especially within Olympic Judo, where each weight class must be finished that day.

If the event is televised, the organization running the tournament(like the Olympics) buys a certain amount of TV time. They cannot go over their allotted time or they will have to pay fees to the TV stations for going over. It could also be because the organization running the event rented the venue for a specific amount of time. 

Team Medal Count

In Judo competitions, competitors not only represent themselves, but also their country. To go along with the single competitor awards, there are also awards for the teams with the most medalists.

By having an extra bronze medal, this increases a team’s chance adding to their medal count. Having this extra medal could decide whether a team takes home the team championship or not.

What Is The Bracket System In Judo?

The bracket system in Judo is a mixture of two different systems. A single elimination knockout system and a repechage system.

At first, the competition began as a single elimination system. If a competitor loses in the opening rounds, they are out of the competition.

But once the competition reaches the quarter finals, it turns into a repechage system. Competitors in these consolidation rounds must either win one to two matches to earn bronze.

Two if they were eliminated in the quarter finals, and just one match if they go to the semifinals.

The Positive Of This Bracket System

This type of bracket system may seem odd, but it does have some advantages to it. Namely three that make the system work.

Having An Absolute Winner

By Judo using this system, it creates an absolute winner of the competition. Obviously if a competitor wins all of their matches, they are the true winner of the tournament. Then of course, the loser of the finals would be the silver medalists.

No Rematches

No rematches is a very good positive to this bracket system. If you beat an opponent, you will never have to face them again in that tournament.

This makes it to where the later matches in the tournament are new and have the potential to be exciting. 

More Medals

In a major Judo competition, this bracket system gives four competitors the opportunity to win medals. For many Judokas, it is their dream to win or place at the Judo world championship or the Olympics.

This second bronze medal gives them an extra opportunity to earn a medal.

The Negatives Of The Judo Bracket System

The bracket system used in Judo is arguably one of the best systems used in combat sports. But there are two particular negatives that one could argue the system has.

No Third Place Match

In this bracket system, there is no third place match. One could argue that this means there is no true bronze medalist using this system.

 Are There Any Other Events That Give Out Two Bronze Medals?

Judo is not the only Olympic event that gives out two bronze medals. There are several other sports that also give out two bronze medals.

  • Wrestling(Greco Roman and Freestyle)
  • Judo
  • Karate
  • Taekwondo
  • Boxing

The reason why these other combat sports give two bronzes is because they run the same way as Judo. They’re single elimination tournaments, where there’s an absolute winner, and no re-matches.

Quarter finals losers compete in repechage matches to face the semi final losers to decide the bronze medals.

Will Judo Ever Change Their Bracket System

It is not likely that the International Judo Federation will ever make changes to their bracket system. They are fairly set in their ways on how their tournaments should be run.

The IJF constantly makes changes to rules within the competition, but not the system itself. If they see no issue with their bracket system, then it is likely to never be changed.

Is This A Good System To Use For Tournaments?

This system that Judo uses is one of the best you can use for a tournament. It ensures that there is an absolute winner and gives certain losing competitors the opportunity to win medals.

Some may argue that there needs to be a true third place match, but due to time restraints, this isn’t possible.

What Does Cupping Do For Athletes?

Many athletes, including BJJ and MMA fighters, use different methods to aid their recovery. One method that is becoming more popular is the cupping method.

You’ve probably seen videos of cupping being done but may not know what it is used for. That is why we’re going to do in-depth and see what cupping does for athletes.

We’ll go over all of the benefits of cupping and a little bit into the history of the practice.

What does cupping do for athletes? The process of cupping has numerous health benefits for athletes that use it. Every from fighting off inflammation, improving blood flow, reducing trigger points, and relieving pain. These benefits and many more are why more athletes are trying cupping therapy.

What is Cupping?

Cupping is a form of alternative medicine where cups are heated up and placed on a patient’s skin. The cups being heated up causes them to suction onto their skin and raise it into the cups.

This suction causes the tissue to stretch up. Increasing blood flow and activating the patient’s immune system and flushes the area, which is why the skin turns purple.

Dry and Wet Cupping

There are actually two styles of cupping that are used. Dry cupping and wet cupping.

Dry Cupping: Dry cupping is the more traditional style, where cups are heated and cause suction on your skin. A more modern form of dry cupping uses a rubber pump instead of fire to create suction.

Some therapists will use another method where they move the cups around instead of leaving them in one spot. Creating a sensation of a massage mixed with cupping. The cups are left on for three minutes in all of these dry cupping methods.

Wet Cupping: Wet cupping starts out the same as dry cupping but with a slight twist. After three minutes, the suction cups are removed, and the therapist retrieves a scalpel.

They begin to make small incisions around the suctioned skin where excess blood has risen. Basically a modern form of bloodletting where they remove toxic blood that rose to the skin’s surface. The therapist will then rubber antibiotic cream around the cut areas to prevent infections.

The History of Cupping 

It’s hard to pinpoint who developed cupping therapy because so many cultures have used the method. Everyone from ancient Egyptians, Chinese, Greek, and Islamic cultures have used cupping.

The Egyptians

Egyptians may have been the originators of cupping. One of the oldest known medical textbooks is the Egyptian Ebers Papyrus details the cupping method. 

Ancient drawings within the Temple Kom Ombo also show that cupping was used. They used cupping for everything from fevers, menstrual imbalances, pain, and vertigo.

Chinese Herbalist Ge Hong

Cupping could have possibly been developed within China like many other forms of alternative medicine. In Chinese history, this alternative medicine can be dated back to the Han Dynasty.

A famous herbalist named Ge Hong is considered the first to use cupping in China. Hong believed that the use of cupping mixed with acupuncture could cure half of a person’s ailments.

Cupping in Ancient Greece

In ancient Greece, cupping was used by Hippocrates, who is considered the father of modern medicine. Hippocrates would use cupping for menstruation irregularities and many other ailments. These cupping uses were documented in some of the medical guides he wrote. 

Cupping in Ancient Islam

In ancient Islam, the cupping method is known as “al-hijamah.” Famous ancient Islamic physicians from Al-Zahrawi, Ibn Sina, and Abu Bakr Al-Rizi all documented the cupping process within their literature.

Cupping In Europe

After cupping was innovated in the cultures noted above, the practice would be adopted within Europe during the Renaissance era. It was popular in Italy for treating arthritis and gout for many years

The Benefits of Cupping

Cupping provides numerous benefits to athletes, which is why it has rebounded in popularity. Here are some of the numerous benefits that come from cupping.

Inflammation Reduction

One of the biggest problems for BJJ athletes and MMA fighters is inflammation in their muscles. Nagging muscle inflammation is painful and can prevent them from training.

The process of cupping heats up the areas suffering from inflammation and breaks it up by increasing the blood flow. 

Release Scar Tissue

Some athletes with prior surgeries, such as on their shoulder, have built up scar tissue around the area. This scar tissue can lead to problems persisting in the area, which is why it must be released.

This is why many athletes turn to cupping or massages to help release the scar tissue to help with healing.

Pain Relief 

Constant hard training will inevitably lead to muscle pain, making it hard to continue. By doing routine cupping sessions, combat sports athletes can continue training at a high level without stopping due to pain.

Improve Circulation and Mobility

Athletes might suffer from bad circulation that causes trigger points and lack of mobility around a joint. Cupping can help improve blood circulation to release trigger points and improve an athlete’s mobility.

Better Than Anti-Pain Meds

Many athletes will take over-the-counter pain meds like Tylenol or aspirin to deal with pain. In the long run, these meds do more harm than good and mask the pain instead of removing it.

Cupping is a much better option that actually treats the pain and won’t give you future health problems. 

Possible Negative Effects of Cupping

Even though cupping may offer many benefits to athletes, it may also give them other negative effects. Here are some of the possible negative effects of cupping.

Persistent Skin Discoloration

You may feel the positive effects of cupping, but doing it too much can lead to skin discoloration. You may develop semi-permanent suction circles on your body for overdoing it with the cupping.


A therapist that is just learning the cupping method may make some errors during one of the processes. One of the biggest is getting the cups too hot, which can lead to burns on your skin.

Worsen Skin Conditions

You may need to avoid cupping if you suffer from a chronic skin condition, such as eczema or psoriasis. Your sensitive skin may become irritated and cause a flare-up of your skin condition.


Infection is less likely with the dry cupping method but is possible with the wet cupping method. If you’re prone to infections, you may need to avoid cupping altogether and stick to massages.

Does Cupping Really Work? 

Even though cupping has been used for centuries, there is no solid proof that it works. That is why cupping is categorized as “alternative medicine.”

But if something has been consistently used in numerous cultures for centuries, there may actually be something to it. This could be one of the many reasons for its resurgence in recent years.

Should Combat Sports Athletes Use Cupping?

Combat sports athletes should do any type of therapy they feel is beneficial to stay on the mat. Whether it’s cupping, massages or acupuncture. Any one or a combination of all three can help MMA fighters and BJJ athletes on the mat and training.

What’s The Difference Between Judo And Karate?


Judo and Karate are the two most known and practiced of all of the Japanese martial arts. They often get compared to one another with people wanting to know what their main differences are.

Let’s go ahead and answer that question along with facts about both Judo and Karate. We’ll also list some of the similarities between these two martial arts.

What’s the difference between Judo and Karate? The difference between Judo and Karate is that Judo is a grappling art, while Karate is a striking art. One is designed to get an opponent to the ground, while the other’s objective is to immobilize them with strikes.

The Histories of Judo and Karate

Judo and Karate may be polar opposites, but their histories do coincide with each other. Here is a quick rundown of the histories of Judo and Karate. 

The History of Judo 

Judo was created in the late 1800s by Jigoro Kanu. Jigoro Kanu was a man of small stature, who was constantly bullied as a child.

This drove him to learn jujutsu grappling styles. Throughout his time in studying in the university, Kano has learned jujutsu styles along with western wrestling techniques that he read.

After years of developing his own grappling ability, Kano would begin developing his own grappling style. One that he would decide to call Judo.

In the 1880s, Kano would open the Kodokan Judo Institute in 1882. At first, Kano had a low number of students, but Judo would quickly catch on.

By the early 1900s, Kano had thousands of students at the Kotokan. He had even gotten Judo clubs to be added into schools and universities throughout Japan.

But Kano was not satisfied with this and wanted to bring Judo to the world. He sent his best students around the world to teach the art of Judo.

Before Kano’s death, he would see his martial art be taught throughout the world.

The History of Karate

The story of the development of Karate begins on the island of Okinawa. Karate was primarily based off of martial arts styles that were developed on the island and particularly Ryukyu Kempo.

Also various styles of Chinese martial arts that were shared by Chinese fishermen that came to Okinawa. The martial art was initially called “toudi” which translates to “Chinese Hand.”

There were many martial artists that had a hand in developing Karate, but two in particular were vital in its development. Itosu Anko and Gichin Funakoshi.

Itosu Anko was a lifelong toudi practitioner who became secretary of the last king of the Ryukyu Kingdom. He would be instrumental in getting toudi(Karate) introduced into Okinawan schools in the 1900s.

Anko also wrote the 10 precepts of Karate along with the Pinan forms of Karate. Modernized versions of basic katas that he felt were easier to learn than the older forms.

Gichin Funakoshi was the person responsible for spreading Karate across Japan and later the world. His first step in marketing the martial art was changing the name toudi to Karate.

This was to remove the Chinese aspect of the name in order for the Japanese to accept it. He would also include martial arts Gis, which he took from the art of Judo.

After these changes, Funakoshi was able to hold various Karate demonstrations within Tokyo. Even holding one demonstration at the Kotokan after being invited by Master Kano.

These demonstrations would lead to Karate being widely embraced by the Japanese. It would soon be held in the same regard as Judo and be included in all Japanese schools and universities.

Later becoming one of the most practiced martial arts in the world.

The Main Differences Between Judo and Karate 

Judo and Karate have a wide range of differences between them. Here are the four main differences between Judo and Karate.

The Techniques of Each Martial Art 

The most obvious differences between Karate and Judo are the techniques of each martial art. Karate is a strictly striking martial art that is all done from standing.

Teaching a wide variety of kicks, hand strikes, and elbows. All of which are performed in 2-3 hit combos that are designed to quickly dispatch an opponent.

Judo is a strictly grappling martial art that does not teach striking. It consists of throws and submissions that are set up with grips, footwork, and leverage.

Karate is Aggressive and Judo is defensive

Karate is considered to be an aggressive style of martial art. All of the techniques are delivered with power and force, which are designed to end a fight quickly.

Judo is considered a defensive martial art, where you react to an opponent’s movements. Using technique and leverage to take an opponent to the ground.

Although, anyone that has seen a Judo competition will probably disagree with this difference.

The Gis That They Train In 

Both Judo and Karate train in martial arts Gis, but they are very different from one another. A Judo Gi is made of thicker material to withstand the grappling demands of the martial arts.

Karate Gis are more lightweight and usually made with a light cotton or cotton blend. The sleeves and lapels of the Gi tops are also noticeably shorter than those in Judo Gis.

Different Belt Systems

Both Karate and Judo use belt systems, but they are very different from one another. To show the difference we listed the belt system of Shotokan Karate and the Judo belt system used in the US.

Karate Belt System

  • White Belt
  • Yellow Belt
  • Orange Belt 
  • Green Belt
  • Blue Belt
  • Brown Belt
  • Black Belt

Judo Belt System

  • White Belt 
  • Yellow Belt
  • Orange Belt
  • Green Belt
  • Blue Belt
  • Purple Belt
  • Brown Belt 
  • Black Belt

The Similarities Between Judo and Karate

Even though Judo and Karate seem vastly different, they do share some common traits with one another. Here are the main similarities between the arts of Judo and Karate.

Judo and Karate are Both Japanese Martial Arts

Judo and Karate may have different techniques and philosophies, they are both still Japanese martial arts. Not just Japanese martial arts, but they are the most practiced and known throughout the world.

Both Styles Train In A Gi 

Judo and Karate share the similarity that both arts are practiced in Gi uniforms. They may be different, but Gichin Funakoshi was actually inspired by Judo to add Gis into Karate.

This was to show that Karate was a formal and respectful martial art. Not a fighting style practiced by thugs on the street.

Before the development of lightweight Karate Gis, early Karatekas would train in Judo Gis. Master Funakoshi even did the famous Karate demonstration at the Kodokan in a Judo Gi.

Both Use A Belt System

Even though Judo and Karate use different belt systems, the two martial arts do share the commonality of a belt system. This was another part of Judo that was adopted into Karate along with the Gi. 

Karate also initially used the original Judo ranking system before developing their own. Now each style of Karate has their own belt system.


Even though the arts of Judo and Karate are different, they hold many things in common. Both of their stories intersect and the art of Karate would look a lot different without the influence of Judo.

Both went on to become globally practiced martial arts that are practiced by millions.

How Long Does It Take To Learn Judo?


Those that want to get into Judo training often have the same question. How long does it take to learn Judo?

We’re going to give you the full answer below along with detailing the techniques that you’ll learn during this time.

How long does it take to learn Judo? It will take you about a year to learn the basics of Judo. However, to become highly skilled in Judo takes years of training and dedication.

Fundamental Judo Movements You Must Learn

The first techniques that you will learn in Judo are the basic movements. Once you get these movements down, then you can begin learning different throws and sweeps.

The fundamentals of Judo you first learn include:

  • Posture
  • Footwork
  • Body Movement
  • Falling Techniques
  • Gripping Techniques
  • Setting Up Throws


Having good posture is everything in Judo and makes it hard for an opponent to throw you. Your back must be straight and your feet planted directly under your hips.

The position of your head must  also be centered above your hips. Slightly up and Focusing your view between your opponent’s hips and chest.

Footwork(Suri ashi)

The steps you take enable you to set up your throws against your opponent. Not only to set up techniques, but also prevent techniques from being done on you.

Proper footwork for Judo will include learning how to step without lifting your leg high or putting too much. Also being able to shift your weight, while keeping your weight balanced between your feet.

Body Movement(Tai sabaki)

Body movements are important for you to move your body to set up throws. These movements include: front movement control, back movement control, and front turn movement control. 


Just like in BJJ, you must learn to break fall before learning any techniques. In Judo, they call breakfalls ukemi.

The types of ukemi you learn include:

  • Forward Falling
  • Backward Falling
  • Sideways Falling
  • Falling Rolls(Forward & Backward)

Gripping Techniques(Kumi kate)

Learning all of the basic gripping techniques are included in your first Judo classes. These grips will enable you to set up different types of throws depending on the type of grips you use.

Unbalancing Opponent(Kuzushi)

Unbalancing your opponent is the first step of your set up into your Judo throw. You’ll learn in your first classes how to force your opponent’s weight to each side to start your set ups.

Making an Opening(Tsukuri)

Tsukuri are the entry steps into opening your throws. Basic entries are  generally between 1-3 steps.

Basic Grips 

Let’s go  step further and list some of the kumi kate or basic grips that you’ll use in Judo.

  • Sleeve & Collar Grips
  • Double Sleeve Grips
  • Double Sleeve Grips(Same Side)
  • Double Collar Grips
  • Double Collar Grips(Same Side)
  • Sleeve Grip & Head Control

Blocking & Breaking Grips

Not only do you have to know how to get grips, but also how to block and break them. Here is a list of different grip breaks that you will learn.

To prevent grips, you will practice parry blocks, where you practice swatting your opponent’s hands away.

  • Push & Pull:  Push opponent back by the collar as you pull your arm back to break their sleeve grip.
  • Roll Over/Under & Rip
  • Elbow Lift & Twist
  • C Grip Sleeve Break
  • Reverse C Grip

Here is a breakdown of some of the grip breaks in these two videos.

Basic Throws You Will Learn

After you spend your first classes learning fundamental Judo movements, you then move on to basic Judo throws. Here are 5 basic Judo throws listed below along with details for how to execute them.

Uchi gari

The uchi gari or inside trip is one of the easiest takedowns in Judo. It consists of three steps with a basic sleeve and high collar grip.

Start your set up with a cross front step, followed by a back step. Then hook your front foot behind your opponent’s foot and fall forward.

The force of your fall forward, along with your leg hook makes your opponent fall with ease.

O soto gari

The o soto gari is the sister trip of the uchi gari. Instead of an inside leg trip, the soto is an outside trip. You’re going to start with a basic collar and sleeve grip.

Use your grips to pull your opponent towards your sleeve grip to get them heavy on that leg. Next, step to that side with your mirror side foot, then take a big cross step to hook your opponent’s leg.

Hook your foot behind your opponent’s knee. Then to finish the trip, push your opponent with your collar grip as you do a back kick.

Koshi Guruma

A basic koshi guruma throw can come off a counter when your opponent has an underhook and sleeve grip. It’s a basic two step throw.

When your opponent has an underhook, you’re going to wrap their head and break their posture. At the same time, you’re grabbing your opponent’s sleeve at the elbow and lifting it up.

To go into the throw, you’re going to step in with your lead foot and do a cross step. These steps put you in position to load your opponent and take them over to complete the throw.

O goshi

The o goshi throw is the sister throw to the koshi guruma. This is where your opponent has an overhook, while you have an underhook.

Take your underhook arm and grab your opponent’s belt as you keep their arm to their hip. The steps for this throw are the exact same as the koshi.

Step in, cross step, load your opponent, and take them over to finish the throw.

Sasae tsuri komi ashi

This technique is a counter if your opponent has a strong overhook that will block the goshi throw. Instead, you’re going to go to the sasae.

Keep them the same grips as if you’re doing the goshi and do the initial entry step. But your second step is going to go right next to your opponent’s foot instead of between their legs.

Use your grips to lift your opponent  and kick out their leg with your foot to complete the technique.

Here is a visual for all 5 techniques for you to watch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFhiz7dcEkM&ab_channel=ShintaroHigashi

How Often Do I Need to Train to Learn Judo?

If you want to learn Judo in a quicker time, then you will have to train regularly. The minimum to achieve this is training at least three times a week. 

But if you can train more than three days a week, you’ll get Judo down at a faster rate.


Judo is a great martial art that is incredibly beneficial to learn. If you’re serious about learning Judo, then it will take you about a year to learn the basic concepts of the martial art. Be sure to commit, train hard, and you will learn Judo in no time.

How Much Does A Karate Instructor Make?


Karate practitioners that are passionate about the martial art often want to become instructors. Although, some aren’t sure if they can really make a living being a karate instructor.

That’s why we’re going to answer the question, how much does a karate instructor make? Going over the median price that karate instructors annually make along with the highest and lowest salaries.

We’ll also go over how you can become a karate instructor and how you can earn the most money teaching.

How much does a karate instructor make? According to the website Zip Recruiter shares these statistics. The average annual pay for a full time karate instructor is $47,188. Other annual salaries include $115,500 for the highest salaries and the lowest salaries at $11,000.

The pay scale for a karate instructor

As noted from the data from the website Zip Recruiter, the salary of a Karate instructor is broken into three groups. The high end, median average and low end.

Lowest karate instructor salaries($11,000)

The lowest noted annual salaries of karate instructors was marked at $11,000. These numbers are most likely for instructors that work less than 20 hours a week. Most likely working at an after school program or some kind of rec center.

Median salaries of karate instructor($47,188)

This is the national average that karate instructors make across the US. It is a decent living doing something that you love to do, but won’t make you rich by any means.

Highest Karate salaries($115,500)

Karate instructors that net over $100k a year are the hustlers of the industry and likely the best at business. To earn this much, they most likely have high gym fees and over various other things along with karate.

How do you become a karate instructor?

Before worrying about how much you can make being a karate instructor, you first have to know how to become one. There are two things you need to do in order to become a karate instructor.

  • Earn your black belt in karate
  • Getting experience as an assistant instructor

Become a karate black belt

The most obvious step to become a karate instructor is to earn your black belt in karate. Potential students will only want to learn from an experienced black belt that has vast experience in the martial art. Once you earn your black belt, you can take steps to become an instructor.

Be an assistant instructor

Many karate schools have a program for students that want to become future instructors. When they are a high colored belt or young black belt, they can choose to be assistant instructors.

Any owner of a karate school at one point was an assistant instructor in their first gym. Being an assistant instructor will give you the experience needed to become a head instructor in the future.

Where can a karate instructor work? 

As a karate instructor, you have a few different options for places that you can work. There’s a variety of different places that have openings for karate instructors.

Some of these different places include:

  • Your own academy
  • Rec Centers
  • Sports Centers
  • Churches/Religious Centers
  • Freelance

Own your own academy

The dream for just about every aspiring karate instructor is to own their own school. Being their own boss and running classes the way they want in their own Karate academy. We’ll go further into how to open your own karate school in the next section.

Rec Centers

A lot of rec centers offer after school programs that include karate classes. They are always hiring, so you can definitely land a teaching job at these types of places.

Sports Centers

There are many workout gyms that are becoming sports centers. All in places, where you can work out and participate in various types of sports like karate. Gyms like LifeTime Fitness are a good example of these types of places.

Places of worship

Other places that offer karate as after school programs in places of worship like churches or mosques. If you’re a religious person or more open minded, you can find a job working in one of these places.


Thanks to this modern age of technology, you can even work as a freelance karate instructor. There are various websites and apps people use to set up private lessons to learn karate. You can teach karate from your home, travel to student’s homes, or even online.

How to open your own karate school?

The dream of anyone that wants to be a karate instructor is to own their own school. Here is what you need to know about opening your own karate school.

Choose a location

The first step in owning your own karate school is choosing a location to open your school. You are really going to have to do your research and scout out potential areas. A place that you can afford paying rent and get a lot of traffic, so people can see your school.

Buy Equipment

If you want to own a karate school, you’re going to need to buy equipment to deck it out. You’re going to need everything from:

  • Mats
  • Punching Bags
  • Kimonos
  • Sparring Gear
  • Front Desk
  • Chairs For Parents

Take out a loan

Opening a karate school is expensive and takes a lot more money than most people have. Consider going to a bank to see if you can take out a loan to open your own school. 

How to make more as a karate instructor? 

Your goal should not only be a karate instructor, but also how to be a successful one. Here are three things you can do to make more as a karate instructor.

Choose a good location

We touched on this in the previous section, but we’re going to expand on the importance of a good location. A good location will decide if your school will succeed or fail. 

You need to choose a good location, where there’s a dense population and one that is more affluent. This will help you get more students and earn more for running classes.

Learn how to be a sales person 

Teaching karate isn’t your only job as an instructor. You also have to be a good sales person to potential clients.

Being able to confidently talk to potential clients and make them want to learn from you. If you aren’t a good communicator, then you may not make much as a karate instructor.

Be a mentor

Making a good living from being a karate instructor is more than just teaching the martial art. You also have to be a mentor to your students.

Be someone that can help them with something in their personal life and better them as a person. Having a good reputation can definitely factor into growth in your teaching salary.

Offer different programs

Many karate schools don’t just offer karate in their schools, but a variety of other types of programs. Successful karate schools offer everything from:

  • Weapons classes
  • Adult Fitness Classes
  • Grappling Classes
  • After School programs

Offering any one of these programs along with karate can help you earn more as an instructor.

Go follow your dream of being a karate instructor

Being a karate instructor is a lot of work, but it is a fulfilling job. You can make a good living being one and even get paid well to do what you love. All you need to do is put in the work and you can make a living being a karate instructor.

How is Judo Scored in the Olympics?


If you’re a combat sports enthusiast, you‘ve probably tuned into the Olympics to watch the Judo matches. For those that have never practiced or competed in Judo, the scoring may be a little confusing.

That’s why we’ve put together this article to explain how Judo is scored in the Olympics. We’ll go over how an Olympic Judo match is won and how points are scored.

How is Judo scored in the Olympics? There are three different types of scores in Olympic Judo that include ippon, waza-ari, and yuko. An ippon wins the match, a waza-ari scores 10 points, and a yuko scores 1 point.

The ways to score in Olympic Judo

Competitors in Olympic Judo can score in three different ways. The three ways that they can score include:

  1. Ippon
  2. Waza-ari
  3. Yuko


An ippon is when a Judoka lands a perfect technique on their opponent. The Olympics’ definition of an ippon is a full throw that is done with considerable force and speed.

To be awarded an ippon, the opponent must land directly or largely on their back. Landing a perfect throw will result in an automatic win for the Judoka athlete.

There is another way that an ippon can be awarded within the Olympics. That is when an athlete is held down on the ground in a submission hold for 20 seconds.

Ippons are also awarded if the opponent submits or gets put to sleep from a Gi choke. Whenever an ippon occurs, the official will raise their arm straight up declaring the match over.

Example of an ippon by technique 

An example of an award by technique would be if a Judoka lands a perfect osoto-gari on their opponent. The opponent is tripped and falls flat on their back. Resulting in a win for the competitor that scored.

Example of a grounded ippon

An example of a grounded ippon could be where an opponent defended a takedown, but fell to the ground. The competitor that ends up on type locks in a Canto choke that puts their opponent to sleep. As a result, they are awarded an ippon and win the match.


A waza-ari is where a successful throw or sweep was landed, but the opponent did not land on their back. Also because the throw did not have the speed or force to be considered an ippon.

Another way to earn a waza-ari is by controlling an opponent on the ground for at least 15 seconds. But the opponent did not submit or get put to sleep within this time frame.

Landing a waza-ari will result in a competitor earning 10 points. If they score 2 waza-aris in their match, this will result in the match ending.

The referee will signal a win by waza-ari by raising their arm at shoulder level and straightening it to the side.

Example of a waza-ari by technique

An example of earning a waza-ari from a throwing technique could be successfully landing a seoi-nage. But the opponent did not land on their back or the throw wasn’t powerful enough to be considered an ippon. This will result in 10 points for the competitor.

Example of a waza-ari on the ground

A grounded waza-ari could be that an opponent fell to the ground and you ended up on top of them. You either held them down for less than 20 seconds or applied a submission, but they didn’t submit and escaped.


A yuko is considered an almost waza-ari. This is when a competitor lands a throw or sweep, but it wasn’t technical, nor done with speed or force.

The opponent also did not land on their back. On the ground, a yuko is awarded when a submission is held for less than 15 seconds.

A number of yukos do not equal a waza-ari or an ippon. The referee will put their arm out at a 45 degree angle to signal a point for a yuko.

An example of a yuko by technique

An example of earning a yuko could be by landing a sloppy uchi-mata throw, where the opponent fell on their side. The referee will award you one point for landing this technique.

An example of a yuko on the ground

When an opponent falls to the ground and the competitor secures an armbar. They have the submission, but their opponent escapes before the 15 second mark.


There are two different penalties that can be handed down by a referee in a Judo competition. They could either be a hansoku-make or a shido.


A hansoku-make is the negative equivalent of an ippon that results in an immediate disqualification of a competitor. Basically a competitor is sighted for unsportsmanlike conduct and loses the match.

Hansoku-makes can be handed down with one bad infringement or the rules or multiple small infringements. Either way, this results in the offending competitor losing the match.


Shidos are smaller infringements of the rules of competition that do not result in a disqualification. Although if a competitor receives 4 shidos, that equals a hansoku-make and results in them losing the match.

Types of shidos include:

  • Non-combativity
  • Intentionally stepping out of bounds
  • Playing defensively
  • Hands to an opponent’s face

Ways to win in Olympic Judo

A Judo match in the Olympics is won by 5 different ways.

  • Ippon
  • 2 waza-aris scored
  • Opponent receives a hansoku penalty
  • Opponent receives 4 shido penalties(adding up to a hansoku penalty)
  • Opponent gets injured and cannot continue.

An Olympic Judo match that goes the distance without an ippon or 2 waza-aris scored, the quality of scores are assessed. If both competitors have one waza-ari each, but one has more yukos, that competitor is declared the winner.

If both competitors have the same score, the winner will be who was given less shido penalties.

The golden score

When a match ends with competitors having the same score of yukos and shidos, the match goes to a golden score. A golden score is basically a sudden death round.

The clocks are reset and whoever scores the first point will be declared the winner. Anything from a yuko or a shido penalty will give a competitor the win.

Is Olympic Judo scored the same as in sport judo?

Yes, Olympic Judo goes by the rules of sport that were implemented by the International Judo Federation.(IJF) They are the main governing body that has worked together with the Olympics ever since Judo became an Olympic sport.

This includes the point system that both governing bodies use.

Also, anytime the IJF makes alterations to the rules of sport Judo, the Olympics adopts those rules into their competitions. For example, if a throw is banned in IJF competition, the Olympics also ban

Kano Judo vs Sport Judo

Olympic Judo in itself is sport Judo, which the founder of Judo, Jigoro Kano was strictly against. He wanted Judo to be seen as a martial art and not a sport.

This difference caused a split within the Judo community. Now, there are Judo schools that are traditional Kano Judo or sport Judo. The type of Judo that you see done within the Olympics.

Go watch Judo matches now with clearer eyes

Judo’s scoring system is rather simple to understand and makes watching a match easy to follow. Now that you have a better understanding of the scoring system, you’ll be able to watch Olympic Judo with clearer eyes!