Black Belt Equivalency

We’re really keen to ensure those who practice ungraded disciplines such as Mixed Martial Arts, Martial Arts Based Boxing and Muay Thai (to name but only a few) are able to gain access to our association without putting at risk the strong reputation we hold as a leading governing body.

In addition to our stated entry requirements for those who don’t hold a black belt grade, here’s a bit more guidance on each piece of criteria to help guide you along;

We coined the phrase ‘Black Belt Equivalency’ in 2012 and have now formally standardised the entry routes for those practicing without formal grades. As the original martial arts organisation to recognise and work with an equivalency framework, you can be confident we have a common sense approach to anyone approaching us from ungraded styles.

Time Spent Training (Time Served)

Minimum 4 Years Training

You are required, in all cases, to have been in training for a minimum of 4 years prior to applying for membership. This must be 4 years in the style or discipline in which you are applying to teach.

Instructor Testimony

Instructor Testimonial (Or Professional Reference)

We really like to take referrals or testimonials from your instructors – past or present. It’s one of the best ways we’re able to be sure the background explained to us is honest and accurate, and it provides an excellent source of reference too.

We understand this can be a delicate issue at times, so if you’re thinking of asking an instructor to vouch for you it’s best to speak with us first so you can be sure what we’re looking to see. In short, a letter or e-mail (if e-mailing, from an etc domain is required) stating that your lead instructor is confident and happy to recommend you for unsupervised instruction, and that he/she is happy you are competent, qualified and technically capable of instructing without supervision.

If you’re unsure or need some guidance, please get in touch. We’re happy to contact your instructor directly too if easier.

Documentary Evidence

Documentation & Evidence

The more you can provide us with to help verify your credibility to instruct the better. This might include any of the following;

  • License books
  • Certificates
  • Club memberships
  • Gym receipts or subscriptions
  • Trophies or medals
  • Fight and competition records
  • Official photographs or promotional material
  • Association issued documentation

Please note that what we can accept here is to help back up your application – not to act as a sole representation. If you’re not sure if something is of value to your application please contact our office and we will be happy to help.

Video Assessment

Video Submission

Sometimes the best way to help support an application if you can’t provide testimonials from previous instructors is to provide us with a video submission (or video snapshot) of you performing your stated discipline.

We usually request video demonstrations lasting around 6-15 minutes, showcasing techniques and technical capability. For example, if you’re hoping to be licensed for Mixed Martial Arts we might request a 15 minutes video demonstrating;

  • Jabs, Crosses, Hooks & Uppercuts
  • Roundhouse Kicks, Straight Kicks, Back-Kicks, Side Kicks
  • Grappling & Throws
  • Elbow Combinations
  • Pad & Bag Work
  • Fitness Drills & Shadow Boxing
  • And So On

If our technical board are a little ‘on the fence’ about whether or not a lack of evidence is acceptable often demonstrating your technical abilities and working with pads or partners, to show how you might perform or teach, may also be requested. Usually a video assessment of you practicing – not teaching – in conjunction with some documented evidence is sufficient.

There’s no charge for us accepting a video assessment. It’s not a pass or fail and doesn’t come with any certification etc. f you think this might be the best way to demonstrate your competence, please contact our office and we can discuss the best way to proceed.

Questions About This Requirement?

We're here to help, not hinder.

If you have any questions about whether or not you meet this eligibility requirement, or how your own personal circumstance might affect this, we’d love to hear from you. Everything is in confidence.