Referee Training

Kevin MacDonald is a recognized MMA Referee Trainer through the
Association of Boxing Commission

I have learned over the years that becoming a quality MMA official is a process. It is not something that can be taught overnight. Those wishing to take the steps to become a MMA officials should have a very strong working knowledge of both the striking and grappling arts. Referees should have experience “on the mat” to truly understand what is actually going on and what may be happening next. This will ensure that they will be able to be in the right location to make the best call possible.

Referee Training Course

The Referee Training Course is a full day of instruction (9+ hours) which includes powerpoint presentation, video analysis, question and answer discussion, scenario training, and in the cage positioning instruction. Students will be provided with a training manual which covers all topics taught in the course. Topics covered include appearance, how to conduct an effective rules meeting, properly starting and ending a bout, media concerns, judgement calls, proper positioning, and communication. Students are also required to perform submissions and provide detailed explanation of each maneuver. Rules, regulations, and proper enforcement of such will be discussed in detail. A written and practical exam will be given at the end of the day to ensure that all who successfully complete the course have a strong working knowledge of the job and expectations of a professional MMA referee. Students who successfully complete the Referee Training Course will be given a Certificate of Completion for documentation and, if state regulations permit, students may be invited to shadow professional referees at live MMA event(s). After passing the Referee Training Course and shadowing referees at a live event(s), referee candidates will have the tools necessary to step into the cage under supervision and gain invaluable real bout experience.

Course attendees are responsible for understanding, explaining, and applying the following submission maneuvers: Anaconda Choke, Arm Triangle Choke, Guillotine Choke, Neck Crank, North South Choke, Rear Naked Choke, Triangle Choke (standard and inverted), Von Flue Choke, D’Arce Choke, Peruvian Necktie, Twister, Americana Armlock, Arm Bar Submissions, Keylock Submission, Kimura, Omaplata, Gogoplata, Wristlocks, Ankle Locks, Figure Four Toehold, Kneebar, and Heel Hooks (inside and outside).

Course participants must successfully pass a basic physical fitness assessment in addition to passing the course exam to receive a certificate of completion. This assessment consistes of a 5 minute warmup followed by 4 -1 minute tests, each followed by a 1 minute rest. The tests included and minimum passing scores are as followed:

1)20 Squat, Jump, Touch (Squat down, touch the floor, and jump straight into the air)

2)20 Push-Ups

3)10 Sit-Ups

4)10 Burpees (Squat down, put hands on the floor, shoot feet back into push-up position, complete 1 push-up, bring feet back to crouch position, stand and jump up so feet come off the ground)

*If you are interested in hosting a training course, please email