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Risk Management & Safety Policy 

Cambridge MMA Risk Management & Safety Policy 

Cambridge MMA recognises that there are sporting risks of injury or even death for participants in MMA, as with many sports/physical activities. These risks are present regardless of Cambridge MMA involvement and engagement and it is essential for individuals to understand the role that they can play in minimising risks to their safety and maximising the positive effects on their health and wellbeing. 

Individuals must take personal responsibility for their own safety every time they step onto the mats and participate in the sport, and coaches must make sure that individuals understand the gravity of their responsibility in their first classes and regularly thereafter. 

Our Coaches are properly qualified and deliver classes in a safe manner and if  they have any doubts in the area of risk management they will contact the business manager for advice and  guidance. 

Instructor qualifications 

All instructors are: 

  • DBS/DS checked so that academy owners can make an assessment of suitability for teaching MMA. 
  • First aid trained in a course related to combat sports 
  • Child protection trained (for those teachers juniors and juveniles) 
  • Valid instructor insurance policy 

Risk assessment 

All coaches should carry out a risk assessment that encompasses the training area, the number of  students and their level of experience whenever they teach a class and apply the guidelines of the  Cambridge MMA in their delivery of the class. 

Accident reporting 

Any incident that results in the administration of first aid should be recorded in the accident book (Gymdesk member notes) & the accident log document in our GoogleDrive. This  should be assessed regularly to see if there are patterns that might be addressed to minimise risks  going forwards.

Training area 

A safe training area is essential to manage the risks associated with MMA. The recommended mats for safe  practice of MMA are 230 kg per cubic metre density tatami with non slip base. Our mats are firm underfoot and have adequate shock absorbing properties. Care must be taken  to avoid gaps in mats or torn surfaces as these can present a significant injury risk. 

The training area must be assessed for potential risks, with particular care taken to identify sharp edges  that might cause serious injury or fatality.

A fully stocked and available first aid kit is provided to treat minor injuries and abrasions. 

Student numbers should not exceed 24 per qualified coach in the training area.  The building should hold valid third party liability insurance. 

The building should comply with all applicable building regulations and fire regulations. 

Tapping Out (Submission techniques) 

Understanding tapping out or submission is essential to the safe practice of MMA. 

Tapping is training! All beginners must understand that tapping out is a normal and healthy part of MMA  and is essential for safe enjoyment of the sport. 

All beginners must be made aware of how tapping out works and the importance of understanding that  tapping out is the personal responsibility of every MMA player and essential to the safe practice of MMA. 

It is essential for beginners to understand that they must always apply techniques in a controlled  manner and give their opponent time to submit and that holds must be released immediately upon  submission. 

All students are covered by third party liability insurance that covers litigation against the club.

Illegal/foul techniques 

All beginners should be made aware of the rules of MMA and what constitutes a foul technique (e.g.  grabbing fingers, fingers in mouth or eyes) so that basic knowledge of the rules is understood in the  first class.


Slams represent a very real risk of injury and beginners must be educated about the rules on slamming  an opponent, especially in the guard position or to escape submissions. 

The Cambridge MMA follows IMMAF rules for amateur MMA competition.


Learning how to roll and breakfall is a key part of minimising risk of injury and must be part of any  beginners introduction to MMA. 

Chokes and strangles 

Coaches must be aware of the dangers of chokeholds and strangles and should advise someone who has  been rendered unconscious not to participate further in the class. The person should also be advised  not to train for at least a week in case of damage to blood vessels that may result in serious  consequences such a stroke. 

Beginners must be educated as to the significant dangers of practicing a sport that involves chokes and  strangles and made aware of the potential consequences that not tapping might have on their personal  safety and wellbeing. It is essential for all beginners to understand the signs that a training partner  might be unconscious (for example snoring/rasping breath, limpness or convulsions) 

Joint Hyperextensions 

Beginners must be made aware of the potential for damage to their joints when practicing MMA. It is  essential that all participants understand they have a responsibility to submit BEFORE there is pain or  injury. 

Declaring medical conditions 

Pre existing injuries and medical conditions present one of the greatest risks to participant safety in MMA  and new participants should be asked clearly to state any medical condition that may be relevant (e.g.  asthma or diabetes) They should always have any relevant medication with them in the event that it is  needed in an emergency. 

If there is any doubt as to whether a pre existing injury or condition might present a significant risk of  harm then the student should be advised to seek the advice of their GP before participating. 


There will always be an appropriate warm up before engaging in any strenuous activity.  Commencing live sparring without a warm up dramatically increases the chance of injury.



Good hygiene is an essential part of training in close proximity to others and risks associated with  communicable diseases must be managed carefully. 

Any open wound must be treated immediately and nobody should participate in training or sparring  when bleeding or with an open wound. Any blood on mats must be cleaned up with disinfectant and  nobody should train in closing that is blood stained. 

Nobody should train or compete with a skin infection and coaches must be educated on recognising  signs of skin infections. It should be a subject that is discussed openly and MMA practitioners must be  made aware of the symptoms of skin infections and feel able to seek advice from coaches and officials  about diagnosis and treatment. 

Jewellery and piercings 

Jewellery and piercings present an increased risk of injury to all participants and should not be allowed.  In the event that someone is unable to remove a piercing or piece of jewellery it may be taped at the  discretion of the coach who is not obliged to agree to the taping if they feel it is not safe enough.


For full details of risk management in relation to Juniors please see our Junior Policy 


Competitions should have a minimum of one paramedic onsite at all times 

All the guidelines from this risk management document should be applied and full risk assessment  carried out for each tournament.