Coaching Pathway of the I.A.W.A.


Your club will need to identify members who are willing and able to lead or coach other members in training, national and International competition. There are certain skills and safety aspects they should be aware of if they take on the role of coach or a trainer. To help with this the IAWA have developed a coaching development scheme as part keeping training safe.

It is recommended that there is at least two qualified IAWA level 1 coaches in the club with a current First Aid accreditation. Deciding on the type of grappling sport your club operates in you will have to decide on what type of coach is available to your club. There are various wrestling/grappling disciplines to suit the needs of any club. The training coaching & accreditation scheme is designed as an aid to your development as a wrestling coach and to help all wrestlers/ grapplers develop in a fun and safe environment.

I.A.W.A. Coaching License

Coaching Wrestling is a very fulfilling but specialist role. A coach will support a sportsperson in achieving a specific personal or professional goal by providing training, advice and guidance.

There are a number of prerequisites for those wanting to become a coach; these include:

  • Trustworthy – a coach must be honest and impartial.
  • Responsible – a coach must have integrity and take his/her role seriously.
  • Prepared for their role - prepared physically and mentally for the role.
  • Competent – a coach must have skills and experience in their chosen field to enable them to develop others. A coach should be committed to their own continuous professional development.

The IAWA Coaching License for Wrestling and Grappling is the only license in Ireland accredited by:

  • The Irish Amateur Wrestling Association (IAWA)
  • Coaching Ireland (CI)
  • Sport Ireland (SI)

The coaching license is also recognized by:

  • The Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI)
  • United World Wrestling (UWW)
  • Insurance Companies

I.A.W.A. Introductory Coaching Course

Duration – 8 hours

The Introductory coaching course is available to any IAWA member over the age of 18 who is involved in the coaching of, or participation in Wrestling, Grappling, Pankration, MMA or any Combative Sports

Candidates are required to attend an 8 hour course delivered over one day

The course content includes:

  • History of Wrestling
  • Basic Coaching Guidelines
  • Basic Health & Safety
  • Basic Awareness Course on the Code of Ethics for Coaching Children and Vulnerable Adults in Sport
  • Garda Vetting information and vetting forms, which is now compulsory for all Coaches in coaching with under 18's and vulnerable adults

Level 1 Coaching Certificate. (Coaching License)

Coaching License Level 1 – Assistant Coach

Duration – 32 hour course + 15 logged hours

The Level 1 License course is available to any IAWA member over the age of 18 who is involved in Coaching Wrestling, Grappling, Pankration, MMA or any Combative Sports.
Candidates are required to attend a 4-day course carried out over two weekends.
Candidates must complete all four days of the course to be awarded the license.
On completion of the L1 course, Candidates must log 18 hours of coaching session plans, at least 28 hours of coaching experience under the supervision of at least two current registered Level 2 Coaches or higher and at

The L1 license course covers many aspects for Coaching Wrestling and Grappling Sports.

Topics covered, but not limited to, are

  • Sports Psychology
  • Anti-Doping Procedures.
  • Coaching Techniques – Wrestling Stance, Front Head & Arm Control, Half Nelson, Single and Double Leg Take Down, Fireman Carry, Roll Hip Technique, Cross Face.
  • Applying the fundamentals of coaching skills in your training sessions
  • Session planning and logging Coaching hours
  • Basic First Aid
  • Health and Safety
  • Written Assessment

The L1 coaching qualification will give you the building blocks and skills to deliver safe, quality coaching and the confidence to deliver exciting, safe training sessions to your Club members.

The Introductory Course and Level 1 License can be run over the same weekends, in conjunction with each other

  • Places are typically limited to a total of 18 on each course
  • Your place will only be confirmed on the receipt of payment in full
  • Participants will be not be accepted without registering and full payment

Coaching Licenses are not awarded until participants have cleared IAWA Garda Vetting

Level 2 Coaching Certificate. (Coaching License)

Coaching License Level 2 - Coach

Duration 32 hour course + 28 logged hours

The level 2 Coaching License is a higher level of technical skill than is expected at level 1.
The focus of this L2 course is on coaching wrestling skills and technique

There are a number of Pre-requisites for acceptance onto this course:

  • You must have held a level 1 license for a minimum of two years
  • Candidates must hold a current valid and recognized First Aid Certificate

The Level 2 course is a 4-day course carried out over two weekends.
On completion of the course, candidates must log session plans for 25 hours of Coaching under various L2 registered wrestling coaches. The logged hours must be completed within a two-year period from the last date of the course

The L2 license course covers;

  • Power & Strength Programmes for Wrestling
  • Endurance Programmes
  • Nutrition
  • Tournament Organ
  • Techniques – Head & Arm Throwing Technique, Shoulder Throw, Arm Throw Variations, High Crotch, Ankle Pick, Leg Sweep, Arm Drag, Gut Wrench, Ankle
  • Strategy & Tactics
  • Long Term Training Programmes

  • Courses are typically limited to a total number of 18
  • Your place will only be confirmed upon
  • Participants will not be accepted without registering and payment in advance

Licenses will only be issued after:

  • Proof of 25 coaching hours logged
  • Session plans have been assessed and passed
  • Successful completion of a technical assessment on all coaching techniques listed within Level 1 and Level 2 qualifications