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Annual National Grappling Martial Arts Instructor of the Year

2019 Grappling Arts Instructor Nominations Accepted through Nov. 1

Want to honor a grappling martial arts instructor for his/her outstanding achievements, unique style or humanitarian efforts? Then nominate him/her for the Annual National Grappling Martial Arts Instructor of the Year Award, sponsored by Greatmats. The award, part of the 5th annual Greatmats National Award Series, is designed to recognize grappling arts instructors who have made a difference in the lives of their students and community through the virtues of service, integrity and quality. New in 2019, the martial arts instructor of the Year Award is being separated into two different awards - one for striking arts instructors and one for instructors focusing primarily on the grappling arts. Grappling arts include but are not limited to Judo, Jiu Jitsu, BJJ, wrestling, Sambo and submission grappling.

Learn more about Greatmats National Award Series.

How to Nominate

To nominate an grappling instructor for this award, email the following information to or visit the contest page and fill out the online nomination form before Nov. 1, 2019. Nominators will not be identified.
  1. Instructor's Name
  2. Name and location of the martial arts academy (Must be located in the USA)
  3. A brief description of why you are nominating this instructor, including how he/she meets the criteria of high-level service, integrity and quality.
  4. A photo and/or video of the Instructor

How the winner is chosen:

  1. Voting will take place in Nov. 2019 for the Annual National Grappling Martial Arts Instructor of the Year Award. The two grappling instructors with the most votes will be named finalists.
  2. Greatmats will judge the two finalists to determine the winner based on:
    1. Demonstration of Service
    2. Demonstration of Integrity
    3. Demonstration of Quality

Grand Prize

  1. $250 in Greatmats Products (or $150 Cash Option) for the Academy
  2. Instructor/academy profile to be released with the announcement of the winner in December 2019.
  3. National Grappling Martial Arts Instructor of the Year Certificate

More than 8,200 votes were cast in the first three years of the contest, which is part of the 5th Annual Greatmats National Award Series. The Greatmats National Award Series is designed to recognize instructors, trainers and coaches who have made a positive difference in their communities and the lives of their students.

Voting Instructions:

Visit Greatmats' contest ballot page< during the voting period to vote for this year's National Grappling Martial Arts Instructor of the Year. Click the vote button next to the photo of the grappling instructor you'd like to win. Feel free to share the gallery ballot with friends and family and encourage them to vote. The two instructors with the most votes will be named finalists. From that point, Greatmats will choose the winner (scroll down to see prizes) based on demonstration of service, integrity and quality.

Greatmats is a national martial arts flooring leader based in Milltown, Wisconsin, since 1999. Identified as one of the top 3,000 fastest growing companies in the USA three times since 2008, Greatmats gives back to its local community by donating 5% of its annual profits to local non-profit organizations. It also supports green initiatives through the use of solar energy at its Wisconsin headquarters and by offering a large variety of products made from recycled and renewable resources.

View all of Greatmats' martial arts flooring at

This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Facebook.

All media submissions, including text, photos and videos become property of Greatmats.

Read about previous winners of the award:

2016 National Martial Arts Instructor of the Year Grandmaster Bryant Harrell
2017 National Martial Arts Instructor of the Year Master Ron Poholik - Judo, Taekwondo
2018 Martial Arts Instructor of the Year - Erich Podbielski - Taekwondo


Past Grappling Arts Instructor Nominees

Spencer Nolan - Gracie Arizona - Phoenix (2016)

Brent Williams - Aiki Academy - Boise (2018)

Master Ron Poholik - Pride Martial Arts - New Lenox (2017)

Crystal Baetz - Grey Jiu Jitsu - Houghton Lake (2018)

Doug Bedsaul - Downtown Martial Arts Academy, Starkville (2016)
Jae McIntosh - No Limit Jiu Jitsu, Starkville (2016)

North Carolina
Johnny Edwards - Hickory Grove PHC Jiu Jitsu - Candor (2016)

Matt Larsen - Matt Larsen's Combat Fitness Academy - Springfield (2016)

For more on this topic please review our MMA Mats, Grappling Mats product page.