By Andrew Moshanov
Last year was very beneficial for the development of amateur mixed martial arts under the leadership of IMMAF. A series of policies were worked on, connecting all the dots and providing pathways for participants as early as six years old, from recreational to competitive and up to professionals.
One of the principal documents – “IMMAF Recreational mainstream and talent identification pathways markers” – formulates a long-term strategy for youth development. Also, it makes the foundation of the next level of coaching competency (Youth MMA Coach) qualification available to all national federations.
This year’s minimum technical standard for young participants of IMMAF events aged 14-15 and 16-17 will see a step up from “Yellow Belt” to “Orange Belt”. Age groups 12-13 will keep the “Yellow Belt” level of the required minimum technical competency. Let me take this opportunity and remind all national federations that all participants of the 2022 Youth World Championships (TBC August, Abu-Dhabi) must be graded to the minimum standard:
Age band A (12-13) – minimum yellow belt
Age band B (14-15) – minimum orange belt
Age band C (16-17) – minimum orange belt
The minimum technical standard of participants applied to all IMMAF youth events – is the measure of quality control and safety. IMMAF is known for its ultimate commitment to these matters, which are the cornerstones of youth sport. At IMMAF, we do not take this matter lightly, but with all seriousness.
Let me also remind all national federations that only IMMAF Coach Level 1 or IMMAF Youth MMA Coach are eligible to conduct grading of young athletes. Most countries already have a pool of certified coaches, however, if it is not the case in a country, please, contact me to arrange this.
The next few months before the 2022 IMMAF Youth World Championships will see a row of national Youth championships, trials and selections, to name a few: Poland, Belgium, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, England.
Our next step will be to assist all national federations in staging regular Youth MMA Championships and develop structured youth competitions worldwide.
It is a great pleasure that I can say IMMAF is leading the way in youth development across most combat sports. By applying sport-science backed methodology and innovative approaches such as state-of-art mobile application to learn MMA techniques online and the opportunity to conduct grading online.
IMMAF App users will enjoy the updates on techniques and new video lessons for home and distant learning. Also, let me take this opportunity to announce the launch of the IMMAF Youth program and advise all certified coaches to take a close look at the video library of techniques on the App.
The first three grades, Yellow, Orange and Green, have received a considerable update, with over 30 techniques of fence control, reversals, and takedowns added to the syllabus.
I am sure coaches, athletes and all App users will enjoy the new sub-category, “Skills and drills”, related to each grade. We are starting to publish popular exercises and drills to support physical and technical development of the athlete. There should be no secrets when it comes to understanding the techniques and biomechanics. As ever, it is the hard work and commitment which remain the decisive qualities of success.
So, enjoy the App! I look forward to your input.