By Andrew Moshanov
In the lead-up to the 2022 Youth World Championships, there has been a spike in the number of national youth championships staged in various member countries. The quality of events and quantity of participants is gradually rising, altogether elevating the sport of mixed martial arts to a new level in conjunction with the IMMAF grading scheme and youth program.
I am very pleased with the new look of the syllabus on the IMMAF Mobile App and extremely satisfied with the interest, engagement and growth in the number of viewers of the MMA techniques tutorials, which has climbed up to 11,000 monthly. The number of registered users has also experienced growth, rising to 12,500.
We continue to assist national federations in building a strong coaching education system and offer courses and seminars for their needs. There has been another spike of interest in mixed martial arts in general and the development of a strong coaching task force, this time in the Middle East and Central Asia.
There were a few coaching certification courses recently here: Abu-Dhabi (UAE) in January, Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) in March, Dushanbe (Tajikistan) in May, Isfahan (Iran) in June, and another two courses in Er-Riyadh (Saudi Arabia).
I can not be more pleased with these national federations’ appetite for knowledge and interest in sports methodology.
Iman Amirmohammadi, Director of International communications of IRMAAF, spoke on the very first course in Iran. He said:
“The course was extremely interesting, and the final tests were not an easy walk at all. Only 17 coaches out of 30 passed on the first attempt. The technical test included analysis of biomechanical errors in the performance of two children beginners.” He began. “Something new for our coaches, most of whom were built up in an old-fashioned way, but we got there. After three days of intensive self-studies, another ten coaches managed to pass in the second attempt”.
The pass mark in the IMMAF coaching courses is about 80%, but we do not fail candidates. We teach them, regardless of how long it takes. We create the action plan, allow them to upskill and invite them to re-sit the test. Knowledgeable coaches are the decisive factor in the development of the sport, and we are here to assist them in topping up their skills.
The UAE MMA Federation will be the host for three consecutive Youth World Championships from 2022. The second international course in Abu-Dhabi for Youth MMA Coaches is in the stage of planning at present and will most likely take place straight after the Championship.
Let me take this opportunity to remind all participants of the Youth Championships on the minimum technical standard they need to have in order to be able to compete: Yellow grade for Age band C, and Orange grade for Age bands B and A. Most national federations have sufficient numbers of certified coaches eligible to do the gradings of their teams.
Technical standards are here to stay and will help mold this sport into the most spectacular and fascinating competition of two individuals equipped with the widest possible range of combat skills.