By Caoilte de Barra
The IMMAF International Referee and Judging course took place in Mumbai, India, on the 16th & 17th of July 2022. Eighteen participants from twelve states who were nationally certified officials of MMA India took part in this training seminar, which was conducted by IMMAF Director of Regulatory Affairs Marc Goddard, who received a warm welcome upon his arrival in Mumbai.
The seminar started on July 16 at Hotel Sea Princess from 9.30 am to 6 pm. The session covered the unified Rules of MMA. The following day practical and theory examinations were conducted at UFC GYM Bandra West.
The MMA India Board, led by President Sharif Mohammed Bapu T, along with Secretary Prasad Gaitonde, Sr. Vice-President Ajay Marwah, other board members and national team coaching staff were present throughout the duration of the course. Members were helping and supporting the initiative, which will help create more internationally qualified officials.
MMA India is committed to growing the sport across the country and striving to provide all involved with the highest level of training possible and ensure that the safety of the fighters is paramount.
Following the conclusion of the course, MMA India President Sharif Bapu was pleased with how it went and even reminisced on when he was doing the course. He said:
“It was amazing to see the excitement of the officials, who were doing the course, and Marc, who was training them. It was a great knowledgeable session which lasted nine hours on day one and then seven hours on day two, which was very intense as the examination was in the mind of all the officials. I remember our time six years back when we were in the same position. [We were] a bit nervous, but excited as we wanted to be certified at the international level and help promote the sport of MMA while keeping in mind the safety of the fighters, which is the main objective of IMMAF.”
This course marks another big step for the federation, which has been doing incredible work this year. The federation recently hosted its fifth open championships, which saw nearly twenty-five thousand in attendance.
Next on the agenda is to bring a youth squad to the 2022 Youth World Championships from August 17-20. This will be the first time India sends a team to the Youth World Championships, and sixteen athletes are already registered for the competition. The federation is constantly making steps in the right direction, and the future of MMA in India is bright.