Marc Goddard discusses the importance of IMMAF’s International Amateur MMA Referees Certification course

Last week the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) brought you the news of its first International Amateur MMA Referees Certification course for experienced officials; lead by renowned UFC referee Marc Goddard, and with the first stop set to take place in Prague, Czech Republic. Goddard will lead a two-day theory and practical based course intended to further educate officials with at least two years of experience. Eligibility requirements can be viewed HERE. As one of the world’s most experienced MMA officials, Marc Goddard has spent the past five years conducting educational seminars across the UK and the opportunity to take things global is a chance that he relished. The International Amateur MMA Referees Certification course is the first of its kind as IMMAF continues to pursue the vital goal of bringing together referees across the globe for a unified understanding of MMA officiating. “It’s unique,” Goddard explained. “I was the first person to start referee and judges seminars in the UK, I started in 2010. To say it’s my passion and close to my heart is an understatement. “We’re always learning, and if anybody thinks they know it all, that’s the day they should stop doing what they’re doing. I’ve been involved with this sport for God knows how long at the four corners of the Earth. I’ve refereed in 30 odd countries, I’ve given seminars all the over the world, I’ve probably refereed in excess of 5000 fights and I’ve never seen it all. No referee will ever see it all. Occurrences and instances will throw themselves into a fight that you couldn’t even imagine, so the need for having an open mind and communication is vital.” Goddard expressed that there is a real issue around the world with referees who boast experience, but do not bring the correct approach when it comes to live action, and the International Amateur MMA Referees Certification course has the ability to iron out potential creases with it’s physical based element on the second day. “It’s a quality over quantity approach. I’ve had guys come to me who’ve been refereeing for ten years, and they were horrendous. Then I’ve got a guy saying “I don’t referee, I just judge,” and he was brilliant. “It’s like jiu-jitsu, it’s living what they’re doing. When we sit in a classroom you can sort of build a flavor and character of someone, but when it comes to the second day and you’re actually doing mock sparring and I’m watching the referees move around and perform, that tells me so much more.” Raising the international standard is a key element of IMMAF’s mission and this is something that Goddard has dedicated a large part of his life to. He concluded, “I’m in a very privileged position but it’s something I’ve worked extremely hard for and dedicated a large part of my life to. It’s something I take with great pleasure and honor.” For more information on the International Amateur Referees Certification course visit: [/spb_text_block]

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