Following the completion of IMMAF’s first international certification course for experienced referees in September, Portugal’s Comissão Atlética Portuguesa de Mixed Martial Arts (CAPMMA) will conduct the first stage of its national level course as a member of IMMAF, implementing knowledge gained from the IMMAF certification course that took place in Prague, Czech Republic, lead by renowned UFC referee Marc Goddard. Delegates flocked from across Europe to attended the IMMAF certification course that covered both refereeing and judging, and were strongly encouraged to take what they had learnt and implement the teachings for themselves on a national level to further IMMAF’s goal of a unified understanding of officiating. The Portuguese representatives included CAPMMA Executive Director Luis Barneto, and Paulo De Oliveira, CAPMMA’s head referee. Prior to completing their further education at the IMMAF certification course in Prague, Barneto had accumulated 5 years of experience as an amateur MMA official in Portugal, and also serves as the national coach for Portugal in IMMAF championships. Oliveira had 2 years of refereeing experience in MMA, in addition to a background of refereeing Taekwondo from an early age. Barneto summarised his experience of the IMMAF Progression Scheme and how he benefitted from further education as a referee and judge. “It was very good! I ended up saying that when you believe a given job is easy, this when you dont know enough about it. Marc Goddard gave us all a deep understanding of all aspects of refereeing and judging, and I am happy to say he did this in such a way that we will be capable of using this course as foundation for the national referees and judging courses, with the first one starting now, on October 11. “We cant stress enough the importance of having referees and judges who are as well prepared as the athletes and coaches, and we will continuously work on that.” Part 1 of CAPMMA’s national course, covering judging, takes place on October 11 with the refereeing course also expected to be scheduled soon. The judging course will be conducted alongside the national team tryouts, in conjunction with the PowerExpo, in the city of Maia, at the Complexo Municipal de Tenis da Maia, The next IMMAF International Amateur MMA Referees & Judges Certification Course is scheduled to take place on December 5-6, hosted by the USA Mixed Martial Arts Federation (UMMAF), at the Courtyard Marriot Hotel and UMMAF Certified Training Center, TNT MMA, in the city of Phoenix, Arizona. Click HERE for more information.