(Andrew Chan, President of Hong Kong MMA Federation shares his experience of working in the current circumstances)
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a lot of activities to a halt, but it couldn’t stop us from moving forward towards our goal. Back in June 2020, the Hong Kong Federation put forward a proposal to certify its coaches through an online examination. Leading the initiative were head coach Alberto Mina, an ex-UFC professional, and Jon Bond of Club “Hybrid”. The two candidates participated in a two-month program designed by Alberto according to the IMMAF Syllabus. With the aid of the “Teach Me” videos in the IMMAF Mobile App, the candidates were able to gage the standard which IMMAF expects of its certified coaches.
The examination was carried out online through multiple sessions in which the coaches were tested on their teaching delivery of the moves, theory and methodology, and most importantly, their understanding of the psychological aspect of teaching martial arts. Cameras and audio-speakers were setup to enable Andrew Moshanov, the IMMAF Director of Development, to observe, instruct, and educate the candidates throughout the examination.
The newly certified coaches are Andy Tang and Donald Tong. Andy is a professional MMA athlete under “JUST MMA” with a Brown Belt in BJJ . Donald is an experienced MMA coach at the “Sensory Fight Club” and is passionate about teaching kids and young adults.
Hong Kong Federation President Andrew Chan commented:
“We put this plan together with the aim of encouraging other federations to continue in our mutual mission of promoting MMA, even during this difficult time. We thank IMMAF for supporting this initiative and will continue to find ways for our members to develop in and enjoy the sport.”
IMMAF Director of Development, Andrew Moshanov, commented:
“It was a great experience and the IMMAF Coaching Committee is fully supportive of this pilot and its evolution. We are entering a new era, in which we will have to rethink our approaches to coach education and training, using the power of IT technologies. While sports training methodology remains the cornerstone of the athletes’ progress, we are reviewing and reformatting traditional modes of assessment and will continue to experiment with forms that can be implemented through remote engagement and maintain interaction with coaches and athletes around the world.”
IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said:
“In the COVID era, it is vital to sport – particularly at the grassroots – that it is innovative. Digital platforms create new opportunities for sports federations to continue delivering to participants world over, continuing to promote the health and social benefits of sport and moreover inclusive sports practice for all.”