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One year anniversary: Russian MMA Union results

Today on September 27, 2013 is exactly one year since the Ministry of Sport of Russian Federation declared Mixed Martial Arts an official sport. Soon then Russian MMA Union, which is an all-Russian non-profit organization, was founded. Since its inception the main goal is to cultivate and develop MMA as a sport in Russia. Starting from scratch many obstacles were in the way of MMA Union. One of the main targets back then was high-quality education of sports judges and referee's who would be capable of overseeing multiple local and regional Amateur MMA tournaments.

Within the first highy fruitful year 350 judges and referee's succesfully graduated under the guidance of the Russian MMA Union.

First of all, the strict requierements were worked out and officially accepted by the Ministry of Sports. Then numerous seminars were organized throughout Russia. Late May the MMA Union board adjusted the rules prepared by the Russian Panel of Judges what significantly lightened up the future process of refereeing and awarding of the points by the judges.

 

During the biggest seminar to date held in Saint Petersburg this past Fabruary, Russian MMA Union director general Dmitry Kuvichka proclaimed: "Our sport is promoted by the following groups: coaches, athletes and judges."

Well, Russian Union contributed in a great sense to the evolution of the latter as it organized 23 seminars throughout the country that attracted 350 judges to-be that eventually were officially awarded this highly responsible function.

Last week, from the 21-st to 22-nd of September a key seminar to date was held in the largest Martial Arts facility of Europe. Moscow Martial Arts Center opened its doors to the seminar under the banner of Moscow MMA Federation supported by multiple governmental sports bodies of Moscow district. Participants flew in from Volgogradm Kaluga, Ivanovo and of course from Moscow districts in order to discuss the rules, share experience and opinion on judging issues and peculiarities. Majority of the judges and referee's registered with MMA Union can already boast of vast experience acquired through their history of being athletes in various disciplines. All in all the discussion was hot and eventually generated lots of ideas and plans.

 

Deputy chairman of the judges panel Igor Demidov demanded more attention to the functioning of referee's and executive secretaries at the tournaments: "Right now it's these two functions that are potentially our weak link as any mistake made by them may have huge consequences. The whole judging manpower has to act tightly and always work together. At the same time I want to state that after lots of work have been done we now can see the results."

While visiting Vladivostok for Russian MMA Cup MMA Union president Fedor Emelianenko praised the ethics of the judges who according to Emelianenko were unbiased and did their job extremely well.

One of the Moscow seminar participants chairman of Kaluga MMA Federation judging panel Oleg Kurokhtin shared his thoughts: "What I personally find very important as to the judging and refereeing process is that one can't be in charge of a bout where an athlere from the same region participates. If we avoid that, we'll prevent any corruption in our beloved sport."

His colleague Oleg Bessudnov, sports manager of Moscow MMA Federation added: "Even the most high-level theoretical education is worth nothing without extensive practice. During real tournaments we come across ambiguity regarding understanding and adaptation of the rule set. That's why I really appreciate this type of seminars where various subtle nuances can be scrutinized and discussed openly. That improves our overall level judging and refereeing."

 

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One last stop this year will be made in December in Kemerovo. In the context of conference of council of Russian MMA Union the best judges will be voted for. For the winners it will mean a lot as they will be chosen to work at the high-caliber tournaments throughout Russia.

The head of Russian panel of judges and MMA veteran Radmir Gabdullin summed it up: "Our main goal is to examine the judges' and referee's job. They must be competent and unbiased in what they do. We'll do our best as to make judging a prestigious occupation."

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