IMMAF President Kerrith Brown was present at Youth World in Abu – Dhabi and shared his thoughts on the event and Youth Development.
The event took place from 17th to 20th August and was part of a three-year hosting-rights agreement. The fans had the opportunity to watch 12 to 17-year-olds compete in Youth World Championship. Over 500 young athletes representing 42 national federations took part in the competition.
Brown on the event and his decision about headshots under 18
In his interview with ArabsMMA.com Brown reviewed the entire event and thanked the hosts for their hospitality:
“So for the third Youth World championships in Abu Dhabi it’s been absolutely amazing. I mean the day before yesterday it was great to see USA and UAE athletes in the finals and actually winning. Just put on hairs on the back of my neck. So it’s been amazing just to see, you know, the attitudes of the kids that have been involved in the tournament. And really just seeing the support from the national federation through the president and the parents that have been here to give them that extra support… I’m very proud to be associated with it and long may it continue as we have a two-year event to come under in Abu Dhabi… We look forward to the next series… Can only thank the stakeholders for the hospitality and the support they’ve given.”
IMMAF President elaborated on his decision to ban head strikes in all under 18 age divisions. It’s to prevent any concussions and make young athletes focus on the technical aspect of fighting:
“We decided to have no head shots under 18. And really this is about head concussion… And really it’s all about safety and creating the pathway for development… Once you’re 18 you can make that choice if you want to take headshots… But right now it’s about development, about technical development, it’s about education.”
IMMAF’s plans for the future
Brown revealed that IMMAF’s main goal is to make MMA recognized as an Olympic sport. The road to this goal leads through taking safety measures and using support and platform provided by Abu Dhabi for example. He pointed out that Abu Dhabi is known for its Jiu-Jitsu program and IMMAF was able to transit this support to the MMA, which he called a “milestone.”
You can watch the interview in the video below: