IMMAF launches Youth Development Commission, Coaching Commission with members from Asia, Europe, Oceania, North America


The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation is delighted to introduce its Youth Development Commission. The new commission will be working closely with the federation’s other commissions and committees to manage the huge demand for amateur MMA youth programs all over the world.

“Our experience with our first Youth World Championships last year proved the point that MMA has massive appeal for young combat sport athletes,” IMMAF president Kerrith Brown said. “As the legitimate world governing body for amateur MMA, we have a responsibility and mission to make the sport accessible and safe for youngsters with rules and procedures that are fit for purpose.”


IMMAF Youth Development Commission members

To acknowledge its strategic importance, the Youth Development Commission will have both a chairman and a vice-chair, which were assigned to Stanislav Nedkov of Bulgaria and Danny Corr of Northern Ireland, respectively. The former is a former Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter and now a sport administrator while the latter is responsible for creating award-winning youth sport and culture initiatives.

The Youth Development Commission will help create programs to guide young athletes on pathways for lifelong participation, competition preparation and personal development in MMA. This committee will cover coaching, regulatory affairs, medical, anti-doping and ethics because young athlete development frameworks must be holistic and embrace the complex nature of athlete development.

Under the leadership of Nedkov, the Youth Development Commission has members from Asia, Europe and North America. Here is the list:

  • Sharif Bapu (India)
  • Danny Corr (Great Britain)
  • Zanna Kim (Kazakhstan)
  • Bertrand Amoussou (France)
  • Vito Paolinio (Italy)
  • Raul Salas Navarro (Mexico)


IMMAF Coaching Commission members

Another key IMMAF Commission is the Coaching Commission and the federation is pleased to announce a new membership team led by Richie Cranny of Australia. He is a former professional MMA athlete, coach and founder of the highly successful “Wimp 2 Warrior” training scheme to train inexperienced individuals in MMA techniques.

The IMMAF Coaching Commission provides strategic direction and leadership to ensure that the federation’s coaches have the most up-to-date level of competency and can deliver effective teaching of the skills of mixed martial arts to their membership. The commission will provide a coach’s perspective and voice to the decision-making processes within the federation and advocates for the rights and interests of coaches within the sport of amateur MMA globally.

With members from 2019 to 2021, both the Youth Development Commission and the Coaching Commission share a staff liaison in the highly experienced IMMAF director of sport development Andrew Moshanov of Russia. Under the leadership of Cranny, these are the IMMAF Coaching Commission members:

  • Gennady Kapshai (Russia)
  • Luis Barneto (Portugal)
  • Lutz Heyden (Germany)
  • Bertrand Amoussou (France)
  • Paolo Oliveira (New Zealand)
  • Anton Blank (Ukraine)

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