I would like to offer my opinions to the Athletic Commission (AC) and those involved regarding the 3 topics up for discussion at the second community meeting dated June 3, 2011. 1) The issue of “unsanctioned” amateur MMA events in Ontario and possible responses, 2) The Development of better data to support licensing decisions by the AC, 3) Increasing the transparency of the AC’s licensing decisions.
The issue of “unsanctioned” amateur MMA events in Ontario is a direct result in the lack of an existing amateur sanctioning body. Athletes, clubs and various groups are opting to ‘unsanctioned’ amateur events because they have no existing outlet to do so. That being said, a group should be devised to reflect what the athletes, clubs and the AC can agree upon. There are multiple recognized styles of amateur MMA that Ontario may consider adapting:
-Quebec follows a 3 minute round, kickboxing style stand-up with no elbows, no knees to face with wrestling and judo throws pointed. Once the combatants fall to the ground, no knees to any part of the body, no elbows at any time with submission attempts and completions are allowed. No heel hooks. Strikes (punches) allowed to the body and head. This is all done with both combatants wearing altered 8-10 ounce boxing gloves on both hands. The alteration is in the palm of the glove for fingers for gripping accessibility.**
-Illinois/Michigan/Wisconsin all have similar amateur events and rules where a 3 minute round is
had with no elbows. Knees to the face are allowed in stand-up exchange only. Combatants wear 4 ounce MMA competition gloves and are allowed full contact and submission attempt to the head and body during stand-up and ground exchange.**
**Based on personal competitions, travelling and coaching other contestants.
Both types have their advantages and disadvantages, but each present the opportunity for amateur athletes to involve themselves in MMA contest. Such events are monitored by the AC within their Province or State (excluding Michigan). This will offer a safe outlet for amateur MMA to grow in Ontario.
In creating an amateur MMA Provincially Sanctioned Organization (PSO), it is my firm belief that an amateur MMA PSO should be separate from any existing amateur or professional PSO. Under no circumstance should an existing PSO rule and monitor the growth of a new, diverse and separate sport that is amateur MMA within Ontario. There is an extreme “conflict of interest” and lack of resources for such an undertaking. This will misdirect Ontario’s attempt in promoting safe, fair amateur MMA sport.
A response to hosting “unsanctioned” amateur MMA events should be handled by local authorities under the appropriate section to the Criminal Code of Canada. In the offence that a charge has been laid against such “hosts” and those involved, a provision to impair further relationships with the AC can be applied acting directly as an additional strong deterrence.
To develop a better “database” in supporting licensing decisions by the AC, should the AC recognize current online databases supporting amateur and professional combat sports such as, http://www.sherdog.com, http://www.mixedmartialarts.com, and http://www.fcfighter.com. Other official combat organizations with documented contests and statistics must also be taken into account.
The World Kickboxing Association, International Karate Federation, FILA, Council of Amateur Sport Kickboxing, Canadian Amateur Wrestling Association, Ontario Amateur Wrestling Association, Ontario Boxing Association, Boxing Ontario, Ontario Grappling Association, Wushu Canada, Wushu Ontario, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Ontario (to name a few), must be recognized for their respective content. A complete list can be requested and verified by the AC.
Should the AC have a group of people or single person educated and well versed in these databases, it would be strong account to the application process. Data could then be applied to licensing procedures with the AC. This can be a focus of Ontario’s amateur MMA PSO.
In conclusion Ontario’s Athletic Commission should create a newly elected PSO for amateur MMA to provide room for safe, controlled sport. Secondly, compliance with the Criminal Code of Canada and the AC giving suspensions will inhibit “hosts” and participants from having unsanctioned amateur MMA events. In final point, the AC needs to delegate a group or panel to develop a supporting database furthering professional licensing and increasing the transparency of the “AC’s licensing decisions.” I encourage anyone to contact me at your convenience to further discuss these matters. Thank you for your time.