SportsEvents Magazine

AUG 2018

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Page 38 of 67 August 2018 39 t SPORT Report far as kids taking classes, it's increasing a lot," said Frank, who has been involved with youth pankration since 2001 and with various other martial arts prior to that. There is an increase in the number of gyms offering lessons and neighborhood karate schools are being replaced by neigh- borhood MMA schools, he said. "We are noticing an uptick in the number of kids wanting to compete," Brueggeman said. Finding The Right Class For Kids Finding the right classes for youth is not easy. First, there is no regulating author- ity for certifying instructors in youth pankration in states where competitions are not held. "There's plenty of places you can train but I would caution against walking into any gym and saying 'I want to train in MMA' without doing background on the instructor," Brueggeman said. Questions To Ask • Does the instructor have a traditional martial arts background or amateur wrestling career? Do they have an offi- cial colored belt or sash in a martial art? What's their ranking? • Do they have a coaching certification from a well-known entity or organi- zation? Who gave them their rank or permission to teach? Is it a legitimate black belt? • Do they fight? Do they have a verifiable fight record? • Do they have expertise in varying disci- plines, not just one? "You're looking for something that lets you know these guys know what they're doing," Brueggeman said. Look for an instructor with safety instruction and certifications, he added. In the states where it holds competi- tions, the USFL requires coaches and athletes to undergo annual exams, and each athlete must see a doctor before and after a fight. The organization also pro- vides extensive education to parents on concussions and other safety concerns. Coaches take a required online con- cussion course provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), along with other safety courses covering issues such as skin infections, dehydration and the mental challenges of coaching kids, Frank said. Course requirements are stringent but don't require more than a couple of hours, he said. They are available to any coaches in any state. "A lot of these instructors don't realize these courses are available to them," he said. In addition to the CDC concussion course, the United States Fight League offers a question exam based on its manual, covering health, safety and rules of the sport. The USFL also offers a voluntary $20 SafeSport course that is recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee. It's a two-hour course on the prevention and/or detection of child abuse. "It's not only ► From historic architecture to world-class restaurants, Dublin, Ohio proves that when it comes to falling in love with a city, opposites certainly do attract. After your event, participants and fans can walk our streets where they'll find this is where traditional blends with trend- setting and laid back and 'Let's go!' share common ground. Plus, Dublin has 17 hotels to choose from and is only minutes from the best attractions in Columbus.

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