As the Commission Française de Mixed Martial Arts prepares to hold its national tryouts this weekend on 16th November, IMMAF catches up with CFMMA Coordinator Ghislain Bryks about MMA rules and regulation in France; and what it is like selecting a team in a country where MMA competitions cannot take place.
So Unified Rules MMA is banned in France. What elements of the Unified Rules are banned?
It’s not that the rules are forbidden. They are simply not recognized. There are no actual laws against MMA in France, but as the sport is not recognized there is a dislike by authorities of the cage and striking on the ground.
What rules are CFMMA National Selections held under?
It’s strange because although MMA is not illegal, we cannot organize MMA events. If we try to organize one the authorities will put a stop to it using other reasons. So for the national tryouts it’s not a fighting championship that we put on, but a tough training session.. so there’s subtle difference.
Where do the bouts take place and what protective gear is worn?
On mats because it’s just a “training” event, and competitors wear shin pads.
In France there are various rule sets such as Pancrace, Pankration, Pankido and Kempo Fight. What is the difference between these different rule sets? And where would you expect to see matches under the above rules?
In Pancrace there are no strikes on the ground; in Pankido and Kempo competitors may strike on the ground but not in the face. One day, I’m confident that we’ll have MMA too.
In France there are many promoters that hold events under the current rule sets including PFC, KOC, FMC, LFC, 100% Fight and Golden Belts. All these promoters stage bouts using a ring instead of a cage, and bouts are really Amateur and Semi-Professional.
Do the CFMMA National Selections alone decide who will represent France in IMMAF international competitions? How does your selection process work?
No, participants must go through a longer eliminations process, with the best competitors ultimately chosen from several national groups. We also provide team preparation and training.
How do you train competitors around these obstacles to compete under Unified Rules in France?
It’s more difficult for us, but in France we are a great nation of fighters, so this is not a problem. Athletes must go abroad to compete in Amateur MMA and we put our team through hard training.
How many competitors are you expecting at the National Selections?
We have 75 athletes in all categories except +120 kgs
Despite the status of MMA rules and regulation in France, what is the scene like right now?
We are the more motivated, because we are not respected in our country
For more about MMA rules and regulation in France visit: http://cnmma.fr/