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An Open Letter To The UK Martial Arts Community

We know that recent news on the delay to the re-opening of indoor martial arts has created further tension, divide and derision between organisations, associations and clubs from all styles and affiliations. Martial arts is already too fragmented and divided and now, more so than ever before, we want to go on the record to make our position to the wider martial arts community clear;

We are your friends, and we stand with you.

We’re in this together and now, more than ever, is not the time for us to draw up battles lines or see each other as enemies.

We may be ‘competition’ to one another in our day to day work representing clubs and instructors. We might disagree on the best way of governing our members. We might have different ideas on what a quality membership organisation looks like, or the best way to support our martial arts. As clubs, you may disagree on the best disciplines or styles of delivery.

None of this matters right now.

This recent round of confusion has arisen from a complete void of direct guidance to martial arts clubs and associations. We have between us received not a single word that identifies what we should all be doing specifically. We have been left to read between the lines and make our own best judgement on what that means for us, our clubs and our students. Despite accounting for more participants than Rugby and Cricket combined, we have been left to fend for ourselves.

We are all desperate to get back into our dojos and from an association standpoint, to see our members get back onto the mats. The issue lies with indecision and lack of clarity from Government, not a differing interpretation of none-existent industry specific guidance from associations and clubs. All but just a tiny minority are doing their best and are guiding others with sincerity. Whilst we know we may all find conflicting positions and differing standpoints on many issues over the coming months, we do so with the same love, humility and respect that martial arts instils in all of us.

We are all angry and impatiently awaiting clarity. We have written to Rt Hon Oliver Dowden CBE MP, Secretary of State for DCMS in addition to our tweets, letters and emails to DCMS over the past three months to solicit a direct, tangible response and will share this with the entire martial arts community.

Read the full letter from Giovanni, our Chief Exec, here.

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