25 Reasons


We’re asked alot “why should I join BMABA?”. The answer we’ll give is always the same; you tell us.

We don’t have sales teams and we’ll never say we’re 100% the right fit for any club. That’s an individual choice, and one we’d like all prospective members to come to off their own independent research.

Here’s our top 25 picks to consider when weighing up whether or not we’re the right fit for your club.

We’re independent and proven.

We've never received a penny in external support from Sport England or UK Sport. We've never had grants, never received advice or guidance - not even during COVID. Despite this, we're now representing more than 100,000 martial artists off the back of our own proven track record of professionalism, expertise and dedication.

You’re not bowing down to a self-issued 8th Dan or a sycophantic board

In our opinion far too many clubs have to deal with the egos of self-issued ‘masters’ within associations or exercise total control, rather than expecting to be treated like the client you are. We understand intrinsically how important grade progression is for our more traditional clubs and that’s celebrated – but when you speak with our team you won’t need to worry about top-down, grade-first agendas designed to make you subservient to us. You’re the client; we get that.

We’re Multi-Award Winning For A Reason

From Sports Association of the Year to our founder receiving Men’s Health’s Britain’s Best Coaches accolade, we’ve been awarded dozens of awards since forming in 2012. Whether it’s GBI’s Global Awards or the Sports Industry Awards, we’ve received both industry specific and wider business recognition for our work starting from £20 and building up to a point of national recognition.

Open About Money And Transparent With Our Members

We’re the only independent martial arts association to openly provide our members with spending and income breakdowns, to help you see for yourself if your fees are being appropriately put to work representing your interests. We’re open about how we generate income and why it’s important for our organisation’s stability. We also share internal developments and our roadmap for the future with our registered clubs and instructors, to ensure everyone has a fair say on where we go in the years ahead.

Founded By An Award Winning Social Entrepreneur And Martial Artist

Giovanni Soffietto founded BMABA in 2012, aged just 20 with only £20 of capital, a domain name and an idea. Coming from an impoverished upbringing in the South West of England, he has overcome adversity and discrimination from a young age. Today he heads up the largest independent martial arts organisations in the UK and is the recipient of numerous honours, including GBI Awards’ Entrepreneur Of The Year and Men’s Healths’ Inspirational Coach Of The Year.

A Real Office With A Real Team

Too many associations claim to be well structured with ‘offices’ and a team but most run from anonymous PO Boxes and the proverbial kitchen table. There’s nothing wrong with this if association’s are up front, but we often hear of organisations claiming to be much better resourced than they truly are. We have three locations – Manchester, London and our main HQ in West Sussex. Combined, we boast in-excess of 2,000 sqft of dedicated, bespoke office space for our vetted and trained staff.

We Benchmark Ourselves & Our Clubs Against NGBs

We work hard to try and ensure our association and our clubs both meet and exceed minimum standards set by Sport England approved NGBs. To date, we’ve been awarded the organisational Safeguarding Code, have sat on the Sport England Martial Arts Safeguarding Group (MASG), are signposted to from the Home Office and work in collaboration with GB Taekwondo – to name just a few. We're also the only group who can automatically provide clubs SCiMA upon completion of our exclusive and free Club Colours.

We Innovate Technology In Martial Arts

We can confidently say there is no other martial arts association in the UK with access to the level of web services and provisions as BMABA. We invest tens of thousands of pounds a year into our instructor portal, student hub, MyBMABA and Help Desk to ensure your documents, membership features, help and other key services are available 24/7 from any device.

Free Instructor Qualifications

We saw ‘the old boys’ holding back coaching courses for hundreds of pounds and took action to address it all the way back in 2018. BMABA have been providing a completely free induction, Level 1 and Level 2 instructor qualification for all of our paying members for years and to date have helped thousands of clubs and instructors improve their professional standards.

We 'Walked The Walk' During COVID

Whilst thankfully now an ever-increasingly distant memory, actions speak louder than words and we can proudly stand by the support we offered our clubs and the wider community during lockdown(s). From subsidies and a COVID Recovery Fund set up without any external support, through to a free COVID-Aware instructor qualification, template risk assessments, liaison services with local authorities, interpretations of DCMS guidance, lobbying to Government and so much more. We slashed our pricing, provided free insurance with memberships and moved heaven & earth to support our clubs when they needed it most.

Politics Free & Professional

You’re the client, and you don’t owe us thanks for serving you as we should. We’re proud to be politics free – and that’s not just us posting the same cliche over and over again. When we first started making a point of this in 2012 it was rarely discussed. Now we see so many organisations claiming to be politics free yet squabbling and fighting for power on a daily basis. We’re run as a professional organisation with staff and management, not a boy’s club with a ‘tussle for the top-spot’. Politics free? You bet.

Big On Professional Standards

We’re not so fussed over competitions and events and instead focus on rigorous professional standards. This means we can provide direct access to services such as DBS checks, safeguarding qualifications and first aid training. This ensures our clubs and instructors can remain up to date with best practice and in return, BMABA instructors enjoy some of the highest levels of public recognition anywhere in the UK.

Membership Like None-Other

We can confidently say no other martial arts association in the UK can offer their members so much in terms of licensing, resources and insurance provisions. Everything from club websites, template documents, stock grading certificates and business advice through to volunteer training, DBS checks and marketing support. It’s bundled into one, comprehensive and show-stopping membership.

We Represent Our Clubs To Government

We lobby to ensure our member’s voices are heard not just within the region of Sport England but also at Governmental level. We’re a regular at Sport & Recreation conferences and use every available platform to raise the issues that matter most to our clubs directly to those who can influence that change.

Experts In Martial Arts Insurance

Whether it’s instructor or student insurance, live-blade inclusions or events cover. We’re experts in all areas of martial arts insurance in respect of group cover provisions, and with an FCA regulated and fully qualified insurance broker to hand – we’re ready to appropriately and professionally advise on key insurance considerations whatever your club size.

Modern & Firmly Routed In The 21st Century

We can’t believe how outdated some martial arts associations still are. Sending off cheques and awaiting hand-written license slips seems a little 1970s to us. We’re proud to be modern and well-routed in the 21st century. We employ a technology first approach to helping our clubs grow through the latest tech, web services and customer service. And no, you’ll never need to send off a handwritten form or cheque again.

The Industry’s Finest Member’s Area

Whether you’re trying to purchase merchandise, download a risk assessment or speak with a local club to arrange a competition – our award winning member’s systems are unlike anything provided by any of our competitors. Custom built from the ground up over the last decade, we’ve nailed our web services to the benefit of our 100,000 members.

We Plant Trees To Offset Our Carbon-Footprint

We passionately believe that just like building a sustainable club to ensure your white belts can make it to black belt, we have a responsibility to help build a sustainable world too. We've been planting trees and funding cleaner energy projects around the world and here in the UK since 2020 and have helped to offset thousands of tonnes of Co2 and have been solely responsible for the planting of thousands and thousands of trees.

Our Profits Make Change Happen

Aside from our on-going commitment to fighting environmental and humanitarian issues with every membership to our association, we also fund the vital work of our Fighting Chance Foundation. We use martial arts to change lives, through programmes dedicated toward Childhood Poverty, Knife Crime, Violence Against Women & Girls, Disability Inclusion and more. All of our profits are donated fully to the Fighting Chance Foundation to help fund this vital work.

We Provide A Free Club Management Platform

We know how expensive the right sort of tech can be for martial arts clubs - especially those not working for profit. That's why we provide our ClubManager by BMABA platform free of charge to all our clubs.

Free To Leave

The only way we want to keep you with us is by providing the best service. If we don't, you don't have to renew. We won't tie you in.

Completely Unique

We're very much the trend-setters for martial arts associationship, and we'll continue to innovate and explore.

Community Inspired

All of our decisions - from ultimately how the association evolves down to which resources to build first are led by our members.

Help Growing

We're here to help you and your club grow, in whatever way or to whatever size that may be.