25 Reasons To Join The BMABA

We’re always asked the same question by clubs new to our association – “why should we join?”.

Here’s 25 good places to start…

We’re independent
and proven.

We’ve never received a penny in funding or external support and yet we’ve grown to become an industry leading part of UK martial arts associations. To have grown to the point of 30,000 members in less than a decade and consistently winning over thousands upon thousands of instructors and clubs every year, we’re happy to prove ourselves to you day in, day out.

You’re not bowing down to a self-issued 8th Dan.

In our opinion far too many clubs have to deal with the egos of self-issued ‘masters’ with associations, rather than expecting to be treated like the client. 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 group of martial arts organisations in the UK (BMABA Group) and is the recipient of numerous honours, including GBI Awards’ Entrepreneur Of The Year and Men’s Healths’ Inspirational Coach Of The Year. Giovanni has practiced martial arts since the age of 4 and has actively competed and taught for many years too, before moving on to work at industry level. His mix of traditional (Shotokan) and modern (Kickboxing and Muay Thai) offer him a natural insight into the many pressure of running clubs, gyms and dojos.

We Have 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 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 Boast The Industry’s Best Systems

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

COVID-19 Response

We consistently hear how BMABA ‘raised the bar’ during the COVID-19 Pandemic and remain extremely proud of the way we supported our clubs. 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 topspot’. 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.

Membership Like

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.

On Hand 7 Days A Week

We’re on hand to assist our members 7 days a week. From technical queries on grade progression and safeguarding through to account matters such as password resets and student documents, we’re available by phone, messenger, email, live chat, sms and whats app.

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 30,000 members.
Every purchase made or membership option chosen for instructors and students includes a contribution from us to the Fighting Chance Foundation to change lives through martial arts here in the UK. It also includes a donation to Charity:Water to help provide people around the world with clean drinking water. Furthermore, this membership is Carbon Neutral – we’ll plant trees to offset the carbon footprint of every membership.
Learn more about our impact, and the difference our members make.

We Plant Trees To Offset Our Carbon-Footprint To Sub-Nil

Everytime anyone joins or renews with us it contributes toward an on-going, long term commitment we have to planting trees in areas around the world of high deforestation as well as here in the UK. In addition to tree-planting for our member clubs and instructors, we also plant trees to offset the carbon footprint of our offices and staff ensuring the association runs not just at zero-emissions, but at a carbon deficit. This ensures the long-term impact of the association’s work doesn’t cost the earth.

You can monitor our on-going tree-planting and carbon offsetting in real time below.

Clean Water Via Our Charity:Water Spring Project

We’re committed to ensuring that a percentage of all our income goes toward projects around the world working to provide clean and safe drinking water. It’s incredible to think this is required in the 2020s but sadly water poverty still affects millions. We work with Charity:Water as part of their The Spring project to ensure a sustainable, long-term on going contribution toward vital works installing pumps, wells and water filtration in some of the poorest communities around the world.

We Fund The Fighting Chance Foundation

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 the Fighting Chance Foundation. They use martial arts to change lives, through programmes dedicated toward Childhood Poverty, Knife Crime, Violence Against Women & Girls, Disability Inclusion and more. Their work is national and involves the wider martial arts community in grassroots projects that aim to deliver maximum impact to the communities in which clubs teach. All of our profits are donated fully to the Fighting Chance Foundation to help fund this vital work.

Learn more about our work supporting the Fighting Chance Foundation.

We’re here to help with questions and queries.

Access expert guidance and speak with our dedicated team for queries on membership, insurance, eligibility, us or just about anything else you might need.

We’re not based from a kitchen worktop, nor do we employ call centres overseas to answer generic FAQs for us. We have three locations throughout the UK including our Headquarters in West Sussex. BMABA boasts over 1,250sqft of newly refurbished top-spec office space for our dedicated staff and everyone you speak with here – be it via email, live chat, Facebook or phone – is part of the team and not an outsourced agent.


01798 306546

We’re always happy to speak with new and current members by phone.

Lines are generally staffed between the hours of 9.15am and 4pm Monday to Thursday, and 9.30am to 1pm Friday. Occasionally you may not be able to reach us if we’re all tied up elsewhere (you’re calling a real office, not a call-centre!) but we provide an answer phone service 24/7. Please leave a message and we’ll be happy to call you back as soon as we’re free.

Or, if you prefer, you’re welcome to;

Join More Than 6,500 Like-Minded Instructors & Clubs

We’re one of the largest martial arts associations in the UK with more than 30,000 registered members across thousands of clubs and instructors.

We have our own offices, not the kitchen table.

There’s nothing wrong with smaller martial arts associations. In fact, we think it’s good for competition and variety. Unfortunately too many are one-man bands run from kitchen tables, and not professional set ups with staff.

We have three locations – Manchester, London and West Sussex. Our HQ has over 1,400sqft of dedicated, bespoke office space for our team of staff and volunteers.

Founded in 2012 by the now Multi-Award Winning Social Entrepreneur & Life-Long Martial Artist

Frustrated by a lack of affordable, professional alternatives to the associations Giovanni Soffietto had dealt with when participating and then teaching Thai Boxing and Karate, BMABA was founded.

Focused on professional standards and ethics rather than belts and titles, BMABA boasts the pedigree of a life-long martial arts expert come award winning social entrepreneur as it’s Chief Executive Officer. It’s fair to say we’re well qualified and backed by an industry giant.

Our Membership Isn’t Just A Piece Of Paper

We have always been focused on providing clubs with everything they need under a single membership, and our range of resources, tools and features delivers exactly that.

From template grading certificates and documents through to a free club website and national club listings. Whether it be advice on club structure and marketing or membership marks and qualifications. DBS checks, first aid qualifications, coaching certificates, instructor licenses, insurance, business plans, equipment, graphics – you named it, we cover it under just one simple, affordable membership.

Beautiful, Professional Certification As Standard

So much of what you do will be judged on the grades, credentials and certification you hold. We get that.

We know parents, students and venues don’t always understand exactly what qualifies you. We help by providing superb, professional certification that ensures you look the part. Be it a Dan Grade, Instructor License or Insurance Document, all of our digital and printed certificates will meet the mark and be accepted across the UK.

Our Profits Fund The Fighting Chance Foundation

All of our eligible profits are donated to the Fighting Chance Foundation to help change lives through martial arts.

From programmes designed to help children in poverty and women & girls at risk of violence through to anti-knife campaigns and disability inclusion work, the Fighting Chance Foundation changes lives through martial arts.

Access The Latest Martial Arts Qualifications

We provide all of our members with a free Level 1 and level 2 Martial Arts Instructor Qualification. We also provide access to more than twenty professional courses and qualifications to help expand our member’s portfolios.

From first aid, safeguarding and coaching through to concussion awareness, club colours and marketing – BMABA are a household name in martial arts for providing high-quality, affordable access to training and qualifications for martial arts.

We Back Our Members, Even During The Darkest Of Times

Our response and support throughout the Coronavirus Pandemic confirmed to the industry the way BMABA treats it’s members.

We provided daily updates, dedicated online training hubs, access to a free COVID instructor qualification, subsidised insurances, a self-funded Covid Recovery Scheme, mediation services with local authorities and interpretations of DCMS policy. We increased our operational hours to ensure a 7 day a week response and invested more than ever in our systems, processes and memberships. This is what an association should be doing for its members we believe. As our slogan goes; “To High Places By Narrow Roads“.

You won't find another UK martial arts association that can offer so much to their members.


Not entirely sure?

Try us for free for 6 months, with no obligation.

There’s absolutely no obligation to commit beyond 6 months. You’ll be able to explore what we offer, our member’s area, all of our licensing options and get a better feel for the BMABA’s service without any obligation to become a full member. We genuinely believe the best way to find out if we’re any good is to try us for yourself.

Switching To Us

We know there’s a lot to think about, and we can help.

We have absolutely no interest in enticing you to switch to BMABA if we’re not the right fit. We know that won’t last and isn’t good for you or us. Instead, we can offer a confidential switching process to help you price up whether or not it’s worth while, whilst also getting answers to any questions you might have.