More than 6,500 clubs trust us to help them grow every year.

Multi-Award Winning. Self-Started. Built On Reputation.

We're An Unrivalled Trade Body For Martial Arts Clubs & Instructors

Completely self-funded, politics free and community led, we’re a martial arts association for instructors and clubs serious about doing things right. That’s why we now represent more than 100,000 members across 6,500 clubs in 150 disciplines.

We’re focused on raising the bar for professional standards of instruction and boosting grass roots participations. We do this by helping our members grow their clubs and supporting them in every possible way.

Our work covers much of the ‘usual’ association services – insurance, licensing, grade recognition, technical development etc; but with so much more attached. From essential resources to help you grow your club – such as club management software, template documents and a huge community of like minded instructors – through to professional services such as DBS checks, first aid training and instructor qualifications. It’s all covered.

We know all of the cliches and ‘old boys’ clubs, and know the politics and squabbling so many clubs have been held back by for many years.

We’re an industry disruptor in spite of being founded on just £20 of capital in 2012. Our membership now surpasses 100,000 members and volunteers from every part of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

BMABA is politics free, completely independent, community led and fiercely committed to the development of our industry, leading the way for change and a modern martial arts industry. What’s more, we can provide you and your club with everything you need to grow within a supportive framework, whilst remaining completely independent to chose your club’s best future path.

Our Association At A Glance
  • Completely Independent & Self-Funded

    We don’t receive a penny in grants or funding from any government body and we don’t have any investors either. That means we’re only guided by one thing – what’s best for our members.

  • Professional, Accountable & Politics Free

    One of our major reasons for success stems from our absolute intolerance of politics, who’s-who and squabbling. It’s not necessary, and doesn’t happen within our organisation. Instead we focus our association on setting and adhering to the very best-practice.

  • Small Or Big, Modern Or Traditional

    We welcome tens of thousands of members from all styles and backgrounds. Be that a modern, commercial MMA gym or a traditional amateur Karate club – no students to a thousand; everyone has a voice, and everyone is respected as a client. We don’t follow the usual idea that you must bow to us. You’re our client, so we have a service to provide to you. Simple as.

  • Insurance, Licensing, Guidance & Tools

    From instructor, club or student insurance through to licensing. Instructor qualifications and DBS checks to risk assessments and business plans. Regulatory guidance through to marketing advice; our membership packs a real punch and combines hundreds of different elements into a single place.

  • Multi-Award Winning & ‘Out Of Industry Recognised’

    Our organisation, charitable programmes and founder are all award winning. What’s more, through our work with organisations like the Home Office, End Child Poverty, Anti-Bullying Alliance and more, we’re a renowned and respected organisation both within and outside of the martial arts world.

We are the British Martial Arts & Boxing Association (BMABA); a multi-award winning, independent martial arts supporting body.

The association promotes participation, develops martial arts and effectively regulates the instruction of martial arts through all of our BMABA registered coaches, clubs and senseis.

For coaches and clubs, our work extends far beyond just guiding best practice. We represent your club and student’s views on a national platform, providing invaluable resources and tools. From the key essentials like insurance, DBS checks, safeguarding, training and qualifications through to club websites, marketing advice, collaborations and business guidance – we offer it all under one inclusive, affordable membership package.

Our organisation is a multi-award winning, independent, politics free body that has risen from just £20 of capital in 2012 to the now dominate position of a substantial and influential disruptor in the UK martial arts sector. Despite our impressive membership count (100,000 and counting) we still very much class ourselves as the underdogs.

We’re not funded by Sport England or any other external bodies and instead offer a new breed of modern martial arts governance. Founded on the principles of being a not for profit, professional organisation that looks after our members, you’ll find BMABA a refreshing experience compared with many of the more weathered associations whom have been trading for decades.

What’s more, our Foundation uses martial arts to tackle social inequality, with specific programs tackling knife crime, childhood poverty, violence against women and girls and much more. All of the association’s profits support these causes so we can be absolutely clear that every penny put our way goes back into the UK martial arts community.

We work in conjunction with a number of partners including the Home Office, End Child Poverty Group, NCVO and more.

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. We also plant trees and fund carbon reduction programmes to offset the carbon footprint of every membership.
Learn more about our impact, and the difference our members make.

We Fund The Fighting Chance Foundation

Every penny spent with BMABA goes toward supporting our Foundation; the Fighting Chance Foundation. We use martial arts to change lives  through programmes dedicated at fighting Childhood Poverty, Knife Crime, Violence Against Women & Girls, Disability Inclusion and more. Our 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.

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 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.

We’re Not A ‘Tin-Pot’ Company

We’re a well established organisation that is one of the only association’s in martial arts to hold dedicated offices and full time staff. We have over 2,000 sqft of office space with addresses throughout West Sussex, London and Manchester.

At A Glance

Our History & Heritage

September 2012

Founded on just £20.00 of capital (£4.99 of which was spent on our first domain, the BMABA came into existence. The association was  formed by the now multi-award winning social entrepreneur Giovanni Soffietto who at the time, aged just 20, was relatively unknown within the industry. Our opening principles were about forging a community of like-minded instructors focused on a fair, professional approach to governance.

2013 - 2014

In our infancy, the association didn’t resemble the power-house it’s today known as. Our focus was primarily exclusively on instructors, working to produce recognisable instructor licenses to allow senseis the chance to teach more freely, outside of what was (at the time) a largely ‘closed-door’ industry made up of (mostly) a few large, long-established NGBs.

2015 - 2018

Our association and our membership began to explode in popularity and we gained many thousand members – finishing each year up on the previous by a considerable margin.

We remained focused on being run by our community of instructors, with the founder and senior management team running the day to day around their own 9-5s and family commitments. This was all in the interest of remaining politics free and commercially unbiased.

As we moved toward 2017/18 we began to struggle to cope with the demand from our ever-increasing popularity and approach to governance.

2018 - 2019

Now nearly a decade old and in receipt of numerous awards, the association developed further with the launch of a range of new provisions, insurances and initiatives. To help continue showing our commitment to remaining in the community interest, the association became a Social Enterprise and the BMABA Fighting Chance Charitable Foundation was founded to run our many flagship charitable initiatives.

Off the back of our many media appearances, out of industry award wins and the opening of a full time Operations Office in West Sussex to compliment our London hub, the association continues to grow rapidly and go from strength to strength.

2020 - 2021

During COVID, martial arts was left completely forgotten by DCMS. We stood up, made the voices of our tens of thousands of members heard, and led from the front. During the Coronavirus Pandemic, we set aside tens of thousands of pounds of support and offered what was considered by many to be the industry’s most supportive response. From comprehensive breakdowns of the latest government rules through to self-funded grants and free membership extensions; we did whatever our clubs needed to see them through the various lockdowns.

With a full staff of employees, two offices and six-figure turnover to support the association, we continue to grow exponentially. During COVID, we worked hard to support UK martial arts with an independent and professional voice to Government. We produced a range of policies that helped clubs re-open, and grew in size from 20,000 members to 30,000 members.

2022 - 2023

Celebrating 10 years of BMABA, we amassed more than 65,000 members across the UK and continued to inspire more clubs to setup and run safely and professionally under our affiliation.

We continued to receive accolades from within and outside of martial arts, and our charitable work intensified off the back of the cost of living crisis. We continued to build up membership features and services, and continued to offer martial arts clubs the most robust and fully featured set of tools, support and guidance anywhere in the UK.

2023 - Present

As we celebrate more than a decade of fundamentally changing the way martial arts works in the UK, and having generated more than £1,000,000 in membership revenue BMABA continues to rapidly expand. We refuse to rest on our laurels and instead lead by our motto – ‘To High Places by Narrow Roads’.

During 2023 and beyond, we rolled out a new generation of technological tools to help clubs stay ahead – from website and club management software to SEO, analytics and domains. We also continued to roll out new specialist qualifications, CPD, charitable programmes and more including the launch of our BMABA Clubs Grants.

Find out more about the inspiration story of our association’s growth from just 1 member and a £20 capital starting point, to the now multi-thousand point nationally recognised NGB.

See our story.



We’ve featured in newspapers and radio, have won various external accolades and continue to work with a number of high-profile charities and organisations. 

See What All The Fuss Is About >>

Our People

Explore Who Makes The BMABA What It Is

We’re superbly proud to have a great team of employees and volunteers who all contribute to the BMABA being the exceptional organisation it is today.



We’re exceptionally grateful to all of our staff and employees for their continued professionalism, care and devotion to helping our organisation grow. That’s why we’re proud to be a Living Wage Employer, and currently pay in excess of the highest recommended pay grade to all of our staff.

Meet The Full Team: See our leadership, employees and committee

We Can Help Your Club

Whether it’s the basics – like Insurance, Safeguarding or Qualifications through to cutting edge websites, club management software or legal guidance; there’s a membership fit for every budget and every club.

We’re here to help with any questions or 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 9.30am and 2.30pm Monday to Thursday. 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.

(We’re a modern organisation, so we welcome your enquiry via email, SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Twitter and various other channels. See how you can reach us.)

Or, if you prefer, you’re welcome to;

From appearing on BBC Radio and national newspapers, to winning industry-specialist awards and working closely with organisations such as the Home Office, we’re one of the most credible names in UK martial arts. Learn More.

We’re a certified social enterprise, which means every penny spent with BMABA not only supports Fighting Chance Foundation, but also helps tackle climate change, plant trees and fund clean water projects around the world. Learn More.

Latest Updates

Articles & Guides You May Find Helpful

Join One Of The UK’s Largest Communities Of Independent Martial Arts Clubs

We’re one of the largest martial arts associations in the UK with more than 100,000 registered members across thousands of clubs and instructors.

We have our own offices, not just the kitchen table.

Let’s be clear; 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. Worst still, they’re made to look as if they’re bigger and more recognised than they truly are, which puts your club at risk.

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. He’s also been awarded Men’s Health Coach Of The Year for his work setting up the Fighting Chance Foundation.

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.

Club Colours Award That Meets Sport England’s Mark

Our Club Colours Award process not only issues a ‘school of excellence’ mark to clubs who hold it, but the safeguarding oversight has been approved by Sport England and allows us to automatically issue the ‘Safeguarding Code in Martial Arts’ award to every club that holds our ‘tick mark’.

We receive zero funding to run this, but we ensure it’s completely free for every single BMABA member to access.

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.

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 and we’ve doubled-down during the cost of living crisis, too.

During COVID 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“.

Moving forwards into the ‘cost of living crisis’ we’re continuing to provide an unbelievable level of support to clubs by ring-fencing pricing at 2019 levels, providing additional discounts and funding grants to smaller clubs, introducing new resources, boosting marketing for clubs and so much more.

The Most Powerful Member’s Area Of Any UK Martial Arts Association

Split across three systems – MyBMABA, The Instructor Portal and The Help Desk, BMABA boast the industry’s most powerful member’s area. Access communities, forums, resources, tools, insurance, membership records, tickets, web provisions, news and updates across any device – including via our new app – 24/7 from anywhere in the world. Our member’s area ensures you get the most from your membership.

Stunning Printed Certification & Instructor Pack

This membership option includes our beautiful and professional instructor certification in printed format as part of your Instructor Pack. You’ll receive all of your documentation on 220gsm woven certificate paper, embossed, foiled and stamped to ensure premium documentation that sets you apart from the competition.

Unrivalled Support Setting Up & Growing Your Club

Whether your ambition is to start a small not for profit club or to build up the next national franchise, our range of business support, online courses, resources, tools, template excel spreadsheets, expert articles and more will help your club thrive.

Certification, Insurance & Evidence With You, On The Go.

Access your BMABA instructor’s documentation, student license slips, insurance certification and even you’re own submitted DBS checks, first aid qualifications and other criteria. Our systems provide you with access to all of this documentation on the go, 24/7. Be it from a mobile, our app or a desktop – so you can access, download and share your certification when you need it most.


Available on Android and OS devices, the BMABA app allows instructors and clubs – as well as students and parents via a second, separate app – access to the latest updates, resources, guidance, community, forums and loads more. Bring your association, along with all your digital certification – with you in your pocket.

Access To Qualifications & Training

We’re always building on our library of industry-leading awards and qualifications. This includes our Level 1 and Level 2 instructor qualifications, our Safeguarding & Lead Safeguarding qualifications, our First Aid Award, Club Colours Award, Club Management Qualifications and so much more.

Student Management Software

We provide you with access to exclusive student management software which will help you track attendance, see student details, show your class schedule, accept online bookings, run a club shop, update your members with club news, run a member’s only area and so much more. All completely free of charge.

Shop St. Provided Free Of Charge

Shop St. is a premium app that provides access to huge discounts across hundreds of retailers, restaurants and stockists. It’s usually exclusively for employees of large organisations but we’ve secured access for our members, and we’ll foot the bill for you too.

Free Designated Safeguarding Lead Service

We know Safeguarding can be a difficult area for smaller clubs to field, and that’s why we’ve stepped up to the plate to offer a completely free designated safeguarding lead service. This allows your club to designated BMABA as the welfare officer, which means we’ll deal with all your safeguarding concerns, questions and referrals.

More Than £1,250 Of Premium Services & Tools

From template grading certificates, safeguarding policies and club registration forms to our online logo designer, club accreditation marks and premium club finder listings. It’s all inclusive and wrapped up into your membership fee so you can access more services with us than anywhere else without paying a penny more.

National Referrals From ASDA, Yeo Valley & More

We’ve secured an exclusive contract with a national marketing company that means BMABA is the only martial arts association to serve a number of national retailers who reward their customers with free sports lessons. We’ll be fielding referrals from a number of national organisations such as ASDA as the only martial arts provider for their customers when redeeming loyalty points.

Everything You Need For An Online Presence

Access hundreds of pounds of hosting provisions and tech services as part of your membership. From AWS specialist managed wordpress hosting and free site migrations (if you already have a WordPress website) to a premium drag and drop site builder, all inclusive with your own domain name, email and tech support if you need it.

Your Membership Makes A Difference

We’re a social enterprise. This means your fees don’t go into the back pocket of a self-appointed 10th Dan. We plant trees to fight global warming, we fund clean water projects to save lives in developing nations and we make sure your membership to us, and our organisations’ operations are Carbon Neutral. We also donate all of our profits to the Fighting Chance Foundation to help them change lives in the UK through martial arts.

Club Colours Award Included

Enjoy open access to our Club Colours Qualification and the associated Award, which makes your club a ‘School of Excellence’. Our Club Colours Award, which looks to ensure clubs are up to date and compliant with best practice and safeguarding is of such a high standard it will automatically entitle clubs to be awarded (or renewed on) the Safeguarding Code in Martial Arts on completion.

Marketing & Design Software

We’ve invested heavily in software and tech to help clubs perform better online. Included in your membership is access to our flagship and industry-exclusive design and marketing software. Effortlessly create leaflets, business cards, brochures, certificates, banners and so much more with our online editor and software suite.

Plus So Much More

Our membership never stands still. From the latest tech to more template documents and certificates, martial arts fitness and nutrition recipe books to safeguarding training and qualifications – we’re always adding to what BMABA offers and it’s always wrapped up in the idea of ‘one membership, one price’.

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 12 months, with no obligation.

There’s absolutely no obligation to commit beyond 12 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.