We're A New Kind Of Martial Arts NGB

We’re a self-funded, independent and community led martial arts governing body. This allows us to represent more than 180 styles and disciplines under a collective regulatory and licensing framework.

Our work covers much of the ‘usual’ association services – insurance, licensing, grade recognition, syllabus licensing; but with so much more attached. From essential resources to help you grow your club – like business advice, a free club website and template documents – 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 30,000 members and volunteers from every part of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The association 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. This means the BMABA is completely independent and drive instead by the direction our members tell us they’d like us to travel.

  • 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. We work with independent third parties to ensure this – such as the Living Wage Foundation, Information Commissioners Office and Sport & Recreation Alliance.

  • 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, White Ribbon 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 governing 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 (30,000 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 Fighting Chance Charitable 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, White Ribbon, NCVO and more. We’re a flagship part of the martial arts powerhouse, the BMABA Group of Social Enterprises.

An introduction to the


For Instructors & Clubs

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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, bmaba.com) 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 - Present

We founded the BMABA Group of Social Enterprises off the back of the Coronavirus Pandemic, throughout which 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.

With a full staff of employees, two offices and six-figure turnover to support the association, we continue to grow exponentially. We have now amassed more than 30,000 named members per year with a reach of more than 100,000 throughout all of our clubs. Our organisation continues to be built on a principle of fair, open-minded and transparent leadership without the politics and squabbling.

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. 

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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

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

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There is no martial arts association in the UK doing as much as us right now to get your club back on its feet.
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We're offering 6 months free membership to any instructor or club to help you access our latest COVID guidance including a Covid-Aware Instructor Course and our extensive Covid Recovery Toolkit.