We've listed some of our most common questions and answers below for you, but you can search for anything specific too.

If I Join, To What Level Can I Grade My Students?

As an independent organisation we’re keen to allow you as much freedom as possible to teach your way, without hindrance.

Generally speaking, we permit an instructor to grade to one belt / grade below their own – so a 2nd Dan may grade students to 1st Dan, and so on. We know that some traditional styles generally impose a 2 grade rule but we won’t enforce this. We encourage you to follow the etique from your discipline but we do understand it’s not always possible. In our opinion, if you have attained the technical understanding and competency of a 4th Dan you should be free to grade to 3rd Dan, as you’ll of course have to have more than enough technical understanding of this grade in order to have reached and surpassed this yourself!

How Can I Progress My Dan Grades As An Instructor Under BMABA?

We know for a majority of instructors you’ll need to consider at some point in time the question of how you can legitimately progress your Dan Grade without just paying for an arbitrary certificate. We have a formal, flexible and highly recognised process in place to assist clubs of all styles in progressing when the time comes without requiring long-distance travel or expensive grading fees.

It’s called our vocational grading scheme, and you can learn more about it here.

Can the BMABA provide insurance?

The BMABA has a specialist group cover policy that allows us to serve instructor insurance – both public liability and professional indemnity, to our members in conjunction with membership. We can also provide student and club cover protecting you for almost anything. We’re not an insurer, so we can’t offer advice on insurance matters nor provide a standalone policy. We can, however, provide access to our association’s group cover policy at an affordable price in conjunction with membership. To find out more about the cover available and costs, please visit the relevant type of cover using the main menu.

Can I Join Without My Professional Criteria Being Made Public?

Unfortunately not. We’re very open and transparent about maintaining excellent standards in martial arts, and part of this is allowing students to easily see and understand grades, professional qualifications and other statutes – like DBS checks, insurance, first aid and so on. By joining us, you must accept that your professional details will be made available online. Privacy is a big deal. Not only are we of course GDPR compliant and registered with the ICO, but we’re sensitive to these concerns. No personal information is published other than your full name. Please contact us before joining if you have concerns about this.

Can I Run My Club My Way If I Join?

Provided it is safe, responsible and in keeping with our regulatory guidelines – yes.

These guidelines are not designed to restrict what you can or can not do, and don’t lead you to incur any additional charges. You’re still free to grade students your way, when you wish, without paying us a penny and to keep complete control over the direction and future of your club.

Our primary focus is the professional standards, safety and safeguarding of members training with you. Our basic set of regulation will help you run a legal, compliant and safe school. The direction you chose to take this in is entirely up to you.

Do I Have To Provide Proof Of Grade To Join?

Yes, you do.

We won’t accept any applications without full proof of grade being submitted and approved first. You can sign up online and provide your proof of grade via our specialist system, and we’re on hand to help if you have questions about what we need to see.

My Style Doesn't Have Belts - How Can You Establish My 'Grade'

We’ve got some specific guidance on helping those without set guides gain eligibility to teach. It’s fair and based on a number of different influencing factors, so you should find we can help you demonstrate proof in other ways than just grades. You can find out more from here.

Can I Speak To Someone About My Question?

Of course. We’re available by phone Monday to Friday, 9.30AM – 4.30PM. We can also provide  Text, E-Mail, Facebook and Live Chat support. Please click here to contact us.

Do I Have To Leave My Current Organisation To Join The BMABA?

We don’t require you to leave your current organisation before joining us – but if you’d like to leave your current organisation and join us instead we have a dedicated section on our site to help you make the switch. Please click here to find out more.

Why Have I Not Heard Of The BMABA Before?

Good question. We’ve been around since 2012 and to date have tens of thousands of members across the United Kingdom. We’ve won a number of national awards and work with some big charities too.

As a not for profit we don’t spend large sums of our members membership fees on ads and instead rely mostly on organic advertising and word of mouth. It’s possible we’ve crossed paths before our new fancy website was unveiled too, so it may have been our organisation ‘in a previous incarnation’.

Either way, we’re a dominant and well respected organisation in the UK martial arts sector. Please take the time to explore our expansive website and to check out our reviews both on and off our website.

How much does it cost to join the BMABA?

The cost of joining our organisation depends on the type of membership you require, and whether you need insurance too. We do offer completely free membership for those looking to taste the BMABA without commitment as well.

To find out more about the membership options available to you please click here.

Couldn’t find your answer? Get In Touch

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.