We are incredibly lucky to have a truly talented team of fantastic staff and volunteers who help make our association the success it is.

Our roots as a community led organisation still run deep, with a large proportion of technical decisions being reached by our voluntary lead committee team and trustees. We’re a living wage employer, and our staff are vetted to the highest standards. Not only are they capable professionals, we ensure they’re also superb, kind people too.

We’re one of the only martial arts associations in the country with a dedicated staff team and offices.

We’re one of the only association’s in the country to have a dedicated office and full time staff.

This helps us offer a professional service to the many thousands of members who use BMABA as their national body.

Meet Our Team

Giovanni Soffietto

Founder & CEO

Giovanni is the award winning social entrepreneur behind both the British Martial Arts & Boxing Association (BMABA) and the Fighting Chance Charitable Foundation. Born into a life of poverty and starting the association with just £20 of capital, he is a living example of how martial arts can offer the opportunity to break free of poverty.

Giovanni has more than two decades of experience in martial arts as a participant, instructor and fighter. He’s also a tenacious (and now award winning) social entrepreneur, having established the BMABA Group of Social Enterprises, MartialHost and #MartialArtsDoneRight among others.

Sarah Shelton-Agar

Head Of Strategy & Charity

Sarah is one of the main faces behind the Fighting Chance Foundation. Her experience of working with high net-worth individuals combined with a superb acumen for building relationships and commercial activities make a superb fit for overseeing the day to day and longer term strategic development of the Foundation’s key charitable aims.

Sarah acts as our Chairwomen and so co-ordinates Trustee affairs, as well as playing a pivotal role in ensuring our Charity remains complaint, functional and ‘fit for purpose’. She also crosses over her time with the British Martial Arts & Boxing Association working closely with Giovanni on projects of Strategic importance.

Niki Badenoch-Smith

Head Of Operations & Membership Services

To effectively operate as an association requires the management of huge amounts of data, instructors, clubs and participants across multiple channels. This responsibility primarily rests with the association’s core Operations Team. Niki joined the team as one of our first employees and now heads up the entire Operations Team for the BMABA. She is an intricate part of ensuring the memberships and insurances we deliver are available, set up promptly and professionally serviced. Without Niki and her team, BMABA wouldn’t be able to grow at the ferocious rate we’ve enjoyed over the past few years.

Kirsty Hawkins

Head Of Executive Operations

Kirsty is one of our longest serving members of the team and now plays a crucial role in running the BMABA’s Executive Operations. Kirsty graduated from Bournemouth University with a 1st Class Degree in Leisure Marketing and plays a key role in guiding our media and PR positioning as well as the wider development the association’s core operational model.

As part of the Executive team she is also key to a number of strategic level decisions working closely with Giovanni on matters of commercial and financial longevity.

Victoria Munford

Customer Services

Victoria has joined BMABA to help us continue providing ‘best in class’ customer services for both our current and new members. Victoria assists Operations and Strategic in ensuring all of our clients have access to the best possible membership support services, as well as helping our new and joining applicants with queries and enquiries across all of our lines of enquiry.

Alice Shelton-Agar

Social Media & Digital Media

Alice has joined our team straight from University to help ensure BMABA offers the best presence possible across social media and other digital communication channels. Alice is also assisting Strategic Operations and our Operations Lead in ensuring the most efficient possible turnaround for membership provisions and services by expanding our reach and channels within social media marketing and social media communications.

Jess Blincow

Operations Administration

Jess joined our team in September 2020 to help bolster our ever-growing workflow and increasing enquiries. Jess specialises in the on-boarding of instructors and new applicants alongside operational workflows.

Catherine Myers

Finance

Catherine works closely with Giovanni and our Executive team to manage the association’s financial day to day running. This includes payroll and accounting, working closely with our accountant. Catherine is a valued part of the BMABA operation.

Our Committee & Voluntary Assembly

William Vincent

William Vincent

Commercial
Mark Stevens

Mark Stevens

Senior Voluntary Committee
Chris Jones

Chris Jones

National Committee
Craig Sanderson

Craig Sanderson

Senior Voluntary Committee
Thomas Escudier

Thomas Escudier

National Committee
Sally Gleaves

Sally Gleaves

National Committee
Sohail Chowdhary

Sohail Chowdhary

National Committee
Stuart MaCauley

Stuart MaCauley

National Committee
Daren Stirrat

Daren Stirrat

National Committee
Steven Scaddan

Steven Scaddan

Senior Voluntary Committee
Neil Mitchell

Neil Mitchell

National Committee
Adam Merton

Adam Merton

National Committee
Chris Denwood

Chris Denwood

National Committee
Neil Kirkland

Neil Kirkland

National Committee

We would also like to also thank all of our extended team, including Anna and Tim who both work closely as trustees, alongside Aimee, Liam, Chris in Digital and our other contributors.

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.

Recommended

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.

AWARD WINNING

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.

Important Announcement

Our COVID Recovery Grants Are Now Live

We are providing new and existing members with access to free instructor insurance or free student 'member to member' insurances. Access 120 Days Free Instructor ​Insurance Or £40 Of Student Cover off the shelf with further support available for clubs hit hardest.

We also have an additional emergency fund available for grappling arts based clubs, as well as not for profit clubs. Larger clubs will continue to receive substantial discounts and further continuity assistance.
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