We recognise that most of the association’s brilliant work, including the exceptional instruction delivered by BMABA instructors goes largely unnoticed as part of our day to day excellent standards, however, we’re always pleased to gain official recognition for programs, initiatives or the association as a whole. Here’s just a snapshot of some of our achievements, awards and accreditation.

Official Partner to Aldi National Campaign

BMABA exclusively served the national Aldi advertising campaign for a free taster session of martial arts for anyone spending more than £30 in-store as the only multi-style organisation listing clubs. This incredible exposure saw BMABA clubs receive thousands of leads throughout 2023 from the millions who shop and see Aldi, the official partner of the Olympic Games

Our CEO Is The UK Business Leader Of 2023

Our CEO and Founder, Giovanni, was bestowed in 2023 with the honour of being named ‘UK Business Leader of The Year’ in the national business awards for his steadfast guidance of BMABA through COVID, and onto success as a membership organisation with more than 100,000 members. Giovanni remains as ever closely involved with the day to day and strategic operations of BMABA.

Best COVID Response For Sports In The UK – Sports Business Awards Finalists

We’re elated to have been nominated as UK Finalists’ for the “Best COVID Response In Sports”, by the Sports Business Awards 2021.
This prestigious event highlights the work done across the sporting sector. The judges often include Sport England Executives and this year, CEO of the Commonwealth Games, London Marathon and Head of BBC TV Sport have been assessing the nominations. We’re pitted up against the Youth Sports Trust, The National Football Centre and Trivandi (the makers of the Track & Trace app who worked on restarting sports events) among others. All of these organisations receive income to the tune of millions, so for BMABA to be on a national platform alongside these names is a real triumph. We’re the only martial arts association to feature across the entire awards categories.

Our Founder Has Been Named by Men’s Health as ‘Britain’s Best Coach’.

Our founder and Chief Executive Officer, Giovanni Soffietto, has been named as ‘Britain’s Best Coach’ by the well know Men’s Health magazine. Branded a ‘black belt mentor’ and ‘change maker’ the award and double-page feature in the national publication is a tribute to the hands that built the BMABA from a £20 start up, coming from a childhood of poverty, to the now multi-award winning influential, 30,000+ member strong martial arts powerhouse that is the BMABA.

We Have Attained The Martial Arts Safeguarding Code At An Organisational, NGB Level.

After 18 months of continued discussions with the Safeguarding Code In Martial Arts, which is backed by Sport England, we’re proud to have attained the Organisational Code – one of the first organisations outside of the Sport England Martial Arts NGB community to do so. This represents our commitment to the finest possible safeguarding standards, as well as our organisations’ continued work to represent the multi-style martial arts community among key programs, such as the Safeguarding Code In Martial Arts.

We Work In Collaboration With GB Taekwondo

We’re very proud to work in collaboration with the GB Taekwondo as a talent pathway for their Fighting Chance programme. This exceptional programme aims to find raw talent from all styles of martial art, and effectively allow everyone the opportunity to present their abilities to the GB Taekwondo Talent Team. This is done with a view to exceptional talent finding their way to the full time GB Taekwondo team and, ultimately, the Olympics. You can find out more from here.

Global Business Insight’s Best Sporting Association

We are thrilled to receive the Global Business Insight award for the 2019 ‘Best Sporting Association’, recognising our disruptive and ‘game-changing’ activity as a martial arts governing body, modernising the industry and raising standards across more than 180 disciplines and styles.

Best Sports Governing Body Initiative Winners

It’s with great pride that the association was awarded the 2019 Sports Business Award’s coveted ‘Best Sports Body Initiative’ for our then-newly found Fighting Chance Charitable Foundation. To be honoured with this award, considering the association was in a category up against renowned NGBs such as Swim England, International Netball Federation, ITTF Foundation and others makes this one of our most humbling recognitions.

Best Sport & Recreation Entrepreneur 2019 For Our Director, Giovanni

Our founder and Director, Giovanni, was awarded the 2019 UK’s Best Sport & Recreation Entrepreneur for founding the multi-award winning BMABA. The award represents years of dedication and sacrifice from somebody who is a truly inspirational and honestly self-made industry figurehead.

Best Association Finalist 2019 – Association Executives Award

We’re thrilled to have been nominated as a finalist in the 2019 AEA awards, an industry leading body that recognises excellence in the associations sector.

Association Executives Awards’ Finalist – Best Association Website

We’re exceptionally proud to have been recognised for the huge investments we put into our websites and digital technology. We’ve been nominated as a finalist for the 2019 AEA ‘Best Association Website’ category. Furthermore, our Chief Executive has been asked to run a ‘success stories’ keynote workshop to help other high-level association heads set up their association websites.

AEA Awards Finalist – Executive Director Of The Year 2019

Our Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Giovanni, has been nominated as a finalist in the 2019 AEA awards as ‘Executive Director Of The Year’ category in recognition of his set up and successful growth of the BMABA.

Best New Business Awards Finalist 2019 – Entrepreneur Of The Year

Our Director and Founder, Giovanni, has been nominated as a finalist for the 2019 Best New Business Awards’ Best Entrepreneur title. This is not specific to martial arts or even associations – it’s an award considered shoulder to shoulder with entrepreneurs from all industries across the UK, so it’s a substantial honour to be nominated.

Sports Business Awards 2019 Finalists, Best Association Serving Sport

We’re immensely pleased to have been nominated as finalists for the 2019 Sports Business Awards. The awards recognise organisations and businesses in our sector. In 2019 we won ‘Best Sports Governing Body Initiative’ for our work on knife crime and childhood poverty. We’ve also been listed as finalists for the ‘Best Association Serving Sport’ for our efforts to improve the martial arts industry.

Institute Of Director’s ‘Director Of The Year’ Award Finalists

Our Director, Giovanni, was a finalist for the renowned IOD’s Director Of The Year award 2019. This was in light of his ability to effectively lead the association’s team of employees and committee, as well as his unfaltering style of no-nonsense governance.

Finalist For The FSB Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award

The FSB recognise and support SME businesses throughout the UK. Our director, Giovanni, has been nominated as the finalist for the FSB Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award 2019 in recognition of this work setting up and developing the now multi-award winning BMABA.

2018 Sports Association Of The Year Bronze Winner

The Association Excellence Awards reward the finest figures and organisations in the world of associations. We’re immensely proud to have not only been the only martial arts association to make it to the finals, but to have also won Bronze overall. For a self-funded, self-started organisation, we’re immensely pleased to have made it to the top three.

The UK’s Only Martial Arts Association Featured In The Government’s #KnifeFree Campaign

We’re the only UK martial arts association signposted to in the Government’s official #KnifeFree campaign, and via the Government’s #knifefree website. This provides lots of referrals for students and parents looking to start martial arts under a BMABA licensed club or instructor.

Proud Members of the NSPA

In partnership with our Foundation, we’re proud to support the great work being done by the NSPA and are a registered member of the group. This allows us to do all we can to ensure martial arts plays a role in keeping as many people as we can with their loved ones.

We’re A Proud Member Of The End Child Poverty Group

We’re a very proud and very active member of the End Child Poverty Group, a collective of charities and organisations committed to ending childhood poverty. Our Director, Giovanni, has also been invited to sit on the prestigious Ellerman Working Group to assist the End Child Poverty coalition in it’s latest national campaign.

Proud Members Of The Sport & Recreation Alliance

We’re very proud to have been members of the Sport & Recreation Alliance since early 2018, and use our position as a member of one of the sporting sector’s most influential organisations to network with senior officials from other high profile British sport institutions, and to ensure that our member’s voices are represented on a national stage, including in discussion with HM Government on matters of policy, funding and sports development.

We’re Committed To The Principles Of Good Governance In Sport

We’re signed up to the SRA code of good governance, which sets out pathways for our organisation to remain politics free, professional and focused on our members. This forms part of our expansive efforts to ensure the association is run in an accountable, effective and transparent way for the benefit of our members.

We’re an associate member of the Anti-Bullying Alliance.

We’re very proud to support the great work being done by the Anti-Bullying Alliance. We have a zero-tolerance approach to bullying in any form, and apart from ensuring ABA guidance is available to our members, we run a number of programs designed to help reduce bullying in martial arts.

We’re Members Of NCVO, The National Volunteer Charity

NCVO champions the voluntary sector and volunteering because they’re essential for a better society. We’re proud to be a member of NCVO (MEMBER/24345) to help represent our club’s voluntary needs on a national platform, and to help provide our instructors with guidance on important matters, such as attracting and vetting volunteers, and finding funding and grants.

We’re a Certified Social Enterprise

We’re very proud to be a registered member of Social Enterprise UK, which confirms our intention to ensure the proceeds of our commercial operations are redirected back into the charity and community based initiatives we run. This forms a fundamental part of our organisation’s goals to affect social change.

We’re Disability Confident Committed

We are pleased to be a registered as being Disability Confident Committed. This pledges our support to ensuring that disabled people and those with long term health conditions have the opportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations.

Registered With The WSA (Welsh Sports Association)

We’re very proud to be a full member of the WSA. The Welsh Sports Association is a leading sports industry name in Wales, providing expert guidance and services to NGBs and sports facilities throughout the country. The WSA also provide a direct point of contact with Sports Wales on all key matters. BMABA is a Full Member and this enables us to offer a tailored and dedicated service to our Welsh member clubs.

2020 Sports Diversity Award Finalists

We’re honoured to be finalists in the prestigious Sports Diversity Award with the SBA 2020 annual awards night. This puts us up among the likes of Leicester City Football club and Premiership Rugby, who will all be hoping to receive the ‘top gong’ on the evening. Beyond the awards night, it goes a long way to showing the quality of our equality and diversity work both internally as an organisation, and among our community of members.

Registered With The SPA (Scottish Sports Association)

We’re thrilled to have been accepted as an Associate Member of the Scottish Sports Association (SSA) to assist us in promoting targeted assistance to our growing number of Scottish clubs and members. The SSA work with national and local government, Scottish Parliament, Sport Scotland, Business, the voluntary sector and other key organisations to shape, strengthen and promote sport in Scotland.

As Seen In The Media

We’re often invited to offer insight, advice or to provide interviews with leading UK media outlets.

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.