Awards & Recongition

We recognise that most of our 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.

Men’s Health ‘Britain’s Best Coach’ & 'Black Belt Mentor'


Our Founder and CEO, Giovanni Soffietto, was named ‘Britain’s Best Coach’ by Men’s Health. 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.

Organisational SCiMA Certified

Not only was BMABA one of the very first organisations in the UK to gain the Sport England backed Safeguarding Code in Martial Arts certification at an organisational level, we’ve built on this to become the only indepedent body able to automatically provide clubs with SCiMA certification when successfully passing our free Club Colours Award.

GB Taekwondo Talent Pathway

We’re proud to have worked with GB Taekwondo as a talent pathway to their ‘Fighting Chance’ programme, designed to help find exceptional talent across Taekwondo, Kickboxing, Karate and all other disciplines incorporating kicks. This programme helped to make the Olympic Pathway accessible to non-NGB clubs.

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

BMABA was the only UK martial arts association (including NGBs) signposted to in the Government’s official #KnifeFree campaign, and via the Government’s #knifefree website. #knifefree was the Home Office’s campaign aimed at helping to tackle knife crime, something our Fighting Chance Foundation continues to do today.

Best Sports Governing Body Initiative Winners

It’s with great pride that the association was awarded the 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 for our game-changing work fighting childhood poverty.

GBI's Best Sporting Association Winners

We are thrilled to receive the Global Business Insight award for the ‘Best Sporting Association’, recognising our disruptive and ‘game-changing’ model for better governance and support in the independent martial arts sector.

Best Sport & Recreation Entrepreneur

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

SBA Finalists; Best Association Serving Sport

We’re immensely pleased to have been nominated as finalists for the Sports Business Awards as finalists for the ‘Best Association Serving Sport’ for our efforts to improve the martial arts industry and to support our members.

BNB Awards Finalists; Entrepreneur Of The Year

Our Founder, Giovanni, was  nominated as a finalist for the 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. Despite being founded in 2012, this award in 2019 was in respect of the incorporation of BMABA in 2018 as a formal organisation.

Association of the Year Finalists

The AoAE awards represent the best talent within the association industry, and BMABA were thrilled to have been nominated as a finalist in the category of ‘Association of the Year’.

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.

Executive Director of the Year Finalists

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

Sports Diversity Award Finalists

We were honoured to be finalists in the prestigious Sports Diversity Award with the SBA annual awards. This puts us up among the likes of Leicester City Football club and Premiership Rugby. We believe this nomination 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.

Best Association Website

We’re exceptionally proud to have been recognised for the huge investments we put into our websites and digital technology. We received the AeA award for ‘Best Association Website’. Furthermore, our Chief Executive was invited to run a ‘success stories’ keynote workshop to help other high-level association heads set up their association websites to a similar standard to BMABA.

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. 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, was nominated as the finalist for the FSB Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in recognition of this work setting up and developing the now multi-award winning BMABA, founding BMABA at the young age of 20.

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.

Members Of The Sport & Recreation Alliance

We’re 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.

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.

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.

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 were elated to have been nominated as UK Finalists’ for the “Best COVID Response In Sports”, by the Sports Business Awards at the height of COVID restrictions in 2021. We were pitted up against 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 were the only martial arts association to feature across the entire awards categories.

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

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

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 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.

Multi-Award Winning & As Seen On Various Platforms