It’s been a miserable winter for martial arts across the UK following another round of national lockdowns but it looks as if, finally, we have what should prove to be a start to the return of martial arts ‘as we know it’.
What Is The Timeline For Returning To Contact Martial Arts?
As always with everything COVID related, it’s really important you check, check and double-check again for these dates holding steady. Regular changes can occur based on available data presented to the Government.
This is the current timeline to ‘normal’ martial arts for England, based on the current roadmap;
What Help Is BMABA Making Available To Clubs To Help Return To Teaching?
We know more than ever that clubs need support and financial assistance to get them through the next few months, forward to May when indoor sessions can largely resume. We also know many clubs feel let down by the lack of support from Sport England and other Government departments. Unfortunately it’s especially smaller, often not for profit groups, who don’t have premises and incorporated status who have been left to fall through the gaps worst.
We will not stand by and watch martial arts in the UK fail.
To ensure we remain true to our constant message of doing whatever we can to support grass roots martial arts, we’re providing our own in-house, self-funded COVID Recovery Grant scheme. Whilst we can’t provide cash grants for use on equipment and premises; areas we know that are in desperate need of assistance – we can provide credit and free of charge periods for insurance – both instructor and student – to help clubs get back on their feet.
Our COVID Recovery Fund and Grants are open to new and existing members and we encourage as many clubs as possible to make use of the provisions on offer.
Questions & Answers On Martial Art’s Return to ‘Normality’
We’d like to start by saying that this guidance is based on the recently announced Government Roadmap, but it is still early days. We’re trying our best to provide answers to questions we hear time and time again but it should be taken as a given until you have consulted the guidance yourself.
Can I re-open my gym on 12th April?
Provided the dates do not move, it would appear so. It’s important to mention that whilst gyms will re-open, group classes for adults will not. Individual training will be permitted and it would seem reasonable for an instructor to be able to supervise activities generally, for safety reasons. They would not be able to provide tailored guidance or 1to1 tuition however. This may provide the opportunity to invite students back to self-train ahead of a more general return shortly thereafter.
Are children exempt from the requirement to train outdoors at the end of March?
As we understand it, children aren’t exempt from the out-door only training requirement until 12th April when indoor children’s classes can resume. There are exemptions for certain groups – such as vulnerable children, classes forming part of an educational school syllabus, or children of key workers for specific purposes.
Is there any official confirmation of this roadmap?
Yes, fortunately there is. We would encourage all instructors to read the official guidance here.
Is there definitions available for any of the restrictions or permissions listed in the timeline above?
A very good question! We’ve drawn on the Government’s published infographics, combined with their definitions and notes on each point. The salient points to note are;
104 – How we’ve defined children’s sports not being able to resume when schools open on March 8th;
Children will still only be able to attend indoor childcare or supervised activities where doing so will allow parents or carers to work, seek work, attend education, seek medical attention or attend a support group. Vulnerable children can already attend these settings regardless of personal circumstance and the Government will also ensure any other child eligible for Free School Meals will be able to do so – ensuring they can attend those that are part of the Holiday Activities and Food Programme (HAF) running over the Easter holidays.
87 – Another section relating to the above;
Under-18 sport can take place at school as part of educational provision, or as part of wraparound care, but should not otherwise take place at this time.
102 – How we have confirmed that there will be no limits on the size of classes outdoors when permitted;
Formally organised outdoor sports – for adults and under 18s – can also restart and will not be subject to the gatherings limits, but should be compliant with guidance issued by national governing bodies
117 – Points to note on children being exempt for activities, once allowed to re-open;
All children will be able to attend any indoor children’s activity, including sport, regardless of circumstance. Parent and child groups of up to 15 people (not counting children aged under five years old) can restart indoors.
Will contact and grappling really be able to resume on 21st June?
Based on the guidance published, yes. We would, however, caution some hesitancy on this date. Whilst it’s clear from the official guidance that legal restrictions on contact will be relaxed at this point (all being well) there may well still remain some limitations or restrictions on what social contact is recommended or permitted in certain settings. This might relate nearer the time to vaccine passports or regular testing, for example. Whilst this is a great sign that ‘normality’ is approaching we need to sit tight and await the DCMS to provide additional clarity on this as soon as possible.
Does this mean I can teach outdoors from 29th March without limits on students?
It would appear so. The Government’s reference 102 states;
Formally organised outdoor sports – for adults and under 18s –
can also restart and will not be subject to the gatherings limits, but should be
compliant with guidance issued by national governing bodies
This should pave the way for martial arts to return too. Whilst the examples given have been the arbitrary tennis and golf, we know from DCMS and Government guidance last year that non-contact, socially distanced martial arts was permissible. The major issue will revolve around contact so it’s worth keeping a close eye on this as the date approaches.
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.
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.
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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.