We know for numerous clubs that practice style(s) outside of a Sport England NGB that the thought of having to remain at Phase 0 (socially distanced, zero contact training) until June 21st at the earliest has been an incredibly difficult realisation to arrive at. We know it’s further impacted by some clubs with access to a phased return of contact training, and others who are having to make use of ‘neighbouring’ policies from closely associated disciplines. All in all, it’s far from ideal.
With this in mind, we’re very pleased to say that following complex discussions with Sport England’s Return to Play team over the past few weeks, we’ve now been given permission to issue a temporary policy that will allow all styles currently without a formally accepted Return to Play policy the opportunity to resume at Phase 1 and 2 (as relevant) at an organisation level.
Exactly Why This Is Important And What It Means?
Until now only a very small number of styles and disciplines which have a Sport England approved NGB have been granted the ability to have a Return to Play (RtP) policy reviewed and approved. These styles are;
- Brazilian Jui-Jitsu
- British Ju Jitsu
- Krav Maga
(Please note that at time of writing, some of these disciplines are yet to have their RtPs formally approved)
With more than 100 disciplines and styles represented by BMABA alone there is clearly a huge section of the independent market that until now has had no firm way of out Phase 0, zero-contact training.
The confirmation we have received from Sport England today (15/04/21) now permits us to publish to our members a specific policy framework that will act as a temporary RtP policy document. This will allow all currently unrepresented styles access to the DCMS phases of return and the wider risk mitigation measures seen by the above referenced policies.
This will enable all styles of martial arts we represent the ability to resume contact training at Phases 1 and 2 (per the DCMS guidance) whilst any formal reviews for RtPs are assessed by DCMS.
What Styles Would Be Able To Use BMABA’s Guidance?
Only styles without a DCMS approved Return to Play policy would be able to make use of this guidance policy document. It is not an approved Return to Play policy – we have agreed with Sport England that as the process for this to happen is lengthy, whilst we continue to work toward this on a few differing disciplines, a temporary and immediate document that ties together official guidance for styles without representation would be much more beneficial.
|Ba Ji Quan and Tai Chi|
|Bataireacht (Irish Stick Fighting)|
|Bujinkan Budo Tai Jutsu|
|Canne de Combat|
|Choy Li Fut|
|Choi Kwang Do|
|Close Protection Training|
|Close Quarter Combat (CQB)|
|Daido Juku Kudo|
|Drunken Fist (Zui Quan)|
|Eagle Claw Kung Fu|
|Filipino Martial Arts|
|Fu Jow Pai|
|Han Mu Do|
|Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA)|
|Hwa Rang Do|
|Jado Kuin Do|
|Jeet Kune Do|
|Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaido|
|Jun Fan Gung Fu|
|Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do|
|Kaze Arashi Ryu|
|Kuk Sool Won|
|Kung Fu To’a|
|Lau Gar Kickboxing|
|Lau Gar Kung Fu|
|Lee Style Tai Chi|
|Leopard Kung Fu (Bao Quan)|
|Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP)|
|Martial Arts Based Fitness|
|Military Martial Arts|
|Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)|
|Monkey Kung Fu (Hou Quan)|
|Nearu Martial Art|
|Nihon Goshin Ju Jitsu|
|Qi Kwan Do|
|Qwan Ki Do|
|Reality Based Martial Arts|
|Russian Martial Arts|
|Sanjuro Martial Arts|
|Shaolin Kung Fu|
|Shindo Jinen Ryu|
|Soo Bahk Do|
|Tai Chi Chuan|
|Tang Soo Do|
|Tiger Claw Kung Fu (Fu Jow Pai)|
|Traditional Italian Martial Arts|
|Viet Vo Dao|
|Wing Chun Kung Fu|
|World Tang Soo Do|
Has This Decision Been Approved By Sport England?
Yes, it has. Throughout the pandemic we have steered toward only releasing guidance which is factual and to the best of our knowledge accurate. When Return to Play policies were mandated before styles could resume contact training, rather than publishing what we thought might be permissible, we’ve established direct contact with Sport England’s Return to Play team and have secured confirmation that;
- Any club from any association can make use of DCMS approved Return to Play Policies, meaning if an NGB policy has been approved, any club can make use of it without being a member of that organisation.
- That we may release an interim BMABA Return to Play policy that will act as a general guidance policy for all styles we represent currently without an official Return to Play policy in place.
It’s important to stress that this policy document does not supersede or replace the DCMS approval route. Following our complex discussions, Sport England have recognised the need to allow styles without a formal NGB a route back to contact training and understanding that an approved DCMS RtP might never emerge for some styles, they have agreed that a general policy document will allow our clubs the opportunity to resume on a standardised framework. This does not grant exemptions from what is currently permitted with other Return to Play policies, but it does allow clubs who currently have no policy to work from access to this framework and the associated privileges.
We have a full policy document in the works at the moment which will clarify this, but as an interim measure, we’re happy to share a heavily redacted email between the Return to Play unit at Sport England and our CEO, Giovanni.
What we are keen to stress is that this does not offer us any authority to exceed the current Phase 0, 1 and 2 DCMS guidance’s but rather, it allows us to create a policy framework that will allow clubs and styles currently without an approved NGB plan the opportunity to resume alongside their peers in styles such as Karate and Kickboxing in the interim.
What About Styles With A Sport England NGB?
If your discipline has a Sport England approved NGB and there is a DCMS signed-off Return to Play policy in place, you must follow that policy instead of our interim policy framework.
What About Wales, Scotland And Northern Ireland?
We’re watching closely in respect of what’s occurring in neighbouring nations and hope this precedent set with Sport England will allow us similar privileges in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It is currently an incredibly complex picture, so we will be providing detailed, individual guidance for the devolved nations in the days ahead.
Where Can I Find The BMABA Policy Document & When Will It Be Ready?
To view the release of this document, and to access the policy, click here.
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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.
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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.
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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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Switching To Us
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