International Federation of Muaythai Amateur
Official IFMA Logo
|Dr. Sakchye Tapsuwan|
|Website||International Federation of Muaythai Amateur|
The International Federation of Muaythai Amateur, or IFMA, is the sole recognised sport governing body of amateur Muaythai consisting of 130 member countries worldwide with 5 continental federations. IFMA is officially recognised by SportAccord, the Olympic Council of Asia, WADA IWGA, and TAFISA. Muaythai has been included in many official sport programs such as the Arafura Games, TAFISA Games, SEA Games, Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, Asian Beach Games, Demonstration Sport in the Asian Games, World Games and World Combat Games.
The International Federation of Muaythai Amateur (IFMA) started as a small federation with several enthusiastic countries more than two decades ago. It was officially inaugurated in 1993. After the passage of the first half of its life and at the dawn of an exciting new century, IFMA has grown to 128 member countries worldwide with 5 continental federations, all existing under a single, unified regulatory body. In 1998, IFMA was formally recognized by the Olympic Council of Asia. Muaythai through IFMA has come a long way from its first World Championships held in 1993 when a mere twenty-some countries participated. In the most recent World Championships the participation was overwhelming, with contestants and dignitaries attending from over one hundred countries. The highest milestone for IFMA came in 2006, when it was recognized by SportAccord (known at the time as the General Association of International Sports Federations, GAISF). Thus IFMA could proudly and officially come to the table with all other world-recognized international sports federations. Another exciting year for Muaythai was 2008, with the IFMA World Championships a part of The Association for International Sport for All’s (TAFISA) World Sport for All Games under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). This raised the profile of Muaythai as an internationally recognized sport, through the activities of IFMA to promote Muaythai as a medium for cultural exchange and to raise awareness about this aspect of Thai tradition. 2010 marked the year when Muaythai was one of the 13 world recognized combat sport to be part of the World Combat Games in Beijing under patronage of the IOC, and the second edition was held in 2013 again under patronage of the IOC in St Petersburg, Russia. Now 15 world recognized Martial Arts including Olympic Fencing have also joined the games. IFMA’s objective is the total unification of all 128 member national federations, working mutually for the sport and the athletes. The enthusiasm and commitment of the members, boxers and officials is one of the greatest assets that IFMA brings to the ancient sport of Muaythai. 
2015 SportAccord Convention in Sochi marked a following milestone for IMFA. International University Sports Federation (FISU) has officially recognised muaythai signing the agreement between FISU and IFMA. IFMA President Dr. Sakchye Tapsuwan and FISU delegate Claude-Louis Gallien (President) signed collaboration convention with the international governing body of muaythai. Dr. Sakchye Tapsuwan expressed his satisfaction that IFMA is now a partner of FISU, while President Gallien stressed the importance of sports and friendship.
2015 was a year of elections in the Alliance of Independent Members of Sport (AIMS) which is one of SportAccord's 4 constituent groups. AIMS is an organisation encompassing 23 members of SportAccord acting in the interest of non Olympic sports.
Stephan Fox has been elected as the new AIMS President after receiving the majority of votes than Norwegian incumbent Aspen Lund at the body’s General Assembly.
At the IFMA Royal World Cup in Bangkok the AIMS conference took place gathering all 23 presidents from the its members as well as representatives of IOC, FISU, IWGA, Peace and Sport, TAFISA and many others. The 2015 IFMA Royal World Cup displayed the rapid popularity of women competing in muaythai as the stadium quickly reached capacity during female bouts that displayed courage and heart.
In December 2015 AIMS received provisional recognition by IOC.
The following year in December 2016 at the annual meeting of the IOC Executive Board muaythai with IFMA as the governing body was granted provisional IOC recognition for a period of three years. IFMA will now be able to receive funding from the IOC and can apply for development programmes. The full recognition has to be granted by the IOC Session.
Some of the milestones which IFMA has achieved throughout the years:
- 1993 – Inauguration of IFMA
- 1995 – First inclusion in the 18th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games)
- 1998 – Inclusion as a demonstration sport in the Asian Games
- 1999 – Recognition from the Olympic Council of Asia
- 2005 – Inclusion in the 23rd SEA Games as a fully recognised medal sport
- 2005 – Inclusion in the Asian Indoor Games
- 2006 – Recognition from the GAISF (SportAccord)
- 2008 – Inclusion in the TAFISA Games and as a full member of the TAFISA Sport for All Organization
- 2008 – Inclusion in the Arafura Games
- 2010 – Participation at the 1st Edition of the SportAccord World Combat Games, Beijing, China
- 2013 – Inclusion in the International World Games Association (IWGA)
- 2014 – Inclusion in the 4th Asian Beach Games
- 2015 – International University Sports Federation (FISU) gives its patronage for 1st University Muaythai Cup 2015 held in Bangkok 16–23 March 2015
- 2015 – International University Sports Federation (FISU) has officially recognised muaythai signing the agreement between FISU and IFMA.
- 2016 – Recognition from the International Olympic Committee
- 2013 – IFMA World Kids & Junior Muaythai Championships, Istanbul, Turkey
- 2013 – Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, Incheon, Korea
- 2013 – 2nd Edition of the SportAccord World Combat Games, Saint Petersburg, Russia
- 2014 – Muaythai was declared the winner of the SportAccord 2014 Spirit of Sport Award
- 2014 – Muaythai received the highest honour in Thailand which was the Royal Patronage of His Majesty the King
- 2014 - Muaythai made its debut in the Asian Beach Games under the Olympic Council of Asia
- 2015 - The first Muaythai University World Cup is held in Bangkok under the patronage of FISU
- 2015 – Muaythai Royal World Cup under the Patronage of His Majesty the King of Thailand, Bangkok, Thailand
- 2015 - Female muaythai notably takes an equal position, and for many, surpasses their male counterparts.
Notable upcoming events
- 2017 – 2-7 April - SportAccord Convention
- 2017 – 3-12 May - World Championships, Minsk, Belarus
- 2017 – 20-30 July - The World Games, Wroclaw, Poland
- 2017 – 3-11 August - Youth World Championships
- 2017 – 19-31 August - SEA Games
- 2017 – 17-27 September - Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
IFMA World Championships
Since 1993 IFMA has held 15 World Championships. The number of countries involved has grown from around 20 at the first World Championships to over 100 (as of 2014). The location of the World Championships changes every year; past counties include: Thailand, Kazakhstan, Korea, Uzbekistan and Russia. The 2014 World Championships were held in Malaysia The 2016 World Championships were held in Sweden.
- 2008 – IFMA World Championships Busan, Korea
- 2009 – IFMA World Championships Bangkok, Thailand
- 2010 – SportAccord 2010 World Combat Games Beijing, China
- 2011 – IFMA World Championships Tashkent, Uzbekistan
- 2012 – IFMA Muaythai World Championships, Saint Petersburg, Russia
- 2013 – The World Combat Games, Saint Petersburg, Russia
- 2014 – IFMA World Championships, Langkawi, Malaysia
- 2015 – World Muaythai Championships, Bangkok, Thailand
- 2016 – World Muaythai Championships, Jönköping, Sweden
In April 2012, IFMA marked the official launch of the Muaythai towards IOC campaign at a special gala event in which IFMA lodged its Letter of Intent to apply for International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognition to IOC Executive Board Member, Dr CK Wu. At the same time, an application to be included in the 2017 World Games was handed to Mr. Ron Froehlich, at that time President of the International World Games Association. Also, in attendance was SportAccord President Mr. Hein Verbruggen.
At the SportAccord Convention 2016 which took place in Lausanne, Switzerland, the President of the IOC, Dr. Thomas Bach and President of AIMS, Mr. Stephan Fox signed a Memorandum of Understanding which marked the recognition of the Alliance of 23 International Recognised Member of Sport - AIMS by the IOC. IFMA is one of the 23 members of the group representing muaythai.
On December 6, 2016, the IOC Executive Board had provisionally recognised muaythai following an Executive Board meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland.
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