The International Federation of Muaythai Associations (IFMA): A Journey of Growth and Recognition

The International Federation of Muaythai Associations (IFMA): A Journey of Growth and Recognition

The International Federation of Muaythai Associations (IFMA): A Journey of Growth and Recognition


The International Federation of Muaythai Associations (IFMA) began as a small federation with several enthusiastic countries three decades ago. Today, it has grown to 140 member countries worldwide with five continental federations, all unified under a single regulatory body. This remarkable growth showcases the global appeal and acceptance of Muaythai.

Commitment to the Olympic Charter

IFMA accepts and recognizes the mission and role of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The federation always conforms to and respects the Olympic Charter, adopting the code of ethics based on the principles of the IOC. Fundamental principles of Olympism include sustainable development of sport, educating youth through sport, and recognizing the practice of sport as a basic human right. Therefore, IFMA’s mission is to ensure every individual can practice Muaythai free of discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or politics. IFMA remains steadfast in working towards this right and freedom for all.

 

Development and Social Responsibility

IFMA has established various commissions to oversee and develop areas of social responsibility, universality, ethics, youth and education, prevention of competition manipulation, and activities for all. These commissions liaise with stakeholders of the Olympic movement to ensure adherence to the Olympic code of ethics and function with transparency and good governance.

From Humble Beginnings to Global Recognition

Muaythai through IFMA has come a long way since its first World Championships in 1993, where only twenty countries participated. The most recent World Championships saw overwhelming participation, with contestants and dignitaries from 101 countries in attendance. A significant milestone in the globalization of Muaythai occurred at the 1995 South East Asian Games when Muaythai was included as a sport for both genders to compete in various divisions. Since then, Muaythai has been included in many Continental multi-sport Games, such as the Asian Beach Games and Indoor Asian Martial Arts Games. It was also a demonstration sport in the Asian Games in 1998.

Recognition by the International Olympic Committee

In 2012, IFMA lodged its first official application for recognition by the International Olympic Committee. This application was the culmination of twenty years of strategic planning to achieve the highest sport recognition, benefiting our most important assets: our athletes, our future. A total of 54 criteria points had to be met, covering key themes of Governance, History & Tradition, Universality, Popularity, Athletes, Development of the IF & Sport, and Finance. IFMA fulfilled these criteria and proved that the sport would be a valuable addition to the Olympic movement. Provisional recognition was granted in 2016, followed by full recognition in 2021 during the Tokyo Games.

A Historic Milestone: The European Games

In 2023, IFMA and Muaythai made their debut on the official medal sport program of the European Olympic Games in Poland at the 2023 European Games. This achievement marks a significant step towards Olympic inclusion. As part of this push, wearing IFMA-approved equipment is necessary to ensure standardization and safety in competitions.

Click here to see Competition Rules

Our IFMA approved products will continue to grow as Oceania develops competing athletes in this discipline. As the TopTen agent for this region, we have access to all their IFMA approved products. Please contact us if we do not currently have an item in stock that you need for competitions / training. 

The journey of IFMA is a testament to the dedication and passion for Muaythai. From a small federation to a globally recognized body, IFMA continues to champion the sport, ensuring its growth and the opportunity for everyone to participate without discrimination.

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