IFMA practices a strategic outlook, to ensure a focused approach to realising our mission and vision. IFMA understands that success comes in little steps, as much as we teach out athletes to we must show grace in defeat and victory, IFMA understands that we must set the goals realistically, in a proper time frame and that in the end the journey is as important as the destination; the sport, the organisation and most importantly the practitioners will benefit from continually striving for excellence.
The main aspects are:
- Placement of the youth and athletes at the centre of the organisation. IFMA undertakes strategic grassroots development, combining all values while also understanding today and reaching for tomorrow. With culture understanding, respect and friendship, at the same time working in a sustainable manner, then we work towards a better tomorrow and the next generation must outshine the current one. Muaythai is 1000 years old and we are planning for the next thousand 5 years at a time.
- Universality is important for IFMA, equality in sport and life, ensuring equal responsibilities and opportunities. Over the last 10 years, IFMA has worked extensively on female development. A decade ago, only 10 national teams participated with females in their team, by 2012 this number rose to over 60 and at the 2018 World Championships a 50%/50% ratio of male and female athletes registered for participation. We must continue to develop female Muaythai especially in countries, where women traditionally are not as involved in sport as their male counterparts. The same goes for female appointment in executive positions; it is part of IFMA’s strategic plan to have at least 30% of female representation in the Executive Board and a minimum of 5 countries to have a female federation president. IFMA wants to lead the change in sport.
- Maintaining the standards of fairplay both in and out of competition, fairplay being one of the five pillars of Muaythai. The fight against doping is a constant one; we must continue to education all stakeholders that cheating has no place in our family. This includes match-fixing, ensuring that referees and judges, national federations, executive board members continue to work in honesty along our strict code of ethics. It is our strategic goal to make sure our sport stays credible on all levels.
- Blending Muaythai as a combat sport with cultural exchange and education is the important foundation of Muaythai. Pierre de Coubertin the founder of modern Olympics once said, ‘Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy of effort, the educational value of a good example, and respect for universal, fundamental and ethical principle’. IFMA wants to ensure that there is a balance between academic and sporting efforts. This is why IFMA is implementing an educational system based on all values integrating modern technology to engage the youth, implementing the five pillars of Muaythai. The educational platform must also include modules on anti-doping, athlete support, access and promoting Muaythai as a sport and art for every body.
- Social and community development: “giving back” as a strategy taught from the very early stages. This encompassed such initiatives such as ‘Muaythai Against Drugs’ and ‘Sport is Your Gang’. Future strategic planning will include collaboration with partners such a Peace and Sport, Generations for Peace and exploring avenues UN Women and other social organisations.
Cooperation- the strategic plan in IFMA will also incorporate planning, resource and knowledge sharing with other Olympic Recognise organisations, as a member of SportAccord. Continued efforts for highest recognition by the IOC in order to gain access to resources that will benefit Muaythai.
These strategic goals give meaning and purpose to the IF’s pursuits.
IFMA in the Present
Some of the milestones which IFMA has already achieved throughout the years are for example:
1995 – First inclusion in the 18th South-East 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 and membership in the GAISF (SportAccord) 2008 – Inclusion in the TAFISA Games
2010 – Participation at the 1st Edition of the World Combat Games
2013 – Membership in the International World Games Association
Successfully integrating fairplay through the WADA programme
Successfully establishing Muaythai Fitness programmes around the world
Successfully participating in television programmes
Successfully building educational and school programmes
Successfully participated in the 2nd edition of the World Combat Games
2014 – Inclusion in the 4th Asian Beach Games
2014 – Becoming WADA Signatory
2015 – International University Sports Federation (FISU) has officially recognised Muaythai signing the agreement between FISU and IFMA.
2016 – Recognition from the International Olympic Committee (IOC)
2018 – Participation at the FISU University World Championships 2018
2018 – Signing UNESCO MOU
2019 – Unification with World Muaythai Council (WMC) and rebranded to International Federation of Muaythai Associations (IFMA).
IFMA in Future
2020– Full recognition by IOC
2023 – Inclusion in the European Games
2026 – Possible inclusion in the Youth Olympic Games
2026 – Inclusion of Muaythai in the Asian Games
The IFMA Executive Board has identified four key development objectives. The achievement of these objectives is to be measured annually over the course of this four year plan and corrective action is to be taken where necessary.
Download a copy of the IFMA Strategic Plan 2015-2020: IFMA Strategic Plan