IFMA’s philosophy is based on five important pillars of Respect, Honour Tradition, Excellence and Fair Play. IFMA has a solid vision of using Muaythai as tool for empowering the youth and as a powerful contributing factor towards a better world. In order to reach each and every specific goal, we have a strategy and action plan in place to ensure that we bring the future into the present, while at the same time, fostering and promoting the past. 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’s dynamic environment and using that to shape the future. With cultural understanding, respect and friendship, at the same time working in a sustainable manner, we work towards a better tomorrow wherein the next generations exemplify a stronger and more developed understanding of the sport. We intend to grow Muaythai by increasing our focus on youth appeal and the use of digital media. 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 we must continue to develop 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 30-40% of female representation in the Executive Board. IFMA wants to continue to be part of change in sport, and already 2 out of 5 of the Continental Federation Presidents are women.
- Inclusivity and diversity in Muaythai. IFMA continues to strive for inclusivity in all levels that does not tolerate discrimination, barriers, or disadvantages. We are resolute in our mission to provide equal access, tools, and resources for everyone who wants to adopt the sport by formulating policies that allow our members to participate, prosper, and reach their full potential. We create an environment that includes individuals from different cultural and racial background, which is evident in the growing base of national federations that compete in the annual IFMA World Championships and our continued partnership with UNESCO, UN Women, Generations for Peace, Peace & Sport. IFMA has also played an important role in the establishment of United Through Sports which organises annual festivals and events to collaborate with all sports towards the betterment of society.
- Maintaining the standards of fair play both in and out of competition, fair play being one of the five pillars of Muaythai. The fight against doping is a constant one; we must continue to educate all stakeholders that cheating has no place in our family. We implemented Clean Sport: Strategy on Anti- Doping based on a zero-tolerance policy with a vision and mission that only clean athletes shall take part IFMA competitions, focusing on prevention through detection and deterrence while working closely with the IOC, WADA, and ITA. This also includes match-fixing, ensuring that referees and judges, national federations, executive board members continue to work in honesty along our strict code of ethics and adhere with our guidelines on Manipulation of Competitions. It is our strategic goal to make sure our sport stays credible on all
- 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, after sport career programme, entourage, 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’ which was recognised for its efforts when it was awarded the Spirit of Sport award in 2014 and is now established in over 50 countries. Future strategic planning will include collaboration with partners such a Peace and Sport, Generations for Peace, RightToPlay, United Through Sports, and exploring avenues with UNESCO, UN Women and other social organisations.
- Cooperation- the strategic plan in IFMA will also incorporate planning, resource and knowledge sharing with other Olympic Recognised organisations, as a member of GAISF. Continued efforts for highest recognition by the IOC in order to gain access to resources that will benefit
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
2010 – Successfully integrating fairplay through the WADA programme Successfully establishing Muaythai Fitness programmes around the world Successfully participating in television programmes
2010 – Successfully building educational and school programmes
2010 – Successfully participated in the 2nd edition of the World Combat Games 2014 – Inclusion of Muaythai in the Asian Beach Games
2014 – Becoming WADA Signatory
2015 – Staging the first World University Muaythai Championships, sanctioned by the International University Sports Federation (FISU)
2015 – Recognition by FISU
2016 – Recognition from the International Olympic Committee (IOC)
2017 – Inclusion in the World Games
2018 – Signing UNESCO MOU
2018 – IFMA reaches 50/50 male to female participation
ratio at the elite level
2019 – Unification with World Muaythai Council (WMC)
and rebranded to International Federation of Muaythai Associations (IFMA).
IFMA in Future
2020 – Full recognition by the IOC
2023 – Inclusion in the European Games
2026 – Possible inclusion in the Youth Olympic
Development Plan & Markers
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. The developmental markers serve as concrete
indicators of how IFMA is progressing or needs to improve, as well as
indicating which areas need strengthening.
IFMA’s strategic plan for 2020-2024 is positioned after the unification and merge of the World Muaythai Council and other muaythai organisations and the constitutional changes from the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur to the International Federation of Muaythai Associations to ensure the proper and universal development of all athletes and practitioners
in the art and sport of muaythai.
According to the IFMA Constitution, the term of office is of 4 years mandates. The Strategic plan ending in 2020 and the new document ending in 2024 will give the out and incoming Executive Committee the purpose to ensure that all goals of the Strategic Plan are met and implemented. The Strategic Plan shall be analysed annually by the Ad-Hoc Management Committee, the Chairs of the Commissions and all related parties.
IFMA ensures that there is a strict cooperation between the IFMA President’s Office and Secretariat, the IFMA Executive Board and all IFMA Commissions for the common goal of the continued development of Muaythai. IFMA seeks to ensure that it maintains a multi-cultural staff, bringing different expertise and unique cultural understanding of the various member regions.
IFMA is aggressively continuing its youth development and education programmes, implementing social projects and cultural understanding between world youth. Having fun and making friends by doing sport is the key to youth development.
IFMA also keeps up to date, using social media networks as a tool for communication, especially with the youth.
IFMA gives equal importance to its fairplay programme, as it is foundational to the organization that it is better to fail with honour than succeed with dishonesty. We are continuing our
prevention programme to ensure that the athletes are well informed. Additionally, fair decision making in competition must be ensured.
IFMA will continue to develop female participation in the sport. On the fitness side, the numbers of women participants already clearly outnumber males.
Maintaining a strong presence on television sport and entertainment programmes is a continuing goal, to reach and educate people who do not yet have a clear understanding of the sport and to simultaneously educate them about Muaythai’s rules, regulations and values.
Implementation of the strategic plan is to take place during the term of office of all elected officials. It represents the credo of the current Executive Board.
The Next Phase
IFMA’s next strategic plan will cover 2024-2028.