Muaythai’s ascent within the Olympic Movement brings with it a profound responsibility, one that the International Federation of Muaythai Associations (IFMA) takes to heart. Embracing the ethos of Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games, IFMA has developed a comprehensive educational framework known as the Unified Muaythai program. This program, crafted in collaboration with key stakeholders within the Olympic family, embodies a values-driven curriculum aimed at ensuring the welfare and longevity of both current and future generations of Muaythai practitioners.

Central to IFMA’s mission is the belief in seamlessly intertwining sport with culture and education, a philosophy echoed throughout the One Standard Muaythai initiative. Instructors seeking to participate in IFMA international events are required to obtain certification through this program. This entails completion of a rigorous four-day workshop focused on principles such as fair play, safeguarding, anti-doping measures, combatting match-fixing, nutritional guidance, understanding the Anti-Doping & Equalisation of Opportunity (ADEL) framework, and the legal obligations inherent in coaching certification.

Recently, the inaugural instructor course, a collaborative effort between the Royal Thai Government, the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF), the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT), and IFMA, was conducted from April 24th to 26th at the esteemed Sport Authority of Thailand. The event commenced with opening remarks delivered by IFMA President, Dr. Sakchye Tapsuwan, alongside esteemed dignitaries including Mr. Prachoom Boontiam, Deputy Governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand, Supranee Guptasa from NSDF, Ajarn Thavorn, Chair of the IFMA Cultural Commission, and numerous others.

Distinguished lecturers led sessions covering a spectrum of critical topics. Safeguarding was elucidated by experts Jamie Tucker and Katie Hart, while IFMA Director General Charissa Tynan oversaw discussions on ADEL. Janice Lyn, IFMA Director, shared insights into athlete nutrition and well-being, while Dr. Erdogan, IFMA’s medical chair, delved into health and safety protocols for gym and competition environments. Legal aspects were expertly navigated by Mervyn Tan, Chair of the IFMA Legal Commission, and Stephan Fox, President of United Through Sports, underscored the transformative power of sports in effecting social change. Additionally, representatives from the Patronat des Arts et Traditions, representing Khun Somchart, contributed to the enriching discourse.

The event also featured revered Muaythai masters such as Ajarn Chao and Ajarn Sawaeng, who shared their expertise on the One Standard Muaythai program and its cultural dimensions, marking Thailand’s official integration into this international initiative.

In his opening address, IFMA President Dr. Tapsuwan emphasized the course’s role in augmenting the existing skill set of participants, acquired through the SAT instructor license, with invaluable insights into pivotal sporting principles.

The first cohort of eight certified instructors is poised to embark on a significant journey to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for a special Muaythai festival, hosted in collaboration with the Royal Thai Embassy and the Saudi National Muaythai Federation from May 7th to 9th. His Excellency Mr. Darm Boontham, the Honorary Ambassador, conveyed his heartfelt congratulations to the inaugural instructors and eagerly anticipates their arrival in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, heralding a new chapter in Muaythai’s global journey.