The BMABA’s Fighting Chance Scholarship Programme is the industry’s very first and original scheme to help children living in poverty learn martial arts, build their confidence and develop into a fully-fledged instructor without charge.

The program provides financial support and coaching for children from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. It will take a student from white belt through to a licensed instructor, providing fitness, self confidence and the social mobility needed to earn a self-sufficient income too, thus coaching and mentoring future generations of disadvantaged children. As an instructor or club, you can get involved at no extra cost with your BMABA membership.

Programme Introduction

It’s absolutely heartbreaking to think that in the 21st Century, with all of the technological developments and luxuries so many of us enjoy, that any child in the UK would still be living in poverty. Unfortunately that’s what is happening on a daily basis.
We’re not just talking about parents who work damn hard not having the disposal income to send their kids to a sports club to learn a new skill, or to buy football boots so they can join the local team (although that’s hugely prevalent and a huge problem in it’s self). We’re talking also absolute poverty. Children who are hungry. Children who are cold. Children who start ‘the race in life’ so far beyond their peers it’s almost impossible to believe they’ll ever be able to catch up. And for so many kids growing up in relative poverty (the aforementioned group) they’ll see Mum and Dad, or just Mum or just Dad work so hard but still be unable to make ends meet. Mounting family debts, lack of opportunity and a focus on keeping a roof over the family head overtakes every parent’s ambition to give their child the very best opportunities in life – such as learning to defend themselves, keeping their weight under control and feeling confident enough to do well in life.
We have the power to change this, and the British Martial Arts & Boxing Association (BMABA) is changing this through martial arts. Your club can be a part of this.

Why Take Part?

We are all in essence good people who want to do good for our fellow humans, but it’s sometimes hard to know where to start.

Being a part of the BMABA’s Fighting Chance Scholarship Program is your way of putting your martial arts teaching to the best possible use you can. It’s already a noble, brilliant thing to do – teaching self defence, and helping people develop. To take that one step further and directly influence the life path of some of our most vulnerable and needy young people is truly the heights of grass-roots coaching.

Take a look at some of the stats to the right on child poverty. It’s truly shocking. You can change this, you can improve this. You don’t pay anything extra to enrol in the scheme – it’s included in your annual or monthly membership fees too, so there’s no barriers to your participation, even if you do just run a small not for profit club.

Put your martial arts to the best possible work and change the life of a young person desperately in need of a clean break.

There were 4.1 million children living in poverty in the UK in 2016-17. That’s 30 per cent of children, or 9 in a classroom of 30.
As a direct result of tax and benefit decisions made since 2010, the Institute for Fiscal Studies project that the number of children in relative poverty will have risen from 3.6m to 4.3 million by 2020
Work does not provide a guaranteed route out of poverty in the UK. Two-thirds (67 per cent) of children growing up in poverty live in a family where at least one member works.
Child poverty blights childhoods. Growing up in poverty means being cold, going hungry, not being able to join in activities with friends. For example, 50 per cent of families in the bottom income quintile would like, but cannot afford, to take their children on holiday for one week a year.

As part of the scheme, which is free for your club to join as a registered BMABA member, you’ll have access to the stunning enrolment certification to confirm you’re a part of our national scheme.

You’ll also have access to our focus group, resources and tools to help you understand the program, the plight of child poverty and how you can make changes at club level to help. We’ll also arm you with all of the documentation needed to get your eligible students signed up, as well as access to registration logos and marks you can put on your leaflets, marketing and e-mails to show you’re licensed under the scheme.

We’re the first and original association to run this scheme, so don’t accept cheap imitations designed to look good but ultimately profit the organisation! You’ll need to be a registered member of the association to access the Scholarship Programme. Once you’re a premium member, the scholarship program is available at no extra cost.

See Membership Options




Costs & Obligations

Just To Confirm

Enrolment to the scheme, participation, certification and all the support and guidance needed to make your club a full part of the programme is included at no extra cost with your membership. It’s not an optional extra, it’s not chargeable and won’t cost you anything to join.

What We’ll Fund

We’ll pay the student’s annual licensing fee (which is inclusive of student membership and insurance) until they’re a qualified instructor.
When they’re 18, we’ll pay for their enhanced DBS check, safeguarding qualifications, first aid training, Level 1 and Level 2 coaching qualifications and any other necessary CPD based training.
We’ll pay their assistant instructor training fees, so they can start assisting you in your classes.
When qualified, we’ll pay for their first year’s instructor insurance and membership with the association, so they can start their first club or assist in yours. We’ll also pay half of their second year’s fees too.

What You’ll Need To Fund

Any club joining fees, grading fees, uniform costs and training costs so as to enable free training and participation at club level.

We genuinely want to see all of our instructors registered on the scheme, so we’re footing all of the costs of administration and enrolment. This means you’ll have full access to the scheme without charge as a paying BMABA member. It’s inclusive if your annual membership fees.

The program it’s self does involve some self-funding requirements from you at club level, but this doesn’t actually involve you shelling out any cash to us, or to the students directly.

We’ll pay all of the associated licensing, insurance and development costs for your student(s) enrolled under the scheme. This includes coaching qualifications, DBS checks, safeguarding training and, once qualified, instructor insurance, licensing, membership and so on.

What we’ll ask you to fund is the costs of training and participating with you at club level. This will include training costs, any grading fees and joining costs, as well as uniform or clothing. In reality, this shouldn’t lead to any significant costs and 95% of clubs will be able to absorb these costs without any impact on their cashflow. We’ll do the heavy lifting in terms of insurance and licensing, so we’ll just need you to do the ground work to get your enrolled students in the doors and onto the mats.

We’ll provide all of the technical details, guidance and information needed to implement the scheme, and to get your eligible student(s) signed up too, so you don’t need to worry about this element of the scheme’s operation. It’s all readily available from Club.BMABA when you’ve joined us.



The Difference

Imagine the feeling of waking up in your own home, with enough in the bank to cover the essential bills and put food on the table for you and your children. You’re twenty five and you grew up in poverty. You never thought you’d have your own safe space, nor a stable income that has elevated you out of the continuous money worries that constantly haunted you as a young adult.
You’re earning enough to live, and you love what you do. You teach martial arts in schools, and in your club. You know how tough poverty is, and the life of crime that often accompanies it so you make a point of helping other young people get the same access to quality martial arts training as you were lucky enough to receive. You remember feeling confident for the first time in many years when you started training. You remember getting fit, and pushing yourself. You’ve seen how the self discipline has helped you face life’s challenges and succeed.
This is the difference you can make to a young person’s life. It may sound a little over-zealous, but it’s a real difference you can make immediately. You’ll need to be a registered BMABA member to access the scheme. We’re an independent, multistyle association and we’d love to welcome you aboard.  
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Join the BMABA and access the industry’s only original Scholarship Programme.
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Facts and figures on child poverty gratefully referenced from End Child Poverty.