Iain's Introduction

The exponential growth in those returning to practicing the martial arts in a practical way means that there is now a pressing need for a global dedicated association so practitioners of applied martial arts can band together for the benefit of both the arts and themselves.

The bodies set up to promote sporting offshoots or a particular style or methodology – as useful as they can be for their members – do little to promote and enhance what we see as an extremely important aspect of the martial arts.

An open and inclusive worldwide association is needed for pragmatic traditionalists and practitioners of functional martial arts. The World Combat Association (WCA) fulfils this need!

Many martial arts bodies have a recurring bad habit of trying to limit the freedom of their members and hence the WCA aims promote and enhance the wide variety of pragmatic approaches without imposing unnecessary limits upon people.

The WCA will wholly dedicated to the promotion and furtherance of applied martial arts. Your standard association will typically deal with things like insurance, providing representatives for competitions etc. That is not the role of the WCA.

The WCA has been set up to be an independent association of likeminded individuals who believe that applied martial arts needs a body to address the specific issues associated with our pragmatic approaches.

The WCA will be totally dedicated to, and focused on, the promotion and study of the practical aspects of the martial arts. We therefore will not be engaged in activities such as selling on insurance etc. Those who therefore have insurance through the other bodies to which they belong, or who have it independently, do not therefore need to pay for a service they do not need.

We will be totally happy with all WCA members being members of as many or as few other bodies as they wish. As I say, it is not our job to impose restrictions on members; just the opposite in fact!

The WCA will promote all practical approaches to all the martial arts and will have no dictatorial hierarchy. This is a group in which diversity in approach (providing it remains practical and of high quality) is encouraged and deemed valuable.

The WCA aims to meet the following objectives and to provide the following services:

  • To provide a dedicated body for practically minded martial artists that is open to all and does not restrict individual approaches.
  • To promote the practise of applied martial arts.
  • To promote those individuals, groups and instructors who are contributing to the furtherance of applied martial arts and to help get them the recognition they deserve.
  • To ensure instructors of applied martial arts from all over the globe can network, learn from each other, and help each other to advance.
  • To promote the groups, materials and seminars of instructors of applied martial arts to as wide an audience as possible.
  • To make available quality study materials.
  • To provide a private monthly newsletter which will include information on applied martial arts for all WCA instructors; and to which all WCA instructors are encouraged to contribute and use to promote their activities.
  • To recognise gradings in the applied and practical aspects of traditional martial arts so people do not have to test against a sporting or “aesthetic” criteria in order to advance in rank.
  • To help provide grading opportunities for senior people and to recognise existing grades (proof of existing grade will be required).
  • To give instructors the freedom and support to develop their own syllabus, to independently test against those syllabuses, and to have the grades awarded by member instructors recorded, registered and certificated by the WCA. These grades will be certificated as being awarded by the instructors in question and registered with WCA.

Instructors will also have the option of having their syllabuses “WCA Approved”. This is in no way mandatory and individual instructors are free to decide if it is for them or not. However, there are benefits to syllabus approval. Gradings conducted by member instructors against a WCA approved syllabus will also be certificated as “approved by the World Combat Association” (as opposed to simply “registered”).

For a syllabus to be approved by the WCA it obviously needs to be screened by us. It is not our intention to dictate details and this will be a broad criteria – not specific detail – to ensure approved syllabuses include what I’m sure you’ll agree are “must-haves” such as a holistic methodology (i.e. include striking and grappling), the use of impact equipment, include live non-compliant practise, awareness training, escape skills, bunkai / application of forms (for those groups who practice forms), etc. Help can be provided in designing such a syllabus. Groups who have WCA approved syllabuses may make use of that approval in the promotion of their group.

To allow members instructors to use the WCA umbrella to promote themselves and their groups.If the World Combat Association sounds like something that could be of interest to you, please contact us on admin@worldcombatassociation.com and we’ll send you more information and answer any questions you may have.

Iain Abernethy Chief International Coach


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