With the news of the inclusion of Mixed Martial Arts in the African Games fresh in the minds of the martial arts community, GAMMA President Alexander Engelhardt travelled to China last week to meet with representatives from GAMMA China and the influential Chinese Wushu association to discuss the development of Mixed Martial Arts in the country.

President Engelhardt joined Annie Li and Zhang Jutao representing GAMMA China to meet with Zhang Lei the Head of Sport Development for the Chinese Wushu Association to analyse the different needs and identify areas where the organisations can work together to capitalise on the already hugely popular sport of MMA across the country.

With many MMA promotions already existing, the challenge going forward is to create the proper governance structures, establishing common rules and regulations for the sport in China and to develop tangible pathways for athletes, while ensuring the highest levels of education linked to refereeing and judging.

“China is a fantastic country for combat sports and having the opportunity to meet with the Wushu federation has been extremely valuable”, said Alexander Engelhardt. “There is a clear vision for the sport in the country which includes the goal of integrating MMA into the school and university structure as well as creating regular GAMMA tournaments and training courses. I would like to thank our hosts and we look forward to working closely in the future to bring this vision to life.”

Strengthening collaborations with the key organisations in Asia is an integral part of the overall strategy that GAMMA has. It will continue to work with partners in the region, including the recently founded Asian Mixed Martial Arts Association (AMMA) to make the sport accessible for all.