The Global Association of Mixed Martial Arts’ member in China, GAMMA China, is launching a grading system for MMA that the international federation is monitoring as a pilot project for potential global development and implementation. 

This comes as the international federation continues to look at ways to provide strong support for future competitions and promotion of the sport, with China taking a lead.

GAMMA President Alexander Engelhardt has welcomed the initiative as further step in the development of the sport that sees the formalisation of MMA’s pathways for youth up to adult participants, including recreational practitioners, within a regulatory framework.

GAMMA China’s aim in developing the regulations is for the “scientific evaluation and effective supervision of the technical level of mixed martial arts practitioners; to further standardize and unify the level standard of mixed martial arts through segment grades; and to promote the development and popularization of mixed martial arts.”

The Chinese system incorporates Dan grading awards commensurate with traditional martial arts, ranging from First Dan (the lowest) to Ninth Dan (the highest), based on assessment. To encourage the participation of children under the age of fifteen, GAMMA China has established the Junior Black Belt (First Dan level) as the highest obtainable grade for minors. On reaching the age of fifteen, participants then follow the requirements of the youth and adult groups.

In line with MMA’s traditional heritage, assessment requirements include an understanding of martial arts’ culture, morality and etiquette as fundamentals of engagement.