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The All India Mixed Martial Arts Association (AIMMAA) was formed in 2004 as an organization to promote and regulate the sport of Mixed Martial Arts in India. AIMMAA was founded by Daniel Isaac, Jitendra Jain, Alan Fenandes, Ryan Thorpe and three other founder members under the Government of India [ trust / society regd Act ] and is headquartered in Nashik. The body supports sport safety and supervises every event in India related to Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). It is the stated aim of AIMMAA in India: "To protect the fighters and promote the sport". In 2014, AIMMAA became affiliated to the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF), which is the international governing body for amateur Mixed Martial Arts based in Sweden. ,
Amateur Mixed Martial Arts saw active participation in the late eighties and early nineties with many inter-style martial arts tournaments being held in the USA, Japan and Brazil. These tournaments soon came under the scanner of athletic commissions and sports boards, and were temporarily banned in many countries because of the perception of ‘no-rules’ image surrounding this sport. For the past few years, with the establishment of IMMAF in 2012 and the advent of an international basis for "Unified" MMA rules, Amateur MMA has seen worldwide interest and participation. There has been a proliferation of MMA reality shows across the world and MMA is now seen as the combat sport of choice attracting aficionados from the world-over. In India the first no-holds-barred event was held in 1985 at Bytco College Nasik Road, Nasik Maharashtra. The event featured fighters from different dojos and gyms and was organized by Ishudo grandmaster Solomon Isaac. The event saw enthusiasts go home with severe cuts, bruises and broken bones, and India did not see another event such as this for a long time. However, the organizer Solomon Isaac was seen as a pioneer for no-rules fighting in the country. Isaac's son Daniel went on to become one of the co-founders of AIMMAA to promote modern mixed martial arts in India.
As required by the IMMAF, AIMMAA promotes a democratic membership structure across India. The AIMMAA offers membership on four levels: individual, gym/club, town (a ‘taluka’) and district/state. District and state associations under the AIMMAA are required as part of AIMMAA’s criteria to register and establish their associations as per the rules of the Ministry of Sports, the Olympic associations and the School Games Federation. The IMMAF recommends all parties interested in developing MMA in India to contact AIMMAA and get involved.
AIMMAA offers open access to membership to everyone in India including sports enthusiasts and legitimate instructors from all combat sports to join the organization. Every gym, club and martial arts school that teaches MMA as part of its curriculum is offered a nationally recognized MMA training program. AIMMAA has a division for police and military training in India. The AIMMAA also runs a separate division for women to actively promote women’s MMA. It offers various programs for its members such as ‘MMA for Fitness’ as well as a 2 year instructor program. The AIMMAA has also been known to work with the Indian film industry (popularly known as Bollywood) to secure action roles for AIMMAA members and athletes. MMA came into light in India in 2012 with a reality show, SFL, started by entrepreneur Raj Kundra and martial artist Daniel Isaac. Martial artists were given an opportunity to rise on an international platform through this show. The AIMMAA ensures that every promoter / member associated with it follows the strict guidelines laid down by the national board for safe practices, official’s expertise and integrity along with high standards of athlete training.
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