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The World of Multi Sports Organizations... Where does martial arts fit in.

Updated: Jul 6, 2023

The world has many multi sports organization that have different objectives and benefits. The highest accolade for any sport interested in the Olympic Participation is the International Olympic Committee (IOC), it is the custodian of the Summer and Winter Olympics, and recently the Youth Olympics. The process of getting IOC membership is a lengthy and very tedious process. First the sport must satisfy the following minimum criteria:-

  • The Olympic Charter indicates that in order to be accepted, a sport must be widely practiced by men in at least 75 countries and on four continents and by women in no fewer than 40 countries and on three continents.


  • They assemble amateurs of all nations in fair and equal competition. No discrimination is allowed against any country or person on grounds of race, religion or political affiliations. Only persons who are amateurs within the definition laid down in art.

  • While conserving their independence and autonomy in the administration of their sports, International Sports Federations seeking IOC recognition must ensure that their statutes, practice and activities conform with the Olympic Charter.

  • The IFs have the responsibility and duty to manage and to monitor the everyday running of the world's various sports disciplines, including for those on the programme, the practical organisation of events during the Games.

  • The IFs must also supervise the development of athletes practising these sports at every level.

  • Each IF governs its sport at world level and ensures its promotion and development. They monitor the everyday administration of their sports and guarantee the regular organisation of competitions as well as respect for the rules of fair play.

Association of Federations
  • In order to discuss common problems and decide on their events calendars, the summer federations, the winter federations and the recognised federations have formed associations:

    • the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF),

    • the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF), and

    • the Association of IOC Recognised International Sports Federations (ARISF)

Recognised International Sports Federation not in the Olympics....

Sports governed by International Federations recognised by the International Olympic Committee

  • Air Sports

  • American Football (Provisional)

  • Automobile

  • Bandy

  • Baseball Softball

  • Billiard Sports

  • Bowling

  • Bridge

  • Cheerleading

  • Chess

  • Cricket

  • Floorball

  • Flying Disc

  • Icestocksport

  • Karate

  • Kickboxing

  • Korfball

  • Lacrosse

  • Life saving

  • Motorcycle racing

  • Mountaineering and Climbing

  • Muaythai

  • Netball

  • Orienteering

  • Pelota Vasca

  • Polo

  • Powerboating

  • Racquetball

  • Sambo

  • Squash

  • Sumo

  • Tug of War

  • Underwater sports

  • Water Ski

  • Wushu

So as can be determined from this list and those already in the Olympic Program the following are full recognized:-

  • Judo - Olympic Games

  • Taekwondo - Olympic Games

  • Karate - Not in Olympics

  • Kickboxing - Not in Olympics

  • Muaythai - Not in Olympics

  • Wushu - Not in Olympics

Karate was temporary included in Tokyo Olympics 2022 but lost its place due to various reasons. It can only be included in the Olympics of possible 2040. Recognition and inclusion is totally separate for a sport to be included in the Olympics its needs at least 8 years. Recognition is a much longer process. Also it can be determined that there are too many fighting sports in the Olympic recognition and participation list.

We will continue this BLOG in the future with explanation of all the other organizations and their requirement for recognition. Until next time keep working hard and see you at the 1st World Cup in India in January 2023

The UWMAF is now grappling with this question of International Federation recognition, as one can determine there is no multi-sport international martial arts federation in the Olympic movement but rather individual sports disciplines. A debate for another time. Enjoy....

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