Why Join

In these modern, martial art’s times, many small clubs are able to operate independently and probably no longer fit into a traditional style oriented association. Many clubs and Instructors may also find themselves operating on their own having pulled away from what may have been a very controlling and restrictive environment, something we seem to have ended up referring to as being too ‘political.’

Whilst being independent has many benefits there is a price to pay which might be the lack of a network of resources, information, support and the feeling of belonging to something within which there is the possibility to grow and develop. Whilst there may be some objective benefits in terms of resources such as lower cost insurance, certification, grade recognition and other resource material, the ability to have a point of reference for the more subjective, support issues is equally as important.

Being able to pick up the phone and seek advice or bounce an idea off someone, the ability to have a network of like-minded people, the facility to advertise your club and access a wide resource of almost every martial art and combat system and know what courses are in the calendar are all reasons why being totally independent means losing out.

In the Combat Group Associations, and taking all the issues into account, we’ve worked hard at trying to provide the best that both options offer - in other words, membership within one of the Combat Group Associations will provide all the benefits and resources that a large organisation can provide, whilst at the same time providing true independence to clubs and Instructors allowing them to ‘do their own thing‘ but with total back-up and support to whatever degree is needed.

We manage with a ‘light touch.‘ We’re there if needed and don’t interfere if not. The Associations have proven to be an ideal home for Instructors who have felt the need to escape the heavy handed control of the inflexible, style associations, but have been frightened by taking that step into the unknown. Below are some testimonials for people who found themselves in such circumstances and their experience of coming on-board with the Combat Coach programmes. The 3 Associations are big families and we have above all else a very friendly approach in all our dealings

A Club, or Instructor who is a member of a larger organisation is in many ways wedded to the reputation of that group and one of the main considerations when deciding to join an association should not just be about the obvious list of benefits, but should include being absolutely happy about the reputation, image and integrity of the group they are considering. Don’t feel you’re too small, or even too big, to be in membership as we have a spread from starter clubs with one or two members to some of the largest groups in membership; with everyone in membership the relationship is one of a partnership.

Knowing this, we are absolutely committed to maintaining our reputation that has developed over 30 years (2023) from the founding of the BCA and to do this we have to be absolutely consistent in our approach to dealing with people and issues. No other association has done as much in promoting and developing the practical issues that come from martial arts. We were mould-breaking in our approach to these issues and how a multi-style organisation should be run.

Our Instructors and student members can enjoy the reflected kudos of being with a world renowned and independent association, whose names and logos are respected around the globe. When recruiting new members, clubs have the very distinct advantage of being able to display one of our Association logos on their site and documentation.

In great part this reputation is also built on an administration second to none; long gone are the days when Instructors should have to wait weeks to get back student memberships and insurance and below are some testimonials from instructors about their experiences with our administration.


I first trained with Peter Consterdine a few years ago when I was the lead Personal Safety Instructor for my Police Force. Peter came to Essex and taught our PST Trainers about impact development and pre-emptive strikes, it was a very valuable experience that we all gained massively from.  

Since that time I have completed my Self Defence Instructor course with Peter and have further developed my knowledge and skills in this area. I have always received very prompt and valuable support from Peter and Dawn at the BCA and cannot speak highly enough of them. Nothing is too much bother and they have always been willing to help. Great organisation and a great team.

Peter Doherty FITOL. DTTLS.

"I've had a very good experience of being in the BCKA.  First of all, we get a lot of autonomy to set our own syllabus and approach to training, though they do ratify the syllabus to make sure it's robust.  Secondly, they've been good at supporting all my events and promoting it to entire membership. 

Previous associations I've been with primarily looked after the top guys only, whereas the BCA/BCKA support all their members at all levels.
Thirdly, the admin is super efficient and very responsive and helpful.
I have no hesitation recommending the BCA/BCKA to anybody".  

Charlie Wildish Holistic Karate

I have been an associate instructor with the BCA since 2008 and attended 2 of their excellent 4 day residential instructor training events. Both were excellent and certainly helped me to work out where I wanted to take the Academy of Self Defence as a business.

Two years ago I took over the Ju Jitsu club I trained with and immediately left the governing body that did nothing for us and brought the club into the BCA family. We now have access to an open and diverse network of clubs and styles and I have trained with some excellent people and this has enhanced how and what we train. Whenever we want advice or assistance it has been there straight away, insurances are arranged very quickly and the admin is fast to respond.

The BCA is completely politics free and we like that, as chief executive of the growing Conflict Research Group International and editor of Conflict Manager magazine we have enjoyed the support of the BCA in progressing both these projects, both Peter and Geoff and a number of other top BCA instructors have appeared in the mag alongside other top professionals from around the world.

I personally look forward to many years more membership and working with the BCA to improve standards in our industry. Thanks for all your help.

Garry Smith, Chief Instructor at the Academy of Self Defence.

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