GAMMA China launches pioneering grading system

The Global Association of Mixed Martial Arts in China, GAMMA China, is introducing a grading system for MMA that is being monitored by the International Federation as a pilot project for possible global development and implementation.

Recently, GAMMA has been exploring alternatives to provide significant support for future competitions and the promotion of the sport.

Naturally, despite being a young federation (founded in 2018), it dreams big and aims to become a recognised sport in the Olympic format. It is therefore working day by day to refine its strategies. An important milestone has already been reached by being a demonstration sport at the 2023 African Games in Ghana (under the Olympic umbrella).

In this context of sustained growth, GAMMA China has taken the lead and begun to develop regulations that include scientific evaluations while effectively supervising the technical level of mixed martial arts practitioners.

According to a press release, GAMMA China's goal in developing these regulations is to "scientifically evaluate and effectively supervise the technical level of mixed martial arts practitioners; further standardise and unify the level standard of mixed martial arts through segmented grades; and promote the development and popularisation of mixed martial arts".

GAMMA President Alexander Engelhardt of the Netherlands has welcomed the initiative and sees it as a further step in the development of the sport by formalising MMA pathways for young participants through to adults, including recreational practitioners, within a regulatory framework.

The Chinese system is based on the introduction of Dan rank awards, similar to traditional martial arts, ranging from First Dan (the lowest) to Ninth Dan (the highest). These awards are based on an assessment.

Additionally, a special level has been established for children and teenagers (up to the age of 15), which, as an encouragement to the younger ones, offers a Junior Black Belt (First Dan level) as the highest grade for minors.

From the age of fifteen, competitors then follow the requirements of the youth and adult groups.

In keeping with the traditional heritage of MMA, the grading requirements include an understanding of the culture, morals and etiquette of the martial arts as a basis for commitment.