All Styles – One Mission
EMPOWERMENT THROUGH MARTIAL ARTS
The IAGLMA Mission
The International Association of Gay and Lesbian Martial Artists (IAGLMA) was born in the excitement and camaraderie of Gay Games III in Vancouver, Canada. It was there that the first international multistyle LGBTQI+ martial arts competition and seminar series was held.
Formed in the spirit of Tom Waddell’s Gay Games vision, IAGLMA embraces the principles of “Participation, Inclusion, and Achievement of One’s Personal Best.” To carry this vision forward, our events include seminars presented by an international array of female, male, and gender non-conforming martial arts masters from multiple styles. All are welcome. Our tournament rules for sparring, forms, weapons, and self-defense were designed to provide a fair and level playing field for as many styles, ages, and experience levels as possible.
Until Gay Games III, many LGBTQI+ martial artists trained in the closet, often not knowing any other martial artists from their community. IAGLMA was formed to ensure that the incredible experience of GGIII would be included in every Gay Games to come.
IAGLMA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to fostering the empowerment of LGBTQ people through martial arts.
IAGLMA welcomes martial artists and all interested parties from around the world. Current participants in include:
Martial artists from Australia, Canada, China, Finland, France, Italy, Germany, Malaysia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, The Philippines, Russia, Thailand, Turkey, The United Kingdom, The United States, and West Africa
Practitioners of all styles: competitive and noncompetitive (such as many styles of Aikido), as well as mat and floor practitioners
Martial artists of all abilities, ages, gender identities, adaptive needs, and healthcare regimens
Martial artists of all ages, ranks, and levels of martial arts and self-defense experience
Schools and organizations committed to our common goals and mission
IAGLMA is committed to the ideal of multistyle educational martial arts and self-defense seminars, as well as multistyle tournaments. Our goals are to provide a safe, inclusive environment for all martial artists, and to ensure equal access and opportunity at every level of the martial arts for all genders and gender non-conforming martial artists. We are dedicated to ensuring the inclusion of martial artists with special needs and providing multistyle seminars, tournaments, and learning opportunities within the international martial artists community for all styles, ranks, ages, and abilities.
We aim to continue our international outreach to include diversity of styles among our members and directors and to educate through the martial arts and self-defense. We are committed to forming partnerships with traditional local, national, and international martial arts organizations to promote our ideals of inclusion, safety, respect, participation, and attainment of personal best. We work with and teach martial artists worldwide to educate, empower, and protect ourselves through local, national, and international self-defense seminars for the general public.
We are dedicated to including the largest geographic and martial arts style representation among our board members. Membership on our Board of Directors requires a commitment of energy and expertise so that together we may continue our commitment to education and outreach to all martial artists everywhere.
Empowerment | Inclusion | Action | Respect | Partnership
IAGLMA Board of Directors
American Kenpo, Shoshin Ryu Jiu Jitsu
Cleveland, Ohio, USA
World Tae Kwon Do Federation
San Francisco, CA, USA
London, United Kingdom
Tae Kwon Do
San Francisco, CA USA
Oakland, CA, USA
Chuck Norris System
San Francisco, CA USA
Gay Games 11 – Now Postponed until 2023
Taking place on 15–18 November 2023—for the first time in Asia—Gay Games 11 Hong Kong (GGHK) offers a unique and dynamic mix of sport, arts, culture, fun, and community by bringing together many diverse groups of people to create moments of connection and joy. With the tagline “Unity In Diversity,” the event is designed to foster create memories of inclusivity and happiness.
With an expected 12,000 participants, 75,000 spectators, and 3,000 volunteers from 100 countries, the 36 sporting events include dragon boat racing, dodgeball, eSports, and trail running, arts & culture events, and more! Everyone is welcome to participate—regardless of ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, or background. The full experience includes opening and closing ceremonies, daily performances, a gala concert, LGBTQ+ art exhibitions, and more exciting events to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Gay Games. (And you’re invited!)
To further our goals of inclusion for all martial artists, IAGLMA has revised international, standard semi-contact multi-style tournament competition rules to ensure gender parity and the inclusion of those with special needs in form, sparring and judging—a level of inclusivity unheard of until the Gay Games.
In addition, the IAGLMA rules promote inclusion and emphasize safety, fairness, professionalism, and the attainment of one’s personal best.
IAGLMA rules will govern the martial arts events for the Gay Games XI (Hong Kong, China), and to date, our rules have governed the martial arts events at:
Gay Games IV (New York, NY, USA, 1994)
EuroGames IV (Berlin, Germany, 1996)
IAGLMA’s Get Ready for Gay Games V International Multistyle Martial Arts Tournament and Martial Arts and Self Defense Seminars (Philadelphia, PA, USA, May 1997)
Gay Games V (Amsterdam, The Netherlands, August 1998)
Gay Games VI (Sydney, Australia, 2002)
Euro Games (Munich, Germany, 2004)
Get Ready for Gay Games VII Tournament (London, UK, 2005)
Gay Games VII (Chicago, USA, 2006)
Tournoi International de Paris (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009)
Training tournaments and events in Sydney, Australia; San Francisco, CA, USA; Munich, Germany; and Paris, France
More Upcoming Events—Join Us!
Sydney WorldPride 2023 Martial Arts Championship
An inclusive LGBTI martial arts tournament will be held 16-21 February 2023 in conjunction with Sydney WorldPride's sports festival. This tournament will be in the spirit of the Gay Games and will be following the rules of the International Association of Gay and Lesbian Martial Artists. Our events will include sparring, forms, weapons and self-defense competitions for people of all styles, ages and experience levels. Click the link below for details.
Watch IAGLMA in Action
To get a taste of the fun and energy of our martial arts and self-defense events, explore a few of our recent videos. We plan to update them periodically, so be sure to check back. (You might even see yourself featured!)