At the 24th IFMA Annual General Meeting held recently in Bangkok, Thailand, Sami Kiblawi of Lebanon was elected as the vice president of the organization amidst great fanfare and celebration.
A Brief Background of Sami Kiblawi
Born in 1960, Sami Kiblawi is one of the best and most famous martial artists of Lebanon and even the Arab world. He possesses a long list of awards and his achievements are too many to recount. In the Middle East, Sami Kiblawi is regarded as the pioneer of combat sports. He founded the Lebanese Kick Boxing Federation and the Lebanese Muay Thai Association. For both of these institutions, he served as the General Secretary.
Not being satisfied with just his home country, Sami Kiblawi also sought to promote martial arts in the other countries of the Arab world. He helped Iraq, Palestine and Syria in establishing their own Muay Thai and Kickboxing federations.
He is also the founder of Arab Federation for Kickboxing Organizations (AFKO). He serves as the official representative in the Middle East for the World Association for Kick Boxing Organizations, for whom he even served as the VP to the chairman for two terms.
In 2009, Sami Kiblawi finally earned the Degree of Bram Ajarn in kickboxing which authorizes him to use the title of Grand Master. He was also the founder of the very first combat school in Lebanon and, in fact, the Middle East.
The 24th IFMA Annual General Assembly
The 24th Annual General Assembly of the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur was held on 21 August 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand. The event was packed to the brim. 96 national federations fully recognized by IFMA, 24 prospective federations and a large contingent of representatives from various governments and sport authorities attended this event. Lebanon and the Arab world were represented by none other than Grand Master Sami Kiblawi.
By unanimous votes, Grand Master Sami Kiblawi was given the incredible honor of becoming the Vice President of the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur. It is truly a remarkable achievement for Sami and great honor for Lebanon and even the Arab world. Lebanon was also given another honor. The country was awarded the opportunity to become the host of the West Asian Muay Thai Championship which will be held sometime in the middle of December, 2015. This is bound to increase the exposure of the sport in the Arab world. Of course, the new role given to Sami Kiblawi is certainly a huge responsibility but one that the Grand Master is likely to enjoy. Sami can now further help the Arab world improve its conditions for mixed martial arts.
Dr. Sakchye Tapsuwan was elected the president of IFMA for a successive second term in the assembly. He is another important figure in the world of martial arts. During the event, various details came to the fore such as upcoming muaythai and other martial arts events to be held within the next year.