The Thai Boxing Fighters Academy (TBFA) is based in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The TBFA is a unique Academy combining Muay Thai Boxing and the support of people experiencing mental health issues. The Academy is also accessible to people that don’t experience any form of mental health problem.
It promotes integration in a positive approach, tackling stigma and prejudice, while at the same time enabling members to get fitter and healthier, build and develop skills and confidence. Members are active in monthly meetings where thoughts and views are shared to shape the day-by-day organisation as well as the future of the Academy. We also organise social events, attending Muay Thai tournaments, comedy and TV shows usually sport-related, and much more.
We do our best to facilitate members that are in a particular need of support and encouragement, also referring to other agencies. Furthermore, we encourage members to participate in training courses available through Tower Hamlets Council and other local service providers, to help their personal development and learning of new skills.
The founder and facilitator of the TBFA is Gohar Ghouse, who is a qualified Muay Thai Boxing instructor with the World Kickboxing Association (WKA) and the United Kingdom Muay Thai Federation (UKMF). He has many years of experience as door supervisor and he is a trained close protection officer, along with being a qualified health trainer (NVQ Level 3) and social worker specialised in mental health. He is not a career professional in Muay Thai, but has over 30 years of experience and a strong enthusiasm in the promotion of the sport.
The TBFA started officially in April 2013, supported by Community Options, a mental health agency supporting and promoting people experiencing mental illness or health problems, funded by the Tower Hamlets local authority and managed by the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
Shortly after the foundation, the TBFA started getting memberships and regular attendees, developing its structure and gaining official recognition in Tower Hamlets. Members were not only taking part in Muay Thai boxing training, but also giving an immense contribution in promoting, structuring and organising the Academy. At Monthly Management Meetings, members shared their ideas and views, making decisions by majority vote.
The Academy moved another step forward in April 2015, when it developed its Constitution and subsequently structured its Management Committee, with the main responsibility and accountability to moving the Academy forward.  At present there has been a lot achieved, but there is still a lot more to achieve and develop to improve our Academy and the services we provide.
We are immensely grateful to all members, past and present, who have helped to shape and structure the Academy and devoted their time and effort to ensure success and progression. A special thanks also to the funders and Community Options, for facilitating and providing us ongoing support in many forms.
E-mail: [email protected]