Thursday, May 9, 2019

Aikido to return at IWGA’s 2021 World Games

As it was announced at the International Aikido Federation’s official facebook page: ‘IAF will submit application to the 2021 Birmingham World Games to participate as a demonstration martial art.

The World Games, first held in 1981, are an international multi-sport event, meant for sports, or disciplines or events within a sport, that are not contested in the Olympic Games. The World Games are organised and governed by the International World Games Association (IWGA), recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The World Games are held every four years, one year after the Summer Olympic Games. The next host city will be Birmingham, Alabama, USA in 2021 then Chengdu in 2025.

The IWGA membership has been historically the second pivotal step of aikido and IAF for the dissemination and recognition of aikido around the world. IAF became a member of IWGA in 1984 and aikido has been presented as a demonstration discipline at The World Games of 1989 in Karlsruhe, 1993 in The Hague, Netherlands, 1997 in Lahti, 2001 in Akita, and last time at the 7th edition, the 2005 World Games held in Duisburg.

Aikido did not participate at the versions of The World Games 2009, 2013 and 2017, since the pattern of aikido’s presence, which was suggested was not satisfying aikido as a martial art with no competitions and tournaments. IAF’s very successful formula to participate in world events with demonstrations and seminars along with the popularity of aikido and the strengthen of the art in the world organizatons surely played a role for aikido’s return. 

IWGA has stated for the 2021 version: ‘IWGA Member Federations who are not part of the official or invitational sports program of The World Games 2021, and are in line with the IWGA rules and regulations shall receive priority consideration. Additionally, sports who are part of the The World Games 2021 Sport Program, as well as other sports with local or national appeal may also participate.’

The 2021 World Games will be the 11th version of The World Games, scheduled to be held from July 15 to 25, 2021 in Birmingham, Alabama, United States. The World Games 2025 will be in Chengdu, China with the participation of the IAF. 
You may also want to read: Is Aikido a sport?