BMAEX is multi discipline martial arts festival that brings together all style of martial arts under one roof. The event is a melting pot of martial arts disciplines, with practitioners from a myriad of styles gathering under one roof. Traditional martial arts like Wushu, Silat, Kung Fu, Muay Thai, and Taekwondo will share the stage with modern combat sports such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, MMA, and kickboxing. This diverse representation of martial arts showcases the rich heritage and evolution of combat techniques across Malaysia & the region.

BMAEX 6th edition is on 15-17 DEC 2023, at Palm Beach Resort Labuan.

A very special thing about BMAEX is  definitely the award night. Held usually on the welcoming dinner ceremony. This award for martial artist in Malaysia, was initially just an idea I shared during the early days of Warriors.Asia (formerly known as Warriors of Borneo blogspot ), which caught the attention of Alvin & through his great effort made it a reality.

B-MAEX is the only organization in Malaysia & perhaps in this region that have this type of award. This award is to recognize individual or martial artist that has given great contribution to improve the community through martial arts.

Let’s get to know one of the award recipients for 2023 here, whom won the Martial Arts Hero of the year

Imran Harith, 34 years old, born on 14th September 1989 in Subang Jaya, Selangor .

Where he grew up & went to SK Subang Jaya, and continued his secondary education at SMK Subang Jaya. For his tertiary education he studied in KDU University College graduating with a Degree in Public Relations & Communications.

16 years ago when he was just 18, through his passion for Muaythai, he travel all the way to Chalong, Phuket, to train at Suwit Muaythai. It was a life changing experience for him. Personally it was a journey of self discoveries for him, as at that time his existence basically was train eat live Muaythai.

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But during the time there he sees how Muaythai gym was the place where underprivilege & marginalized kids was sent to be set right. It’s not a prison type environment although strict discipline is emphasized, but guidance by the coach & seniors using Muaythai values for life, not just for the ring.

This led Imran to be inspired to have a similar set up or program for Malaysia to help the underprivilege kids. Thus, he founded Discover Muay Thai (DMT) with two of his close friends, Khairul Azri and Mohd Sanul John. It took them countless months of hard work to prepare & present his ideas to convince sponsors about his ideas.

Imran (middle) with Khairul (left) & Sanul (right)

Imran managed to kick start the 1st program with 8 participants in 2014. He, Khairul & Sanul gaved their heart & soul into the program. Now its has already in its 9th year and many youths have graduated from DMT. Some have become successful Muaythai athletes, while many have used the values & lessons taught by Imran, his colleagues & many tutors to able to find good jobs & help them in their life & help their family & society too.

All the 5 batch since it started was conducted in West Malaysia. It was a big move for DMT to do it outside of KL, as he needs a group of like-minded people whom believe in DMT’s objective. Logistic, accommodation, manpower, F&B all are huge aspects that need to be arranged before this program can be launch.  It took a long time to put the pieces together & finally in May this year the 1st batch of students was recruited to undergo this noble program in Kota Kinabalu.

This was made possible through the collaboration between ILTIZAM, the corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm of Ekuiti Nasional Berhad (Ekuinas), alongside Persatuan Muaythai Negeri Sabah (PMNS).

16 students for Sabah

Out of 120 candidates, 16 troubled youth was chosen as the pioneering batch for Sabah. These youths come from various background, some have criminal records, some are into drugs, some are school drop outs, etc. In this intensive four-month programme these youth go through activities designed to hone martial arts and living skills, instill discipline, build resilience, self-esteem and open pathways to attain sustainable livelihoods.

Taking the students in their daily morning run in Tanjung Aru beach, KK
Instilling the value of respect, integrity & discipline
Education is key to critical thinking and open their mind
Graduation of the 6th batch (Sabah)

As CEO and co-founder of Discover Muaythai, Imran not only manage this program but also is a Ceritifed Muaythai Instructor.  He owns 3 Muaythai DMT gym, in which participants of the program when graduated able to make a living as an instructor.

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Imran has an easy going personality, but when comes to work is very focused & stern but also a dreamer, always aspiring about making his program better. But when he is not busy with DMT, he loves football, travelling and spending time with family.

About DMT.

A home-grown initiative, which provides Muaythai-based health and fitness training and services for both corporate bodies and individuals. Operating as a social business, DMT’s beneficiaries are underprivileged Malaysian youths who will be empowered to lead a life of dignity and independence by developing character and positive values through the art of Muaythai. DMT is the first sports social business in Malaysia.

On what makes Imran happy & what is his aspiration?

Imran said when work he and his colleagues do at DMT able to impact the lives of other tremendously is what makes him smile & feel happy. He aspires to continue to do work that can empower people through martial arts and education, creating equal opportunity for all and unearthing one’s true potential.

His life principle:

Continuously finds ways to help others. It doesn’t matter if its big or small, do things that could impact other people’s live positively. 

Other award winner for BMAEX 2023 is:

Master Yeo Kok Huan – SMAC Studio
Master Adey Hj Hussin – ZeroOneEight
Marc Marcillenus – Borneo Tiger MMA
Chio Ren Sinag – Nanhua Sanda
Chong Yun Sang – YouLing Wushu Team