International Martial Arts Federation of the Deaf



Long history with our struggle for recognition of martial arts for deaf

It's always been personally expressed by the former promoter and president of ISMAF and IMAFD Francesco Faraone’s as ever Karate and Judo champion for attending so many championships for the hearing people (Italy) for many years of suffering in the fight for recognition for the World Deaf Games to bring the new CISS Part 2 deals with Judo and Karate since 1975, about the Italian delegation of the FISS on the 23th CISS Congress in Lake Placid 1975 in USA, where they have only approved the Judo but rejected Karate.

In the later success, the first time for the 13th World Deaf Games in Bucharest (Romania) 1977, the foreign countries Judo competition was canceled by some members of Italy, France and Australia.

Francesco Faraone decided to continue its mission for the first time in 1977 in Japan to try to collect some deaf with experts Judo and Karate, and finally F. Faraone had invitation from Japan SILENT Sports Federation for a chance to visit the first All Japan Judo and Karate Championship for Deaf in Toyohashi City is a Japanese city of Prefecture Aichi has decided to found a new federation "INTERNATIONAL SILENT MARTIAL ARTS FEDERATION" autonomous and independent organization with no governmental authority with founding members: Francesco Faraone, Hiroshi Furumi and other SILENT representatives of Japan in November 1978.

And he continued to make the call with CISS. At the Congress CISS in Meribel (France) 1979, ISMAF representative was invited by CISS President, J. Jordan who was taken to check the trap with many communist European countries.       

They voted against the passage of eight foreign countries and approved the new Karate discipline with was not smooth against the CISS statute to approve more than 5 foreign countries as well.

Since ISMAF made the rupture of friendly relationship with CISS.

Begun in 1979 for all the 8th World Deaf Judo and Karate Championships 1995 in collaboration with the American Association for the Deaf under the guidance of Evelio Arteaga at the ISMAF Conference in Miami (USA) approved the amendment of a term DEAF (deaf) replaced by the term SILENT (silent) under the request of the American Frank J. Lala to facilitate entry to the Deaflympics.


At the 9th World Martial Arts Championship for the deaf in Trondheim (Norway) in 1997, the new discipline of Taekwondo is registered for the new third discipline on the world championships.

Since, 13th World Martial Arts Championship was already succeded. A new president of the ICSD, Australian, John M. Lovett, wanted to accept the hospitality for two representatives IMAFD, Francesco Faraone (Italy) and B. Goebl (Austria) at the 36th CISS  Congress 1999, Davos in Switzerland.

The majority of foreign Sports Federation affiliated deaf CISS agreed to enter the clean IMAFD official Associate member.

When CISS President, J. Jordan wanted to visit Buenos Aires, Argentina (1999) and has exhibited his speech at the opening ceremony of the 10th World Martial Arts Championship to collaborate and work together, even the ICSD.

On the occasion of the Deaf Olympic Games in Rome (Italy) in 2001 for the first time for the official opening of the event at the 11th World Martial Arts Championship with the new fourth discipline of Kung Fu (Chinese Martial Arts) also came to visit ICSD representatives Loves J. (Australia) and Renzo Corti (Italy) with the atmosphere of friendship to promote the future of the Deaf Olympic Games.

President IMAFD, E. Dominguez (Argentina) attended the 38th ICSD Congress Sundvall in Sweden 2003 to promote cooperation with ICSD for the next 12th World Martial Arts Championship in Moscow (Russia) 2004.

However, at the 12th World Martial Arts Championship in Moscow (Russia) 2004, representatives of the ICSD did not participate and an EDSO delegation including the president of the league fees, Valery Rukhledev (Russia) in collaboration with the Russian Association for the Deaf Martial Arts under the guidance of Alexander Golubev.

Despite this, the ICSD and IMAFD work together collaboratively.

Moreover, Francesco Faraone, president of the IMAFD, was hosted for the first time at the 39th ICSD Congress in Melbourne (Australia) 2005 to provide three martial arts disciplines: Judo, Karate and Taekwondo the next Deaflympics in Taipei (Taiwan) 2008 (first time!).

This proposal was immediately approved by the majority of foreign countries members and promote the project of the 13th World Martial Arts Championship in Paris (France) 2006.

However, the situation was abruptly disturbed: two-year delay, transfer place in Toulouse for technical organizational reason.

The last chance in Toulouse (France), the president, Mr. Faraone was a big disappointment at the lack of respect for this IMAFD member associate by ICSD.

The ICSD had taken the initiative by its dominance despite the lack of martial arts experience or the French Deaf Sports organization responsible and also more confusion than François Kalef or organizer Staff did nothing to prepare for a IMAFD congress but suddenly take the little room was too narrow to disgruntled members also discuss some controversy!

Francesco Faraone regrets to have made his decision to leave his post as president until presidential relay Eduardo Dominguez (Argentina) and the end onwards Kim Jae Wha (South Korea) today.

After the change of the political situation began to organize some IMAFD Technical Seminars from Stockholm - Sweden (2011), Policoro - Italy (2014) and Charlottenberg - Sweden (2016) onwards happening  to decide urgently on the change of the new IMAFD leadership committee.

IMAFD announces to inform all new changes Executive Committee  for loading the Technical Seminars to follow the statute respectively for the best future projects will organize the IMAFD extraordinary meeting will be in Moscow (Russia) 27th - 30th October 2016.

Alternative proposal for the future by committee of I.M.A.F.D.

A) IMAFD must continually commit to the activity for Technical Seminars and meetings for all new members reserved for qualified instructors, teachers, referees and managers of each discipline from Fitness and Sports to participate any important international cultural events together deaf and hearing people.

B) IMAFD wants to contribute aid to teach our own language of signs to all hearing instructors and teachers can learn and communicate with all deaf students to find the best starter of the  future. 

C) IMAFD add to open other new sport fighting or martial arts are not competitive: Aikido, Hapkido, Kick-boxing, Jiu-Jitsu, MMA, Sambo, Self-Defense and Chinese Martial Arts, etc… opening to question as somethings new other Fighting disciplines that will work with the new development of the future with ease ICSD collaboration to promote. The opening of  deaf  children or adult schools. 

D) IMAFD wants to be the official host from other authorities for our contribution of show demonstration of these disciplines knowledge base for all other sports will be installed in office some Deaflympic Games or other competitions to become each discipline recognized Journal. 

E) Even all Deaf teachers and experts to their martial arts may be represented by IMAFD that new members must open and enter new qualified referees for ICSD international competitions. After many years under IMAFD president’s Francesco Faraone (Italy) as its experience of technical organisation since 1979 into today, on this last World Martial Arts Championship in Toulouse (France) reason for myself engaged full disappointment for guilt of somethings missing respectful from other organization.

He asks the opening offer of new election candidates to form the new committee staff who can come deaf and hearing people knowed deaf languages must be proficient in fitness and martial arts masters as qualified as experience in the world of martial arts.

Only we could work together the knowledge base of this world of various martial arts to encourage all deaf.

Now it needs to defer another date has convened the extraordinary meeting also small problem organization.

IMAFD Honorary President, Kim Jae Wha (South Korea) and Vicepresident Francesco Faraone (Italy) with IMAFD executive committee which we leave to prepare it for all the wishes for best future working for all around the world largest martial arts for the deaf and hearing people. 

If a possibility in collaboration with some foreign representatives will organize at a favorite in many developing countries and international representatives around to find the best future development to promote the World Disabled or Deaf Martial Arts Games (not yet decided to choose the new title for an international event).                                                                                                             

Now myself to wish for you and all  decide to choose a best future starter, and above all enjoy the rest for the collaboration with Deaflympics when for the first time competing Deaflympics games after long history of political struggle with the path of the great spirit of samurai for hearing impaired!

Now IMAFD do wish all old and new members can participate in the new leadership of this federation in continuation of the best development project for all martial arts from around the world to confidential deaf and you can take the application there will be elections in Japan 2018 occasion of great celebration of the 40th anniversary of foundation from ISMAF and IMAFD.

Good luck to all fraternal around the world in the spirit of the Deaf Warrior!


The honorary award of I.M.A.F.D. member

The honorary award is awarded annually to honor the IMAFD deaf members who have worked or developed outstanding results in their martial arts discipline for all deaf people from all over the world during their exemplary years.

Eduardo A. Dominguez Nino, honorary president of the IMAFD also former Argentine Champion of Judo in 1953, died.

First time he came to visit for the world championship in Miami, Florida (USA) to have interested a lot with the collaboration to open his own country of Argentina from its early start from 1995 until his death.

The IMAFD executive committee, which in 2008 was making the world championship for deaf martial arts in Toulouse, gave it its honorary merit for its sporting and martial arts, both deaf and for its extraordinary ability to transmit the true values of life for the conquest struggle for Deaflympics together inseparable friend Francesco Faraone.

Eduardo Dominguez

Here is an unforgettable diploma from Eduardo Dominguez


International Silent Martial Arts Federation and International Martial Arts Federation of the Deaf

Liu Youshu "William" - Taiwan (born: 1935 and died: 2008)

Mr Youshu had studied American University then becoming the deaf school teacher in Taipei, Taiwan. He had admired to support our ISMAF organization to help some Taiwanese martial arts athletes. He had been brought a Karate champion, Wen Tsai Wang in Tokyo in 1989 at the World Championship to win the medal. In the end he had decided to organize the world championship in Taipei in 1993. At the end his myocardial infarction died on August 8, 2008.

Great honorary always for him as an unforgettable generous man for I.S.M.A.F. / I.M.A.F.D.

Filippo Pasquali - Italy (born: 1970 and died: 1998)

1st Dan black belt of Karate Goju Ryu. The sad for always our want from him like good and serious to practise his love of Goju Ryu Karate with the his famous medieval city of Perugia in which its conquered International and Italian competitions for few years since 1995 until this of year of the his terrible unlucky of deadly accident car then under the coma after 30 days he had been battled and has been breezed his life only his 27 years old (death: 29th June 1998) from us always sad to be missing to him to lose also well for all the world with deaf cognizant during his share, like its sees his results:


I.M.A.F.D. Championship results:

3rd Place's bronze medal of Karate Do Kumite for light weight classes (Trondheim, Norway 1997)

3th Place's bronze medal of Karate Do Kata Classes (Trondheim, Norway 1997)

F.I.S.S. Italian Championship results:

3rd Place's bronze medal of Karate Do Kata Classes (Roma, 24th February 1996)

1st Place's gold medal of Karate Do Kata Classes (Bolzano, 1st March 1997)

3rd Place's bronze medal of Karate Do Kumite for +63 Kg weight classes (Napoli, 22th February 1998)

2nd Place's silver medal of Karate Do Kata Classes (Napoli, 22th February 1998)

Andrea Rola- Italy (born: 1972 and died: 2000)

2nd Dan black belt of Ju Jitsu /Judo and was born in Genoa. He started at a very young age, at the age of 8, the practice of Ju Jitsu at the GAJ gym, under the guidance of Maestro Nicolino Rosa, one of the most senior masters of Tatami in Liguria and takes place is located inside the Don Bosco Institute of Sampierdarena and since December 8th, 2000 it has been called "PALESTRA ANDREA ROLA". He was a deaf boy but despite this he participated in all the national competitions and the results obtained he was invited to receive at the age of 16 by C.O.N.I., A.I.C.S., A.I.J.J. the black competitive belt and at the age of 18 already bears the degree of black belt 2nd Dan. In July 1997 he participated as an athlete of the Italian National Judo F.I.S.S. at the World Championship in Norway winning the bronze medal and in October 1999 at the World Championship in Argentina where he won the silver medal and in Italy his book of gold included 10 Italian titles. For all these exceptional results he obtained in November 1999 the title of "Atleta Azzurro d'Italia". He was a sunny boy, full of joy of life, who with a lot of effort and effort, due to his deafness, had managed to obtain the diploma of dental technician: he worked for several years in a laboratory. Unfortunately Andrea died on July 29th, 2000, at the age of 27 after a tragic motorcycle accident. To remember this great athlete Ju-Jitsu Don Bosco and P.G.S. they organized the "1st Trophy Andrea Rola" which took place on April 1, 2001 until today again, with the participation of gyms throughout Italy.

I.M.A.F.D. Championship results:

3rd Place's bronze medal for Open weight category of Judo (Trondheim, Norway 1997)

2nd Place's silver medal for -65 Kg weight category of Judo (Buenos Aires, Argentina 1999)

Nimo Eduardo Antonio Dominguez - Argentina (born: 1926 and died: 2009)

Eduardo Dominguez, honorary president of the I.M.A.F.D. also former Argentine Champion of Judo 1953.


First time he came to visit for the World Championship in Miami, Florida (U.S.A.) to have interested a lot with the collaboration to open his own country of Argentina from its early start from 1995 until his death.


The I.M.A.F.D. executive committee, which in 2008 was making the World Championship for the Deaf Martial Arts in France, gave it its honorary merit for its sporting and martial arts, both deaf and for its extraordinary ability to transmit the true values of life for the conquest struggle for Deaflympics together inseparable friend Francesco Faraone.


3rd Dan black belt of Judo and born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Mr Dominguez was dedicated to Judo practice and was 5 times in a row without national defeats of Judo Champion among all listeners competitors (individual tournament 1949 - 1953) and the Judoka team of 5, with only deaf, has won the Judo Tournament Cup "Ambassador Iwataro Uchiyama" to be officially welcomed by the President of the General Nation Juan Domingo Peron. Mr Dominguez has been nominated since 3 times for our national team, for two Championships and a South American International Judo Tournament in Paris.

He founded Argentine Martial Arts Association for the Deaf in 1996 and became I.M.A.F.D. General Secretary and President from 2000 to 2008. It is a great honor to esteem to grow the development of Deaf Martial Arts for Argentina and around the world.

Berthold Kernler - Germany (born: 1948 and died: 2010)

Only german volunteer and promoter with I.S.M.A.F. / I.M.A.F.D. is a good giant person, he had passionate Asian culture in which his numerous travels in Asia. Berthold Kernler had also participated in visiting the first time for the Karate World Championship in Taipei, Taiwan 1993 and immediately had later he wanted his interest in our International Martial Arts organization. He had continued to propagate and search for some deaf practitioners in Germany. He has become the official I.S.M.A.F. coordinator to promote this Martial Arts development. Unfortunately, he was the first to die in just 62 years and it's the big sad to lose everything in Germany.

Sensei Mark "Tamon" Uttech - U.S.A. (born: 1953 and died: 2015)

4th Dan, Aikido of Marshall in his Dojo Yoshin - Ji Aikido, unique deaf American master passed away on August 11th, 2015. According to his bio, he began training in Aikido in 1984 at Aikido of Madison under John Stone and Robin Cooper. Uttech Sensei was an instructor in Aikido of Madison's children's program when that program began in 1989. In 2003 he was awarded the rank of Yondan (4th degree black belt) with the approval of Saotome Sensei. Our condolences to his family, friends, students and loved ones!

Professor Ed McLachlan began training in the martial arts at the age of 10 and has continued training and teaching for 60+ years beginning in Scotland, where he was born, and later to Canada where he continues his passion. Prof. McLachlan is the owner and head instructor of E & T Martial Arts and Founder of Dora Ryu Jiu Jitsu (Tiger Jiu Jitsu). In 1991, he was inducted into the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame as Instructor of the Year and  he has also received the Provincial Government Award for Amateur Sports achievements in Jiu Jitsu. In 1993, he was presented with the Special Achievement Award from the Canadian Jiu Jitsu Association for Amateur Sports. In October 2003, he was bestowed a great honour in receiving his Professorship and Doctorate in the Martial Arts and his 10th Degree in the World Martial Arts. He is currently President of The World Martial Arts Hall of Fame for Canada and President of the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame for People with Special Needs for the World. In May 2004, he received the Sokeship Award, the Life Humanitarian Award, the Golden Life Achievement Award of Excellence and Grandmaster Award of the Year at the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies in Florida.     

Martial arts rating and styles:

Founder of Dora Ryu Jiu-Jitsu, Vicepresident: Bantu Canada, 10th Dan of World Martial Arts, 10th  Dan of Bantu Head of Famiy, 7th Dan of Kitsune Ryu Jiu Jitsu, 6th Dan of Canadian Jiu Jitsu, 5th Dan of  Shorin Ryu, 4th Dan of American Karate Association.

Eduard McLachlan - Canada (born: 1941 and died: 2016)

Jaclyn Zabel - U.S.A. (born: 1989 and died: 2018)

Jaclyn Zabel was born in USA and a BJJ player, a 29-year-old mother of four children Knight, River, Aspen and Willow from Idaho. They practiced Jiu Jitsu at Bonners Ferry Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under the instruction of Professor BJJ Sam Brown, who was described as a “coach and friend”. The situation was described as a domestic violence incident; Zabel’s partner, Ian Stone  shot  her in the head before turning the gun on himself. He also practiced Jiu Jitsu, and both of the deceased were deaf.

Ian Stone - U.S.A. (born: 1981 and died: 2018)

Ian Stone was an American born martial artist who is considered one of the most experienced grapplers in America. He started training Taekwondo in 1990 at the age of 9 years and his Taekwondo master Alfred Erwin Luetke just had passed away on August 3, 2013 and died of cancer. Ian Stone has never felt so bummed and depression out his life, he couldn't get a chance to see him again and last time Ian Stone saw him when he was a 12 years old red belt in Taekwondo. So much respect and honor for this man. He's only 67 years old... Ian Stone was a white belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (member of North Idaho BJJ Team) and a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (member of Bonners Ferry BJJ Team). He won twice BJJ World Championships for the deaf. Ian Stone, along with his two kids Knight and River, they are white belts and competitors for the competitors for the Bonners Ferry Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He shot wife Jaclyn Zabel and then turned the weapon on himself in a murder-suicide.

Alexis Sengoga - Belgium (born: 1955 and died: 2018)

It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of Alexis Sengoga  the great karate world champion from 1982-1987 at International Silent Martial Arts Federation. Born in 1955 in Uganda, Alexi Sengoga died in Belgium were he was living on November 1, 2018 and he was only 63 years. He was a model student despite his inability to hear, he immediately integrated and he began his journey to live and become the greatest karate athlete. He had been called from the National Karate Team of Belgium also to participate in the European Juniores Championship in Venice, Italy.     

IMAFD will never forget Alexis Sengoga and he will be alway part of us.

Sensei Daniel Segalis - Argentina (born: 1950 and died: 2020)

Sensei Daniel Segalis, 7th Dan and International Karate Referee, born on November 1950 in Argentina and Wednesday 21th October 2020 at 12:00 o'clock died of a heart attack in Bariloche, in the Rio Negro province, Argentina. The karate fighter Daniel Segalis presents the form of Kata and Karate Fight in several National Karate Tournaments of the Provinces of the Argentine Republic, also abroad with karate fighters (Hearing and Deaf) also Mr. Daniel Segalis hard hearing who is a person of great discipline and respect for judges; Referee and Sensei Karate is the status of referee of the National Karate Tournament (Hearing and Deaf) in the province of the Argentine Republic and abroad. For the 1st, Daniel Segalis participated in his role as a volunteer. Debut as International Deaf Karate Referee at the World Deaf Karate Championships in Moscow (Russia) for organization in I.M.A.F.D. (International Marts Arts Federation of the Deaf in 2004 with the Argentine group Taekwondo, Karate and Judo with the President C.A.D.E.S. (Confederacion Argentina Deportiva De Sordos) Mr. Eduardo Domínguez with the International Deaf Karate and the I.M.A.F.D. Secretary Sensei Karate 5th Dan Francesco Faraone (Italy) who held the 12th I.M.A.F.D. Congress in Moscow (Russia) offered him as International President of Deaf Karate to Mr. Daniel Segalis accepted your volunteer. The 2nd Deaf International Referee of CONSUDES (South American Sports Confederation of the Deaf) in Isla de Margarita (Venezuela) in 2012 with the International Deaf Karate. He has already worked on his own as a karate teacher in some provinces of the Argentine Republic with his students and karate instructors (Hearing and Deaf). 

IMAFD Seminar and Summer Martial Arts Camp 2023 in Greece 



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