The SportAccord International Federations Forum was held in Lausanne, Switzerland, during the 9th – 11th of November 2016. International Aikido Federation was represented by Kei Izawa, IAF Chairman, and Wilko Vriesman, IAF General Secretary. The theme of the Forum this year was "The Power of Sport to Drive World Health". The topic has a great relevance to Aikido. The health benefits of this martial art are well known. This theme has quite a potential for Aikido and IAF will explore it more as how to make it part of its goals and objectives.
Representatives from 15 sports attended the World Combat Games meeting. During the forum, the focus has been more about clean athletes (anti-doping) and avoiding injuries. IOC (International Olympic Committee) and the present SportAccord, with the help of SportAccord Convention, have started to prepare the basis of the future Combat Games framework. A core group led by Stephan Fox, General Secretary of International Federation of Muaythai Amateur, and Antonio Espinosa, President of World Karate Federation, have made significant process in setting the framework based on the initial success of the Combat Games in Beijing in 2010. The size of the participation will go back to a total of 120 participants per combat or martial art. IAF representatives, together with Kendo representatives, requested that the naming should be changed in order to reflect more properly the martial arts. The subject has not been closed.
Under the guidance of IOC, the new initiative does not aim to be a revenue raising opportunity, but to simply organize successful events for the combat and martial arts federations. As such the new framework, while not cutting the scale of the event, it is expected it will outline the events in a more economic way so that the concept will easily attract new host cities. During the Forum, the city of Houston presented its candidacy for hosting the next major event. The time has been decided to be March/April 2018. In due time, individual questionnaires for each federation will be given and the answers will be taken into consideration to fine tune the availability of the timing. The commission led by Stephan Fox will come with the final candidates in Aarhus, Denmark, next April. It is then when the SportAccord Convention will decide which one will be chosen for the next hosting city.