UK Mahjong Association

UK Mahjong Association

About UKMA

History

It is always dangerous to hazard a guess about the start date of an idea or organization, but (never fearful) the UKMA was probably conceived when two British enthusiasts of Riichi Mahjong from Guildford, Surrey elected to participate in the 1st European Riichi Championship which was organised under the auspices of the European Mahjong Association (EMA) in Hannover in 2008, by Martin Rep and Sjef Strik, assisted by the local Mahjong Club, and building on their success in organising MCR tournaments over the previous 10 years.

The Guildford area had in fact seen Riichi Mahjong played for over 30 years – ever since a young Guildford based banker brought back his set from an overseas posting to Tokyo. He persuaded a few friends to take up the game, and this small group with one or two additions has been playing ever since. One of the more recent additions to this group, and a teacher of Contract Bridge of some years standing, Ian Fraser, became instrumental in growing the interest in Riichi in the Surrey area, through formal adult education tuition and in forming two more local groups.

Impressed and inspired by the organisation and success of the European tournament, those British entrants, Peter Langford and Ian Fraser, decided to test what level of interest there might be for such a venture in the UK. They organised a pilot event in 2009, and in 2010 the decision was taken to form the UKMA (see Constitution) and to seek affiliation to the EMA, with a view to running fully accredited tournaments under its aegis.

Whilst there are no immediate plans to branch out into other tournament versions of the game, the MCR possibilities are being considered enviously, and the UKMA does not wish to exclude any acknowledged variant of this wonderful game.