The Asian Bodybuilding Federation was only a dream in 1957 when Teheran (Iran) hosted the first Mr. Asia championships in conjunction with the World Weightlifting championships. It was most befitting that the winner was Iranian, Mahmoud Namjon, whose achievements became permanent monuments in both sports.
The dream became a thrilling reality two years later, largely through the efforts of Mr. Clarence de Alwis, the Secretary of the Ceylon Amateur Bodybuilding Association. The founder members were: Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Pakistan, India, Mynamar (Burma), Thailand and Malaysia (Malaya). All six founder members participated in the first competition for the challenge trophy presented by the doyen of entertainment promoters in Sri Lanka, Mr. Donovan Adrea. It was won by Thailand's Rachan Phatukawang.
The Asian Bodybuilding Federation (ABBF) was established in 1959 and is a permanent organisation. It comprises the union of the different national federations governing the sport for both men and women, on the basis of one federation/association per country.
In 1970, the ABBF scored a milestone in its history when it cooperated with the IFBB (International Federation of Bodybuilders). Mr. John Ong, the IFBB Director for Singapore organized the Mr. Asia competition, which was won by Akira Myamoto of Japan. The ABBF drafted a constitution to conform with that of the IFBB. A special Congress was held in Singapore. Brig. General Bakhtiar Rana and Ch. Mohammad Amin of Pakistan were elected as ABBF President and Secretary-General, respectively.
ABBF exclusively represents bodybuilding in Asia. ABBF is also a member of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and General Assembly of Asian Sports Federations (GAASF).
Bodybuilding is growing from strength to strength at both competitive and recreational levels. Spectator interest has also swelled. The media has kept abreast with the sport's phenomenal progress and has given our activities much exposure. ABBF is supported by thousands of youngsters in the Asian Continent who want to keep healthy and fit through the sport of Bodybuilding.
The following regional federations are now affiliated to ABBF:
Since 1975, the sport has grown by leaps and bounds through the efforts by Mr. Paul Chua of Singapore, who was elected as its Secretary-General.
Mr. Hitoshi Tamari (Japan), Datuk Wira Gan Boon Leong (Malaysia) Mrs. Reiko Matuyama (Japan), Major H.R.M. Storey (Malaysia), Mr. Jeffrey Schucroft (Sri Lanka) and Mr. M. Kesavan (India) played an important role in the growth of the federation.
Today, ABBF has 40 nations affilated as members and the Asian Bodybuilding Championships are organised annually on a rotation basis throughout the Asian countries.