President

Kerrith Brown

Kerrith Brown was appointed as President of the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF), kerrithfollowing election by unanimous board vote in Berlin on 20th June 2015.

Following discussions with both the EJU and the BJA Board, Kerrith Brown had resigned as Chairman of the British Judo Association due to ideological differences with the leadership of the European Judo Union and the International Judo Federation.

Under Brown’s leadership since 2012, British Judo went from strength to strength, most markedly opening the doors of its Centre of Excellence at the University of Wolverhampton (UK) in 2013. The centre heralded the launch of a new performance programme for British athletes. Brown also oversaw a transformation in the governance of the BJA. Brown is himself a former elite level judoka, at his peak earning bronze for Great Britain at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Since his retirement from competition, he has pursued a successful career in business, as owner, manager and consultant.

Under Brown too, the BJA significantly lent professional sports consultancy and support to the development of the United Kingdom Mixed Martial Arts Federation (UKMMAF), to enable its application for official recognition by Sport England. It was through this relationship that Brown was recommended for and voted to a position on the IMMAF Board in October 2014. Brown has featured notably in the successes of IMMAF since his involvement.

Honorary President

August Wallén

August Wallén is a founder and the first President of IMMAF from 29th of February 2012 through to 30th of September 2013. He was awarded the title of Honorary President at IMMAF’s first General Assembly on 12th July 2015.august

Wallén is a pioneer in European martial arts, and one of the individuals responsible for bringing MMA to Sweden. The 45 year old started training judo at age 12, kyokushin at 15 and muaythai (thai boxing) at 16. He opened a martial arts academy in Gothenburg in 1992, which later became known as Gladius MMA.

Wallén first came in contact with what was to be called MMA in 1995, and he opened Fighter Centre, one of the biggest centres in the Nordics, in 2000. Today he is the chief instructor at Gladius MMA. He has trained and coached several prominent elite athletes, including MMA athlete Alexander Gustafsson. As an athlete, Wallén competed in Shootfighting in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. He began his professional MMA career in 2006, and holds a eight win and one loss record (the loss was a decision to the Japanese veteran Yuki Kondo). He was The Zone FC middleweight belt holder.

Wallén played a prominent role in saving MMA in Sweden in 2006, when proposed legislation sought to modify the existing ban on professional boxing to include MMA. Wallén founded the Swedish MMA Federation (SMMAF) in 2007 to oversee and sanction MMA, and served as the Chairman, a position he held until 2011. During this time, the Federation accomplished what many would have thought as impossible, including the recognition of MMA as a sport, establishment of an amateur MMA league, and permission for events to have matches under the Unified rules of MMA.

Wallén has been on the board of Swedish Budo & Martial Arts Federation for several years. He has also served on the board of the Swedish Submission Wrestling Federation and was responsible for getting muaythai (thai boxing) into the Swedish Budo & Martial Arts Federation. Professionally Wallén has founded and operated several companies in different business areas from 1992 and onward.

Wallén was awarded the Leader of the Year at the Swedish Martial Arts awards in 2011.

Photo: Fredrik Haraldson