Short biography of August Wallén
Photo: Fredrik Haraldson
Wallén is a pioneer in European martial arts, and one of the individuals responsible for bringing MMA to Sweden. The 43 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’s organizations run The Zone Fighting Championships out of Gothenburg.
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 fighters Victor Cheng, Besam Yousef and 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 six 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. When the Swedish MMA Federation (SMMAF) formed in 2007 to oversee and sanction MMA, Wallén 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.