Mixed martial arts (MMA) is often referred to as the world’s fastest growing sport. Its popularity with athletes and followers alike is constantly increasing and there are organizations, clubs and professional companies started all around the globe. The possibilities for development of MMA are great, but as for any sport there are also challenges. In order to harness all this potential there is a need for a common point of reference, a democratic body to organize and drive the development of the sport on a worldwide basis. It is in response to this that the IMMAF was founded in Stockholm, Sweden on February 29th 2012 with the following purpose:
The purpose of IMMAF is to further the development and recognition of the sport of mixed martial arts, enabling international competition through the organization of national MMA federations around the world.
The IMMAF was founded by August Wallén, former athlete and previous President of the Swedish MMA Federation. Read more about Mr. Wallén here.
Among IMMAF’s members today are national federations across Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, The Hasemite Kingdom of Jordan, Lebanon, Lithuania, Mauritius, Malaysia, Nepal, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, The Seychelles, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom and USA
IMMAF is focused on developing MMA as an international sport, from the recreational level to the elite level, driving the development of common sets of rules, safety regulations, structure, mutual exchanges and so forth. MMA is no different from other sports and for it to keep growing there is a need to support and highlight the grass root movement of recreational athletics as well as create possibilities for a world class elite sports movement. You can read more about this under The Safety ladder.
IMMAF is focused on working towards gaining formal and informal worldwide recognition for the sport of MMA. Formal recognition is needed on every level – regional, national and global. Through the support of an international federation we hope to see national federations receiving formal support from key sports organizations and of course approval from the government of their respective countries. Informal recognition is also important and the IMMAF will work to support a more correct and accepting view of MMA with the general public, sports fans, journalists, politicians, businesses etc.
Organizing national federations
IMMAF will provide a structured community for all national federations by offering them membership in an international federation. Where there are no national federations present IMMAF will support those who are able and dedicated to form such a federation. IMMAF will thus provide a focal point for MMA around the world; a “hub” or a common point of reference for those involved with and interested in the overall development of MMA.
Enabling international competition
Through the organization of national federations IMMAF will enable the possibility of international amature competitions. It is only when there are international competitions with a common set of rules and regulations that MMA will be able to receive the formal worldwide recognition we seek. Hence all the parts of the IMMAF purpose are linked together by causality: through the organization of national federations the IMMAF will enable international competitions and thus enabling formal international recognition and the further development of MMA.
The vision is an overall goal statement that indicates the direction in which an organization is heading. It is an inspirational and clearly stated ambition for the future that puts everyone’s effort in alignment.
Our vision is for Mixed Martial Arts to be recognized as a sport and ultimately become an Olympic sport.
Becoming an Olympic sport is the ultimate achievement and highest formal recognition possible for any sport. Hence that is what the IMMAF will strive towards. We see that the challenges for MMA are great today, but so are the opportunities, and the IMMAF should not have any lesser ambition for MMA than this. When the IMMAF formulates goals, strategies and tactics over the coming years they will need to pass the test – will this be an instrument in fulfilling the organization’s vision?
We take our purpose and vision seriously and will safeguard every trust put in us from the national federations that chose to join as well as all others interested in the development of MMA. We aim to earn this trust by our actions and by clearly communicating what the IMMAF brand stands for. Our promise is to at all times deliver upon being Open, Dependable and Progressive.
- IMMAF is a democratic organization based on the foundation of open, honest and collaborative practices. This applies to everything from elections and governance to everyday tasks and discourse.
- IMMAF is a non-profit organization driven by the purpose of developing MMA as a sport, not the demands of return on investment. Our books are open for anyone to see.
- IMMAF is a stable organization that provides structure for the growth of international MMA.
- IMMAF is a skilled organization with knowledgeable representatives that always act in a professional manner.
- IMMAF is an autonomous organization that can be trusted to act only in the best interest of the sport of MMA.
- IMMAF is a modern organization committed to developing MMA as an international sport, from the recreational level to the elite level, supporting the establishment of regulations and practices on health, safety, youth involvement and more.
- IMMAF is a dedicated organization with the ability to engage MMA stakeholders around the world.
- IMMAF is a driven organization with the vision necessary to bring MMA into the future.