TO ALL WAKO MEMBERS
Re: Important statement of WAKO decision – about non-GAISF recognized sports
By the present to inform all our national federations members of WAKO of a recent WAKO Board decision and a point of clarification.
In order to protect our sport and its ongoing development within the Olympic family, and as a step to strengthen yours and our development of the sport of Kickboxing, we have taken some practical decisions. These decisions are to protect WAKO, protect our reputation, protect our brand but more importantly to protect national development and your national federation. Except for governing bodies recognized by GAISF and IOC, the international market in martial arts is very fragmented with many different martial art sports and most of these hybrids are in conflict with already existing recognized federations. This may be Karate, Kung Fu and others. WAKO does respect and cherish the cooperation with the international federations members of GAISF and IOC (like IFMA, WT, WKF, FIAS etc), but we cannot relate to, more or less, 50-60 other sports out in the market, where MMA is one of these sports. We have already observed confusing and disruptive information where WAKO, as recognized international federation, is deliberately used in order to market importance of several other non-recognized federations.
Here below you can find the Board’s unanimous decisions now inserted and implemented in our By-laws under Section 1.05ter that your national federation shall follow:
Special obligations regarding WAKO Members:
- A NF which is a Member of WAKO shall not be affiliated with and/or member of any other organization or association which is not recognized by WAKO.
- Membership shall not be granted to any NF which purports to represent both Kickboxing and any other sport not recognized by GAISF.
- Any NF that is a Member of WAKO shall not promote any amateur event that is not recognized by WAKO and/or any joint events (by also availing of the WAKO logo) with any other sport not recognized by GAISF.
- In case of breach of the provisions of this Section, the Board of Directors shall take the appropriate measures in accordance with the provisions under article 15 (Suspension) and 16 (Expulsion) of the WAKO Statutes.
Practical about GAMMA
The WAKO Board is compelled to clarify a point. It has come to our attention that this newly established MMA federation (together with One Championship) has announced and published an article containing the following message of their international status “….. filed application for observer status with GAISF, taking first step towards IOC approval”. Later in that same article it is announced that “the application is a major leap in the GAMMA’s quest for approval from the GAISF and ultimately from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to recognize Mixed Martial Arts as an Olympic sport”.
As a member of GAISF and as provisionally recognized by the IOC, we can confirm that no formal complete application for observer status has been delivered to GAISF, nor discussed inside GAISF. The attempt of an application is simply incomplete and therefore not processed. Therefore, the statements are untrue and a major misguiding to the market and simply gives an anticipation in their recruitment process to get more members. Sorry to say, many of those newly recruited federations are WAKO’s national federations and GAMMA’s processes are simply trying to create a “fast track” for GAMMA to get recognized nationally and in the opinion of the board, distracting our members from the sport we develop and govern worldwide, this will, in the opinion of the WAKO Board, materially affect our growth and development and focus.
There is also another international federation called IMMAF (together with WMMAF), that to our knowledge, has made an application, but said application was rejected.
We hope the above message regarding national federations obligations and factual information about GAMMA is clear. This is a formal notice, Federations are given 12 weeks (3 months) to comply with the new By-laws (see last updated version on WAKO’s website).