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Longstanding Chair becomes Chief Executive on Martial Arts National Governing Body refresh

Reverend Ellis, priest and karate coach

The National Association of Karate and Martial Art Schools (NAKMAS) has recently appointed a new Chief Executive, The Reverend Joe Ellis, a highly accomplished individual in the field of martial arts. After serving as the organisation's national chairperson for an impressive 32 years, Reverend Ellis has decided to step down from his previous position and take up a new role as a part-time employee.

With an extensive martial arts background spanning 45 years, Reverend Ellis's expertise is deeply rooted in karate. His dedication and commitment have earned him a nationally recognised 8th Dan Black Belt, a remarkable achievement that serves as a testament to his passion and perseverance. Notably, Reverend Ellis has successfully navigated the challenges of autism, a condition he experiences more acutely as he ages. His journey is a powerful reminder that individuals on the spectrum can achieve extraordinary success in their adult lives.

Reverend Ellis says, “Leaving my voluntary position after 34 years to become the newly appointed chief executive is exciting and a new challenge, but one that I will embrace with much enthusiasm”.

Growing up, Reverend Ellis faced severe bullying throughout his school years. However, this adversity only fuelled his determination to make a positive impact in the lives of others. As a result, he teaches karate and effective self-defence to children of mixed abilities, including those with autism. Reverend Ellis finds great joy in this aspect of his work, which harmoniously aligns with his duties as a priest within the community.

Looking towards the future, Reverend Ellis has set his sights on retiring fully from martial arts in the coming years. His decision reflects a desire to shift his focus and dedicate more time to his cherished wife and the church. However, his invaluable contributions and inspirational journey will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on NAKMAS and the martial arts community nationally as well as locally.

The National Association of Karate and Martial Art Schools commends Reverend Joe Ellis for his unwavering commitment to the organisation and his relentless pursuit of excellence throughout his tenure. His legacy serves as an inspiration to individuals everywhere, demonstrating that with perseverance and determination, success is attainable regardless of one's circumstances.



Find out more about NAKMAS at

NAKMAS has secured the Equality Standard: A Framework for Sport. To find out more about Equality Standard: A Framework for Sport at

The National Association of Karate and Martial Art Schools (NAKMAS) National Governing Body is a non-funded national governing body and is a member of Sport & Recreation Alliance. With its Head Office based in Kent, NAKMAS governs all forms of traditional and modern martial arts and has over 40,000 members.

NAKMAS is an approved insurance provider via Allianz and holds a National and International Quality Standard Certificate via the BSI (British Standards Institute).

For further information, please contact:

Libby Ellison Press/Media Officer, NAKMAS
Tel: 01227 370055 / 07483 306288

Rev Joe Ellis Chief Executive, NAKMAS
Tel: 01227 370055 / 07976 736404