Monday, June 23, 2008

Alternative to Olympics - Martial art games

But there are some potential breaks: control of olympic sports like judo (jujitsu, aikido, kendo, sumo), wrestling (sambo), WTF taekwondo (ITF taekwondo, karate), Boxing (kickboxing, muaythai, wu-shu).


By Vitaliy Svadkovskiy

2008 has come. A year of ginger rat by the Chinese calendar and a year of the Olympic Games in Peking...
The Olympic movement concern us mostly in the view of tendencies of evolution of sports, as a whole, and karate, as an integral part of the world athletic movement, in particular.
Both in 2008 and 2012, karate will not be represented at the Olympic Games. There is no prospect of its inclusion to the Olympic program until the 2020 Games.
At best, WKF karate or what will have remained of karate in this organization by that time will be represented at the 2020 Olympic Games. To indulge the IOC tastes, rules of fights were changed to make, as it then was declared, performance more entertaining. Now we can tell that initiators of those changes in rules achieved the opposite effect. Since then, WKF karate lost a lot in vividness of fights now reminding the Southern Korea version of taekwondo (which is an Olympic game). What use for the IOC in two sports that are absolutely poor eye-catchers?
It should be admitted that the IOC, to keep its monopoly of the global athletic movement, acts rather competently in respect to non-Olympic sports. The IOC understands that, sooner or later, the quantity of the malcontent will exceed the critical mass to put a question of reforming the Olympic movement. What is this if not probable lost status, job and prosperity of many sports bureaucrats? That is why the most troublesome are given with an Olympic status that is of small use because it does not give the right to participate in the Olympic Games. For example, WKF karate has such a status. From our point of view, it is rather a humiliating position. It reminds to the deprived that they are inferior (untermensch) but they are not forgotten. A smart bureaucratic trick to reduce the number of the malcontent and prevent revolution situations.
It is clear as a day to everyone but candidates themselves that these sports will never become Olympic.
Today one definite question is in the centre of attention of reasonable karate sportsmen. A large number of martial arts unrecognised by the IOC must unite in an alternative organization to manifest themselves to the world.
The first step has been already made. In April 2008, the 3rd World Games will be held in Bangkok under the aegis of the International Martial Games Committee (IMGC).
In the last year, the leading world karate organization – the World Karate Confederation (WKC) - became a member of the IMGC.
We hope that the IMGC has very good views for the future. This new movement will hardly parade its alternativeness to the IOC, especially as there is no need in it.
To avoid probable problems, the IMGC should not admit to its membership the IOC members or sporting federations having an Olympic status, such as judo, WKF karate and boxing. The formal reason of this is its disinclination to break up the Olympic movement. But the real reason is that these organizations are already burdened by the IOC bureaucrats of whom certainly no good will come. Besides, in the future, the IOC will be able, through its members, to take full control of the IMGC, which will, no doubt, prevent the martial arts evolution.
The IMGC should assume all the best of the IOC, for example, the principle of competitions organization
 once per four (better per three) years, to hold the International Martial Games.
 admit only certain number of sportsmen of each federation to participation at the Games according to results of recent championships held in the World and Europe. The IOC, for example, admits 100 sportsmen of each federation.
If there is an idea to unify karate rules within the IMGC, it must be recognized as inadmissible. In no events, rules of fights may be unified. Quite the contrary, each federation should be represented by its own rules, judges and sportsmen. A large global karate federation is independent imaging, understanding and interpretation of karate. Such diversity is the condition of the continuous evolution of martial arts.
Moreover, if new karate federations come to the IMGC, the process of changing rules will be endless. And rules unification may displease some candidates, which will prevent affluence of new members.
It is evident that, following the logics of the uniting process, independent kinds of sports should participate in the World Games: Muai Thai, Northern Korea taekwondo and, along with them, WKC karate, WKO karate etc. 100 sportsmen of each kind of martial arts.
All the worst of the IOC should be taken into consideration too, for example, principles of new members admission. Unlike the IOC, where admission of new members is regulated by biased members of the Olympic Meeting who do not want new rivals, unbiased criteria should be adopted for admission of new members, one of which is the quantity of participating countries of a candidate.
World karate federations applying to be admitted to the IMGC must be powerful organizations uniting not less than 25 (or more) countries. Besides, each participating country of such federation must hold its own national championships.
If a karate federation applying for the IMGC membership unites a less number of countries, conditions of participation of its sportsmen in the World Games must be different.
It is necessary to adopt a definite charter for members of the IMGC. Principles of fair sports fighting and safety of sportsmen must be the basis of it. For example, no international karate federation may be admitted as a new member if, at least in one of its member-countries, children's competitions with knock-out are allowed (for example, kyokushinkai karate in Russia).
The above are only pre-observations. The charter of the World Martial Arts Organization must be universal.
It may well be that these advices are rather premature. But if the International Martial Games Committee fails to unite all martial arts of the Globe, then another organization will, sooner or later, do it.

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