Savate, also called French boxing, is a martial art using both hands and feet. In a competition, it is practised in various forms: in combat powerful blows are authorized, but in the ‘assault’form any rough contact is prohibited. The latter option was chosen for the first World University Championships in Nantes, France.
The boxers, wearing special gloves and slippers, are judged on their mastery of techniques and tactics, and on the precision of their hits. There are three 90-second rounds and 12 categories: 6 for women and 6 for men.
For this groundbreaking edition, there is no doubt that the Organizing Committee in Nantes reached the objectives that it could control – in any case, so says our technical delegate for savate Mr. Alexandre Walnier.
Good quality infrastructures, accommodations, meals, communication with a warm touch – everything was there. We might add that Nantes put the Beaulieu Sports Palace at the disposal of the participants with room for “6 rings” and seating for 5,000. For accommodations, our athletes stayed at the University dorms. Launching the first edition of a World University
Championship in Savate – a new discipline that had just joined the FISU program in the Executive Committee meeting in Harbin, China in 2008 – was quite a challenge.
After gaining the backing of many partners, the organizers offered an example of perfect organization and availability before, during and after the championships. They were aided by a group of excellent judges and umpires chosen by the international Savate Federation under an agreement between FISU and FISav.
Some aspects recognized by all (like the issue of visas), reduced representation. All parties (Organizing Committee, FISU , FISav…) had hoped for a few more delegations.
The eliminating rounds showed a highaverage skill; the semi-finals and finals were excellent. Some of the University finals reached world level (worthy of the FISav championships).
France came out the victor of the tournament with 12 medals (including 9 in gold), ahead of Slovenia (5), Serbia(4), Algeria (3), Italy (3), Russia (2), Germany (1), Belgium (1), Colombia (1) and Mexico (1).
All of the participants were extremely enthusiastic. Very few dropped out during the 2 full-day tournament that meant many matches for the athletes. The many positive effects went well beyond the championships themselves.
The national Savate federations realized that, in many countries, the sport has a lot of sleeping potential in student circles. Many students practise Savate enthusiastically and have joined the national associations. In addition, many Savate clubs are present in University sports centres. The directors know each other, but weren’t aware of the real situation in University sports.
The Fédération Internationale de Savate (FISav) has discovered the professionalism of FISU (management, organization) and its component bodies.
Learning this, realizing it and applying it are the steps that will make FISav and FISU effective partners for the 2nd edition of the WUC in 2012. FISU now knows that it can rely on major “relays” in Savate circles and that it will have strong, talented support for future editions. Finally, several National University Federations have signed partnership agreements with the National Savate Federations. The leaders are getting to know each other and to exchange ideas.
Rendez-vous at the next World University Savate Championships to be held in 2012 in Russia or in Italy (the decision will be made at the next Executive Committee).
AND PLEASE IF YOU SIGNED SOME KIND OF CONTRACT WITH YOUR NATIONAL UNIVERSITY FEDERATION - PLEASE COMMENT THIS ON SAVATE BLOG - HERE. WE WILL INFORM OTHERS ABOUT THE PROGRESS AND OBTAIN THE SAME NEGOTIATION ACHIEVEMENTS. YOU SHOULD KNOW WHAT TO REQUEST AND WHAT YOU CAN GET FROM YOUR NATIONAL UNIVERSITY FEDERATION THAT YOU PROMOTE ON FISU SAVATE TOURNAMENTS.