Friday, December 11, 2009

Mr. Miodrag Jotic about Muay Thai in Serbia

It all started in kickboxing...
Respect to this man, who stands behind his words. But just mention some other time also savate.


Miodrag Jotich, Savate Pioneer
Written by Julie (traduction: Agnes)

During the 2009 World Combat Championships in Novi Sad, Serbia, I had the great pleasure of meeting Miodrag Jotich - a pioneer of Savate and champion of Fair-Play. Miodrag Jotich has been involved in martial arts for 30 years.

He was introduced to Boxe Française Savate in 1981 by Damien Wehr. While attending a Tang Soo Do seminar in Rab (Croatia), he was invited to take part in a Savate seminar being held in the same place, and so became the first Yugoslavian to try Savate. After the seminar, Damien Wehr asked him if he would like to compete, and the following year he was invited to an international seminar, run by Bob Alix, at INSEP in Paris.

He went on to compete in many Junior and Senior galas, tournaments and championships - his achievements included: Junior champion Europe (1984), 3rd European championships (1988), World Vice champion (1989) and 3rd World championships (1991).
Miodrag expressed his gratitude to Damien Wehr, who had encouraged him to continue in Boxe Française Savate after he lost his first fight, and the sense of privilege he felt having met a lot of great people from the world of French boxing: Christian Guillaume, Bob Alix, Jean-Marie Gacaker...
In 1986, he had his first fight against Gilles le Duigou, Champion of Europe at that time. The fight took place in Rijeka (Croatia). Miodrag was leading on points until the 4th round, when he was stopped by a strike to the liver. After the fight, Gilles handed the trophy to him, held up his hand and started the applause. The crowd cheered this example of fair play. Roles were reversed in a rematch, held in Belgrade in 1987, when he stopped Gilles in the 5th round, with a punch to the stomach. Inspired by Gilles' earlier example, he gave his trophy to Gilles. After that, Boxe Française Savate became his way forward:

"Boxe Française is the way of honour, the way of art, the way of chivalry, the way of the knights. You learn how to fight, how to move, and you learn your mind - how to listen, how to work and how to obey."

These earlier influences remain with him. Miodrag Jotich has been a member of the Serbian Olympic Committee for 7 years, and a member of the Commission for Fair-play. He founded an organisation in Serbia promoting fair-play, and in 2008 started a "Fighting against the Violence Project" in Novi Sad. This project has included demonstrations of different martial arts to help young people get into sport, with qualified trainers, and to leave behind aggressive attitudes. All the young people who took part were awarded diplomas, with graphics promoting the World Anti-doping Agency code.

On the 20th June 2009, in Novi Sad, Miodrag Jotich was awarded the diploma of "Honour Member" of the International Savate Federation by his old adversary and friend, FIS President Gilles Le Duigou. An honour greatly deserved!jotic_diploma.jpg

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