Thursday, December 30, 2010

About Italian Savate: Luigi Monticelli Obizzi 1863 - 1946

The Marquis Luigi Monticelli Obizzi in 1890 founded the Club Atletico Milanese, which soon became the most renowned weightlifting society in Italy. A very young Monticelli, was a successful swimmer, gymnast, fencer and canoeist. At the age of 20, whilst undertaking naval studies in Genoa, he began to train with weights and in 1885, having returned to Milan, he enrolled in the Forza e Coraggio. Later, during his frequent trips abroad, he also took up French boxing (savate). In 1896 he came 2nd in an International competition in Amsterdam behind the German Johannes Schneider, who weighed 113 kg against Monticelli’s 71 kg. In the Italian Weightlifting Championships he came 3rd in 1897 and 1900, 2nd in 1901 and 1902.
On the initiative of the Marquis, on May 2nd 1897 the first National Championship was disputed in Milan, with a single category: the winner was Enrico Scuri from Pavia, who won 5 titles and one second place ranking in six years, defeated only by the Roman Stanislao Ruggeri in 1900. Scuri’s last success was in 1902 in his hometown, where he beat Monticelli.
The categories then became three, as well as the “absolute” title, beginning from the 1907 Championship: light weights, up to 70 kg; medium weights, up to 80 kg; heavy weights, above 80 kg. This innovation obviously brought about a considerable increase in the number of competitors.
On April 4th 1899, the first International weightlifting competition in Italy (3rd World Championship according to IWF) was held in the Dal Verme theatre in Milan.
It was organised by the Club Atletico Milanese, sponsored by La Gazzetta dello Sport, and won by the Cossack Sergei Elisseev ahead of German Johannes Rödl and our own Scuri.
In 1902 Monticelli Obizzi believed that the moment had come for weightlifting and Graeco-Roman wrestling to break away from the Gymnastic Federation and to set up an independent
body. Supported by Aristide Muggiani and Cesare Vigano, on January 18th, the Federazione Atletica Italiana was founded in Milan and Obizzi was the effective President up to March 1911 and Honorary President from December 1911.
His successors were Mario Cermenati from 1911 to 1913 (seat in Rome), Silvio Brigatti from 1913 to 1915 (seat in Milan), Luigi Silvio Ugo from 1915 to 1925 (seat in Genoa), Antonio Turri, Pietro Locatelli and Luigi Torretta from 1925 to 1927 (seat in Milan). In 1929, under the presidency of Augusto Turati, the seat was transferred definitively to Rome. The following were the Presidents of the Federation: Riccardo Barisonzo from 1930 to 1941, Giovanni Valente
from 1941 to 1943, Giorgio Giubilo from 1946 to 1952, Valente once again from 1952 to 1964, Carlo Zanelli from 1967 to 1981, and then Matteo Pellicone was elected.
The Federation concentrated on weightlifting, Graeco-Roman wrestling, catch-as-catch-can, judo and karate, and it changed its name various times: in 1933 it became Federazione Italiana Atletica Pesante (FIAP), in 1974 Federazione Italiana Lotta Pesi Judo (FILPJ), in 1994 Federazione Italiana Lotta Pesi Judo Karate (FILPJK). In 2000 it split to become Federazione Italiana Judo Lotta Karate e Arti Marziali (FIJLKAM), presided by Pellicone, and Federazione Italiana Pesistica e Cultura Fisica (FIPCF), presided by Andrea Umili.

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