Thursday, November 17, 2016
It is that time of the year again when we have the FIAS International Sambo Federations International Congress followed by the World Sambo Championships. This year it was held in Sofia Bulgaria November 10th and the Worlds were November 11th - 14th
FIAS was formed in 1985 and I have been involved with them since then, my first outing was the World Games in 1985 held at Crystal Palace London. Since then I have attended most World Championships and Congresses and what changes I have seen since those early days
At the very start Congress was held in small restaurants with about 10 nations everyone speaking different languages with the hope some could translate. Now we have over 88 nations affiliated and many more participating for the first time, Congress is held in large stately Halls each person is given an earphone with your own personal translator and the whole thing is organised in a very professional manner. FIAS is now a large organisation with many professional staff with offices in Switzerland and Russia. It is a very professional organisation covering all aspects required to make it an Olympic Sport in fact I would go as far as to say a lot of International Sports Federations could take a leaf out of the FIAS Book.
Previous Presidents like Fernando Compte (FIAS Founder) Josh Henson USA David Rudman Russia were part of the early build up BUT is was the arrival of the present President Vasili Shestakov that we saw real advances made into the Sport of Sambo his connections with Government, Businessman and many others took us to another level from a small organisation to one with over 100 countries affiliated. His Team of Mr A Klymanko (First Vice President) Mr S Gopi (Legal) R Ferraris (Gen Sec) Mr S Eliseev (European President) and the rest of the Committee members are sometimes forgotten but they as much a part of the Team that makes FIAS such a great organisation.
The congress went of very smoothly as with most AGM they can be a bit mundane what I found interesting was the Calendar of Events which can be seen on the FIAS Web site especially the announcement of next years World Championships which will be in Sochi in Russia and the Europeans in Minsk Belarus. The French delegation brought up a couple of interesting points
1) a maximum weight for Men and Women as this seems to be the direction of other Grappling styles. Not sure if I agree with that early in the Congress we heard from Suresh Gopi that FIAS had enshrined the Olympic ideal of no discrimination yet here was an idea that we should discriminate against Heavy people? Maybe put an extra category i.e. for Over 125k?
2) It was also brought up that in Amateur boxing the Head Guard has been abandoned because it is alleged it causes more problems then it serves. Yet if Combat Sambo accepts this, the rules may have to change with regard to Head Butts especially. Once again not every thing is straight forward
Many of the items will be brought up at the British Sombo Federation AGM in January