Sunday, 23 December 2012

Is British Wrestling a Shambles

My club the Warriors Grappling Academy decided last year to re-join the British Wrestling Association with the unauthorised MMA becoming very popular we want to be linked with a Governing body which had a proper International Backing i.e. FILA. FILA no longer just do Greco and Free Style wrestling it has many wrestling styles within its organisation i.e. Traditional, Beach Wresting, Grappling, Pankration, Amateur MMA. The Warriors is not a stranger to Olympic Free Style President Martin Clarke was Treasurer for the Southern Area some 30 years ago and organised a British Junior Championships at Herne Bay for the BWA, he also won several medals in the wrestling style, his son John won a Silver in the under 18 British in 1990. John qualified as a BWA Coach in his twenties but let the qualification lapse he is now the British Sombo Federation National Coach and the clubs MMA Coach
Yet as soon as we re-joined we noticed there was very little being done in our part of the World and old acquaintances of Martin began to complain about how Eastern Europeans were dominating British Wrestling, there were reports of bad behavior at Wrestling tournaments etc., The Warriors decided under guidance from Martin Clarke not to get involved in the internal Politics.
Many of our members enjoyed watching Olympic wrestling and asked to compete so Martin was given the task of contacting the BWA and offering the services of the Warriors permanent training facility for some small competitions, plus he asked for a Referee to come to the club and teach the rules all at the expense of the Warriors. He also suggested that he would want to introduce an Instructors award scheme very similar to the British Sombo Federation schemes where people with grappling experience can attend a 5 hour course to qualify as Instructor, this gets people involved. The BWA UKCC Course is over 3 separate Saturdays and held in Salford Greater Manchester, this maybe a good course but what newcomer would want to pay the Course fee, Travel cost and give up 3 weekends?
Now we have been told that the BWA have lost their funding and as the BBC report below shows trouble has been brewing for some time and as a member club we had no idea of the problems. None of our emails, faxes, telephone calls have been acknowledged or even replied to, we occasionally get emails from Yvonne Ball advertising courses Salford but when we reply to these there is no answer.
Our dilemma is do we re-join the BWA? Rumour has it they have collapsed and is about to be reformed under a different name and another rumour is that the Eastern European have taken over another is the UKSport are formulating one organisation for all grappling sports including Judo. As with most rumours they are mostly 5% true 95% false but if the BWA are stop this they need to inform their membership what is happening and quickly, I will admit the formation of a Grappling Federation covering all grappling Sports is appealing and sensible but will never happen as all of them are to entrenched.

So what are we to do I have been in contacted with the Welsh National Wrestling Coach who I know he is actively promoting Wrestling and asked him to come to Sittingbourne to do and Instructors and Referees Course. With this knowledge I will incorporate Wrestling Instructors Award scheme in the IBF/BCSA and try and promote the Great sport of Wrestling by applying the old proverb “If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain'

British Wrestling shake-up after ‘disappointing’ Olympics
By Nick Hope
BBC Olympic sports reporter
British Wrestling has begun a major shake-up following the end of its controversy-strewn Olympic cycle.
Continue reading the main story
The only way forward is to take a realistic view of the many issues that we face
Malcolm Morley
British Wrestling chairman
Performance director Shaun Morley and head coach Nikolai Kornieiev are both leaving the programme.
British Wrestling had their allocation of three host-nation places for London 2012 reduced to just one for failing to meet performance targets.
Their only representative at the Olympics, Ukrainian-born Olga Butkevych, was defeated in her opening match .
"Olga's performance in the Games was somewhat disappointing but she did her best under difficult and not always ideal circumstances," said British Wrestling chairman Malcolm Morley, Shaun's father.
In a statement on the British Wrestling website,  Morley refused to directly criticise his former colleagues and instead expressed his frustration with the decision of the British Olympic Association (BOA) to strip the sport of two guaranteed places for their athletes at the London Games.
Play media

GB's Butkevych suffers wrestling defeat
"British Wrestling appealed the decision," said Morley.
"The FILA [The International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles] president [Raphael Martinetti] wrote a letter of support that our named athletes were capable of a credible performance, but our appeal was turned down."
Morley added: "Their refusal to grant British Wrestling all three host nation places denied the BWA of the most significant part of our legacy."
Coach Kornieiev's contract is not being renewed, while Shaun Morley is understood to have resigned his position before being called to account for the sport's apparent failings, at British Wrestling's annual general meeting (AGM) on Saturday.
With the departure of the pair, the future of athletes such as Krasimir Krastanov and English Commonwealth champion Myroslav Dykun, who is currently serving a two-year doping ban and were recruited under the Kornieiev-Morley regime, is uncertain.
Olga's Olympics
Despite her opening-round defeat, Olga Butkevych finished 11th out of 19-55kg wrestlers at the London Games.
Butkevych and fellow Ukrainian-born wrestler Yana Stadnik were both initially recruited as sparring partners to work with British athletes, but began competing for GB in 2007.
Stadnik's British citizenship bid failed to come through in time for London 2012, but both she and Butkevych are due to be the only GB representatives at the women's World Championships in Canada at the end of September.
British Wrestling's performance director Shaun Morley is leaving his post
Commonwealth bronze medallist Leon Rattigan, who is married to Stadnik and who himself narrowly missed the performance qualification criteria for this summer's Games, is taking time away from the sport to consider his future.
"UK Sport funding will only be available to those able to make a compelling case for their Rio potential," wrote British Wrestling [BWA] chief executive Colin Nicholson in a statement on the British Wrestling website  .
Although he and Morley faced criticisms from fellow BWA members at the sport's AGM on Saturday, it is believed they will remain involved until at least November, when UK Sport will decide on what level of funding they will receive for the four years leading into Rio 2016.
The sport admits that after failing to achieve their minimum target of a top-eight place at the London Games there is the "likelihood of significant reduction in funding from UK Sport" from their current level of £1.435m heading into their next Olympic campaign.
"The only way forward is to take a realistic view of the many issues that we face," said Malcolm Morley.
"[We need to] be positive instead of negative, learn from the past, but remember history can never be changed."

Saturday, 22 December 2012

SMAC Newsletter

Swale Martial Arts Club Christmas 2012 Newsletter

Next Year will be an important year for the Club as there are many events, which we can attend, but also there are several events, which will be organised by ourselves, first will be

Nobby’s Gym Milton Regis 11am
Timekeeper/Recorder Course 2pm

SMAC Presentation Night at the Ypres Tavern
January 26th 2013
Contact John Clarke 07825224940 for tickets

For those who want move up the grades there will a Junior Judo Grading, which will be organised in January. Keith will confirm the date later for obvious reasons he not finalized the date. A Senior Grading will follow this on:

February 16th Sittingbourne
Sombo Instructors Course
February 17th Sittingbourne
Sombo Judo SportCombatSombo Grading
Contact John Clarke 07825224940

The big event of the year for the club will be the ALL ENGLAND OPEN this covers all the things we do at the club with the exception of Karate so we are desperate for your support not just as competitors but as helpers as well, please let your coach know whether you will be available to help


Click relevant entry form

There is a couple of International events which we wish to attend the first is the Dutch Open this is a really big tournament with over a 1000 competitors featuring Judo-Karate-Combat Sambo-Sambo-Hand to Hand. This is run over 2days and will require 2 nights accommodation, we normally go in a convoy but if you want the hotel we stay in let me know but you can make your own arrangements, we normally go by convoy

Dutch Open
Dalfsen Holland
March 145th and 16th

The next is the IBF Multi Nation Judo to be held in Kortrijk Belgium this event we will travel to in one day, the venue is only an hour from Calais so should only take about 3 hours a long day but a lot cheaper then staying overnight once again we go by convoy

April 21st 2013

There are many other events over the year and some will be at the Clubs Dojo such as Race Nights, Kids Disco, Fund raising for our International Players, Mini Competitions, Courses, Introduction of new combat sports and classes for those with disabilities. The club gets no government funding we do get help from Swale Borough Council with Business Rates but there are rumors of this being stopped so we do rely on your support so let hope we all have a very Merry Christmas and a very Prosperous New Year

Martin Clarke 8th Dan
SMAC Founder & President

Kids MMA 7pm first lesson Monday Jan 7th
CombatSombo 8pm

Judo 5,6,7 years 6pm
8 to 14 7pm
Judo/Sombo Adults 8pm

MMA Submission 7pm
MMA Combat Grappling 8.30pm

Junior Judo 7pm

Family Judo 7.30pm


Karate 10.30 am

Important News 
George will be running the 7 till 8 class on Tuesday

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Time to make business pay for Olympians

UK Sport have announced that they will put most of the Funding into gaining medals at the next Olympics and they have suggested that most of the money will go to the those Olympic Sports that were successful in the London Olympics. I just wonder if this the correct way to go around promoting sport? Should we concentrate all our time, energy and money on a very small percentage of our sportsman/women? Surely the ultimate aim is to encourage more people to participate in sport. The government have stated that there has been an increase in the participation in Sport since the Olympics, I have doubts that this is true because at ground level and someone who is involved in Sport, all I have seen is a lot people making enquires but not going any further. This could be that I am involved in Martial Arts and Judo and Taekwondo in the Olympics left a lot to be desired the view on these two sports by people I spoke to were, one was about trying to get hold of a jacket and the other was about kicking someone up the backside not the most spectacular of sports. The one thing I have seen an increase in is cycling and not just some one buying a cheap bike but people getting proper kit and buying quality cycles. Maybe the reason for this being popular is that it can be done when you like and you are not restricted to time and place.

I have no objections to Olympians receiving money to train and win medals for the UK but maybe the time has come to make them become true professionals like Football, Tennis etc. Government money maybe should be spent on every athlete rather then just the few for the bigger the base the more medals we get. Why not make running a sports club a proper business have leagues like football where maybe one sports club competes against another and they become paid employees. Football fans pay an astronomical amount to watch their teams, TV pay astronomical amounts for TV rights. The Olympics is nothing what the original concept was about where we had true amateurs, modern day Olympians are professionals some have competed in 4 Olympic games if they were not professionals they could not survive, in the past some tried claiming unemployment benefit this was classified as fraud because they were unavailable for work. The taxpayer actually sponsors them, and I think this should stop. Taxpayer’s money should go to introducing everyone to sport, as sport keeps people healthy fit and takes stress of our National Health Service but this cannot happen until alter our attitude to Top Sportsman and make them receive a reward like other Celebrities get.

I have included some previous artless on the subject :

Cameron has said he wants to encourage more sport in school so we can have more Olympic Champions what concerns me will all government subsidised sport be just the Olympic Sports? There are 34 Olympic Sports according to I.O.C. web site yet SportEngland has 148 recognised sports and there are many other sports which are not recognised or yet to be invented. So by all means get people doing Sport but throw the net wide and do not restricted it just to the Olympics

Olympic Honours and Plastic Brits

Dear Editor

In response to Mr Richard Vanlint article according to the newspapers and Wikipedia there were 61 plastic Brits that was 11% of the British Team. This includes people born of British parents born outside UK. 8 of them have competed for other countries in the past. Cuban Borne Triple Jumper Yamile Aldama and Wrestler Olga Butkevych from Ukraine only got their passports a couple of months ago
My point was that
1)   Athletes compete to win an Olympic Medals for themselves and to do that you have to be completely selfish. This may not be what you want to hear but it is the truth my own experience and my experience with many other Olympic and World Class Athletes know that to be a fact
2)   The Olympics is no longer a Festival of Amateur Sports people gathering to together once every 4 years to celebrate the purity of sport and the perfection of the Human body
3)   The Modern Olympics is about a cooperate organisation I.O.C. putting on a entertaining spectacle that will capture the World s imagination, which it does
4)    Athletes are paid professionals today how else can you attend more then one Olympics, some have done 4 or 5. I was a reserve for the Moscow Olympics 1980, I spent 4 years trying to get there what money I earned went on me, the wife worked to keep the family. If I had another 4 years I would go to the next Olympics but it was financially impossible, that was the norm in those days.
5)   The Olympics is a show and the athletes performers if that is the case why not take athletes from any country to compete for GB
6)   How long before there will be no countries in the Olympics only Athletes who are sponsored by major companies? Would that be such a bad idea?

I was also extremely dismayed by the fact that an un elected Civil Servant Sir Bob Kerslake has decide that all medallist will be mentioned in the New Years honour
The following says exactly what I feel:

”I share the enthusiasm for the outstanding Olympic performance of Team GB. I don't, however, see why they would expect 'a gong' at all. Surely their medals - that’s what they competed for with such outstanding results, rewarded them. Awarding to civil servants who are paid well for doing their jobs and who often enjoy pensions that the private sector can only dream about is entirely outdated and ludicrous. These people are essentially achieving for themselves either because they are well rewarded or to fulfill personal ambitions - that should be enough. If we are to keep the awards systems at all they should go to people who are motivated to help others - the unrecognized charity workers, fund raisers, researchers, people who devote their lives to careers to help their communities despite rather than because of their meager pay. We could also do an awful lot more for our servicemen and women - they are our real heroes.”
How many Service men and women, have died for this Country, how many have lost limbs. Lets put into perspective the Olympics was an extremely well organised and spectacular Sports event but it was ONLY SPORT

Yours Truly

Martin Clarke

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Thank you from John

This Tuesday and Wednesday is the last Sombo and MMA of the year so lets make it one to remember. It's been a great year for the club with us having over 1100 adults on the mat over 2 nights now I bet there not many clubs that can say that. Lets hope next year brings us the same if not more because it’s been a pleasure to teach everyone one of them that's been on my mat.
Merry Christmas stay safe and see you in the New Year

John Clarke
Head Coach
Master of Sombo
5th Dan Judo

Thursday, 13 December 2012

SMAC last lesson Friday December 21 return Monday January 7th 

Merry Christmas and look forward to your continuing support in 2013

Martin Clarke

Friday, 7 December 2012

Advert for SMAC

I have just placed a ¼ page add for the Swale Martial Arts Club with a free publication called the NET for 6 editions on back page. The price was £576 so you can see how we are trying to promote the Club in some very difficult times.
 I asked to have my Blog advertised but was refused because they do not want to promote an Individual yet Carpenters, Builders etc. promote themselves see the blog below and tell me if you find any fault. It seem the Press whine about having there freedoms taken away yet curtail the freedom of expression on the individual. The Sittingbourne News also put a ban on this