And when you think you can’t do it anymore, the next internal disaster comes along at FLAM (the national martial arts association). A week ago, at the General Assembly, more than 100 member clubs were informed about the planned restructuring – at least in theory, because not even half of the clubs were represented at the presentation of the plans in Strassen. Specifically, the point is that in the future judo, karate and taekwondo will become independent associations and the 30 remaining martial arts will remain united under the current umbrella association.
In retrospect, one can certainly say that in recent years there has been no one who has managed to bring calm to this diverse association – neither the current President Serge Schaul (in office since 2018) nor his predecessor Fred Bertinelli (2014-2018). . This was not necessarily due to the will or the skills, but to power games that were played out behind closed doors in the respective divisions. In karate, whose presidential elections in 2019 only ended in court, not only outsiders felt that self-interest took precedence over developments in the sport.
In FLAM there were arguments about fair sharing of coaching posts (funded by the Ministry of Sport), new board teams were set up, but the end result was sooner or later the same. Satisfaction on all sides remains a utopia even today. Especially in karate, there would hardly be any reason to worry about the public image. In terms of sport, things are going well even after the career break of U21 European champion Kimberly Nelting. Only on Sunday did 15-year-old Alexander Davies become Vice European Karate Champion in the Cadets. At the end of the day, associations are measured by results – and they are true in martial arts.
Uncertain times are still ahead. After the splitting plans were announced, there is no going back. FLAM has long since abandoned the idea of “Together we are strong”. Is it in the nature of lone wolves to want to stand up for their own interests? The fact is that some sports are better organized than others. The times when you could appear at the Ministry of Sports, the Olympic Committee or the press with a whole package of international medals are also over.
Sooner or later, the current project will certainly be viewed with critical eyes. However, the upcoming separation may help to relieve pressure and tension. In any case, the wrangling over the appointments to the “Comité directeur” is over – and everyone is responsible for their own future. This also means that more time and focus can be invested in the development and development of young athletes and the fine-tuning of top athletes.