On 19th March 2011, the British Wrestling Board endorsed the joining of FILA Grappling and FILA Combat with the British Wrestling Association.
The newly formed grappling committee hosted its first tournament according to the FILA rules in Nailsea, Bristol on 29 January 2011. It was preceded by an international referees’ course led by Mr Larry Papadopoulos (AUS), FILA Instructor and member of the World Grappling & Pankration Committee, (pictured).
The coming together with the British Wrestling Association as National Governing Body was agreed in outline at a meeting on 14th December, with the leading representatives of Grappling, Pankration, Combat Grappling/other styles at the Academy, Manchester.
This move is aligned with FILA’s policy of NGBs taking these other disciplines under their wings.
Anne Pellaud, FILA’s non-Olympic styles manager, discusses the joining with Malcolm Morley.
In the UK, Grappling has about 500-800 active participants. Pankration has about 50-100 participants. In addition, Combat Grappling has 50’ish active participants.
Naming is to be as follows
• FILA Grappling (to emphasise the official nature of the group and a converging of the various groups/rules onto the single FILA standard
• FILA Combat as an umbrella group for Pankration, Combat Grappling, Belt Wrestling & etc.
The interests of FILA Grappling and FILA Combat are mostly separate and thus their separate committees can meet independently under the umbrella of the British Wrestling Association.
However, as there are some cross-overs of need, joint meetings of their committees will be required to remain aligned.
The British Wrestling’s main areas of interest/requirements are ensuring structured, representative organisations; financial robustness; structured approach to international competition; more people doing more sport (aka Sport England).
The British Wrestling’s main areas of offering are access to the International Federation and national governmental recognition; potential for FILA Grappling and FILA Combat to access funding; self-assurance policies/governance/standards; insurance; time-keepers; referee trainers; mats; etc.
FILA’s Website ran a news item (26th Jan) on the joining together signposting the Referees’ Course, pictured below.
The next tournament will be on 10th April 2011, also in Nailsea and is the European Qualification Event.