Olympic Sanshou! Olympic Muay Thai! Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is going to be in the Olympics! Mixed Martial Arts is going to be in the Olympics! Greece is going to introduce Pankration into the next Olympics! I hear this stuff every day and not only do I laugh, I wonder what sort of birth defects these people have to believe all this crap?
The Chinese IWUF actually fooled a bunch of people into thinking they were actually IN the Olympics not that long ago. They held a tournament in Beijing at the same time as the Olympics, but the event was NOT part of the Olympics. Still, people came home saying “I was so proud of being in the Olympics”! Really? Are you proud of being suckered?
People play all sorts of bs games with their martial arts. Being “recognized” by the IOC doesn’t mean you are now an “Olympic sport”. Put it another way, if I see a famous actor walking down the street, I might recognize him, but he and I aren’t going to dinner together.
The process of becoming an Olympic sport is VERY HARD. Most martial arts aren’t even close to consideration, much less entry. A few basic points;
1. You need to have an International Federation that governs the sport, sets and enforces rules, organizes tournaments, etc. It’s nice to have a major government housing and supporting that federation, and pushing for the sports inclusion, but as we see with China and wushu, that doesn’t guarantee anything. But more on China in a bit!
2. The federation needs “national governing bodies” holding active regional and national competition in at least 75 countries
3. The federation needs to hold organized, regularly held “World Championships”.
4. It needs to be “recognized by the IOC” (see above though!)
5. It needs to be voted in to the games by a 2/3 majority of IOC members at the first IOC meeting following each Olympic Games.
As if that isn’t a big enough pain, there are “minor regulations” regarding things like having enough women (China ignored that one), having world cups (China ignored that one), not being like another sport already in the Olympics (China ignored that one) etc etc
Further more, the Olympics is actually in the process of DROPPING SPORTS. The games got big, bloated and unmanageable and new regulations are being put in place. Some even say Taekwondo may be dropped soon!
So, the next time someone tells you their martial art is going to be in the Olympics, pat them on the head and repeat after me “that’s nice, you’re a good boy”