Budapest Open 18, 19 Jan 2013

George Bushaway reports

During a blustery January three British fighters braved sub-zero temperatures and crossed the icy tundra into Hungary to participate in the first Boxe Francaise Savate Budapest Open. The event was co-hosted by The University Boxing Club’s instructor Viktor Lovász and visiting instructor Alain Tardits.

Training on the Friday

Despite snow and cold the weekend offered more than enough opportunities to keep bodies warm and kicking in the deep mid-winter. Before the tournament on the Saturday, Alain Tardits led all the visiting clubs and members through a spirited two-hour training seminar on Friday evening. His emphasis on how to fight on the defensive and in awkward situations was an appreciated counterpoint for the fighters who were all keen to show their worth and aggression in the tournament. He stressed this by saying: “Tomorrow you will fight to winning but tonight I want you fight as if you are losing.”

The tournament saw over 60 fighters representing 11 countries, offering a good day’s worth of fighting ranging from Junior bouts to Savate Combat. The British fighters had two or three bouts apiece.

The tournament on Saturday

Siân-Marie Clark’s first fight was against a fighter from Belgium who chipped away enough points to secure a win. Her second fight, against a Slovenian opponent, channelled Siân’s resolve. The fight was fairly drawn and both competitors stepped up to a heated and entertaining fight.

George Bushaway drew an experienced, Parisian opponent who edged ahead, despite George’s efforts to tire him. In his second fight, against another Slovenian, George showed more confidence and, drawing on the support of his corner, worked up to a defiant final round, but had already given away too many of the earlier exchanges.

James Southwood started against a former French champion. The fight was close and technical resulting in égalité. In his second fight against host nation Hungary, James displayed clear ring control to secure victory. His final fight against a Slovenian pushed both men. In three progressively more intense rounds the result was again égalité. The video can be seen here.

The whole event was a great opportunity to come together in a celebration of all things Savate and was a good chance to talk to fighters and trainers with wide-ranging experiences within the sport. We would like to thank Viktor and Alain for their warm hospitality and for the University Boxing Club for providing the venue.

A jó ügyért!