Monday 23rd of July 2018
AFC Tournament I - May 2004 2004-05-29

On May 29th 2004, the first AFC OPEN competition was held in Piteå. The competition took place in Norrmalmia Sport Centre. This was the start for a new independent competition form in which the competitors wear Gis. Competitors from Boden, Piteå, Älvsbyn and Uppsala participated in the tournament. Mikael Forsman from Piteå and Daniel Palmred from Uppsala arranged this big event.

AFC (Allround Fighting Competition) is open for everyone irrespective their style or organisation. The purpose of this competitions form is to give everyone a chance to compete in an allround system with Gi instead of the T-shirt and shorts that they wear in Shootfighting tournaments. In AFC you are allowed to use punches, knee kicks and kicks to the head and body, even in the clinch. Throws and takedowns are allowed and locks, chokes and punches to the torso are allowed during the grappling. Complete rules for AFC Tournaments can be found on this web site.

The emphasis is on the standing fight, which is based on full contact. Full contact to the head is allowed in class I matches. Class I will be single “matched” fights during the tournaments. Only the more experienced fighters that we know have a really high standard will be allowed to compete in class I.

In class II matches only semi-contact is allowed to the head with punches and kicks, but full contact is allowed to the torso and legs. Daniel Palmred says: “We made the rule with semi-contact to the head in the tournaments, to get more people to compete in AFC and therefore attract more spectators.

Punches to the torso are allowed when the fighters are on the ground but no points will be awarded. Most locks and chokes with a turning movement are permitted with a few exceptions. We award points for some positions in grappling but as soon the fighters become passive, the referee stops the fight and returns the fighters to the standing position. The reason for this is that it results in higher intensity fights and also we make it easier for the audience to see and understand what is happening.

AFC Open in Piteå had two divisions, one in weight class –75kg and the other in +90kg. In addition to the tournament we also had a few single fights. In total we had 23 class II fights, and many of them offered high quality and exciting fighters.

One fight that is worth a special mention was between Patrik Bäck from Bodens Bushido Centre (Ashihara Karate) and Joakim Draumann from Piteå Martial Arts Club (TSG), they were in the -75kg. weight division..
Joakim started the fight at a high pace with explosive kicks to the opponent’s head and heavy round kicks to the body and legs. Patrik’s response was good to start with, but soon Joakim´s high pace gave results and he finally won the first fight on a points decision.

A very good and hard first fight according to the main referee, Daniel Palmred.

Joakim advanced in the tournament and also won on points in the semi-finals against Fredrik Gjersvold, Piteå.

The second semi-final was between John Hortlund from Piteå Martial Arts club (TSG) vs. his club mate Tomas Larsson. John settled this fight in the first round by a Sankaku Jime (triangle choke) and advanced to the finals.

The finals between Joachim and John became a technical and calm fight due to the fact that they train a great deal together and know each others moves. By full time Joachim was ruled the winner of the -75kg division.

One of the +95kg division semi-finals was expected to be a very interesting fight between the two most distinguished fighters in the tournament; Burch Gürler from Uppsala TSG and Johan Fredriksson from Bodens Bushido Centre. Among other previous achievements they have both won the Swedish Allstyle Open.

Burch is a fighter worth remembering! After an intense combination of punches followed by a takedown, a couple of punches to Johan's body and a quick passing of his Guard, Burch won by managing to get a Juji Gatame (arm bar). The fight was over very quickly.

The fight for third place was between Johan Fredriksson, Bodens Bushido Centre vs. Johan Norgren, Uppsala TSG. Fredriksson fought well and lead on points until the last seconds of round two when suddenly Johan Norgren managed to get in a Tsuki Komi Jime (neck choke) and won by submission.

The +90kg class final was between Mattias Utterström, Piteå vs. Burch Gürler. Although this was Mattias’s first tournament, one could not notice. In the preceding fights, he had been convincing by an easy win on points and a submission. In the finals he fought very well and tried to exploit his 10kg weight advantage, however, that was not enough against the more experienced Burch Gürler who finally won the +95kg class.

Organizer ForssmanInterview with the Tournament Organizer Mikael Forsman:

This is the first time an open tournament was arranged in the northern part of Sweden, how has the response been?
In the beginning we were hoping to fill all weight classes but there were only enough competitors in the -75kg and +90kg classes to form tournaments. In the other classes we had to have single fights only. Despite this, the response has been very good from both the audience and the competitors. One contributing factor to this was that we succeeded very well in matching competitors for the fights and that the audience got to see participants from different styles. I'd like to praise the Judo practitioners for participating since they normally do not train with kicks and punches.

Will there be more tournaments of this kind in north of Sweden?
The next tournament has already been planned, however, we will send out an invitation to all the Scandinavian countries to get more participants for the tournament, perhaps we'll also invite fighters from Russia. We have also considered arranging a couple of Class I single fights and we are already considering some fighters for those fights.

What is your personal impression of the tournament?
I am very pleased! The arrangement came out better than expected. I've been a bit nervous since it was the first time we arranged something like this, but as I said before, things came out better than expected. The show by Piteå Aikido club was very good and thanks to our great staff everything regarding the arrangement worked. There were no mishaps, as there usually is the first time one arranges something like this. Of course there are things that could be improved. And although there were several other arrangements in Piteå the same day we had an audience of approximately 250 people. My hopes are that the next tournament will draw an even bigger audience.




 Text: Jessica Palmred. Photography: Gunnar Westergren, Piteå tidningen.

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David C. Cook, All rights reserved.