Athens 18 January 2017
Ref. Numb. 2090_2017
To: The Federations, Athletes and Friends of the World Pangration Athlima Federation (W.P.A.F.).
SUBJECT: Messages in the web with unsubstantial, false, abusive, slanderous and malicious content.
Because in the past four years and recently with particular intensity an online (internet) circulation of messages with unsubstantial and malicious content is occurring, we inform you that, for the validity and protection of the WPAF values, we will not partake in this kind of dialogue which the senders of above messages are attempting to launch. We do not intend to make us equal interlocutors with individuals acting outside the statutory bodies of the WPAF. Instead, respecting our Statutory Authorities we have acted and will continue to always act within these authorities. At the same time we are heartwarming and welcome the attitude to a number of our members, who are responding personally to these messages, defending positions of the WPAF.
This motley alliance of malicious messages editors are trying to malign the WPAF and especially the General Secretary, because they know that he is a key driver of the WPAF operation. As our actions and activities increase, naturally is the growth of fury of the enemies of the family of Pangration.
The WPAF remains solid and is continuously growing, which leads these hopeful dividers in humiliating themselves more and more. This is not so surprising to us, since in the recent past this group of people have been convicted by the Greek courts for perjury, false diplomas etc. (And for this reason, they may not hereafter be hired for life in any jobs for the Greek State as civil servants). And when we refer to this group of people, we mean people who are less than the number of the fingers of a palm, people with a known past and uncertain future, people who sometimes align themselves with the WPAF and sometimes fight against it, for their own sake, indifferent to them whether this benefits the WPAF or not. People who have many times benefited from the family of the WPAF. The ancient Greeks use to say: “No surest enemy from a benefited person”!
It is known of the legal litigations, which resulted in the vindication of the WPAF against the International Federation of Pankration (IFP). Nevertheless, the WPAF considering unity as a priority, did not proceed to a financial satisfaction, as could do so, against the people who are fighting us today. And not only that, but for the sake of unity accepted to integrate former adversaries within it, fully absorbing the IFP. Today, people who have received our compassion and our generosity are struggling to resurrect the IFP and trying to sabotage the WPAF, in any way possible. And if not possible with the IFP, then through United World Wrestling (UWW, former: FILA). The same people who were accusing in a writing form UWW, are now saying how good UWW is and how it will benefit the WPAF to join it. Their proposal is that from a World Federation which the WPAF is, it will become a mere Commission of UWW, so others will decide for us, others who will plan our future, obviously with criteria that will serve UWW first, a policy that we already proceed in the WPAF with the criteria of serving Pangration, especially through the General Assembly decisions. Similar attitude was held by the deceased Tassos Papadopoulos, former President of the Republic of Cyprus, by refusing to agree to the "Annan Plan", saying the historic phrase: "I received a Nation, and I refuse to deliver a community'. So do we. We would never consent to the transformation of our World Federation to a plain commission under the direction of others.
We respect the UWW and its history, as any World Federation. It is universally known that all martial arts and all “heavy sports” are subsets of Pangration. How can we be part of a subset to us? We respect all the martial arts and all ‘heavy sports‘ and we have proven that: With the Greek Wrestling Federation we maintain excellent relations, for years we partake in joint events and we were one of the first to announce to keep Wrestling in the Olympic Events.
Pangration is an ancient Greek sport and one cannot do it without the participation of Greece and the participation of the officially recognized Federation (WPAF) by the Greek Authorities. It's like doing “Kun-fu” without China, “Karate” without Japan, “Tae-Kwon-Do” without Korea etc. For this reason, they are desperately trying to establish the like, which will have a few Greeks on paper and not in the mentality. But this will never happen because the Greek State only recognizes the Hellenic Pangration Athlema Federation (H.P.A.F.) and the WPAF (according to the documents that have already been sent to you). Only to the HPAF and WPAF have been given the right to conduct legitimate Pangration Championships. The Greek State has repeatedly supported World and European Championships conducted under our auspices. The above must become understood of all in the world, so not to force us to resort to International Courts to prohibit any third party to use the term "Pangration".
Allied to the above is our attempt to join Pangration to the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO, as a purely "Greek Martial Art". We have already submitted the file and there is a positive effect both from the services and the Political Leadership of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports.
All of the Board members of the WPAF are struggling daily to survive through their transparent businesses. A large part of their free time is devoted to the promotion of Pangration. Others, who apparently do not have anything else to do, day and night sitting in front of computers spread lies and malignancies. In their messages they call for "meetings" with the aim of "unity" and the future of Pangration, but with no proposals and no specific procedures (because if they had proposals they would present them). We have already sought for these, through the Statutory General Assembly processes that took place in Turkey, Romania and Italy. Our critics, at the same time requested the countries-members of the WPAF to not attend the Championships and the General Meetings. Thus demonstrating once again that they do not prefer the light, but the backstage. Those who supposedly are worried about the future of Pangration are actually worried about their future, because they know that they do not belong to the family of Pangration, from which one of them resigned (from the Board of the HPAF and the WPAF) in 2014. Both the HPAF and the WPAF initially did not accept this resignation, trying to maintain unity. But a year later when he insisted on the resignation, being more and more critical through insulting messages, we had to accept his resignation. In that empty position was proposed and unanimously elected at the General Meeting held in Romania, our colleague Pietro Amendola. (We consider it appropriate to inform you all that the resigned member, mentioned above, was a member of the committees “Agon Semi-Contact”, “Agon Pangration” and “Pliris Agon Pangration”, while he was president of the committee "Kato Pangration". Although he was asked to make proposals, he gave only for the “Kato Pangration”, which was nothing other than a copy of the Brazilian ju jitsu system regulations).
Some may wonder why for so many years we didn’t respond to these insults. Do our accusers have a hold on us? Of course not. Is it possible for us to give up all, not to work to deal with the real problems of Pangration and fall into the low level of exchanging insults? But this is what our accusers seek: To stop being the WPAF and to engage in exchanging foul messages.
One of the latest malignancies that they are spreading is that we are supposedly putting others to ask the UWW to create a Pangration branch in Greece. It is obvious why they do this. Each one of them wants to be a sort of chief, a servant and faithful representative of an Annex to UWW. So they are competing who will get the "nomination". And what they do not control completely, they spread that members of the WPAF have done so. More likely it is they that have done these actions, so to say that we supposedly did, trying to spread confusion. We always act in a transparent manner, and such logic is beyond any thoughts of the WPAF. Because they have other thoughts, they think, that we do also. Because they say one thing and do another, they consider that others act similarly. They must all realize that the WPAF deplores any action undermining Pangration, wherever it comes from.
You are all aware of our constant and successful struggles for recognition of the various disciplines of competitions of Pangration. Rewarding our efforts the Greek State has already recognized five of the seven disciplines. These five disciplines cover - to the extent possible - Pangration, as we know from our historical traditions, with appropriate adjustments to the current reality. The concern for the physical integrity of our athletes is a priority, while the disciplines cover the preferences of all our athletes, who wish to participate in semi contact or full contact competitions. Some of our rivals envision Pangration only as a full contact competition, wishing to exclude all others dealing today with the other disciplines of Pangration. The WPAF houses all types of disciplines of Pangration with no exclusion. If we adopted the "position" for only a "full contact" Pangration, we would have made the largest division one can only imagine. It is therefore evident that the self-appointed "preachers of unity" is nothing more than "messengers" of disunity and division.
As we mentioned before the Greek State, continuously, supports International Championships conducted only by the WPAF. In this context the WPAF from its establishment in 2002 until today, has organized World and European Championships, with dozens of Countries-members and the participation of hundreds of Pangratiasts. Of course it is well known that the so-called committee of UWW, built in 2007, does not boast activities of this level. The "Games" of this Commission are of course outside of the WPAF, not recognized by anybody and are considered as a graphic event. Indeed, these so called "events" are organized ....at hotels, since the initiators can not convince a large number of athletes to come to fill a stadium. It is also obvious the effort of these instigators who by oblique means try to climb the ladder of hierarchy. If they consider themselves as accepted by the countries that cultivate Pangration, why do they not claim your vote in the elections? Even still, while these same people believe that their athletes are technically complete and strong, why do they not allow them to participate in the Greek Local, Regional and National Championships, to demonstrate in the palaistra their claim? It is unfortunate and divisive and it is against their athletes the obsessions of some coaches and unions, which because of their attitude, they deny athletes to distinguish and gain titles, of substantial and recognized content, instead of counterfeit medals and documents suitable only for confetti.
Although malicious messages circulating in the internet could be the subject of multiple lawsuits, the WPAF believes that its strength is you, who support it with self-denial and personal sacrifice and not actions related with going to court against people, who are not intimidated by convictions, who are already under convictions for “activities” related to Pangration, the HPAF and WPAF.
And who are the ones who are talking? Those who with their writings prove their low level and laughable "historical" knowledge which although denigrates Pangration they are being characterized with irony and laughed at. How could they occupy themselves in Pangration and talk about the supposedly "real Pangration", people who do not know what was Pangration in the antiquity and also spread whatever foolishness and stupidity comes to mind? Those who whatever they really know about Pangration are learnt from us, while the rest are imagined and invented by them. Can they teach Pangration against what we stand for? One of the most important parameters of Pangration in ancient Greece, but even today, is the cultivation of “Ethos” (morality) and "fair play". Are those who are burdened with court convictions able to teach “ethos”? A relative Greek saying is: "Are we going to put the wolf to guard the sheep?"
The WPAF, with respect and appreciation to you all, is open to any dialogue within the Statutory Bodies and wishes both your voice and your participation in the Scientific Committees and the remaining Statutory and non-events. We would like to remind you that in the recent General Assembly held in Italy, the WPAF took decisions on the following:
1. Championship Calender 2017.
A. World Camp and World Cup (July, 24-30, Katerini, Pieria, GREECE).
B. The top event of the year is the European Championship to be held in Greece, on 6-8 October, in Evrotas, Laconia. The Games will take place under the auspices of the Greek State and the European Union, under the proclamation of Evrotas as the Sports Capital of Europe for the year 2017.
C. World Turnament of Pangration (Organizer: IMGC, Minsk, BELARUS, Nov. 29 – Dec. 3).
D. International Pangration Cup (Moscow, RUSSIA, December 16-17).
2. The application of the Regulations and Technical Education of the “Hellanodikes” and Athletes of all the types of Pangration competitions.
3. A more complete organization of the Secretariats of the National Federations of the country members of WPAF, based on the Sport Accord instructions.
We all know each other well and we all know who is who:
On the one hand, we have two people handling in the internet defamatory, false, unfounded, abusive and malicious messages. People who challenged litigations. People who are charged with convictions from Greek Courts for their activities related to Pangration. People who have benefited in many ways from the HPAF and the WPAF. People who had specific requirements, which were all met. People who, when they were given the opportunity to work within the institutions of the HPAF and the WPAF, preferred an individual road against the Statutory Bodies of the Greek State, seeking only personal profit. People who accused each other for so many years, to come today to appear as "friends" to each other in order to undermine the HPAF and the WPAF. People who are not aware of what was Pangration in ancient Greece and have confused history with their fantasies about Zeus, the Ultra-Greeks, the Secret Weapons of the ancient Greeks and other morbid nonsense.
On the other hand you have the true face of the Greeks, with people with whom you have worked for many years in multiple events. People who keep their word and promote Pangration. People who have distinguished themselves in their professional field and are well known for their contribution and labor both in Pangration and elsewhere. People who for the first time have put Pangration in its proper historical dimension, from which lessons are learnt on how Pangration should be. People who have been rewarded multiple times by the Greek State. People who are in the Administration of the HPAF and the WPAF, in the recent years, the only Federations recognized and supported by the Greek State.
It is up to you the path that you will follow. Will you follow the "known ones’" or the ones you know?
With Sport and Colleague Regards
On Behalf of the WPAF
The President The Gen. Secretary
Andr. Mazarakis Pan. Kanellopoulos
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