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Roy BakerThe Interview with the
first man of this amazing Championship, Mr. Roy Baker:


This amazing year Irish Open had fantastic number of 4000 participants from 39 countries.

This is the 22nd year of the Irish open International. All these years, from day one, I was the organizer of this event and I’m not tired of it yet. Last year we had amazing number of 3200 registrations which was the biggest tournament in WAKO’s history. I thought that it was the maximum of one event. But, this year is extraordinary which overcome all my expectations: we are very close to brake 4000 registrations which are unbelievable; it is twice the size of any other event in WAKO!

What is the most important, please remember it, this morning in the sport hall we presented the check on 29.500 eu to the children’s charity. The charity which we choose it is called the Child Line, for the children who have difficulties in their lives to make a phone call to somebody who is trained to support them in these difficult situations. I am very happy we had registrations from 39 countries, people from Chile, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Argentina, and all of Europe we have today in Dublin. I am very happy for the success of this year’s fantastic event.

You are managing and covering all about this event, you are everywhere, on every area, with competitors, with referees, with guests of this event. How do you manage this?

I have the best stuff in the world. I don’t believe there is anybody in the world that can handle 4000 competitors on one event like my stuff do. All of my stuff is with me since their five years of age. We are together over 20 years making this event year by year better. It’s not only me: I coordinate, I manage, and I lead. But all of this people work and I’m watching them. My stuff is fantastic.

Irish open 2015 3
WAKO Europe President Dr. Borislav Pelevic has opened this Championship and wished all the participants good fights and much joy

What is the receipt for somebody who wants to organize big competition like this?

Receipt is: put inside lots of energy, commitment, passion, knowledge and start slowly. Too many people want the big tournament immediately. Like I’ve said, this is the year 22. When we started, we had one country, two countries, and three. And in last few years we tripled this size. I think the main success of Irish Open is amazing arena and hotel. If you talk to people with lot of experience like Peter Kruckenhouser, he will admit that this is the best arena in the world. This facilities you don’t have anywhere in the world. Maybe only in Las Vegas. Also, we are unique by the night time show that is a spectacle, last night of tournament we had 4000 people looking at the stage.

Our people, our athletes, do not have an opportunity to do this type of level all the time, but this is exposure. So, for me, that is the key of success.

Somebody can tell that quantity destroys quality. What can you tell?

Yes, one of the biggest challenges is quantity and quality, but not when you get the level like this tournament has. I am not aware of any main fighter that isn’t at the Irish Open. Today on tournaments people have to select what tournament they wish to go to. I think what is over the last few years happened with the Irish Open is: if the fighter decides to go on two or three tournaments, one of them will be Irish Open. Some others could be sacrificed. It is one of the main focuses of the year. I think that is what changes decisions. But, we in Irish Open could not rest on this. Every year you can see there is a evolution in quality. This year, we had multiple displays, new barrier system on the area to keep tatamis safe of crowd, so every year we think of something to increase the level, to improve the tournament. Every year, bit by bit, we get better. We had also live streaming going on both in the ring and tatamis with seven cameras from every angle, so last night we had about 65 000 visitors on the live streaming. You can go on Irish Open on the You tube or on Brandmandan.

Roy Baker giving the award
Roy Baker giving the award to Brian Beck  for his work in WAKO

Live streaming opens new opportunity in marketing and advertising? Certainly you had some taught about that?

I don’t think now. Not yet. We need to make incredible sport and force mass media to be interested in our sport. It is wrong to start make money from advertising this sport. For me, it is not everything about money. Here we give everything for the children’s charity. For Roy’s Baker team this is not about making more money but making this beautiful. For me, live streaming is the way to get more people involved in watching and practicing our wonderful sport. When I talk about sponsoring, mass media’s has to have an interest in our sport if we want big sponsors.

It is not so common to see beginners on age of five of six to be on tatami. Here you have a lot of children that age having their fights. Please make some comments on that.

For us in Ireland, is the key. We had the best juniors and cadets on the Championship in Rimini. They were number one, they bated all that huge nations with much more practicums like Italy, Hungary and others. How do we do that? Because we start divisions from the age of six. Those children are very good controlled, disciplined, precise and by the time when our children are ten, to get in to WAKO divisions, they are well formed competitors. You can see that many other countries do that now, particularly for point fighting. There is very little risk of injury because this stop-start system. And later on, they can change the discipline. So for me, it is just wonderful to see those kids in the sport hall today. You need to teach children to be comfortable in competition on the early stage.

 Irish open 2015 2
Check on 29.500 euros for collected money for the children charity

 What is Roy Baker planning for the future?

The biggest step for our sport is to get Olympic recognition. We also need to consolidate our position in the world and to support our continental federations to develop. That has to be the main focus in the future: strengthen everywhere and to help our people to grow on equal levels. Sport has to have strategic vision and plan to mobilize every continent. Because, we are the amazing sport. There is huge number of people who are the workers in national federations and they are the backbone of the federation. Everybody knows that I spent my whole life in this sport so I am pretty sure that we can manage our main goals in WAKO.

I started with WAKO in 1982. I had my last fight in 2002. It is twenty years fighting in WAKO. That makes me co confident in my thoughts. That my inner energy is now dedicated in my other kind of work in WAKO. When I was a little kid, everybody who knew me can tell you how quiet and shy child I was. This sport formed my character and abilities I had never before. Now, I want to spread that to the people in WAKO and make life and the world better.

As for the Irish national team plans for the future, we are preparing for all important tournaments to participate, we have very good and dedicated trainers and amazing people practicing. And concerning that World Championship we are preparing in Dublin 2015to be fantastic, this year I can tell, it will be very special.

Short film was played for the memory of Dr. Richard Leyer
Short film was played for the memory of Dr. Richard Leyer

More photos in image gallery - on this link


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Mr Istvan Kiraly WAKO Europe Acting President

Srđan Bugarčić
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WAKO Europe
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