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French Full Contact Karate
The development of French Full Contact Karate started in the 1970s after a famous French Karate athlete (Dominique Valera) was removed from both the World and the French federation after he rebelled against a referee decision at the world championships in Long Beach and a fight ensued.
Valera's career as a competitor in the national team was over but he turned to a new interest. He was impressed by the newborn American Kickboxing. He joined Wallace and Lewis, trained with them and brought back what was to be known as "Full Contact Karate" in France, becoming one of the local founders of the style with Gerbet.
At that time, the French federation, very close to the Japanese one and quite conservative saw this as an attack against traditional karate and used legal means to prevent its development. Full Contact Karate was deemed too dangerous and competitions were limited. Internal dissent made them split and a branch renamed itself "American Boxing".
Fast forward in the 2000s. For the past 15 years, the mighty French Karate Federation has changed its direction and now tries to reunite the karate family - both traditional styles and modern - including "Full Contact", "American Boxing" and "Karate Contact" which are all coming from the American kickboxing of the 70s. This initiative has gained some momentum and spread to Italy and Spain.
Despite this difficult history, there is nowadays a strong convergence of all the branches coming from American Kickboxing to reunite under the name "Full Contact Karate" with unified competitions: full contact, light contact w/ or w/out low-kicks.
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