Prof Primorac inducted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame
August 24, 2012
Fifteen Martial Arts federations, including the International Martial Arts Federation, Gen Shin Kan Federation, Martial Arts Union, Ki Ryu Kenpo International, Ronin Do International Federation, Balcan Budo Academy, and European Budo Council, endorsed the nomination and induction of celebrated athletes and those individuals who were deemed as valuable contributors to the development of the arts into the “Imperium Hall of Fame of Martial Arts”. After the international authorization for the establishment of a Split based Hall of Fame of Martial Arts, the Masters Board was formed (11 masters from 11 world countries, the masters holding the rank of 6th Dan or higher in any internationally recognized martial arts discipline). Masters Board members reviewed the inductee nominations in each category and cast their opinions on each candidate.
In the “Dedication to the Martial Arts” category, the elected inductee to the Hall of Fame was Prof Dragan Primorac, Croatia’s Minister of Science, Education and Sports in recent past, who has been involved with the martial arts since early childhood, i.e. for almost 40 years. Most of his life he has been attached to the discipline of TaeKwon-Do, achieving second place in the national championship in 1984. Even before TaeKwon-Do (WTF) joined the family of Olympic sports, Prof Primorac had founded the first WTF TKD club “Kocunar” in South Croatia region, in Split, on November 17, 1987. The club has so far provided training facilities for more than 7000 young enthusiasts of the discipline. Hundreds of promising young individuals have stemmed from the club, winning hundreds of trophies in local, national and international competitions. When the Homeland War broke out, Prof Primorac joined the efforts to repel attacks against the country along with the entire selection “A” of the club’s fighters. Eventually, six of the club members lost their lives in the war for the modern free Croatia. Ever since the beginning of the club, Prof Primorac has held the presidential position, while the club has been managed by Robert Prusac, a well-known and appraised sports professional. During his ministerial office, Prof Primorac was devoted to promotion of martial arts and sports in general, building 211 gyms and halls (in contrast, 57 objects were constructed during 1991-2004 period), achieving the introduction of the new Sports Law, which lends a helping hand in saving clubs from bankruptcy while providing material preconditions for development of sports in a wide range of settings – ranging from school sports to top, professional levels of sport. Also, during his office, the School Sports Association was established and he personally was the culprit for the inception of the Universal Sports School, increasing the amount of the youngest sports fans from 100,000 to 230,000.
Among the other top athletes who were honored with the induction, the Hall of Fame also received Dutchmen Tom Harinck and Peter Aerts, Russian Mikhail Dobkin, Swede Mats Tverin, Portuguese Vitor Lagarto, and Croatian martial arts legends: K-1 Grand Prix Champion Branko Cikatić, Olympic bronze medalist Damir Škaro, World Championship medalist in judo Vojo Vujević and others.