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How Don Quijote Pulling Event Support Hurts Kickboxing in Japan

  • Published in Kickboxing

(C) SusumuDon Quijote is a clothing company based out of Japan, that through the support of such DQ board members like former professional wrestler and MMA fighter Tadao Yasuda, has supported kakutogi (martial arts) in Japan in various forms. The most obvious form was their support for MMA promoters WVR, who hosted SRC/Sengoku events. Don Quijote was one of the premier supporters for such a promotion, and over the past few weeks the top foreign fighters from SRC have been in mass-exodus mode. Usually, that is not a good thing.

NOB had a translation up from a Japanese publication, and apparently DQ had made up it's mind; it will continue to support martial arts in Japan. The bad news? They might pull support for live events, such as Sengoku events, which if you'll remember correctly, the Sengoku NYE martial arts festival featured a lot of kickboxing bouts on top of MMA fights. This was just a few weeks ago and now at this point, it appears that DQ has officially pulled their support and Sengoku is freaking out, claiming that they are as good as dead.

Apparently, Don Quijote's support of Sengoku was wholly, everything from Sengoku's offices, fighter contracts and event bookings were at the good graces of Don Quijote, thanks to Tadao Yasuda. For Japan, this means that Sengoku, easily the #2 MMA promotion to come out of the ashes of PRIDE is appearing to be going under. On top of that, there is a whole slew of uncertainty behind the future of their top rival, DREAM, which just compounds how crummy of a situation this is (of course, at the time of this article I'm watching the news showing the aftermath of the Japanese Earthquake, rated at 8.8, as well as a possible tsunami) for the Japanese fight industry.

To pull this all together, consider how this also hurts the kickboxing world. At first glance, losing the #2 MMA promotion shouldn't hurt the kickboxing world, but after Sengoku's New Year's Eve event, it was clear that Sengoku was looking to support kakutogi as a whole, including muay thai and kickboxing. Sengoku's martial arts festival was a lot more than MMA and showed promise for a positive impact in the world of fighting.

This was another bigger promotion willing to promote kickboxing who has fallen by the wayside, this isn't a good day for Japan.

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Steven Wright's Newest Highlight Shows How Valentina Shevchenko is Great at Everything

  • Published in Video

Consider my surprise this weekend when I saw the name Valentina Shevchenko showing up on my Twitter feed and not just from the usual kickboxing people, but from your run-of-the-mill UFC fans. Apparently Shevchenko has made it into the UFC and not only that, she just beat up Sarah Kaufman this past weekend. Damn, right? Shevchenko has been a well-known quantity in the world of kickboxing and muay thai for quite a while now, one of the premier female talents anywhere.

Our pal Steven Wright is celebrating this by delivering one of his absolutely best highlights to date, this time showcasing "The Bullet" throughout her storied career. Don't miss it.

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GLORY Introduces Fans to Joe Schilling

  • Published in Glory

Joe Schilling

Most of us Americans know Joe Schilling pretty well. Honestly, he's one of the most popular Muay Thai fighters that we have, as we've seen from his fights at Lion Fight which have caused crazy arguments throughout the internet. Joe has the unique ability to polarize people through his personality and how he talks leading up to fights, but no matter what your opinion is of Joe promoting his fights, there is no doubt that he brings it when he steps into the ring.

Check out this interview with Schilling that Glory posted on their official site.

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Catalin Morosanu vs. Giannis Stoforidis Headlining Aug. 2nd SuperKombat Event

  • Published in Kickboxing

On August 2nd SuperKombat will promote their fourth SuperKombat World Grand Prix event. The event is set to be headlined by Catalin Morosanu squaring off against SuperKombat's home-grown star in Giannis Stoforidis. Morosanu has been focused on his political career of late, but still loves to step into the ring to show his fans what he's all about. Morosanu is probably one of the biggest, mainstream stars that kickboxing has in Romania, with him regularly appearing on Romanian television.

Giannis doesn't seem phased by the challenge, though; “I’m hungry for the revange in Superkombat® after in my last fight where I wasn’t able to qualify for the final because of my hand injury. This time I have a big chance to establish myself as a star if I win against a living legend in kickboxing. Morosanu, be afraid! Hercules is coming for war.”, announced Giannis Stoforidis, one of the Superkombat New Heroes.

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LiverKick Throwback: Germaine de Randamie vs Angela Rivera-Parr

  • Published in Muay Thai

The world of kickboxing has a rich history to fall back upon so we here at LiverKick figure, why not? Why not give a glimpse into some of the fights from the past that have made up this wonderful sport and tie it all in to the present. The kids on the Instagram and Twitter like to call Thursdays "Throwback Thursdays," I'm just going to say that this is a LiverKick Throwback.

I've decided to share a bit of women's Muay Thai this Thursday, and I don't think we can talk about women's Kickboxing or Muay Thai without mentioning "The Iron Lady" Germaine De Randamie. An undefeated Dutch female Kickboxer with a record of 37-0 with 14 knockouts and easily one of the most violent women I've ever seen in the ring. She is 7 times world champion and even fought a Boxing match against a man, granted he was a Belgian actor (Tom Waes) who trained 3 months to fight but she still knocked him out in the 3rd round. She has recently turned to MMA where her success has not been as great as her kickboxing, but I will always tune in to watch her fight in hope that someone will dare to stand with her.

This fight is a 130 lbs female world title fight in California on Nov 19, 2005. Germaine is taking on Angela Rivera-Parr who is legend John Wayne Parr's wife and also a great female fighter. Her record at the time was 27 wins with 4 losses while De Randamie's record was 23-0. Now keep these records in mind when you watch this fight just to help you realize how strong and skillful "The Iron Lady" really is.

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Badr Hari and Rico Verhoeven Spar in the Media, But For What?

  • Published in Kickboxing

The other evening on Dutch TV the GLORY Heavyweight Champion Rico Verhoeven laid out a challenge at perennial bad boy Badr Hari for a fight. The two of them have been taking potshots at each other through social media for a while now. Without a doubt Rico Verhoeven is the top heavyweight in the world right now and the man to beat, while Badr Hari was at one time the man to beat but his legal problems and interesting choices in friends have led him to simply be a headline-snatching name in the news on occasion. 

Video (in Dutch)

Badr Hari was quick to reply on Twitter with a "challenge accepted."

To which Verhoeven replied via Instagram.

The question right now is simple, though; what does this actually mean. Fans are already excited at the prospect of these two goliaths clashing in the ring, but there are a lot of hurdles involved in making a fight. Kickboxing has not worked like boxing, historically. In boxing the way it works is that a fighter has a manager and a promoter, that promoter will set up the fights. Kickboxing has always worked in more of a pro wrestling model where there is a promotion and the fighters are contracted by the promotion and at their whim. Verhoeven is currently the GLORY Heavyweight Champion, but reports claim that Verhoeven is without a contract at the moment and in negotiations with the promotion for the future. 

As for Badr? He's been holding out for a retirement fight, claiming to have one more fight left in him and that he's looking for potentially huge money. Badr has been fighting for whatever strange, upstart promoter wants to toss money into a pit and get to go on social media to bro out with Hari. Hell, he even fought for a warlord in his last fight. The big question is if the fight were to happen under Kadyrov in Akhmat if it would actually be a fair fight. I can't stress this enough, Kadyrov is an accused Russian war criminal with an incredibly checkered past. He's apparently stepping down this month, but he's an incredibly powerful figure in Russia. He's still running fight shows, though.

If I'm Rico Verhoeven I'm not going to Chechnya to fight Badr Hari. If I'm Badr Hari I'm probably never going to be able to fight in the Netherlands because of his legal history. Who promotes this fight? Who puts up the money for it? There are still far too many questions before anyone can begin to get excited about this.

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Inaugural Qualifying Tournament for the World Fighting Kyokushin Organization-WFKO – New York

  • Published in Kyokushin

This October marks the 25th Anniversary and Annual Kyokushin "American International Karate Championships," in New York. This event is considered the longest consecutive running Kyokushin Karate style tournament in the USA.

What makes this year’s event even more spectacular is the introduction of the new “World Fighting Kyokushin Organization-WFKO” Inaugural Qualifying Tournament, where experienced Knockdown fighters from both the USA & Canada will qualify to represent North America in the upcoming WFKO Professional Kyokushin World Tournament in Moscow, Russia, with all expenses paid and monetary cash prizes to the fighters.

 

This is a huge for the sport, as Kyokushin Karate has always been at the amateur level, and often thought of as “farm team” for professional combat sports and kickboxing, like K-1 and Glory Kickboxing. A minor league that provides players as needed to an affiliated major league team. However, now Kyokushin itself has stepped into the professional arena, with the World Fighting Kyokushin Organization-WFKO.

The Organization is headed by Vladimir Sloutsker, vice-presidents Eddie Gabatuler from Switzerland and Michael Monaco from the USA, and is supported by the vice-president of International Federation of Karate (IFK) David Pickthall. Not meant to create a new style or new direction within Kyokushin, but rather an independent professional Organization.

The main goals of the Organization are:

  • assistance in the development of Kyokushin training system, improvement of technical methodology, methods and programs according to the modern criteria and standards of sportsmen training,
  • teaching and retraining of sportsmen, and also the creation of required conditions for meeting the needs for the improvement of skills for achieving results by participating in different sport events,
  • promotion of Kyokushin as a spectator sport,
  • providing of moral and financial support to sportsmen and coaches.

The first title bout was held in 2014 with Farid Kasumov becoming the first holder of WFKO champion belt. The championship bout video can be seen here. Since that time, events and tournaments have been held around the world.

The WFKO then launched a series of Grand Prix Tournaments for the future participants of the First World Championship among professional Kyokushin fighters. The winner of the first in WFKO Grand Prix became a Siberian fighter, Sergei Gerasimov.

The WFKO continues to gain momentum and popularity around the world and the next event in New York will give Canadian and American fighters a chance to test their skills on the world stage.

Though still relatively small in North American, Kyokushin Karate is one of the most popular and mass-scale combat sports in the world, with an estimated 12 million participants in 140 countries. Most of these participants hail from Russia, or parts of Europe and of course Japan.

Known for is hardcore training, conditioning and fighting spirit, Kyokushinkai Karate is Full-contact style of Karate. Founded by Masutatsu (Mas) Oyama. Better known by it’s shorten name, “Kyokushin”, it has been a form of Karate that has always been a nursery for Professional full-contact fighters, with the likes of Nicholas Pettas, Andy Hug and Georges St. Pierre. In the combat world, it has always been said, if a person has studied Kyokushin, they are either crazy or feared, but they know how to fight.

Russia has been a leader in the development and promotion of Kyokushin among its youth and developing high-level fighters. The new international organization WFKO was set up with initiative of the leading Kyokuhin Karate specialists of Russia to further promote Kyokushinkai Karate globally as one of strongest and visually attractive forms of combat sports, as well as promoting the healthy lifestyle and physical culture, while offering participants the goal of monetary cash prizes.

THERE ARE TWO MAIN ASPECTS OF THE WFKO:

1. Holding of different sports events in the form of title fights and challenge matches within the framework of planned events of national organizations and clubs globally; 
organization of professional tournaments for WFKO championship of the year on national and international levels;
competitions among men, women, youth and mixed select teams;
holding of isolated bouts on invitation of different organizations and clubs.

2. Expansion and spread of the best practice and methods of education of sportsmanship in the training process; holding of seminars to enhance qualification of coaches and sportsmen;
selection of the most promising sportsmen for participation in spectacular fights on the tatami.

RULES OF TITLE BOUTS

General rules:

Bouts are held in accordance with kyokushinkai fight rules for kumite with some additions approved by judge commission head.

Referees and judges

Judging panel consists of 6 judges. Judges commission chairman has a deciding vote. Four judges with one vote after every round. Referee leads the bout.

Duration of the fight

The fight consists of 5 rounds, 2 minutes each. Net time of the bout is 10 minutes. Rest 1 minute after each round.

Technical scoring

Waza-ari (one point), Ippon (flawless victory – knock out). Waza-ari is allotted for realization of accepted technique. If a fighter who shows injury and cannot continue the bout, the referee stops the fight and starts counting. If the fighter assumes readiness position (kamaete) within count 10 and does not need doctor’s attention, the bout is continued. Ippon is stated when after realization of accepted technique the fighter cannot continue after a count of 10.

Decision on victory in a round

Every round is scored separately. The 4 judges mark in the protocol the advantage «siro», «aka» or «kikivake». The number of warnings received «chui» can influence the judges’ decision on the advantage of one of the fighters. The remark «chui-ni» means the defeat for the one who receives it in case he has no «waza-ari» mark. The remarks are disregarded in the following rounds. If a fighter receives three «waza-ari» marks within one round (which sums up to 3 points) he is pronounced the winner.

To learn more about the event being held October 24th in New York, please visit: http://www.uskyokushin.com/pdf/2015/NORTH%20AMERICA%20WFKO.pdf

 

 

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Warman's Kickfighting Show #58: Fight Code Rhinos and M-One Muay Thai

  • Published in Interviews

You've already listened to the exclusive interview that Steven Wright had with MPL's Clifton Brown, which is of course timely as we've been discussing over the past few weeks some serious issues with MPL, but have you listened to Warman's Kickfighting show featuring both myself and Steven? We go over the Fight Code Rhinos series, M-One Muay Thai from Los Angeles, including a look at American's in Muay Thai and we talk about a whole lot of other great stuff, including Ismael Londt.

As always, you have many ways of listening to it; the first and easiest is on iTunes to search for it (keyword: LordGaul), or to listen to it on the dedicated blog, or of course just listen to it on here.

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Wildly Inconsistent Judging Strikes Again, This Time Against Gaston Bolanos

  • Published in Muay Thai

In what has become a plague of sorts, yet another quality combat sports event happened this weekend under the Lion Fight banner and fans were left scratching their heads over it. The fight in question was at Lion Fight 27 between Gaston Bolanos and Kronphet. It was a competitive five round affair, the first decision for Bolanos and the young fighter learned firsthand why everyone always echoes the now empty sentiment of "never let it go to the judges."

Because he let it go to the judges and the decision rendered was not great. While it was a close fight, the body kicks from Kronphet were what scored him points with the judges. Unsurprising to many, but the two Thai judges scored the bout for the Thai fighter, while the other judge scored the fight for Bolanos. Simply watching the fight you can see in the later rounds how Bolanos grew more comfortable, was cutting off the ring and was scoring points with punches, elbows and the clinch sweeps, all of which he was landing consistently against the Thai. 

The IKF was overseeing Lion Fight 27, from what we understand on somewhat late notice, but the rules going into the fight weren't in doubt. Interestingly enough, the referee didn't seem to grasp the concept of the rules and was quickly breaking up clinches between the two men, to the point where I've seen more clinchwork allowed in kickboxing fights, even recent ones. Confusingly enough, the referee wasn't the only problem, because the judges didn't seem to grasp the scoring, either. If in kickboxing what Sitthichai did against Robin van Roosmalen wasn't enough for a win, under muay thai rules what Kronphet did to Bolanos was essentially zilch. IKF's own rules spell it all out.

In fact, from reports that we've received, the two judges in question had scored Kronphet as the winner in round four for one judge and round five for the other, either one of those being objectively insane calls by most educated eyes. From what we understand the IKF is looking at the decision and may even be considering overturning it, but even if not, this fight will just be tossed onto the pile of evidence that officiating in kickboxing and muay thai needs a complete overhaul. Anyone that is to referee or judge a fight should understand the rules and be properly vetted, much like a jury is in a court case, to ensure that fighters won't have to keep working so hard to face this level of uncertainty and fear when they are fighting a tough opponent that they just can't seem to knock out. 

What's especially tough is that the onus here doesn't fall on the fighters or their coaches for failing in any way, or even the promotions, who aren't directly assigning these officials, but the overseeing bodies that exist in combat sports, all of which tend to feel outdated, insecure and relics from a time long since past. If we want to see the sports of kickboxing and muay thai gain a stronger hold not only in America, but in Europe and other parts of the world as well, there needs to be a unified front and we need to stop having these divisive moments happening every few weeks. 

I'm not here to point fingers, to accuse anyone, just at this point a plea for these people to remember that they are helping to frame the careers of all of these fighters and that their decisions carry long shockwaves that don't just stop when the bell rings.

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Video: Pat Barry's Kickboxing KO at WKA

  • Published in Video

Pat Barry

There really isn't much to say about Pat Barry's return to Kickboxing on Saturday night at a WKA event in Richmond, Virginia. Pat Barry was booked in a fight against Ed Burris where there was little doubt as to who the winner would be. Kind of a bummer for Burris, but that is how the Kickboxing game is sometimes; you gotta be the enhancement talent for the big name. Pat Barry is now back in Kickboxing and will make his GLORY debut in May at GLORY 16 Denver.

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