What is K1? …… countdown to the Stitch event of June 28th

Saturday, June 18, 2011, 8:00

K1 is another contact sport which has the same technique of Kickboxing but it also includes Knee Strikes to the upper body and face. The fighter is allowed to clinger the opponent from the neck and delivers a Knee Strike to the mentioned area of the body. He is also allowed a Direct Knee Strike (without clinging).

History of K1 - K1′s predecessor Seidokaikan Karate was formed in 1980 by Kazuyoshi Ishii, a former Kyokushin karate practitioner who had formed his own organization to help promote the best stand-up martial artists. Seidokaikan arranged several successful challenge events against other martial arts organizations, originally using rules based on the Kyokushin Knockdown karate rules, but gradually adapting and changing closer to kickboxing rules. In 1993, Mr. Ishii founded the K1 organization exclusively as a kickboxing organization, closely cooperating with, but independent from Seidokaikan.

Kickboxing boomed and became popular in Japan as it began to be broadcast on TV. By 1970, kickboxing was telecast in Japan on three different channels three times weekly. The fight cards regularly included bouts between Japanese (kickboxers) and Thai (Muay Thai) boxers. Tadashi Sawamura was an especially popular early kickboxer. In 1971 the All Japan Kickboxing Association (AJKA) was established and it registered approximately 700 kickboxers. The first AJKA Commissioner was Shintaro Ishihara, the long time Governor of Tokyo. Champions were in each weight division from fly to middle. Long time kickboxer Noboru Osawa won the AJKA bantam weight title, which he held for years. Raymond Edler, an American university student studying at Sophia University in Tokyo, took up kickboxing and won the AJKC middleweight title in 1972; he was the first non-Thai to be officially ranked in the sport of Thai Boxing, when in 1972 Rajadamnern ranked him no. 3 in the Middleweight division. Edler defended the All Japan title several times and abandoned it. Other popular champions were Toshio Fujiwara and Mitsuo Shima. Most notably, Fujiwara was the first non-Thai to win an official Thai Boxing title, when he defeated his Thai opponent in 1978 at Rajadamnern Stadium winning the Lightweight Championship bout.

Combat sports have always been popular in the Maltese Islands. In the prewar and post war era of the Second World War, boxing was perhaps the most popular, introduced by the British Army in the late 1800’s. In the 1960’s other forms of combat sports started to appear on the local scene such as Judo, Olympic Wrestling and Karate. Most of these sports were practiced in “Culture Clubs” or in Garages on straw mats. •The 1970’s – The big screen introduced the legendary Bruce Lee, staring in, The Big Boss, Fist of Fury and Way of the Dragon amongst others. Martial Arts fever gripped the world and Malta was no exception. Martial Arts Clubs started to spring up everywhere. Associations for the various fight styles started to be formed and many Maltese started to receive instructions in various combat forms in other countries.  

The 1980’s and 1990’s saw the sport of martial arts develop and evolve. The Maltese, Martial Arts scene also evolved keeping pace with other much larger countries. •The nineties and noughties brought with it new innovations to the world of Martial Arts and amongst those who took the plunge in introducing these styles to the Maltese Islands was, Master Noel Mercieca a 5th Dan Black Belt who in 1996 established the ‘Ying Yang Kicking Boxing Club’. This club soon established itself as a leader on the local scene and started to amass a number of titles both locally and abroad.

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