TUESDAY, December 20th, 2016, AT 3:40 PM/ PST

Not Enemy of the Sport of Kickboxing or Muay Thai…

Making Real and Lasting Change
By AKP Press Johnny Davis

I wanted to take a moment to address some things that have come up as of late regarding the IKF Point Muay Thai and Kickboxing© Sparring Divisions that we do across the country but in particular in North Carolina and California for the past few years.

It has become apparent that there are some people…gym owners etc. that want to host events, but do not fully understand and, or take the time to learn some of the requirements that go along with hosting an event. They simply put them on without oversight and lack of understanding which can simply be dangerous. When approached by an authority like their local athletic commission, they are quick to point to our organization as though we are attempting to deceive the commission and, or have some type of Smoker event that is illegal. Smoker events are more often not organized in a way that protect the participants; they often have a lack of understanding of the rules; they are in a ring or cage and the contact is not measured…just to name a few items. IKF/PKB on the other hand, fully understands the requirements one needs to promote an event whether semi or full contact and use our experience to assist other aspiring promoters.

What is to be made clear here is that IKF Point Muay Thai and Kickboxing© Sparring tournaments…

The contact is semi and you cannot knockout your opponent! If you do…by accident… you will be disqualified! This is something that we take very seriously in our organization across the country. We stand by our safety record and mandated safety gear for 15 years of doing these events. We've had thousands of matches and not even 1% of accidental knockouts (about 5 ) is an extraordinary record and should show anyone that even beyond the aforementioned rule, there must be more at the core of the organization that has been a safe incubator for thousands of men, women and kids ages 5 and up that participant in our events!

Moreover, we have had so many fighters that started in our semi contact events and moved on to full contact careers in amateur and professional fights in assorted sports!

In our efforts to make the sport of Kickboxing better across the country and abroad in particular in areas where we promote, my AK Promotions Company along with the backing and sanctioning of the International Kickboxing Federation (IKF) have opened many doors for Kickboxers. Perhaps, if not for our efforts, some of these doors would still be closed. For example, while hosting events in California, we discovered that Juniors (Under 15 years old ) were not "Legally" allowed to fight in full contact / Muay Thai or Kickboxing. Together, we lead the charge with the local commission in opening that door for juniors. Since that time, thousands of juniors have had the opportunity to participant in the sport they love! This one move has already resulted in and will continue to produce more seasoned fighters! We know that many of you in California may not know this fact, but hope that you at least appreciate it!

As noted before…another huge step for our sport in California, was requesting that they allow tournament style Kickboxing and Muay Thai fights…in other words, fighters could fight more than one time in a day. Do you know this was not allowed before 2011… The year we hosted the first IKF West Coast Classic Tournament. It was only until we…AKP, assistant Rebecca Alvarez (R.I.P.) and the IKF wrote many letters and had meetings with the heads of the State that eventually brought more clarity to the commission on their rules regarding Kickboxing and Muay Thai. They agreed on our findings and allowed the tournament fights to begin in the State of California. Today, there have been several tournament promotions and organizations like the IKF of course along with Glory, K-1, WAKO, Bellator (MMA) and others that have had their tournaments in California which in turn has added to the bottom-line economy of the State and given more fighters an opportunity to compete.

AKP is doing similar things with local commissions on the central East Coast today to help them better understand what the IKF Point Muay Thai and Kickboxing© sparring tournaments are all about. We've invited them to come out and witness for themselves and sometimes, they send people to these events to monitor, which is fine with us. In fact, we are expecting such visitors at our fourth coming IKF PKB World Cup Sparring Tournament next weekend, December 30th in Winston Salem, North Carolina that will be at the Embassy Suites Hotel. The tournament is held in conjunction with the largest martial arts tournament in the United States called the Super Grands …consisting of thousands of competitors and done over a 6 day period! (December 26th- December 31st!) Register for it online at www.AKPromotions.org or at the door. Competition starts at 12:Noon.

In Closing, what we do is not to hurt the sport of Kickboxing or Muay Thai but instead try to grow it and make it safer and better for all involved! We are advocates, not an enemy of the sport! We consult those who want to do it the right way and move the sport forward. There are those that witness our work and growth but choose not to work with us and find alternative groups and that is OK as long as they have guidelines that are adhered to while keeping the participants safe etc.

Although we recognize general Kickboxing an Muay Thai rules and regulations can, and often do vary from state to state, we have put in many, many years of educating ourselves on these rules and regulations as well as assisting other states in updating these rules and regulations to match the rule styles of the sport. One fighting style in this case would be Muay Thai which is often misrepresented as its own sport by state commissions. Because of this, sometimes we have to put ourselves on the line to challenge antiquated laws that impede our existence. Our movement is done with respect to authority. Our challenge and activism to out-dated laws of exclusion is no different than other groups who have had to fight against laws that essentially left them out of the equation throughout history.

So, if you are one of those people who are putting on and, or supporting events without a real agenda to grow the sport and, or adequately protecting fighters… we ask that you do not do that and find a proper way to work with your local commission, recognized sanctioning body and, or authority etc.. Additionally, we ask that you do not throw those under a bus without truly understanding who they are and what they have done... instead, consider joining them in the fight for equality! Your counter - actions could impede the overall growth of Kickboxing and Muay Thai in your area and set us back years.

Today, it's all about making lasting changes, giving athletes, promoters and trainers the recognition they deserve so that the sports of Kickboxing and Muay Thai can rise to its deserving magnitude!
Happy Holidays and Forward March!

Your thoughts and comments are welcomed…

Johnny Davis