SATURDAY, August 30th, 2003, AT 3:20 PM, PT
Taking Kickboxing To The World .
IKF Staff Writer Mike Marinoble (L)
If you're here, on the IKF web-site, and you've read thus far, chances are you're a fighter, trainer or promoter with a passion for Kickboxing. Maybe you're a fan or an interested new-comer to this popular but misunderstood sport of ours. The question remains, regardless of your standing in this new American fascination; Why don't we see Kickboxing on TV? How come we, the public at large, never get to hear the resounding SMACK of a well placed kick echoing through the comfort our own living rooms? What MUST be done to make this time-worn new sport popular? Or perhaps the most telling question, "Isn't Kickboxing like that WWE stuff that all the kids love so much?" (Asked by a students mother at a recent Karate event). The answers can be found in statements like those.
Our sport is the misunderstood step-child of every Poorly-dubbed Chinese Cinema export of the 70's. American film and our TV culture has miscast this noble and robust sport as an errant off-shoot of anything Kung Fu. "You mean HiYa-KiYai?" asked another innocent. NO! Dammit! This is Boxing! With Kicks! We attempt to explain. But to no avail. It's not their fault. Nor is it the fault of Chinese Kung Fu flicks. (Which we all know and love).
Kickboxing is not perceived by the mainstream media as a real sport. That's a sad statement, but true. Take for example a recent call to the Sports Desk Editor of a large metropolitan newspaper. "A local fighters just won the IKF/TKO USA National Tournament! Yes sir! Local Boys at that! You will?!? A photographer AND a story? In the "neighbors" pull-out section of the Thursday edition? Why not the Sports Page? This news is certainly is more exciting than a tennis player demanding higher pay? Isn't it?". It's scenes such as these that play out in our country's media centers everyday. Editors and producers are a timid bunch and not prone to explore new avenues of interest for viewers and readers. And so we read the same old stories of salary caps in Major League Baseball and draft-picks in Football and we watch the Shaquilles and the Kobys collect mad sums of money again and again. So what in Sports is new?
There's an old adage; "If ya want somethin' done right, ya gotta do it yourself." We need to take Kickboxing mainstream. Those very words KICK and BOXING need to be brought in to popular American lexicon and distinguished for it's fresh originality and understood for what it is. Exciting, fast-paced, awe-inspiring, dynamic and indomitable. A "true sport" requiring skill, precision, timing and heart. A viewer friendly activity worthy of its popularity and capable of procuring a huge fan-based income. A true "American sport". So how do we accomplish this glorious feat?
Ask IKF president Steve Fossum. He's got some answers. Just be quiet as you speak because right now, dear reader, the cameras are rolling and it's quiet on the set of "Corner-Talk", an IKF produced segment being filmed for the new and glossy IKF TV Show soon to broadcast on CSS (Comcast Sports SouthEast). Production crews bustle busily around the IKF headquarters in Newcastle, CA, USA as IKF reporter, Johnny Davis prepares to interview IKF World Middleweight Champion Dave "Mad-Man" Marinoble (R, ready for interview) and 4 time IKF Lightweight Champion Robert Elledge (L and ready for interview below). The segment is short but concise. Information, routine, "How did you get started", "What do you love about Kickboxing", but it's in the answers that we see Kickboxing's profound nature. "What do I love most about this sport? Having my hands raised in victory." Replies Marinoble, one of Kickboxing's staunchest and earliest proponents.
The interview is over in a few minutes. Nothing spectacular. However it is simply a tiny part of a larger picture being presented to the public. A dose in the cure for the ills of Kickboxing. A small step in the giant leap needed to bring the focus of a mal-informed public to this under-rated sport.
The show can be seen on CSS every Friday night starting this coming Friday, September 5th at 11:PM. Features include both amateur and pro bouts, fighter interviews and more. But of course the staple of the IKF Kickboxing TV Show are the fighters doing what they do best. Throwing leather and launching kicks in some of the best fights the IKF has to offer. So trainers, promoters, and yes, you, the un-sung gladiator .Take heart, and lift your eyes to your television screens because...
We're Finally Going BIG TIME!
MORE NEWS OF 8-30-03
A Stance For Something
The IKF / Nationals
By Johnny Davis (R)
Since childhood most of us have had to take a stance for or against something. Oftentimes, the mental or emotional urges to follow the group in doing something that we knew was wrong or detrimental to us were the toughest to fight. We faced challenges in our adolescence that called for taking a stance. Remember when a "friend" would ask you to stay out longer than the deadline your parents had given? Some of us followed our parents' request while others went the opposite direction only to suffer the consequences of those actions...the wrath of our parents! As adults we deal with taking a stance on our jobs, with our children, spouses, and so on. Sometimes, not knowing if we are right or wrong but just following our hearts to what we feel is the right thing to do and hoping for positive results. Relying on our past experiences to show us and our loved ones the best way to proceed is never easy but nonetheless pertinent to our daily successes or failures.
Recently, Kickboxers have had to deal with the reality of other amateur tournaments that seem to spring up everywhere, alluring the "hungry for a fight" Kickboxer to make a decision. For the past four years the IKF has been building the most successful Kickboxing tournament in the history of the sport. Now in it's fifth year, most who have attended are pleased with the outcome of the IKF Nationals. Other organizations have recognized the success of the IKF and are now eager to produce their version of a National and/or North American tournament. The decision to try and support all of these tournaments may have financial and enduring consequences that all of us will have to deal with.
We will have to decide or take a stance on whether supporting other tournaments is helping to further grow our sport or diluting it in a way that diminishes the longest running and most successful tournament. Thereby, taking away the strength of a solidly laid foundation that could be the answer to convincing major potential sponsors to pour badly needed revenues into the dehydrated "spit bucket" we have had for many years. We are now starting to reap a few rewards of the hard work done by the IKF. For example, more sponsorships, a TV deal, and a Kickboxing magazine to name a few!
Some will argue they are more concerned with keeping their fighters busy than massaging any group's letters. Others will say that they support Kickboxing in general and the more tournaments the better. All of these views may be true and have their strong points. However, here is something to consider for example. When it comes to finances, some may find that choosing one tournament over the other will be their only recourse, resulting in one tournament losing out on a valuable competitor(s). Thus, possibly reducing the overall participants numbers to a level not respected by potential sponsors etc. So the real questions are do we take a stance for what has worked for us the past four years or, do we jump ship to chance the waters of the unproven? Is it better to have four or five small tournaments or one or two large ones? Are we willing to deal with the consequences of our actions in the potential demise of our sport...again? Or, should we continue to ride the wave of success that we have witnessed with the IKF / Nationals?
I don't necessarily see where supporting other tournaments will ultimately cause the demise of our sport and I also think one should follow their heart to what is the proper thing to do based on their situation. Keep in mind the questions posed above. But certainly there lies ahead a bigger challenge for the IKF and that is to continue to grow and make events even better than in the past. The IKF must continue to give the fighters, trainers, promoters and the fans what they want. The IKF must continue to prevail to the hearts of those who have committed their support to the IKF, regardless of their commitments to other organizations.
My mother, when I was a child, and my wife today constantly remind me of these cherished words "Johnny, either you stand for something are you'll fall for anything!"
Therefore, my objective and stance is unclouded and I'm willing to deal with whatever consequences that may befall me. I have witnessed firsthand the IKF fulfilling today my childhood dreams that never materialized for the sport of Kickboxing in the past. So today, my stance is for the potential bright future that has been established by the IKF's commitment to offer the best in growing our sport since its inception ten years ago! My stance is for consistency and to one day offer consistent opportunities for fighters to get more fights and make the kind of money that enables them to live beyond the meager means that many live in today! My stance is for fighters and trainers to get the recognition they deserve for their undying commitment, desire and hard work to become the best! My stance is for securing the hopes and desires of those not yet born but who will also dream of obtaining prosperity and longevity in this great sport of Kickboxing! My stance... is for the IKF! Forward March!
MORE NEWS OF 8-30-03
POSTED AT 3:50 PM, PT
Thai Boxing Show
IKF Promoter Lee Whittington is all set to host his Amateur Thai Boxing Show at the Marlowe Rooms Sidcup in Kent England, Sunday 31st, August. The doors open 5:PM with the first bout starting at 6:PM. The main event will feature the quest for the vacant IKF Amateur British Heavyweight Title between IKF England champion Andy Kypriano of Eltham, London vs Mark Ward of Preston, England. The event will feature an undercard of 16 bouts as well. For more info please contact Jacqui Thompson or Alby Bimpson of IKF Europe at firstname.lastname@example.org
THURSDAY, August 28th, 2003, AT 1:55 PM, PT
In Memory Of Gods Champion...
Alex "F-14" Gong
1970 - 2003
MORE NEWS OF 8-28-03
At News Stands Everywhere
Special To IKF
IKF Pro San Shou World Champion Cung Le is taking the sport of kickboxing by storm. With coverage in magazines such as DirectTV (Right) and ESPN, his presence has become undeniably mainstream. With power and finesse, Cung Le is getting kickboxing to the forefront and bringing a dynamic personality to the media screen. Hurry to get your own collector's issues of Direct TV (August 2003) and ESPN Magazine (October 1st 2003).
MORE NEWS OF 8-28-03
IKF Point Kickboxing Grand
Pre Registration Deadline Approaching!
Sept. 20th will mark the deadline for pre- registration for the October 4th IKF Point Kickboxing event to be held at Marinoble's Kickboxing Gym in Roseville, Ca., 600 Commerce Drive. This event is titled the IKF Point Kickboxing Grand $$ because of the cash prizes that are at stake. Additionally, there will be awards for first through fourth place with divisions for men, women and juniors and the beginner and advance competitor.
"We are right on schedule to have a nice event for all those seeking some great Kickboxing competition and a chance to win some wonderful prizes. We encourage all of you to save $10 and some time at the door by pre -registering. We look forward to seeing each of you Oct. 4th!" says promoter Johnny Davis. For more information call A. K. Promotions at (916) 780-7483.
TUESDAY, August 26th, 2003, AT 11:55 PM, PT
IKF Amateur Super Heavyweight World Champion
Waterloo, Iowa, USA
Trent "Thunderfoot" Tompkins (Right)
of Waterloo vs. Rob Macdonald (2nd down on Right) of London,
For more info please contact Mr. Russ O'Connell at (319) 234-1935.
POSTED AT 4:00 PM, PT
MORE NEWS OF 8-26-03
We have also been on the phones with other upcoming IKF business such as the IKF Kickboxing TV Show, all three (Yes 3) Upcoming IKF North American Championship Tournaments (International Rules Event TBA soon), The IKF Magazine, which was delayed due to the IKF TV Show, and some new projects we have coming up we will share with you soon. So, as our friend Brooks Mason would say, "We are back in the saddle and ready to do battle" to bring you more IKF Kickboxing news!
Although this is a slow time of year for kickboxing we have plenty of news to post for you here in the next few days. As for us, we are busy getting unpacked and organizing our next couple of weeks of work which will include putting the finishing touches on our first 2 IKF Kickboxing TV Shows, scheduled to air on September 5th along with other projects as noted above. If you e-mailed or called us while we were away, please be patient since we have over 1,000 e-mails to answer. We will get to yours as soon as we can.
MORE NEWS OF 8-26-03
Thunderfoot Wins Amateur
MORE NEWS OF 8-26-03
IKF Amateur Rankings
We will also be posting more 2003 IKF/TKO USA Nationals stories, final fighter count, number of bouts, inside stories, facts and stats etc. etc. soon as well.
THURSDAY, August 21st, 2003, AT 10:55 PM, PT
Thunderfoot Goes For
IKF Amateur World Title!
Waterloo, Iowa, USA
With a record of 14 wins and no loses with of 8 of those wins coming by KO/TKO, he may not seem like he's been in the ring a lot. But add his kickboxing with his Tae Kwon Do background and this kid has done some ring time. We have a highlight tape of him and from his Tae Kwon Do days through his amateur kickboxing career, knocking people out is a common ending to Tompkins' bouts'.
A while back we advertised here on the IKF News page for challengers to fight him for the vacant IKF Amateur FCR Super Heavyweight World Title. We only received two takers. One from the USA and one from Canada. After reviewing the two challengers, we selected Rob McDonald (Left) of London, Ontario, Canada. Like Tompkins, McDonald's ring time may not impress many. However add McDonald's kickboxing and mixed martial arts experience together and he soddenly becomes a very strong and credible contender for Tompkins. But this wasn't all McDonald was willing to offer. In the end, he was selected because he was the only one willing to step in the ring against Tompkins, to fight for the title. Not one fighter from anywhere else in the world offered to fight Tompkins, which tells us, he's clearly the number one contender worldwide for the title!
At 6'3", 230 lbs, McDonald comes in well recommended by several IKF Trainers and Promoters who have seen him in the ring. This explains his number two ranking. A win over Tompkins and he becomes the top of the class. A loss though, and he simply becomes another victim of Tompkins. This may seem insulting to McDonald, but it's not meant to be at all. The reality here is, McDonald has everything to gain and nothing to lose! The pressure this Saturday night will be more on Tompkins than McDonald, which puts McDonald in a relaxed position entering the bout.
On the other side of the ring, Tompkins has very little to gain since he has already proved he deserves to be #1 in the world with 3 IKF Super Heavyweight Titles to his name. Sure, he has a chance to hang some more IKF Brass on his wall, which always brightens up the trophy case, but the reality for him is, he does have a lot to lose, and the pressure will be more on him than McDonald.
Will McDonald be able to take the heat of Tompkins "Thunderfoot" legs? Will Tompkins be under too much pressure being expected to win? Will McDonald make a name for himself as another well known Canadian fighter did (Mike McDonald) against an already proven American Superstar? Come Saturday, these answers will be given to us all.
This Saturday night, August 23rd, this bout will be the main event on a night of more IKF Amateur Kickboxing action at the 5 Sullivan Brothers Convention Center in Waterloo, Iowa, USA. For more info please contact Mr. Russ O'Connell at (319) 234-1935
TUESDAY, August 19th, 2003, AT 3:20 AM, PT
On Any Given Sunday...
The Results of the 2003 IKF/TKO USA National Amateur Tournament
TUESDAY, August 12th, 2003, AT 11:30 PM, PT
USA Nationals News & Info...
Crowne Plaza HotelCedar Rapids, Iowa, USA: Sorry for the long delay in posting some news on here IKF Readers but we have been busy with location work here in Cedar Rapids Iowa. After a quick little 1,800 plus mile trip of 26 hours and 45 minutes we landed here at the (Left) on Sunday, August 10th.
For the next week (Until Tuesday, August 18th) our IKF Headquarters will be based on the 15th floor here and for those needing to reach us by phone we are based in the Chairman Suite, room 1520.
For the next few days we will not be in the office much since we will be spending a lot of time taking care of outside business for this years Nationals. For this reason it is best to reach us by e-mail at email@example.com The remainder of our IKF Staff will be arriving on Thursday and Friday to assist us with getting the final details in order.
The VENUE.. "ARENA!"
MERCHANDISE & BOOTHS
Cedar Rapids Visitors
L. Dean & Associates!
Speaking of awards, this year "EVERY" participant will leave with something. Of course the National Champions will leave home with the "*NEW" IKF/TKO USA National Amateur Championship Belts (Valued at $235.00) and other awards. The second place finishers will be awarded our new custom IKF USA Nationals Medals that have the same USA Nationals logo on them as the Champions Belts. All other fighters will be awarded color event certificates.
(*) We know, you want to see what they look like... Well, you will have to wait, the surprise will be worth it! However, some have already seen them while at events in California such as Robert Elledge, Dan Stell and Brooks Mason. Maybe you can ask them if they look good enough on the message board... In the mean time, we choose to let you be surprised...
As you can see we have a lot to tell you and believe it or not, there is plenty more. Here are some more news notes and updates to give you for this years IKF/TKO USA National Amateur Tournament!
Some of you have inquired about the fight seeding brackets and
who will fight who in the seeding at the 2003
IKF/TKO USA National
Amateur Tournament. To answer those questions, here is a more
detailed explanation for you.
WHO FIGHTS WHO IN THE BRACKETS
SATURDAY, August 9th, 2003, AT 1:30 PM, PT
Russell Ready For
IKF North American Championships!
Two time IKF USA National Amateur Champion and 2002 IKF North American Champion Peyton Russell (Right) is the first to register for the 2003 IKF North American Amateur Championship Tournament.
Russell, from Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA has a current record of 32 wins, 5 loses with 7 wins coming by KO/TKO. He will be defending his Middleweight title he won last year over Shannon Hudson. This was a great bout by both fighters and very close to judge as well. In the end, one judge had it 50-45 for Russell (scores we didn't agree with at all), one judge gave them each 2 rounds and couldn't come to an answer in round 3 giving them both 10 for an ending score of 48-48. The third judge forced himself to a decision and it was the small difference that gave the bout to Russell by majority decision with a score of 48-47 Russell.
For more info on the
North American Amateur Championship Tournament
MORE NEWS OF 8-9-03
Making The Trip Again
"For The TEAM!"
Within a couple of hours, IKF Representative Frank Curtis and IKF President Steve Fossum will start the 1819.8 mile trip to this years IKF/TKO USA National Amateur Tournament in Cedar Rapids Iowa. If they drive straight through the Yahoo Map quest says that in a perfect world, driving straight through would take a driver 27 hours and 59 minutes. This years trip will be about 50 miles less than last years trip Fossum did on his own. With Curtis along, the two should have no problem setting some land speed records (shhh... did we say that out loud...) and make it there sometime Sunday afternoon/evening. Hopefully we will find plenty of Red Bull along the way...
So your probably wondering "Why would they be driving all that way... Can't they afford a plane ticket?" Well, for those of you who have been around the IKF since the 2000 USA Nationals event will remember why the IKF now makes the sacrifice to drive to this event every year. well, at the 200 event, we had an official shipping sponsor, UPS (United Parcel Service). So much for being official, they "LOST" all the National Championship belts (Shown at left) for the 2000 Nationals Event... and we didn't get them back until about 3 weeks after the event. Oh there's a lot more to this story, but that tells enough of the story. "There was nothing worse that year than seeing all those Champions walk away from the ring with a "BORROWED" IKF USA National Champions Belt knowing they had to give it back after a quick picture." says IKF Fossum. "All those Champions, young and old that fought their heart out that year and were sent home with just a promise that We'll mail your belt to you..." Sure, they all got their belts about 3 weeks later, but they didn't get to come home with them after the event.
"What a crock of an explanation I thought... " continued Fossum "Here these amateurs traveled all this way, fought hard and won the National Title and now had nothing to carry home, let alone raise high above their head when they met those waiting for them at the airport or at the front door. "
Fossum continued, "NEVER AGAIN! Never again will I not be able to see the joy on a Champions face as they carry their IKF Champions Belt proudly over their shoulder as they leave for home Monday morning. 'd drive 3,000 miles to make sure these belts are there for those Champions on Sunday. I'll be tired, as always, but the adrenaline and excitement of everyone will energize myself and everyone there as if everyone's energy worked as one. "
The Nationals weekend is a marathon weekend for the IKF staff. Fossum himself and others are lucky if they will get 8 hours sleep from Thursday night to Sunday night. But the excitement of everyone there gives them more energy than they will experience throughout the year. It's the "Who's Who" of Amateur kickboxing in America.
Next weekend those in attendance will be surrounded by some of the greatest trainers in the world as well as some of the greatest fighters in the world. Their presence humbles us all beyond all means. "THEY" are the Champions on this weekend. Their desires make us all proud just to work hard and make things happen. The many officials and staff that will be volunteering their time to help, what can be said of them other than "THANK YOU!!" Without them, this event couldn't happen.
If you have ever been to this event, you know what we are talking about... This event will change your life in so many ways. The trainers who give their time, effort and knowledge to their fighters with no financial compensation in return. Their sacrifices they make is rewarded when their fighters proudly enter the ring of battle to "Walk The Walk!"
In addition to the many great amateur fighters, we will all be surrounded by many great current and past Pro fighters as well. Some of them include Jim Zbilski, Kevin Hudson, Jimmy Stewart, Scott Mincey, Troy Dorsey, Phil Nurse, Chuck Wolfe, Mick Doyle, Ray Thompson, Kurt Podany, Clerance Thatch, Pat Miletich, Mike Winkeljohn, and not to mention the many past IKF USA National Amateur Champions who will be there to assist with the event as well as with their own fighters such as Peyton Russell, Stephen Thompson, Jesse Finney, and Mark Grubel just to name a few. While in their presence, we are sure to be humbled greatly by what they have accomplished in their lives. Their work, dedication, determination and persistence to accomplish their goals cannot be measured in just words for their greatness is far too much to type here tonight.
There will be some other things that will bond everyone together on this weekend. This will be the 5 year anniversary of the tournament but we won't focus too much on that because to us, there is still so much we need to accomplish for our sport. So we will hold off on that big celebration until we can ALL Celebrate something we've all worked long and hard for such as a big IKF Kickboxing TV Deal... Now THAT is something to celebrate! Wait... We do have that... OK, we can all celebrate that at the Sunday night Party!
There's a reason we've been using an Eagle for the symbol of the USA Nationals the last two years. It's now more than just a bird to all of us. It represents Strength, Leadership, Integrity, Perseverance and so much more. How did it tie in with our National Amateur Tournament? The September 11th tragedy happened only 2 days after that years IKF USA National amateur Tournament and because of it, all of us will remember where we were when we heard the news.
For those who will be in attendance at this years Nationals, make sure you make the most of the event. Win or lose, stop and look around at who surrounds you. The greatest Amateur fighters and their trainers and officials America has to offer. This will, as always be a Journey where we all find ourselves again. A Journey where we all gather together to see what our sport is all about.
As Ol Duke use to say, "It's all about filling the spaces between the places, the grass roots of America." This Journey will humble us all who won't be fighting in it. It will show us how great Amateur Kickboxers are today and give us a chance to think about when we fought as they did and with the same desires but far less the rewards. We will share stories, laughs as well as ideas and in the end, this weekend will truly change us all as we will become someone different than we arrived as. We will be stronger both mentally and physically from having experienced it. We will be wiser and we will take this wisdom we gained from the others and move forward to make next year even better for those who will "Walk The Walk" again. As trainers we will learn new ideas, new techniques on how to advance our fighters skills. As fighters, we will learn from others by watching their every move and eventually making some of those exciting moves our own.
When were among our peers for these days, it's as if nothing else around the world matters other than what's happening at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids Iowa on August 15th, 16th and 17th. Leading up to this week as in the past we have told quite a few people about this event as many of you have. Their response? What's in Cedar Rapids Iowa??? And our response, like yours is very direct and simple...
AMATEUR KICKBOXERS IN AMERICA!
"Bring It ON!"
MORE NEWS OF 8-9-03
Gets His Revenge At
Bakersfield, CA, USA: About 400 spectators and fans braved the sweltering heat at the historic Bakersfield Dome (formerly Strongbow Arena), to witness some of the best kickboxing action that the sport has to offer last night August 8th. Promoted by Dominador Tomate and associate matchmaker, Abe Belardo, the event "King of the Ring II" showcased a rematch between IKF West Coast Light Welterweight Champion from Santa Barbara Mike Morello and Bakersfield home town son, Raul Rodriguez. The last time the two met, they fought for the then vacated title and in front of a partisan crowd, and Rodriguez was knocked out with a hard round house kick that Morello perfectly executed sending the highly favored Rodriguez to the canvas. Humbled by the experienced, Rodriguez asked for an immediate rematch and went back to training reliving that fateful day when lost the match. "You don't know or imagine how I've waited for this, how I've counted the days, the hours, the minutes."
When the bell rang for round one, Morello advanced with hard low kicks and looping punches. Rodriguez kept his composure and slipped most of the attack. Rodriguez in spurts was able to throw effective combinations to Morello's straight forward movement. But the Santa Barbara champion was able to block the shots effectively from his "peek-a-boo" defense. It ended evenly with both fighters returning to their benches satisfied with the round.
The second round started quickly with Morello sending a hard overhand right that caught Rodriguez on the head. The punch was partially blocked, and Rodriguez was not fazed by it. Though out this round, both fighters exchanged body shots and leg kicks, at a point trading shots and taking hits without defending them. Rodriguez scored with a hard upper cut and a series of well-executed head and body shots, many of them scoring. Before the bell rang, Morello threw a wide left that barely missed the challenger's head evoking several gasps from the home town crowd.
The third round had Morello using his side kicks to slow down the now aggressive Rodriguez, who started to take command with hard leg kicks and body shots. Morello's uncompromising strategy at the start of the fight was replaced with instances of rest when he tried to catch his breath and composure. Rodriguez used these moments to launch his attack with machine gun accuracy that Morello was forced to back up and cover up. Between these attacks, Morello answered with combinations of his own.
It appeared that the fourth round was when Morello was going to turn the fight around when he opened a full arsenal of hooks and low leg kicks. Rodriguez in that flurry slipped and covered, and allowed Morello to attack without answering. Then Rodriguez replied with a short exchange of his own. Morello pulled away and grabbed his mouth piece, circling the perimeter, showing obvious distress. He glanced at the referee Nelson "Doc" Hamilton, who clapped his hands and ordered the fight to resume. Morello then took a quick look toward his corner and pointed to his left knee and hip region. Rodriguez sensed the situation and attacked hard. Morello survived the round, but clearly hurt as he limped to his corner.
When the bell rang for round number five, Rodriguez smelled blood and went for the kill, setting up his opponent with punches but then following up with kicks to the injured *Muscle above Morello's knee. Morello went down and barely got up for the eight count. Asked if could continue, Morello said yes, and with one last "ditch" effort sent a round kick to Rodriguez' head, the same technique that took the challenger down at the first fight, but it only scored partially. Rodriguez' adrenaline at max answered with a final shin kick on the *muscle above Morello's knee that sent the champion down for the final count. Clearly hurt, Morello was not able to continue, and referee "Doc" Hamilton stopped the contest at 53 seconds into the last and final round.
(*Corrected on 8-13) This was earlier reported to be a strike to the knee. However, after speaking to several people, the strike was actually to the muscle above Morello's knee.
The Bakersfield crowd went wild and Raul Rodriguez climbed the turnbuckle and raised his hands in victory. Matchmaker Abe Belardo and World Champion Jennifer Alcorn presented Rodriguez with his belt making him the new IKF Light Welterweight West Coast Champion.
Here are the other fight results:
For more info on this event contact Mr. Domi Tomate or Mr. Abe Belardo at (661) 342-5222 or by e-mail at Rodani@aol.com
FRIDAY, August 8th, 2003, AT 8:00 PM, PT
Will Be At The
IKF/TKO USA NATIONALS!
Mixed Martial Arts UFC Superstar Dan "The Beast" Severn informed the IKF today that he will be a special guest at this years IKF/TKO USA National Amateur Tournament in Cedar Rapids Iowa. Dan will be hanging out at the IKF Booth during the event and available for autographs as well.
Over the years, Dan Severn has captured the attention of fight and wrestling fans all over the world since his 1994 debut in the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC). He is known as "The Beast", a name given to him by Jim Brown during one of his many fights in the UFC. The native of Coldwater Michigan has accepted all challengers in any no holds barred, or professional wrestling events. On May 17, 1996, he was crowned the UFC Superfight Champion in his home state of Michigan. He demolished "The World's Most Dangerous Man", Ken Shamrock to regain the title. Dan is the only triple crown UFC champion in the sport today. He has won two eight man tournaments and The Ultimate Ultimate 1996, which pitted champions and runner-ups against each another to determine the true champion of the sport. To read more about Dan Severn's career, Click HERE.
MORE NEWS OF 8-8-03
Sad Day Today For The
World Of MuayThai.
WMC Thailand: The American MuayThai scene was rocked last week with the death of American MuayThai Star Alex Gong. (See articles below) Now, one week later, the Worlds of MuayThai loses another. Gen Vorayudh Mesommonta, Secretary General of the WMC passed away after a long battle with illness. He will be sorely missed by all those who knew him.
General Vorayudh was the driving force behind the foundation of the WMC, and the course set by MuayThai internationally. He will be remembered as a kind man with a great vision for MuayThai. His work will live on through the 110 member countries of the WMC. We would all like to express our gratitude for his hard work, dedication and unfailing good spirits. We send our deepest condolences to his family at this time.
The funeral, Royal-sponsored which is a rare honor and accorded
as a mark of the huge respect given to the General in Thailand, will take place
over the next 12 days. Should anyone like to send his or her respects, please
mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
MORE NEWS OF 8-8-03
POSTED AT 3:00 PM, PT
DON'T Send Us Pictures HERE!
This announcement is to inform all fighters and trainers who are still planning to send late fees, pictures, cornerman registrations etc. to us for the IKF/TKO USA Nationals to NOT SEND them here.
Our staff will be leaving for the Iowa event tomorrow, Saturday at NOON, so any mail that arrives here after 12 noon tomorrow will not make it for the Nationals. Because of this, "IF" you have sent us anything and it does not arrive here at the IKF Headquarters before 12 noon tomorrow, we will not have it with us at the Nationals. At registration on Friday, if our paperwork still shows that you did not pay your late fees due (if any) or we still need a photo of you, we will inform you at registration that these are still due. All fees due are required to be paid upon registration and any checks sent to us that may arrive here next week will be returned to you.
All cornerman who did not send in any trainer fees, photos etc will now all be done on event registration day on Friday in the main arena at the U.S. Cellular Center from 12 noon to 7 PM. All cornerman registration fees at Friday's Registration are $10 if you have your own headshot photo (no larger than 2 inches X 2 inches) and $15.00 if you do not and we have to take the photo. To read "WHO" are allowed to attain these passes, CLICK HERE. Cornermen and Trainers will register on Friday during the hours of 12 noon and 7 PM at the event Arena
Cornerman passes ARE NOT for family and friends. They are for TRAINERS who will be WORKING the fighter corners. If you are not a TRAINER, you will need to purchase an event ticket. To do so, please Click HERE. All fighters who never sent in a headshot photo to be laminated will now be charged $10 for this process whether you bring your own photo or not.
Please note that we requested ALL fighters to send in a photo of themselves on EVERY Nationals Registration form. (Please include a full body picture of yourself. ) This was to make registration faster (Remember last years line...) and eliminate the time it takes to take photos and laminate the passes at registration. Those who did send in their own photos, your fighter passes (2002 Pass Pictured Right) will be done prior to Friday's registration.
MORE NEWS OF 8-8-03
REMATCH For IKF Amateur Title
Bakersfield, CA, USA: Tonight, D. T. Promotions Present "King Of The Ring II" At "The Dome" - Formerly Strongbow Stadium. The main event will be a rematch for the IKF Amateur IR Light Middleweight Title between Champion Mike Morello (Right) of Bakersfield, CA, USA and Raul Rodriguez Santa Barbara, California, USA. Other bouts scheduled for the card are;
For more info on this event contact Mr. Domi Tomate or Mr. Abe Belardo at (661) 342-5222.
MORE NEWS OF 8-8-03
With Another Titanic Card and Crowd
Atlanta, Georgia, USA: Southern Fight Fans thinking that they could beat the heat, this past Saturday, at the Dekalb Atlanta Centre, were sorely mistaken. The reason: IKF/ISCF promoter and World Team member, Brett Moses yet again unleashing a firestorm of red hot action.
A shoulder to shoulder sellout crowd was present in Atlanta for the 14 action-packed bouts. No one looking for an exciting night of great match ups (or signature drop-dead gorgeous ring girls) was disappointed. Here are the nights results below.
For more info please contact Mr. Brett Moses at (404) 315-7235 or email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. or go to the Fight Party Web Page at www.TheFightParty.com
MORE NEWS OF 8-8-03
To Play Guest On
"The Tonight Show"
And Fox Sports' "Best Damn Sports Show, Period"
Special To IKF: Amidst his extraordinary rise to fame, K-1 slugger Bob Sapp will make a huge splash in the United States when he appears as a guest on NBC Network's "The Tonight Show" on Monday, August 11th, four days before his highly-anticipated showdown with Kimo Leopoldo during K-1 "Battle at the Bellagio" at Las Vegas, Nevada's Bellagio Hotel and Casino.
On Tuesday, August 12th, he will continue his efforts to bring K-1 to the forefront of sports entertainment when he makes a guest appearance on FOX Sports Network's "The Best Damn Sports Show, Period." "We've got a bunch of television that we're gonna do," said the 6 foot 3 inch, 375-pound Sapp speaking from his hotel room in Japan, where he has been sequestered to escape the masses that flock to him when he steps into public view. "The (American media)'s basically heard a little bit about The Beast phenomenon and it's been crazy since." During "The Tonight Show," Sapp will fill one of the three customary guest slots during the Jay Leno-hosted one-hour talk show that airs between 11:30 PM and 12:30 AM.
The following night, he will chat with host Tom Arnold during FOX Sports Network's "The Best Damn Show, Period" that airs between 10 PM and 12 AM Eastern Standard Time (7 PM 9 PM Pacific Standard Time). Since he made his K-1 fighting debut last June, Sapp has turned "The New Fighting Sport" upside down with little more than the raw power that he used in 2002 to twice topple Ernesto Hoost, (See above right) the most accomplished athlete in the history of the 10-year old tournament circuit.
Sapp's freakish size and strength combined with an appealing character helped propel him to larger-than-life celebrity status in Japan, a country that typically embraces superstars of the fighting genre of sports. To date, he has secured several lucrative endorsement deals with consumer products ranging from ice cream to bento boxes. His regular appearances on TV commercials and in the country's major newspapers were amplified when his face landed on the cover of the Japanese edition of TIME magazine.
More recently, the American media has been taken in by Sapp's metamorphosis from football bruiser to martial arts wrecking machine.
After being featured on Black Entertainment Television (BET), he made his way to the pages of ESPN magazine and prominent hip-hop publication, The Source. On Monday, June 23rd, Sapp infiltrated the suit and tie element of America when he graced the cover of leading daily business publication, The Wall Street Journal.
THURSDAY, August 7th, 2003, AT 4:20 PM, PT
Featured In Augusta Chronicle
Zack Day's K-1 Bout Gets Play In "South's Oldest Newspaper"
Augusta, Georgia, USA
No one who has perused the IKF news page over the years can say that they have not heard of 1999 IKF Tournament Champion, Zack "Attack" Day, of Augusta, Georgia. At the 1999 IKF/Ringside USA Nationals Day defeated Robert Rene Jr. of Orlando Florida in the FCR Middleweight Division by TKO at 1:09 of the 2nd round to advance to the final against Peyton Russell of Minneapolis Minnesota.
In the final Day defeated Russell by TKO at 1:56 of round 2. From there Day turned Pro and has proved himself a success in the pro ranks too. It seems that Day's many ring successes have generated some outstanding local coverage for the well known kickboxer. Linked below is the Augusta Chronicle's piece on Zack and his upcoming bout.
MORE NEWS OF 8-7-03
IKF Kickboxing Show
This week the IKF has been busy with shooting several segments of the first two IKF /CSS Kickboxing TV Program On Monday, IKF Champions Dave Marinoble, Carter Williams and Robert Elledge were all filmed and interviewed by Johnny Davis for 3 different segments of "Corner Talk".
IKF World Ambassador Brooks Mason (In the picture sitting on right) was flown to the IKF Headquarters in California late Monday night and Mason and IKF President Steve Fossum (In the picture sitting on left) worked on show scripting all day Tuesday. Yesterday, Mason and Fossum spent the entire day at the programs post production facility (See Left at Fresh Air Media with Producer/Director/Editor Dale Kasperson and Production Assistant Eric Maddox) filming the sit-down desk segments (See Right) for the first two shows.
The crew will be very busy at the upcoming IKF/TKO USA National Amateur Tournament getting a lot more interviews with fighters, trainers and other associates of the IKF and not to mention, filming more IKF Kickboxing Action! The Nationals Filming is being coordinated by Tim Bachman of Remote Control Productions out of south Carolina.
For more info on the program Click HERE.
WEDNESDAY, August 6th, 2003, AT 9:00 PM, PT
Memorial Services For
FROM A funeral will be held Thursday afternoon in Daly City for Alex Gong, (Right) a San Francisco martial arts instructor and kickboxing champion who was killed last week after confronting a hit-and-run driver. The services will be at Duggan's Serra Mortuary at 500 Westlake Ave. in Daly City. Public viewing will begin at 4 p.m. Thursday, with a Buddhist ceremony for family and friends from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Burial will be in New Hampshire.
Gong, 32, saw a green Jeep Cherokee strike his vehicle parked outside the South of Market gym where he taught Muay Thai-style kickboxing. When the Jeep fled, Gong pursued it on foot, catching up to the vehicle at Fifth and Harrison streets. Police say the driver was an ex-con driving a stolen Jeep and wanted for parole violations. Determined not to return to jail, police said he shot Gong and fled.
Later the driver abandoned the Jeep in Millbrae after the shooting, was tracked to a South San Francisco motel Monday. After a 12-hour standoff with police, he shot himself in the head as SWAT team members began to turn over a mattress under which he was hiding, according to South San Francisco police. South San Francisco police said the shooter had left no suicide note. But San Francisco investigators said the ex-con had told his girlfriend he would not be taken alive.
San Francisco police and state parole officials say he was a Missouri native with a history of arrests in Arkansas for receiving stolen property and resisting arrest, and in California for weapons violations and auto theft. He had failed to comply with his parole requirements since his last release from state prison in July 2002, state officials said. For the past year, San Francisco police said, he has been part of a loose ring of San Mateo County methamphetamine users and identity thieves. A computer hard drive he allegedly used in those identity crimes was recovered in the South San Francisco Travelodge where he died, San Francisco homicide Inspector Michael Johnson said. It had been destroyed.
Police say there are still unanswered questions in the case, including the identities of two women reported to have taken items from the stolen Jeep after it was abandoned and the shooters history, such as his claim that his family had been killed in a car accident in Texas and that he had shot a police officer in that state. However, Johnson said, while they are still awaiting a ballistics test of the gun that killed Gong and the one the shooter used on himself, police are confident that Gong's homicide is solved.
Dugan's Serra Mortuary
500 Westlake Ave.
Daly City, CA, (651) 756-4500.
3 to 4 PM Family Viewing
4 to 6 PM Viewing for Friends and Members
6 to 8 PM Funeral
Immediately following the funeral we will gather at Fairtex in
San Francisco to celebrate Alex's life. 444 Clementina Street San Francisco,
CA. While we understand that everyone would like to pay their respects, we
politely request that no one attend the family viewing unless invited by Alex's
Memorial Fund Information:
Wells Fargo Bank, Special Account Memorial #3443012574
SATURDAY, August 2nd, 2003, AT 12:15 PM, PT
The Sad as Well as
Shocking Truth Is...
Alex Took The Bullet For
ALL OF US!
Earlier today I sent an e-mail out to associates in Kickboxing as well as Martial Arts about the loss of Alex Gong (See story below) and the senseless shock of his death. Several of those who received it called me and said it made them think about the tragedy in a different way and requested I post it on the news page for all to read. So I made a few changes and here are the thoughts...
What hits home is the fact that Alex did what any of us would have done, chase after a guy for harming our property. And I stress again, ANY of us would have, under the same circumstances, done exactly what he did... That could be any of us laying under that yellow blanket, ANY of us! However it's not. It is someone else. But not a stranger to us, not some random shooting, not a gang related killing. This was someone we all knew, which brings the circumstances of this story close to our hearts and forces us to reconsider our future actions more than we did a few days ago.
It makes you think deeply about letting things such as this go, something none of us would have thought to do before... A Terrible but convincing way to learn a valued lesson for all of us, but a different lesson than most would think. You see, to many of us, Alex did not do anything "Wrong", and I will never agree with those who claim this to be an act of "Road Rage". This was very different. I mean where is the line drawn as to "Protecting what is ours" and "Acting upon something that will result in our death?" What a hard line to determine. This was just a reaction of a man.
As a martial artist we are taught to "React" upon an "Action". We are also taught to determine in a split second in our minds the consequences of our reaction and conclude before we react that we will be justified as well as content with the outcome. Those of us who have trained in Martial Arts learned this in our training and I am sure many, if not all of us continue this same thought process in our daily lives in other areas, not just fighting. However, I honestly cannot believe that any of us, especially in our field of work and more so, our skill of mental and physical self, would have come to the conclusion in our minds that we would, or could, be shot to death by this guy. Instead, we all would have been thinking instead, how well prepared we felt we were as we reacted to the situation.
Alex, as all of us would have, just reacted upon his conclusion (Mentally) of his self judgement of the circumstance. He felt he needed to stop this guy rather than let him get away. If someone broke into our home, it would have been no different. We would have tried to stop the guy from getting away. It's hard to accept what has happened here to Alex but an even bigger picture has been drawn here for all in the Martial Arts.
Does this tragedy now give us all the message that when faced with such a situation, to now stop and do nothing? Sure, we are taught that if we have to use our hands and feet, we didn't use our head. HOWEVER, from what we have been told, Alex wasn't "Attacking" the guy. Sources have told us that he was trying to stop him from getting away. Some have said he was shot through the guys window while another story says he was reaching in the window for the guys keys. Time will tell soon which is correct.
ALL of us know Alex was taught to control a situation as others have who have Martial Arts training and this appears to be what he was doing. Sure, "HINDSIGHT" is 20/20. Anyone can say he should have just got the guys license plate. But those saying this, I would bet money on, that in the heat of the moment, they would have done exactly what Alex did. Chased the guy to try and control the situation, to stop him now so the police would not be looking for him as they still are today.
One witness had a camera, yet he was in such shock, he couldn't snap a picture. Is this a mistake of his or a reaction? Didn't he too react upon the situation? Hindsight says "Why didn't the guy snap a quick photo of the guys car?" But we were not there, it didn't happen to us, and these things all happen so fast, as did Alex's reaction to it all. A picture would have been helpful now, but in the moment, he choose to try and save Alex's life instead. Something all of us would have chosen to do.
In the heat of the moment, things change inside us. The moment has a way of changing our mind on the street far more than a prepared ring fight where we expect what could happen and know the limits of what will not, such as a gun in our face. The reality of all this is Alex made a logical as well as justified decision that under normal circumstances, (If there is such a thing) would have been the rational and expected thing to do. The outcome here has left us all forever questioning our future decisions... This tragedy has made us all stop to think about the world around us. Strange how tragedy has a way to bring us all together in our line of work and in our sport.
Let us all
never forget this.
Let us never forget Alex.
For all of us are related to each other as martial artists.
Rest In Peace Alex, As someone has already said...
Gods Champion Now!"
For More Stories on This Tragedy
FRIDAY, August 1st, 2003, AT 6:50 PM, PT
Dies In Deadly Shooting
San Francisco, CA, USA: Prepare yourselves fight fans for what I (Steve Fossum) am about to share with you has hit those of us in the Kickboxing World very hard today. Sitting here working late on a Friday night, K-1 USA Promoter Scott Coker called me at about 6:30 PM to inform me of a very tragic loss to the Kickboxing world. Here is what we know so far from the sources we have attained information from.
At around 4:35 PM (PST) a car hit another car at the Fairtex Training Center in San Francisco with the driver pulling away without stopping. The person who's car was hit gave chase after the car and caught up with and confronted him. When done so, the driver of the hit and run car pulled out a gun and shot the chaser through his window in the chest. The victim fell back and bled to death within 10 minutes in the middle of the street.
Today kickboxing has lost a
San Francisco's TV CBS Channel 5 Reported: A road rage incident
may have led to a deadly shooting South of Market in San Francisco during the
Friday afternoon commute. Investigators say there was a minor traffic off 5th
St. in the South of Market area, and that the victim of the homicide apparently
chased the suspect's car. Witnesses say the victim confronted the suspect at 5th
and Clara. "It appears that it was a traffic accident dispute,"
said Maria Oropeza of the San Francisco Police Department. "The
victim chased the suspect, and upon contact, the suspect shot the victim."
Witnesses say after he shot Gong the driver sped away towards the Bay Bridge but not before several of Gong's students caught the make of the car and his license plate number. The students tried to revive Gong who was actually in his gym working out at the time of the hit and run but were obviously not successful. Once informed, the Police shut down streets near the Bay Bridge but no word on whether the shooter has been caught yet.
"This is a sad day for martial arts." Said Scott Coker, (L) who was responsible for much of Gong's publicized success as a fighter on the StrikeForce Events in San Jose, California shown on ESPN Worldwide. "He did so many great things for MuayThai and the martial arts community, keeping MuayThai alive in America through his spirit and his gym."
We here at the IKF knew Alex since his amateur career and watched him become a successful martial artist and World Champion. It's sad that a loss such as this makes you take a step back and think about what our lives are really worth. How meaningless our little troubles and problems are when compared to such an action. That a single gunshot from an unknown stranger can change the course and lives of so many.
Excuse me if I am short on words here as to what to offer or say to those much closer to Alex. No words can ease the loss of anyone and no story will either. We can only say we are here for you if you need anything from us, and I believe all in kickboxing feel the same.
Alex started training at the Fairtex Camp in 1994 with head trainer Phicheat Arunlueng "Ganyao". He has also trained with Master Apideh Sit Hirun (named Muay Thai Fighter of the century by the King of Thailand). Apideh is the head trainer of Fairtex Thailand. Prior to Fairtex, Alex trained with Paul Meteyo. Kru Mateyo inspired Alex to continue his Muay Thai and martial arts training. Before Muay Thai, Alex trained in the Seido Kai kan karate for three years under Shihan Edwards in the US and at the Seido head quarters in Osaka Japan, the K1 organization. Alex also trained in Tae Kwan Do for six years and several various martial arts including Aikido and Judo. His record as a fighter was 27 wins, 2 loses with 13 of his wins coming by TKO/KO. His accomplishments are many and include:
For past stories about Alex and his career see these links:
To follow-up on updated news to this story go to
Ch.5 EYEWITNESS NEWS