WEDNESDAY, June 4th, 2003 AT 5:30 PM

IKF President
Fossum Makes His Stand About
Kickboxing Message Board Topics!

WARNING: This is a lot of reading so if you do not have time now, come back later. Also, please do not expect me to come back on here quickly if at all to respond to questions or comments about what I wrote below. My e-mail and phone number is given below for you to contact me if you desire to. I try to stay away from this board and allow all of you to have free will at your posts. However, if the posts are negative with no justified facts or opinions to support the writing, our web staff that monitors the board daily will take them off, as you have seen before. After reading all the arguments on here about KICK, IKF, and anonymous posting, I was asked to come on here to give clarity to a few of these issues.

  1. RE: RAY THOMPSON: No one here at the IKF is mad at Ray Thompson for taking his fighter Stephen Thompson to an event not sanctioned by the IKF. Ray is a trainer looking to get Stephen more competition. "ALL" trainers should be doing this for their fighters. We are not the WWE, NFL, NBA etc. etc. The IKF does not pay fighters to stay with us. It would be unethical in the sport. "WE" are a sanctioning body, not a management or promotional company. "WE" the IKF do not have fighters. "WE" do not own any fighters. ALL Fighters have the opportunity to fight when they want to, whom they want to and where they want to. "WE" are proud to have so many great fighters in our IKF Rankings. However, the rankings are not just ours. Sure, "WE" as the IKF created them, but they are "Rankings" of the fighters in our sport. If your mad that Ray is doing this you need to ask yourself why? In my opinion, he is being a good trainer looking for opportunities for his fighter(s). We wish him luck in this.

  2. RE: RANKINGS: Speaking of rankings. Yes, the rankings Mike Anderson used in his magazine and the rankings on the KICK site are indeed from the IKF. With the exception of about 5-7 fighters Brooks Mason and Mike Anderson added in there, they came from our IKF Amateur Full Contact Rules Rankings. Brooks Mason attained the rankings with our permission for Mr. Anderson's magazine. We are not upset at this however we would have liked to see some credit given either to Mr. Mason or the IKF instead of Mr. Anderson who had nothing to do with the work to create those rankings. Regardless, we are proud and flattered that others are using the rankings we worked to build in the sport. This will help the fighters most in the long run.

  3. RE: BROOKS MASON: Speaking of Brooks, Mr. Mason and I have been friends since about 1991 or 2. Brooks lived here in California and had a martial arts school. His school and mine worked close and we built a very strong and lasting friendship. I love the man like a brother, respect him like my sensei and look up to his wisdom as a father of our great sport. "Brooks Mason is a true LEADER of all of us!" This is why we appointed him our IKF World Ambassador. He is also my partner in TV Commentating, an IKF Event Representative, writer and trainer. I would stand up for and by this man in any circumstance and would defend his honor and dignity to the death. Yes, you read correctly, to the death. Brooks Mason is "THE MAN" of our sport.

  4. RE: MASON & KICK: I know KICK has approached Mr. Mason and asked him to pay for his own plane ticket to travel to Vegas, pay for his own room and help work their event for free. This needs no response by me. Such a request of such a man I have described above who has proven himself is nothing short of an insult.

  5. IKF NATIONAL OFFICIALS: At the IKF USA Nationals, our officials volunteer their time to travel to this great event for the benefit of all of us. How is this different that what KICK asked Mr. Mason to do? Easy answer, these are already IKF Officials that have worked IKF Sanctioned events. These are people we know and work with throughout the year on IKF Sanctioned events. Their dedication to the sport, work ethic, credibility and leadership is second to none. I and everyone else are truly thankful beyond words that they make such an effort to make our IKF USA Nationals possible every year. As far as their qualifications, credibility and leadership, this goes without saying, but I will for all of you to see in print, I stand by and support them 150%!

  6. RE: Mr. Stell & IKF OFFICIALS: Speaking of Officials, Mr. Stell and I also have a long friendship that is about as long as Mr. Mason and myself. Dan and I are very close as well. KICK asked Dan the exact same thing, to pay for his own plane ticket, pay his own hotel and work the Vegas event for free. They were not negotiating; this was the only offer KICK gave him. Mr. Stell along with Mr. Fred Fitzgerald (who had to miss last years Nationals due to personal reasons) run our IKF Officials clinics. Both give our official seminars and run the ringside officials at our IKF Nationals along with Mr. Brooks Mason. Mr. Fitzgerald is our MuayThai expert and Mr. Stell handles our Full Contact and International Rules divisions. Both in my opinion are two of the best referees in the sport of kickboxing. Don't misunderstand me, there are "A LOT" of good referees, judges and other officials we work with and you will see them at this years Nationals, but Mr. Stell and Mr. Fitzgerald our who we have selected to be our leaders for our IKF officials. If you ever see them in action, you would know why.

  7. RE: IKF OFFICIALS OUTSIDE THE IKF: Mr. Stell and Mr. Fitzgerald "DO" work for other sanctioning bodies events. As Ray said on here and Dan too, "This is a job to them." Like fighters, we want them to be able to work as much as possible. They need to make a living but more importantly, the more they work the more experience they get, the better they stay in rhythm and in the end, the fighters and everyone win because they are up on their game. We wish them both great success and lots of work. However, they must be respected and compensated accordingly for their work, as other officials should be. All of them are GREAT at what they do which is why they do it.

  8. RE: IKF LOYALTY: As far as loyalty, I am thankful we have so many loyal IKF people around the world and on the message board here. Who wouldn't be? The IKF would love to have everyone fight for us, but the reality is, although we do more events than any other sanctioning body, we still cannot keep all of the fighters busy. It's clear some promoters want to work with other organizations. That is their decision and we respect this.

  9. RE: COMPETITION OF SANCTIONING BODIES: We admire a good challenge just like all of you. To us, without competition, what will drive us? As long as the competition is good as well as fair, not tainted with untruths and false promises. Competition is good in any business and lets face it, IKF, KICK, ISKA, WKA, USKBA etc. are all businesses. We need to make money just like all of you to survive and continue our work. But the work must be fair and true to those we work with. Like choosing a good karate school, my only advice is for you to ask yourself, "What does the sanctioning body I work with do for me." We at the IKF answer this at this page: CLICK HERE -

  10. RE: TEAMWORK: Hopefully someday we will all make good money in our sport. However, where we differ is we want our team to succeed "WITH US" not "AFTER US". We got to where we are today together and I expect as well as desire us to move to the next level together. Each of us working in the IKF know our position and know that none of us are more important than the other, even myself. We all have jobs and duties to do and if we do not focus on what each of us as individuals are supposed to do we will ultimately let someone down along the line. We cannot afford to make such a mistake in our sport and strive daily not to do so.

  11. RE: FOSSUM & KICK ASSOCIATES: As far as my personal thoughts of KICK? The people I have met that are associated with them, Ronnie Copeland, Craig Smith, Cheryl Nance, Kevin Hudson and others have been nothing short of CLASS ACTS! I ask you all to stay away from attacking anyone here because of the letters they stand by because you are attacking "GOOD PEOPLE" who work hard in our sport. As far as the leaders of KICK, I have never met any of them so I cannot give any opinion at this time.

  12. RE: KICK AND FOSSUM MEETING: As far as KICK telling people Frank Babcock and I had a scheduled meeting that "I" backed out of, cancelled, or however they put it, this is not true at all. There was "TALK" of such a meeting but one was never set due to conflicts in scheduling. I do know for a fact that this has been said in phone calls that a KICK Representative named Ted Welch has made to several IKF associates.

  13. TED WELCH AND HIS OLYMPICS COMMENTS: I know that a man named Ted Welch, representing KICK, has told several people in the beginning that KICK's event was Olympic related and a possible Olympic Qualifying event for a future USA Olympic Kickboxing Team. I also remember seeing for myself where KICK had on their web page last year that they were the "Official Olympic regulating body for the sport of kickboxing in USA." This is not true at all. KICK has never been given, awarded or appointed such a title. NO ONE in the USA has. Those words on KICKs website came down after the USOC found out about it. Sorry if I upset anyone here, but these are the facts to set the record straight, not my attempt to discredit KICK.

  14. IKF vs KICK TOURNAMENT: As those I have spoke to know, we would have liked to support the KICK event. However, the issues surrounding it have put us in a position not to do so. I am just being honest here and I can explain in detail why. The issues such as the timing and scheduling of it as related to the IKF Nationals. KICK scheduled their event AFTER we had scheduled ours and it falls within the 45 day time frame of suspension time if a fighter on their event gets KOed or TKOed. If this happens, they cannot fight on our event. This will force some fighters to make a choice instead of being able to compete in both which would have been great for the sport and we WOULD HAVE INDEED supported it. However, this is not the only issue we have with their event. The sales pitches that their representatives such as Ted Welch has used to persuade IKF Ranked fighters and their trainers and even officials to come to their event. Many of the things he makes reference to are false claims such as the number of fighters attending the event. Three weeks ago it was "Well over 200", 2 weeks ago it was "Around 160" and just last week I was told "Around 100". What will happen when a fighter goes there and has no fight after being told he/she has 10-20 people in his/her divisions? There are other things but that is good for now.

  15. RE: IKF OPEN BOOK: EVERYTHING about the IKF is an open book. This includes EVERY fighter who registers for our USA Nationals as well as other IKF Tournaments like the North American Championships. We hide NOTHING! We also make no false claims or sales pitches about our event. All of you can see what we have to offer as well as what we have done in our past.

  16. RE: WHAT KICKBOXING WAS AND WHAT IT IS TODAY: Ladies and Gentlemen, especially those who have been in this sport for over 10 years, may I remind you all that this is a sport that has indeed been hurt in the past by false promises, deception, misleading facts and unethical actions. I will always make a stand STRONGLY against such things. Those of us who make up the IKF Team have worked "HARD" as a TEAM to bring credibility and respect back to our sport. This work has taken time as well and all of this hard work and time is not worth the risk of allowing ANY person or organization to take advantage of what we have built back in our sport and risk them destroying it. With this being said, some of the participants of this sport and myself will not and better so, cannot support any organization or any person who misleads anyone down a path of uncertain fate. At least with the IKF, we all know what we have and where we stand in the big picture. I personally care not to repeat history and watch our sport fall again. Keep in mind, there is STILL A LOT of work to be done yet.

  17. KICK SUCCESS: On the other hand, I "DO" wish KICK success in their future because we "DO" need better competition in sanctioning bodies. The only one out there worth giving respect to in my opinion today is the USKBA operated by Paul Rosner. At least they show they are working "FOR" their associates. I do not see "ANY" other organization doing anything for the sport other than sell their letters and titles that mean nothing. I mean why sanction and sell an amateur title when you don't even keep amateur rankings? Show me an amateur champions list of any organization and I will be impressed, but there are none. If KICK does even half of what they say they will do, at least it's a start.

  18. NON PROFIT STATUS: Mike Anderson and others have boasted about WAKO (European sanctioning body) being non profit, IASKA and now he and the KICK people are jumping on this promotion as well. Their claim of non-profit being the best for the sport though are far short of what they are telling you. For example, the members of the WAKO organization in an open election awhile back voted the WAKO President OUT of his position. He didn't like it, so he called for a re-call election at one of their events. From what I was told (And several others who know this same story), WAKO is given hundreds of thousands of dollars from European country governments to run their organization. (It would be nice if we were given such coin. Imagine what we could do with such money!) The WAKO President is paid in the 6 to possibly even the 7 figure income for his position. Remember, they are a non-profit organization too. For this election, their president paid the travel expenses of all his known supporters to this event where the re-election would take place. He wined them and dined them, gave them expensive gifts and when the election process came around, gee what a surprise when he was re-elected. So much for all those claims of "The members run the organization." Who told me this? Out of respect for his position with WAKO as well as IASKA and now KICK, I will hold off in saying so. Unless it needs to be said. Just trust me, it was a very direct source.

  19. NON PROFIT - PROFITS AND DECEPTION: Along with the story above, lets all keep in mind that some of the richest people today are leaders of non profit companies, and some of the most questionable in regards to their company policies and ethics as well. One in general is Art Dore, the founder of Toughman. An IKF associates out of Michigan that gave some very interesting facts about Toughman sent me an article recently. It was 4 full pages all about Toughman and their organization. Dore's non-profit; "American Boxing & Athletic Association" took in nearly a million dollars over the last 2 years. (That was on paper, not cash intake from merchandise or any other cash sales) However I don't see Toughman getting to the Olympics do you? Also keep in mind that Toughman has had a reported 12 deaths in its organization as well. Some of these events have no doctor at ringside and some others have had a Chiropractor as the ringside doctor. Some of the weight spreads are as much as 30 to 50 lbs. In the article it told of a female fighter named Kelli Hochmuht who weighed 145 lbs who had to fight a girl who was 199 lbs in an Idaho Toughman contest. NONE of the Toughman officials are required to be trained by certified officials unless the state oversees their events. Where does this happen? In only 2 of the 50 states, Ohio and California. So being non-profit doesn't mean things if you are not going to regulate safety issues and train your officials.

  20. RE: KICKBOXING SAFETY: There have only been 2 deaths in the sport of kickboxing here in North America. One here in California when a fighter lied on his medical report about being knocked out within 45 days of the bout he died from (Hence our respect and firmness of the 45 day rule for KO/TKO suspensions). It was on an event sanctioned by the now defunct DRAKA Federation out of Russia. The other? Well, it was fighter named Derek Clements (Right) in Grand Rapids Michigan. We didn't find any previous pro bouts he fought in prior to taking a WORLD Title bout but some say he had a couple. Clements was called in to take the bout on short notice to "Save the promoters show" since the scheduled opponent dropped out. It was an all out war against a heavier fighter with a VAST PRO Experience and in the end, Clements died from the blows to his head in the bout. Who sanctioned that bout? KICK.

  21. RE: OLYMPIC KICKBOXING: To get to the Olympics an organization does have to be a non-profit organization. This is why we have researched the ideas of making the IKF Amateur program a non-profit organization and I expect this to happen soon. However, this status is not an open door to the Olympics. Such an organization needs to have an established and proven track record with quality record keeping of amateur competition. This is something a few papers and money cannot buy. This takes time and hard work by a lot of people. The IKF has established this position and our amateur rankings prove this, KICK has not, which explains why them using "OUR" established rankings is such an issue.

  22. RE: ANONYMOUS POSTERS HERE: Although many here don't like it, it's clear some will do this. In fact, despite the insults and attacks at IKF, I think the anonymous poster can at times be a pain but in other times, be valuable. Imagine if an IKF Associate was upset at something the IKF did. He or she may feel they cannot say something to me about it but they can post it here. This to me is valuable. As someone else said, it allows everyone to have a voice. Sure, some of the comments are rude, insulting and nasty, but through it all we see passion, and you cannot blame anyone for having passion whether for IKF, KICK, ABC etc. etc. Especially if that passion is actually constructive criticism. This I personally thrive on. We can usually see what we are doing right, we need more people to tell us what we are doing wrong, where we can improve, new ideas for the sport. This is what makes for great conversation here. So Xman, futureman, Hulk, and all the rest of you, "Bring It ON!"

  23. RE: LEADERS IN THE IKF: This is an area where I feel Ray Thompson and Dan Stell got attacked on. Ray as a promoter and Dan as an IKF Official have been attacked here when others thought they were associated with the KICK event. As we all know, Dan is not going and I explained why. However Ray is. Now yes, he is a leader in the IKF as an IKF Promoter, but he is also a trainer of a fighter who has fought over "27" times and has yet to be beat. Ray's desire is to "SEEK OUT" more competition for his son is not an insult to the IKF. It's a positive for the sport as a whole. Ray is not going to the KICK event to necessarily support KICK or because he wants to be on the KICK team or to help make KICK money. He is going there to seek out competition for his fighter, as others will be doing. Fighters and trainers do not have to attend the IKF, KICK or other events because they like the sanctioning letters. Sure, some obviously feel that way and that's great, but in general, fighters attend events so they have fights.

Well everyone, I warned you about this being long, and I apologize. If you want to talk to me I am at my desk nearly all day. The number is (916) 663-2467. If you want to e-mail me directly my e-mail is

I look forward to seeing many of you at the 2003 IKF USA Nationals this year. It is shaping up to be yet another great event that will have some surprises for you all. Take care and when your not punching and kicking, work your brain and your fingers and tell us what's on your mind here at the Kickboxing Message Board

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Brooks Mason

Dan Stell

Fred Fitzgerald

Derek Clements