As the IKF Message board Admin in
september of 2004, I presented a series of questions to IKF President Steve Fossum about Chuck
Norris' new WCL, (World Combat
League - www.worldcombatleague.com) and other things about the
IKF. Here is that discussion below.
Q & A To
IKF President Steve Fossum (R)
There seems to be a lot of discussion about the WCL
on the message board. Should we allow it?
- Mr. Fossum: It's a tricky question
and i'm not sure what action should be taken. If we don't allow it, the fighters
will think we don't want them to grow as fighters. If we allow it, we have some
IKF Promoters asking WHY are we wallowing
news about a non IKF Sanctioned event.
Either way, we become a target. those who want to keep it here don't see the
reality of why we, as a business, may not want to support the WCL. However, those not wanting us to allow WCL posts may not see that it could help the "Fighters"
of our sport. the truth is, the real action is more complex than just a simple
yes or no. That's why I have been staying out of it.
- ADMIN: Do you think the
WCL good for kickboxing?
- Mr. Fossum: I'm not sure. It is clear
that the WCL DOES NOT want to call "THEIR"
new sport Kickboxing so how does it help kickboxing? Really now, this is the
fact, but NOT the whole issue here. Just seeing kickboxers fighting in such a
high profile event will be good for the fight sport, as long as the WCL still gives credit to the sport of kickboxing
itself. Time will tell if this happens. simply put, the WCL has made it clear that they do not want to
associate with "kickboxing", so should we feel the same way,
as Kickboxers, towards the WCL? I'm not
- ADMIN: Do you think the
WCL is good for the Professional Kickboxer?
- Mr. Fossum: "YES!!"
I say YES because it is providing them Great Opportunities! If these Pro
fighters were staying active and fighting often and getting paid well, none of
them would need the WCL. However, this is
NOT the case, as we all know. The new WCL
is providing a venue for these many great fighters. They are NOT IKF Fighters, they are FIGHTERS!
- ADMIN: Do you personally or financially
fear the WCL?
- Mr. Fossum: Is this interview about
kickboxing or the WCL? haha.
- ADMIN: Sorry, I just wanted to hear more
about your opinions on the WCL.
- Mr. Fossum: OK, fair enough. I do
not fear financially for the IKF from the
WCL. However, I fear what "Could"
happen to Professional Kickboxing as a whole, if all the Professional Kickboxers
sign some type of contract with the WCL.
This has not happened, nor has anyone said it will happen, I'm only saying, "IF"
it comes to this. Call me Selfish, but I'm honest. If the WCL succeeds and pays these fighters thousands of
dollars a year, I am VERY HAPPY for these fighters, who wouldn't be. Again
though, if it means we won't be able to see some of them on regular kickboxing
events, I will be selfish and say, this part of the sport will be surly missed.
So to answer, I don't fear the WCL, I only
fear if it takes away what our sport is. They want to have 24 teams of 7, which
will take, with the alternates, nearly 200 Professional Kickboxers. Are there
200 Professional Kickboxers in North America? Again though, this threat has not
been presented, so we may never have to worry about it.
- ADMIN: Are you Jealouse of the
- Mr. Fossum: That's it, be like Ray
and put me on the spot. haha. Ok, to be honest, Of course I am.... at least I
think I am, in some ways. I think anyone here would be a little if they are not
involved with something as exciting as the "Preception" of the
WCL. In a way. Who wouldn't want to have
millions of dollars to promote shows like the WCL
has done on the last two? ALL of us would. Of course I wish we had the money to
do something like this for the sport of kickboxing. However, we don't have the
money Chuck Norris has or the connections he has and it's clear, with
such money, Great Things can be built. Along with Mike Sawyer and Cory
Schafer, they seem to be creating an exciting sport that many are interested
in. There must have been a reason they turned away from the iska, (Not being
negative, or taking a stab, just making a point) and it seems to be the new
exciting sport of the WCL. So I wish them
the greatest success and hope they make a lot of "Deserving"
Pro fighters happy and rich. This is something we have ALL wanted to see for a
long time and it appears Cory, Mike and Chuck did not believe it
was going to happen in the sport of Kickboxing, as it is today. So, they
invented something with a new, and in their opinion, a more exciting format.
- ADMIN: Do you wish the
IKF was involved with the WCL?
- Mr. Fossum: Of course I do. Again,
who wouldn't? Look at all the people who wanted to be involved with K-1 when it
grew. We may have the same thing here in the WCL.
Although it's not on TV yet, if it is, it's great for these Pro Fighters. Even
better if they can actually make a living at it! However, Cory made it
clear to me that Chuck did not want to associate with ANY Sanctioning
body. So, end of story.
- ADMIN: Will the IKF
support the WCL?
- Mr. Fossum: Hmmmm. Are you setting me
up? haha, Is this a trick question? I mean, do we support the WKA, ISKA? Does
Burger King support McDonalds? The WCL
has made it clear they don't need the IKF,
so why should we "Openly" support them with things like allowing news
about them be on our message board? Fair is fair right? The WCL isn't advertising the IKF
on their web site, so why should we allow anyone, even those not officially
associated with the WCL?
- ADMIN: Have you been to a
- Mr. Fossum: No, but I do hope to
attend the upcoming Las Vegas event.
- ADMIN: Do you like the Team concept?
- Mr. Fossum: I think it's exciting in
theory, but I have had mixed reactions from others. I personally think it has
some great potential. i just wish it was more like kickboxing and not a new
sport. Again, call me selfish, but if a Team League were to be created, I would
like to see each member fight 3, 2 minute rounds and move to the next fighter.
- ADMIN: Do you think the WCL will make it to TV?
- Mr. Fossum: I learned a theory once,
and it helped us grow the IKF. When we
started, of course we were not the biggest or the best, so i put this theory
into action, the theory was, "If you can't be the best, be different,
and you become the BEST!" I'm not stabbing at Chuck, Cory or
Mike, I'm just saying, they were smart in making something different. in
doing so, they may get through those TV doors that have been closed on so many
kickboxing people for so many years. The skill and talent and of course, the key
part, the money is all there, and with money, so much more is possible, like
creating elaborate productions like the last 2 WCL
events. They didn't make money on them, but they Promoted them. If TV likes what
they see, along with sponsors, these guys will have a winning sport.
- ADMIN: What is the next big thing for the
- Mr. Fossum: Wow, a question about
the IKF. haha. I was hoping this moment
would come. haha.
- ADMIN: Sorry, it's just that there has
been a lot of discussion about the WCL and some
want to know where you stand.
- Mr. Fossum: OK, to answer your
question, we have a lot of things in the works all the time, as anyone does in
their business, but as far as a "Big Thing", we are currently
focusing on our magazine right now. "IF" we find enough $$ to
do it, we could create a lot of exposure for our sport. We all know a KICKBOXING
magazine, a GOOD ONE, is Much needed to bring more media exposure to our sport.
This has been a dream of ours for years and the time is now to put it into
action. Or as we have always said, "Enough of the TALK, we need to WALK
the WALK!" Anyone out there care to give us some winning lotto numbers?
- ADMIN: With the upcoming
IKF World Tournament what can we expect to see
different this year?
- Mr. Fossum: Well, of course the
fighters from outside North America will be a welcome edition, but for everyone,
the big news from IKF HQ here will be the
AWARDS! We plan to have some GREAT AWARDS at this years tournament! Not just for
the Champions, but ALL the fighters. The venue (US Cellular Center) is
an AWESOME venue, a real arena. for those who missed it last time we were there,
they surly don't want to miss it this years. for spectators it's great too, and
for the fighters, it's AWSOME!
- ADMIN: Aren't you missing something here?
A new addition maybe?
- Mr. Fossum: Oh ya, my wife Toni
may kick me for forgetting. haha. We are expecting our first child in August, so
she may not be able to make it to the event. Hopefully, I won't be called away
for an early arival. She's due August 12th.
- ADMIN: Congratulations, is it a boy or
- Mr. Fossum: Not sure yet, but if it's
a boy, I think I will have plenty of places to send him for kickboxing training.
haha. If a girl, I think Toni plans on making a princess out of her.
OK... so do I...
- ADMIN: Thanks Steve, anything else you
want to add?
- Mr. Fossum: Can't think of anything,
but if you want to do this again, I'm in. It was kinda fun.
If you have questions for our next "Q & A With
Steve Fossum" thread, please e-mail me at
Back To Main OPINION PAGE,