Kickboxing is one of the aspects of MMA that still remains somewhat in the dark to MMA fans. Fighting Arts like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing and wrestling have caught the eye of most MMA fans, as has the general idea of "MMA Standup" which is often-times called kickboxing. Kickboing, of course, is its own sport with K-1 being the premier league in the world. K-1 holds yearly tournaments which culminate into the World Grand Prix, to decide who the best K-1 fighter is in the world. K-1's style, while a mix of Kyokushin Karate and Kickboxing, is still Kickboxing's biggest outlet and is only now catching fans' attention.
At Head Kick Legend our mission is to get the word out about kickboxing and K-1 and help spread the K-1 Fever, as Michael "The Voice" Schiavello calls it. In an attempt to help fans immerse themselves in the K-1 world, we start off introducing K-1's founder, Kazuyoshi Ishii and how he went from a tournament Kyokushin Karate fighter to the founder of K-1 sitting in a prison cell for tax evasion.
The friendship with pro wrestler Akira Maeda did a few things, the most important was led Kazuyoshi Ishii to abandon the cut-and-dry world of knockdown karate and create a new tournament format that would revolve around promoting the personalities who compete in the ring as much as they promote the action in the ring. Unlike promotions like AJKF who adhered strictly to promoting kickboxing as a sport, Ishii worked with Maeda to come up with an idea of creating a spectacle. In 1993 Ishii ran his first show under the K-1 banner, a show which would feature a mixed ruleset of Kickboxing and Kyokushin Karate, as well as some traditional fights. The success of this first show, headlined by his student Masaaki Satake led to an event the very next month, featuring standouts from the worlds of Kickboxing, Muay Thai and Karate, leading into the K-1 World Grand Prix the next month.
Read the whole story at Head Kick Legend.