MARCH 8th, 2007, AT 11:55 PM,
Up Close and Personal with...
Dan "Bam Bam" Stell
Sacramento, CA -
March 7th, 2007 : We thought it might be a good idea to dig into
the mind of one of our silent heroes in the martial arts today...Mr. Dan
Stell of Fairfield, CA. Most martial artist / kickboxers know him as 'Bam
Bam' relative to his impressive knockout wins in his amateur &
professional kickboxing career. Dan works relentless to perfect his
craft. He knows the rules and regulations and knows them well. As the Head of
Officials for the
International Kickboxing Federation (IKF)
and a licensed and certified referee for the California State Athletic
Commission, many have seen him at work but perhaps few know a lot about
him. This is our effort to assist you in getting to know Dan just a
Those of us who dedicate our lives to the martial arts rarely
get the recognition perhaps deserving. Sacrifices made by a few are many times
not brought to the attention of the masses. However, there are those out there
who burn the midnight oil and work tirelessly to assure a future for martial
arts in particular Kickboxing, Boxing and MMA. Although the job of the referee
could be a critical life-line between two combatants giving their all to get the
win, too often they are the unsung heroes. I clearly remember introducing a
referee to a friend as one who had officiated high profile fights and the
comment back was "no one remembers the referee!" I remember
the look on the ref's face as slightly embarrassed.
Hopefully in our interview with Dan, you will become
more familiar with the thoughts and ideas of one who is recognized around the
world and becoming a model for many to follow. By his own admission, he's not
perfect and occasionally makes mistakes (don't we all) but one thing for
sure...when "Bam Bam" is the center of your event, you
will get 100% effort; 100% fairness and 100% commitment to making your event
successful! So, without further ado please enjoy our Up Close and Personal
conversation with ... Mr. Dannn "Bam Bammm" Stellllll!
- AKP: We're here today with Mr.
Dan Stell...Dan, how are you?
good! How are you?"
- AKP: Fine! Dan elaborate a
little on how long you've been in the martial arts and what got you started?
DS: "I got started when I
was nine years old. Everyone was into the Bruce Lee movies...me and my
brothers got started and we went from there. "
- AKP: Tell me a little about your
career? Do you fell that you accomplished everything in your career that you
DS: "A lot of these
things you want to accomplish but you never do. Hey, I'm satisfied with what I
got. I won four titles and I'm pretty happy with that."
- AKP: You were a professional...right?
- AKP: Did you ever fight outside the
DS: "No. All of my
fights were in the United States."
- AKP: What kind of record did you end
DS: "I was 17-0-15
- AKP: Wow! (laugh) that's
impressive! I do remember seeing you fight and you definitely had some 'skills'!
- AKP: As an American Kickboxer, where
all kicks are thrown above the waist... Do you prefer (personally) that
style over International Rules where kicks to the legs are allowed and Muay Thai
where you can do the later and use knees?
"Back then no one got paid and hardly gets paid now and you had to work
on another job to make a living." I had one International rule fight and
that was it for me." (Dan alluding to the additional damage those
kicking to the legs receive above and beyond that of non-leg kick fighters)
- AKP: I understand that you were one
of the co-founders of the IKF...tell me
more about your affiliation with the IKF
and how it all got started and how that's working out today.
DS: "Back in 1991, I met Steve Fossum
(Current President of the IKF) at a show
with another promoter and he asked me if I was fighting and I said no, my
brother is and later we would meet at another show. He and I hooked up and I
started teaching a kickboxing program at his school. One day after class, we
were frustrated that we never knew who was ranked where and who the champions
were for our fighters to challenge. So, one night after training we were at
Denny's restaurant talking about our frustration about no real rankings for
amateurs so we figured that the only solution would be to start our own ranking
system, from that came the idea to start an organization which led to the idea
to start the IKF."
- AKP: So you played an intricate role
in forming the IKF? You must be very proud
of its accomplishments today?
- AKP: Fast forward...today you are a
veteran referee of all types of fights Boxing, Kickboxing and MMA...I know that
you are very concerned with the safety of the fighters...what are some of the
signs you look for to determine when a fighter is just...done?
DS: "Fatigue!...Tired!...you just have to
remember the number one thing is about the safety of the fighters. Being a
fighter myself, you always have that instinct to keep on going and going but
there is a time you have to quit! I think your corner-men really need know that
even more about fighters and throw the towel in rather than waiting for the
referee to stop the fight."
- AKP: Do you ever feel obligated to
stop a fight...if its a small fight or a big fight... do you kinda' get a little
bit into the crowd for what they might be wanting see...even if a fight is going
bad for one of the fighters...do you maybe... let it go longer or do you just
make a decision and do what you gotta' do?
"I do what I gotta' do! Every fight is the same...whether its a three
rounder or four rounder or world title fight...safety is the number one issue!
If the fighter is hurt and you gotta stop the fight... then you do it!"
- AKP: I know you have great passion
for the sport of kickboxing but MMA has grown tremendously in the past couple
years. What kind of hope can you give to the kickboxers out there who are
dreaming about bigger paydays etc.?
"Everybody talks a good game with Kickboxing and everybody wants a
world title, everybody wants a gig and you gotta' do what you want. You got to
make a move...find the right promoter and a venue and start nailing down some
- AKP: As you know, I'm a big fan of
IKF Point Kickboxing, it will be in the
IKF World Classic this coming August in
Chicago. You where even the first referee for the first IKF Point Kickboxing Event about five years ago in
San Jose, CA. Do you feel that PKB can recycle and, or resurrect the
sport of kickboxing.
is a stepping stone, you got to have a stepping stone to help develop your
fighters right before the amateur full contact fights or you won't have good
pros...so, its needed!"
- AKP: You are a referee and judge for
the State of California. Sometimes, you have some funny calls but of course
judging is subjective. What do you think about some of the bad calls and what
can be done about them? Do you think we will be able to ever resolve bad calls
are is this resolvable?
a fight, you got three judges and you got your own opinion. You have a lot of
judges that go the old school way and will always give a close fight to the
hometown fighter. But what you got to do is just watch the fight closely and
judge it fairly. Everybody deserves a 'fair shake!' A good example was a fight
with former world boxing champion Greg Haugen...right there in San Rafeal,
California and I went against the home town fighter and gave the fight to
Haugen. The whole place went into shambles'!"
- AKP: Do you think there are a lot of
politics in judging?
it is! That's what I like about kickboxing and MMA, a lot of the judges know the
fighters and there is a little more respect there in the ring and when judging a
- AKP: Do you feel that your past in
the martial arts as a fighter and referee gives you a little more insight on
I figure that's the edge I have on some of the judges and referees in which
some of them have never been in the ring. I feel I have an edge too because, I
have been in there, I have passion for the sport and I want to make sure I give
fighter's a fair shake."
- AKP: When you are in the ring, are
you actually judging the fight as you are refereeing. Being that you were a
fighter, can you see the punches, kicks a little better than perhaps someone who
has never been in the ring...better yet, should you be a judge too while
got to make a split second call and don't have time to watch the fight per say
and once again, your job as a referee is for the safety of the fighter.
Honestly, sometimes I see two guys fighting and I wonder...is this all these
guys got and it makes me want to come back and fight...! (laugh) But there is a
time to step down and never go back in the ring. And I feel the same as a
referee. When you're too old and you can't be in there with conditioning and
timing, I think its time to step down and go to the sidelines and become a
- AKP: OK Bam, when everything
is all said and done...when you are too old to jump around in the ring to ref.';
too blind to see the fighters or do anything physical in the sport.... :) how
would you like for all of the people you've touched; those you have trained;
refereed; those who have seen you around the world on TV; and those young
fighters who for the past eight years have witnessed you work the IKF National/World Classic Kickboxing Tournament ...
how would you like to be remembered?
"I would really like to be remembered as a fair, referee, fair judge
and a fair person all around! That's all you can look for...nothing bad to say
about me and the job I've done but...saying that... I plan to be around for a
long time in some capacity!" (laugh)
"The true test of a person is not during times of
comfort and convenience but in times of trials and tribulation" as
paraphrased by the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr..
This saying fits Dan like a glove. Through good times
and bad, he continues to stand tall, remain committed and grace the ring with
his presence, knowledge and passion! He sincerely cares about the sport and the
fighters. Be sure you let him know how much you appreciate his efforts next time
you see him! Forward March!
The Dan Stell interview was conducted
Staff Writer Johnny Davis. More information at
More on Dan Stell... Click
MARCH 5th, 2007, AT 10:50 PM,
Up Close and Personal with...
Dan "Bam Bam" Stell!
AK Press - Sacramento, CA - March 5th, 2007:
Dan Stell of Fairfield, California is by far one of the most well
rounded, sincere and experienced referees in the martial arts fighting business.
He travels around the world as a referee, judge and representative for the
International Kickboxing Federation, (IKF)
an organization he co founded back in 1992. He is also a top referee for the
California Athletic Commission, which is hands-down one of the most
stringent commissions in the United States. Today, he is the head of officials
for IKF which now touted as the largest
sanctioning body in the world for kickboxing and mixed martial arts (ISCF)
events and he's proud of his association with them and his overall
accomplishments in the martial arts. His spirit overflows with 'much love'
and passion for the martial arts.
Mr. Stell started his martial arts career at the tender
age of nine years old and has since won hundreds of Point Karate tournaments
before winning four kickboxing titles. Undefeated as a professional kickboxer,
he honed his skills to become one of the most qualified referees in the sport
today. "I called it how I see it...and I'm not perfect", he
will quickly tell you. However, he makes clear that he goes out of his way to
try and render the fairest decisions in a business where you literally only have
seconds to make a decision that could be tragic for a competitor. Few of us
know this feeling but far too many of us are willing to set on the outside of
the ring and criticize a decision that may have not been ours. Moreover, Dan
has ventured into the promotions' game as he and his brother Tim have
promoted numerous Kickboxing / Tough Man shows in the State of California. He
also, works as a Matchmaker for promoters seeking an experienced and qualified
individual with in-depth knowledge to put together the
best fights...and for the most
part... Stell, never disappoints them!
This year alone, the
IKF has several world title events (In
Holland at left) planned and at the center all of them will be Dan Stell
directing and overseeing the officials to assure fighters get a fair shake. He
has refereed some of the best known champions in both boxing, kickboxing and
mixed martial arts. From famed kickboxer and movie star Don "The
Dragon" Wilson, Star martial artist Cung Le (Right)
K-1 Champion Carter "The Beast" Williams to boxing and
kickboxing champion Eric "The Hit Man" Regan, Stell
has demonstrated diversity and professionalism in its highest form.
His work has taken him as far as China and Malaysia to all over
the U.S. He has refereed fights on several major television networks like ESPN,
Telemundo and Pay Per View events. Experienced...not even a
question! Committed... Absolutely! Passionate...with all he's
made of! Through thick and thin, he has been there for the martial arts.
In many ways, a referee is a silent, unsung hero but without sincere and honest
people like Stell working in these positions, martial arts as we know
it... would be very different.
We wanted to make sure that you know more about one who gives
his all to maintain and secure a future for those that choose the martial arts (boxing,
kickboxing, mma) as their pursuit of happiness. In our Up Close and
Personal interview with Dan "Bam Bam" Stell, we
will venture into many areas with him as he gives his honest, no holding back
opinions about his work and the state of martial arts. More to come later this
week on Dan.
February 4th, 2011, AT 5:05 PM/
ALL DOIN THIS WEEKEND?
Hope To See You At
BBDC Fight and Fitness Gyms
Grand Opening Tomorrow!
"Physical fitness is not only one of the most
important keys to a healthy body; it is the basis of dynamic and creative
John F. Kennedy
If anyone has a hold on
todays Fight Sports, it's Dan Stell. Dan has accomplished pretty
much everything there is to accomplish in the fight world. He started his
Martial Arts training in 1975 at the age of 9. Along with being the co-founder
of the IKF he is also the head of
officials for the IKF. He is also a
Representative, Referee and Judge for the ISCF.
As if that's not enough to keep him busy in the ring, he is also a Referee and
Judge for the California State Athletic Commission. When we don't see him in the
ring as head Referee for a Kickboxing bout he is in the ring as Referee for Pro
Boxing or MMA on broadcast such as ESPN, Fox Sports, PPV, Telemundo and other
One thing that sets him apart from other officials thought is
that he not only controls the sport as an official but he has "Walked
the Walk" himself. He was a 4 time Kickboxing Champion (Before the
IKF was founded) and is a 5th Degree Black Belt in the Kajukenbo System. As
a Kickboxer, he won all but 2 of his bouts by KO or TKO and in doing so earned
Dan is no stranger to other Martial Arts competition
either. Before his amateur and professional career as a kickboxer he won over
100 point karate tournaments. However his biggest accomplishment to the IKF was his work in cofounding the organization with
current IKF President Steve Fossum
in June of 1992. The first IKF event was
promoted in August that same summer and featured several of Stell's
Kickboxing students who would later become some of the first IKF Champions.
Both Stell and Fossum created the foundation of
the IKF from their knowledge and
experience as past Kickboxers (Over 100 bouts between them and multiple
titles), Trainers of Champions and Kickboxing Event Promoters. In July, of
1996, Dan stepped down as IKF Vice
President to pursue other desires. One of them was to step back into the
fighting ring again. During this time he fought 2 more kickboxing bouts before
officially retiring as a fighter and returning to the IKF
in 1998 as Head of Officials.
Dan's work with the IKF
has taken him all over North America as well as around the world to places such
as China, Holland, Germany, and Malaysia. As a referee he has shared the ring
with some of the Greatest fighters ever such as Don "The Dragon"
Wilson, Rick "The Jet" Roufus, Stan "The Man" Longinidis,
Cung Le, Rudi Ott, Paul Biafore, Dave Marinoble, Carter Williams, Eric Regan,
Kathy "The Punnisher" Long, Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson,
Ramona Gatto, Alex Gong, Enn Fairtex, Shoni Carter, Matee Jedeepitak, Danny "Hard
As" Steele, Tommy Bach, Danny Hoyer, Fernando Calleros, Anthony "Powerhouse"
Bartinelli, Bao Ligao, Mike Nevitt, Mark "The Hammer" Selbee, Raoul
Doucet, Juan "The Ghost Warrior" Torres, Ivan Silva, Francis "Footloose"
Farley, Curtis Schuster, Tommy "The Terminator" Kimber, Trent "Thunderfoot"
Tompkins, Randy "The Taz" Bussart, Duane "Bang" Ludwig,
Trisha "TNT" Hill, Toney "The Hammer" Hannon, Boyd "The
Bounty Hunter" Murphy, Saeksan (Saekson) Saengchan Janjura (Janjira),
George Tsutsui, Mike "Magicman" Dougherty, Jean-Claude Leuyer, Dan
Rawlings, Angela Rivera (Parr), and of course, many Pro boxing Champions such as
Montel Griffin, Hector Camacho Jr. Mia St. John, Jessica Rokoski, Jennifer
Alcorn, Livingstone Bramble, Paul Nava, Willie Jorrin, Juan Lascano, Michael
Simms and MANY MORE...
Now, with all that experience of the fight world within him,
Dan has taken yet another progressive step in his life. Tomorrow will be
the "Official" grand opening of his now Gym. Although he
opened it late last year, tomorrow is the actual Grand Opening.
BBDC Fight and Fitness Gym
stands for "Bam Bam's Destruction Crew!" A fitting
name for the man behind it. BBDC is located at 1861 Walters Court in
Fairfield, California. (94533) The Grand opening tomorrow will start at
10:AM and go until 3:PM.
BBDC offers of course
Kickboxing classes but also Boxing, MMA and Cardio Kickboxing. The true focus of
the majority of their classes is weight loss, conditioning and toning. They
offer fight and fitness classes for men, women and children along with the
training of competition fighters. They also have the only 24 foot full size cage
in Solano County.
The Gym has a great slogan which should answer the call
to anyone looking to get fit...
in today for your free trial! The only thing you have to lose is weight!"