SATURDAY, August 30th, 2003, AT 3:20 PM, PT
Taking Kickboxing To The World
IKF Staff Writer Mike Marinoble
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 (Above Right, ready for his interview) and 4 time IKF Lightweight Champion Robert Elledge.
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... Kickboxing is finally going BIG TIME!
P. O. Box 1205 or 9385 Old State Highway
Newcastle, CA, 95658, USA
Attention: IKF Kickboxing TV Program
Phone at (916) 663-2467, FAX: (916) 663-4510