WEDNESDAY, February 26th, 2003, 11:40 AM

So Let Anybody Do What They Want."

Opinions & Impressions from Various Members of both the IKF & ISCF

The prisons are full of people who would love that. So would Bin Laden.
First of all, it IS a free country. Freedom, however, does not mean that things will go unregulated. There are illegal narcotics, that people are not authorized to possess, except in very narrow circumstances, e.g., law enforcement seizing and holding contraband, the clerk of court maintaining it when it is admitted at trial. And that's good.
Think about zoning ordinances. They tell people what they can and cannot do with their land. Some guy wanting to open a sex toy shop or an airport between two houses in a neighborhood zoned residentially would not be free to do so, under the law. But it still is a free country.

Those types of laws, and others, like those being used in the USA states of Georgia and New York in regards to the use of Sanctioning Bodies for martial sports, are designed for the public benefit. They are restrictions, yes, but they serve an important purpose. Perhaps the New York one needs some refining, but that does not mean that it is bad in design or intent.

In the past we here at the IKF and ISCF have delt with some individuals who to say the least, try as much as possible to skirt past the rules, regulations and laws of not just the IKF and ISCF but other laws as well. Like anyone, these individuals also want freedom to do what they want, all the time. If it hurts or injures others, what do they care? By definition, they are completely undaunted by how what they do looks or harms others, and the limits on the rights of others that comes commensurate with them exercising their "freedoms" with no limitations.
For instance, think about the following scenarios, and consider what would happen to the world if people were afforded the "freedom" to do "what they want," all of the time, everywhere, which is what some of these individuals have tried to do when it comes to the rules and regulations of the IKF and ISCF

There are restrictions and punishments associated with people doing these things, just like there is with those who "want to," put on fights in Georgia and New York. But it is still a free country. Think about it. The next time you jump on a plane, what if a guy who had never flown an aircraft before, sneaked in before the crew and got in the cockpit. You would be limiting his freedom if you objected to him operating the plane. So would security when they arrested him. So would the prosecutor, judge, jury and corrections system. At the same time, you and countless others are made safer by the encroachment upon the freedoms of someone wanting to fly a jetliner, who has not jumped through the legal hoops required to do so. That is reasonable and for the benefit of all but the deviant minority.

Those who live in the USA and countries like ours live in a free country, but there are many rational and reasonable restrictions on our freedoms. This means that people should not always be allowed to do whatever they desire all of the time. That would make the nation a very dangerous and cruel place. Laws provide protection to us against it becoming so and from those who are not interested in adhering to the Golden Rule, to say the least.

Operating a sanctioning body for ANYTHING is a major task. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes that many ever see. The countless hours that you readers never see here on the internet pages. Things like discussing rules and regulations to not only make our sport safe for it's participants but to be fair to all involved as well. In the past we have "Butted Heads" as one would say with some promoters or trainers and even fighters on issues such as "Why can't my fighter who has no pro fights fight for a Pro World title? It's vacant." or "Why do I have to wear headgear. I never get hit in the head." Or "Why do I need a neutral IKF/ISCF representative at my events. I can deal with something that goes wrong."

with these examples, you can't imagine how many times we here are challenged by individuals who want to work with the IKF or ISCF but do not want to follow the IkF and or ISCF Rules and Regulations. Instead, they say that the IKF and ISCF should not be allowed to exercise its rights to keep the martial sports clean and safe. What they "Want to" do, on the other hand, should be unfettered. As many of you readers know, FIGHTERS SAFETY is our NUMBER ONE concern here at the IKF as well as at the ISCF Not sanctioning fees, number of events or even TV. Our goal as a sanctioning body is to oversee the sport. To regulate the rules and regulations to assure fighter safety and fairness to all. However, it's easy for some to overlook these important regulations. Just look at the number of kickboxing sanctioning bodies out there. MOST could care less if an amateur wears headgear. I guess what they are saying is an amateur boxer must be getting hit harder than an amateur kickboxer. For why else would they not require an amateur fighter to wear headgear? Are they saying that the International Olympic committee is WRONG in having such a requirement for the safety of fighters? For that matter, why even make headgear...

This is not what our system of freedoms is about at all. The constitution of the United States is a set of guarantees designed primarily to ensure enjoyment of life for law abiding, moral people, who strive to the right thing. The rules and regulations of the IKF and ISCF are there for the same reason. NOT to be debated for each event so the promoter, trainer or fighter can do what they want. We are not GOD nor are we the Master of these sports. However, we are a sanctioning body and it IS our job to oversee the official rules and regulations for events sanctioned under our banners. No one says a promoter MUST Sanction with us, it is clearly their choice. We are greatful for those who choose the IKF or ISCF However, on the other hand, simply choice does not mean that we automatically allow a promoter or anyone to sanction under our flag. To do so, these people must be willing to follow the rules and regulations of the IKF and or ISCF as well as provide a track record of fairness to all involved with their events. This includes everything from matchmaking to paying fighters purses without leaving out the meat in between the two referred to the Rules and Regulations of sanctioning as well as the promotion and the fights themselves.

We hear all the time of other sanctioning bodies allowing mis matched bouts such as having first time pros fight for world titles. You may be shocked at how often this happens around the world. Usually with an organization that was just started by someone who wants to be a promoter. However, he/she does not want to have anyone regulating what they do. They want to do as they please which includes things like;

Of course, the simple truth is, in most areas of the world, NO Promoter needs to use a sanctioning body at all. Knowing this, the question is now to the trainers and fighters who would fight on such a card. That question is, "Who's in your corner?" Who will assist you if a rule is broken and no one wants to enforce it? Who will assist you if the promoter refuses to pay you? Who will assist you if your opponent comes to the ring with 10 ounce gloves and you were given 12's? Who? And if there is no one to find at that event you are fighting on, ask yourself, "Who is regulating the rules and regulations of my safety?" Maybe the event promoter has his own sanctioning body and he claims to be the one protecting you. But what if "HE" does something wrong? What if he allows certain things to happen because it benifits HIS Fighter? We've seen this countless times over the years.

The truth is, NO ONE wants to be told WHAT to do! We know how you feel because we have all been there. However, the reality of it all is that there needs to be someone in charge. There needs to be a referee to regulate the bout. There needs to be judges to determine a winner if no one gets knocked out. There needs to be a promoter to organize the event. There needs to be a qualified matchmaker to assure fighters are not mismatched. There needs to be qualified trainers to assure a fighter is surly ready to fight. All of these people are LEADERS! All of them "REGULATE" the rules and regulkations along with the morals and ethics of their duty. As a sanctioning body, it is not our "JOB" or our "Priveledge" but our DUTY to work in the highest capacity as possible to oversee all of these individuals to assure they all do their duty as well as we work to do ours. One missing link among "US ALL" will result in a failure somewhere down the line. We all have jobs to do.

No, some sanctioning bodies don't do their job. This is no hidden secret. Many could care less about safety regulations, title qualifications, and the list goes on and on. Especially with all the ones that promoters start for their own events just so they can have whatever titles they want as well as do what they want in regards to everything. Don't be fooled thinking the bigger the event, the better the officials. Look at all the bad calls in K-1. K-1 is not a sanctioning body. They are a "Promotional Company". Unless an athletic commission oversees them, they simply do what they want to do. As many say in regards to K-1's Japan's events, "The show is dictated by the referee, especially when he has a choice to stop or let a bout continue." These are not our words but the words of many in Japan. You K-1 fans who have seen some past K-1 bouts know exactly what we mean here. But we're not bagging on K-1 only. Many reading this can give examples bad officials around the world. And sometimes, when you think your covered, the surprise is worse.

Anyone here remember the "Phantom Punch" on Duke Roufus at the K-1 in Las Vegas a year or so back? Roufus slipped and was never hit. However referee Ray Belowitz (Licensed with the California State Commission) gave him an 8 count and assured everyone Roufus was hit. Yet the big screne in the venue proved Belowitz was way wrong as the crowd booed seeing the punch never even came close. His bad call cost Roufus the bout and maybe even the tournament. In defense of K-1, it wasn't K-1's fault because it wasn't one of their appointed referees. He was approved by the Nevada State Athletic Commission and you would EXPECT in such a big bout, a GOOD and QUALIFIED referee should be in there. However, for those who know the "REAL" story, Belowitz, a very beginner referee, should have never been refereeing in the first place. He was in there as a favor from a friend... In other words, "The good ol boy favor..."

If that event had a good "Sanctioning Body" there, it would have been their responsibility to make sure in such a big bout that the referee IS QUALIFIED to be in there. However it was clear that this was never done. The favor was more important than the fighters in the bout. But it shouldn't always be our job to point out to many of you where other organizations have done or are still doing wrong. We are fully aware of these things happening in the IKF and ISCF as well. however, we go to extensive efforts to assure that when they do happen, they NEVER happen again. One of our greatest lessons learned was in 1999. To read about it, click HERE.

If you are in this sport it should be your job to KNOW the sport. KNOW what is going on. You ask often who your opponent is, but have you ever asked "Who will the referee be?" "Who will the judges be?" yet when you get the short end of the stick in a bad call or bad decision, only then do you seek these answers. We suggest you know them AHEAD OF TIME! For all you know, the referee on your next fighjt is a guy you have had bad experiences with in the past. KNOW who you are fighting for, what title, what promoter and who will be working your event. It is up to a promoter to align their event with who they feel will sanction their event in the highest standards. It is up to the trainer to assist his/her fighter to assure they get the best training possible. When trained, the trainer, manager as well as the fighter must select carefully what bouts to take and what titles they wish to win as well. Be willing to be selective. Be willing to value what you or your fighter is worth. Fight for an organization that will promote your credibility as much as they

Living in a free country does not mean that criminals and other bullies should be left alone to cajole, threaten and harass. In fact, our system is there to protect people from thugs exercising their "freedom" in that way. And of course, they do not like it. If they did, then the rest of us would know that we were not working hard enough.

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