June 4th, 2003 AT 5:30 PM
Fossum Makes His Stand About
Kickboxing Message Board Topics!
WARNING: This is a lot of reading so
if you do not have time now, come back later. Also, please do not expect me to
come back on here quickly if at all to respond to questions or comments about
what I wrote below. My e-mail and phone number is given below for you to contact
me if you desire to. I try to stay away from this board and allow all of you to
have free will at your posts. However, if the posts are negative with no
justified facts or opinions to support the writing, our web staff that monitors
the board daily will take them off, as you have seen before. After reading all
the arguments on here about KICK, IKF, and
anonymous posting, I was asked to come on here to give clarity to a few of these
- RE: RAY THOMPSON: No one here at the
IKF is mad at Ray Thompson for
taking his fighter Stephen Thompson to an event not
sanctioned by the IKF. Ray is a trainer looking to get Stephen
more competition. "ALL" trainers should be doing this for their
fighters. We are not the WWE, NFL, NBA etc. etc. The IKF
does not pay fighters to stay with us. It would be unethical in the sport. "WE"
are a sanctioning body, not a management or promotional company. "WE"
the IKF do not have fighters. "WE"
do not own any fighters. ALL Fighters have the opportunity to fight when they
want to, whom they want to and where they want to. "WE" are proud to
have so many great fighters in our IKF
Rankings. However, the rankings are not just ours. Sure, "WE" as the
IKF created them, but they are "Rankings"
of the fighters in our sport. If your mad that Ray is doing this you need to ask
yourself why? In my opinion, he is being a good trainer looking for
opportunities for his fighter(s). We wish him luck in this.
- RE: RANKINGS: Speaking of rankings.
Yes, the rankings Mike Anderson used in his magazine and the rankings on
the KICK site are indeed from the IKF. With the exception of about 5-7 fighters
Brooks Mason and Mike Anderson
added in there, they came from our IKF Amateur Full Contact Rules Rankings.
Brooks Mason attained the rankings with
our permission for Mr. Anderson's magazine. We are not upset at this
however we would have liked to see some credit given either to
Mr. Mason or the IKF instead of Mr. Anderson who had nothing
to do with the work to create those rankings. Regardless, we are proud and
flattered that others are using the rankings we worked to build in the sport.
This will help the fighters most in the long run.
- RE: BROOKS MASON: Speaking of
Mason, Brooks and I have been friends since about 1991 or 2.
Brooks lived here in California and had
a martial arts school. His school and mine worked close and we built a very
strong and lasting friendship. I love the man like a brother, respect him like
my sensei and look up to his wisdom as a father of our great sport. "Brooks
Mason is a true LEADER of all of us!" This is why we appointed him our
Ambassador. He is also my partner in TV Commentating, an IKF Event Representative, writer and trainer. I
would stand up for and by this man in any circumstance and would defend his
honor and dignity to the death. Yes, you read correctly, to the death.
Brooks Mason is "THE MAN"
of our sport.
- RE: MASON & KICK: I know KICK has
approached Mr. Mason and asked him to
pay for his own plane ticket to travel to Vegas, pay for his own room and help
work their event for free. This needs no response by me. Such a request of such
a man I have described above who has proven himself is nothing short of an
- IKF NATIONAL
OFFICIALS: At the IKF USA
Nationals, our officials volunteer their time to travel to this great event for
the benefit of all of us. How is this different that what KICK asked Mr.
Mason to do? Easy answer, these are already IKF
Officials that have worked IKF Sanctioned
events. These are people we know and work with throughout the year on IKF Sanctioned events. Their dedication to the
sport, work ethic, credibility and leadership is second to none. I and everyone
else are truly thankful beyond words that they make such an effort to make our
IKF USA Nationals possible every year. As
far as their qualifications, credibility and leadership, this goes without
saying, but I will for all of you to see in print, I stand by and support
Mr. Stell & IKF OFFICIALS: Speaking
of Officials, Mr. Stell and I also have a long friendship that is about
as long as Mr. Mason and myself. Dan and I are very close as
well. KICK asked Dan the exact same thing, to pay for his own plane
ticket, pay his own hotel and work the Vegas event for free. They were not
negotiating; this was the only offer KICK gave him. Mr. Stell along with
Mr. Fred Fitzgerald (who had to miss last years Nationals due to
personal reasons) run our IKF
Officials clinics. Both give our official seminars and run the ringside
officials at our IKF Nationals along with
Mr. Brooks Mason. Mr. Fitzgerald is our MuayThai expert and Mr.
Stell handles our Full Contact and International Rules divisions. Both in my
opinion are two of the best referees in the sport of kickboxing. Don't
misunderstand me, there are "A LOT" of good referees, judges and other
officials we work with and you will see them at this years Nationals, but Mr.
Stell and Mr. Fitzgerald our who we have selected to be our leaders
for our IKF officials. If you ever see
them in action, you would know why.
- RE: IKF OFFICIALS
OUTSIDE THE IKF: Mr. Stell and
Mr. Fitzgerald "DO"
work for other sanctioning bodies events. As Ray said on here and Dan
too, "This is a job to them." Like fighters, we want them to be able
to work as much as possible. They need to make a living but more importantly,
the more they work the more experience they get, the better they stay in rhythm
and in the end, the fighters and everyone win because they are up on their game.
We wish them both great success and lots of work. However, they must be
respected and compensated accordingly for their work, as other officials should
be. All of them are GREAT at what they do which is why they do it.
- RE: IKF LOYALTY:
As far as loyalty, I am thankful we have so many loyal IKF
people around the world and on the message board here. Who wouldn't be? The IKF would love to have everyone fight for us, but
the reality is, although we do more events than any other sanctioning body, we
still cannot keep all of the fighters busy. It's clear some promoters want to
work with other organizations. That is their decision and we respect this.
- RE: COMPETITION OF SANCTIONING BODIES:
We admire a good challenge just like all of you. To us, without competition,
what will drive us? As long as the competition is good as well as fair, not
tainted with untruths and false promises. Competition is good in any business
and lets face it, IKF, KICK, ISKA, WKA,
USKBA etc. are all businesses. We need to make money just like all of you to
survive and continue our work. But the work must be fair and true to those we
work with. Like choosing a good karate school, my only advice is for you to ask
yourself, "What does the sanctioning body I work with do for me." We
at the IKF answer this at this page:
CLICK HERE -
- RE: TEAMWORK: Hopefully someday we
will all make good money in our sport. However, where we differ is we want our
team to succeed "WITH US" not "AFTER US". We got to where we
are today together and I expect as well as desire us to move to the next level
together. Each of us working in the IKF
know our position and know that none of us are more important than the other,
even myself. We all have jobs and duties to do and if we do not focus on what
each of us as individuals are supposed to do we will ultimately let someone down
along the line. We cannot afford to make such a mistake in our sport and strive
daily not to do so.
- RE: FOSSUM & KICK ASSOCIATES: As
far as my personal thoughts of KICK? The people I have met that are associated
with them, Ronnie Copeland, Craig Smith, Cheryl Nance, Kevin Hudson and
others have been nothing short of CLASS ACTS! I ask you all to stay away
from attacking anyone here because of the letters they stand by because you are
attacking "GOOD PEOPLE" who work hard in our sport. As far as
the leaders of KICK, I have never met any of them so I cannot give any opinion
at this time.
- RE: KICK AND FOSSUM MEETING: As far
as KICK telling people Frank Babcock and I had a scheduled meeting that "I"
backed out of, cancelled, or however they put it, this is not true at all. There
was "TALK" of such a meeting but one was never set due to conflicts in
scheduling. I do know for a fact that this has been said in phone calls that a
KICK Representative named Ted Welch has made to several IKF associates.
- TED WELCH AND HIS OLYMPICS COMMENTS:
I know that a man named Ted Welch, representing KICK, has told several
people in the beginning that KICK's event was Olympic related and a possible
Olympic Qualifying event for a future USA Olympic Kickboxing Team. I also
remember seeing for myself where KICK had on their web page last year that they
were the "Official Olympic regulating body for the sport of kickboxing in
USA." This is not true at all. KICK has never been given, awarded or
appointed such a title. NO ONE in the USA has. Those words on KICKs website came
down after the USOC found out about it. Sorry if I upset anyone here, but these
are the facts to set the record straight, not my attempt to discredit KICK.
- IKF vs KICK TOURNAMENT:
As those I have spoke to know, we would have liked to support the KICK event.
However, the issues surrounding it have put us in a position not to do so. I am
just being honest here and I can explain in detail why. The issues such as the
timing and scheduling of it as related to the IKF
Nationals. KICK scheduled their event AFTER we had scheduled ours and it falls
within the 45 day time frame of suspension time if a fighter on their event gets
KOed or TKOed. If this happens, they cannot fight on our event. This will force
some fighters to make a choice instead of being able to compete in both which
would have been great for the sport and we WOULD HAVE INDEED supported it.
However, this is not the only issue we have with their event. The sales pitches
that their representatives such as Ted Welch has used to persuade IKF Ranked fighters and their trainers and even
officials to come to their event. Many of the things he makes reference to are
false claims such as the number of fighters attending the event. Three weeks ago
it was "Well over 200", 2 weeks ago it was "Around 160" and
just last week I was told "Around 100". What will happen when a
fighter goes there and has no fight after being told he/she has 10-20 people in
his/her divisions? There are other things but that is good for now.
- RE: IKF OPEN BOOK:
EVERYTHING about the IKF is an open book.
This includes EVERY fighter who registers for our USA Nationals as well as other
IKF Tournaments like the North American
Championships. We hide NOTHING! We also make no false claims or sales pitches
about our event. All of you can see what we have to offer as well as what we
have done in our past.
- RE: WHAT KICKBOXING WAS AND WHAT IT IS TODAY:
Ladies and Gentlemen, especially those who have been in this sport for over 10
years, may I remind you all that this is a sport that has indeed been hurt in
the past by false promises, deception, misleading facts and unethical actions. I
will always make a stand STRONGLY against such things. Those of us who make up
the IKF Team have worked "HARD"
as a TEAM to bring credibility and respect back to our sport. This work has
taken time as well and all of this hard work and time is not worth the risk of
allowing ANY person or organization to take advantage of what we have built back
in our sport and risk them destroying it. With this being said, some of the
participants of this sport and myself will not and better so, cannot support any
organization or any person who misleads anyone down a path of uncertain fate. At
least with the IKF, we all know what we
have and where we stand in the big picture. I personally care not to repeat
history and watch our sport fall again. Keep in mind, there is STILL A LOT of
work to be done yet.
- KICK SUCCESS: On the other hand, I "DO"
wish KICK success in their future because we "DO" need better
competition in sanctioning bodies. The only one out there worth giving respect
to in my opinion today is the USKBA
operated by Paul Rosner. At least they show they are working "FOR"
their associates. I do not see "ANY" other organization doing anything
for the sport other than sell their letters and titles that mean nothing. I mean
why sanction and sell an amateur title when you don't even keep amateur
rankings? Show me an amateur champions list of any organization and I will be
impressed, but there are none. If KICK does even half of what they say they will
do, at least it's a start.
- NON PROFIT STATUS: Mike Anderson
and others have boasted about WAKO (European sanctioning body) being non
profit, IASKA and now he and the KICK people are jumping on this promotion as
well. Their claim of non-profit being the best for the sport though are far
short of what they are telling you. For example, the members of the WAKO
organization in an open election awhile back voted the WAKO President OUT of his
position. He didn't like it, so he called for a re-call election at one of their
events. From what I was told (And several others who know this same story),
WAKO is given hundreds of thousands of dollars from European country governments
to run their organization. (It would be nice if we were given such coin.
Imagine what we could do with such money!) The WAKO President is paid in the
6 to possibly even the 7 figure income for his position. Remember, they are a
non-profit organization too. For this election, their president paid the travel
expenses of all his known supporters to this event where the re-election would
take place. He wined them and dined them, gave them expensive gifts and when the
election process came around, gee what a surprise when he was re-elected. So
much for all those claims of "The members run the organization."
Who told me this? Out of respect for his position with WAKO as well as IASKA and
now KICK, I will hold off in saying so. Unless it needs to be said. Just trust
me, it was a very direct source.
- NON PROFIT - PROFITS AND DECEPTION:
Along with the story above, lets all keep in mind that some of the richest
people today are leaders of non profit companies, and some of the most
questionable in regards to their company policies and ethics as well. One in
general is Art Dore, the founder of Toughman. An IKF associates out of Michigan that gave some very
interesting facts about Toughman sent me an article recently. It was 4 full
pages all about Toughman and their organization. Dore's non-profit; "American
Boxing & Athletic Association" took in nearly a million dollars
over the last 2 years. (That was on paper, not cash intake from merchandise
or any other cash sales) However I don't see Toughman getting to the
Olympics do you? Also keep in mind that Toughman has had a reported 12 deaths in
its organization as well. Some of these events have no doctor at ringside and
some others have had a Chiropractor as the ringside doctor. Some of the weight
spreads are as much as 30 to 50 lbs. In the article it told of a female fighter
named Kelli Hochmuht who weighed
145 lbs who had to fight a girl who
was 199 lbs in an Idaho Toughman contest. NONE of the Toughman officials are
required to be trained by certified officials unless the state oversees their
events. Where does this happen? In only 2 of the 50 states, Ohio and California.
So being non-profit doesn't mean things if you are not going to regulate safety
issues and train your officials.
- RE: KICKBOXING SAFETY: There have
only been 2 deaths in the sport of kickboxing here in North America. One here in
California when a fighter lied on his medical report about being knocked out
within 45 days of the bout he died from (Hence our respect and firmness of
the 45 day rule for KO/TKO suspensions). It was on an event sanctioned by
the now defunct DRAKA Federation out of Russia. The other? Well, it was fighter
named Derek Clements (Right) in Grand Rapids Michigan. We didn't
find any previous pro bouts he fought in prior to taking a WORLD Title bout but
some say he had a couple. Clements was called in to take the bout on
short notice to "Save the promoters show" since the scheduled
opponent dropped out. It was an all out war against a heavier fighter with a
VAST PRO Experience and in the end, Clements died from the blows to his
head in the bout. Who sanctioned that bout? KICK.
- RE: OLYMPIC KICKBOXING: To get to the
Olympics an organization does have to be a non-profit organization. This is why
we have researched the ideas of making the IKF
Amateur program a non-profit organization and I expect this to happen soon.
However, this status is not an open door to the Olympics. Such an organization
needs to have an established and proven track record with quality record keeping
of amateur competition. This is something a few papers and money cannot buy.
This takes time and hard work by a lot
of people. The IKF has established this
position and our amateur rankings prove this, KICK has not, which explains why
them using "OUR" established rankings is such an issue.
- RE: ANONYMOUS POSTERS HERE: Although
many here don't like it, it's clear some will do this. In fact, despite the
insults and attacks at IKF, I think the
anonymous poster can at times be a pain but in other times, be valuable. Imagine
if an IKF Associate was upset at something
the IKF did. He or she may feel they
cannot say something to me about it but they can post it here. This to me is
valuable. As someone else said, it allows everyone to have a voice. Sure, some
of the comments are rude, insulting and nasty, but through it all we see
passion, and you cannot blame anyone for having passion whether for IKF, KICK, ABC etc. etc. Especially if that passion
is actually constructive criticism. This I personally thrive on. We can usually
see what we are doing right, we need more people to tell us what we are doing
wrong, where we can improve, new ideas for the sport. This is what makes for
great conversation here. So Xman, futureman, Hulk, and all the rest of
you, "Bring It ON!"
- RE: LEADERS IN THE IKF:
This is an area where I feel Ray Thompson and Dan Stell got
attacked on. Ray as a promoter and Dan as an IKF Official have been attacked here when others
thought they were associated with the KICK event. As we all know, Dan is
not going and I explained why. However Ray is. Now yes, he is a leader
in the IKF as an IKF
Promoter, but he is also a trainer of a fighter who has fought over "27"
times and has yet to be beat. Ray's desire is to "SEEK OUT"
more competition for his son is not an insult to the IKF.
It's a positive for the sport as a whole. Ray is not going to the KICK
event to necessarily support KICK or because he wants to be on the KICK team or
to help make KICK money. He is going there to seek out competition for his
fighter, as others will be doing. Fighters and trainers do not have to attend
the IKF, KICK or other events because they
like the sanctioning letters. Sure, some obviously feel that way and that's
great, but in general, fighters attend events so they have fights.
Well everyone, I warned you about this being long, and I
apologize. If you want to talk to me I am at my desk nearly all day. The number
is (916) 663-2467. If you want to e-mail me directly my e-mail is
I look forward to seeing many of you at the
IKF USA Nationals this year. It is shaping
up to be yet another great event that will have some surprises for you all. Take
care and when your not punching and kicking, work your brain and your fingers
and tell us what's on your mind here at the
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