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Old 06-08-2007, 07:21 PM
Heater Heater is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 58
Default Future of Kickboxing?

I have been apart of the KB world for 22 years from fan, to fighter, promoter & trainer. The same question pops up in my head as does others heads. Why isn't Kickboxing, the sport that I love not more popular or on TV? It's not like it's horse shoes, or cross country skiing. ( not to offend shoers or skiers...) I have watched many talented fighters come and go for the reason of not enough fights to train for. Sure, KB has made leaps and bounds since it has began but the question and frustration still exists. Why not the spot light that boxing and MMA are recieving. I hear many complaints of how boring and political boxing has become. and some complaints on how boring siting on the ground & watching wrestling can be. I respect both sports, but I believe Kickboxing is the best of both worlds! People want excitement. There aren't any delays of laying on the ground and there are more than 3 different techniques to watch like in boxing. Is it that there aren't enough promoters? Are the promoters not promoting right? Does it cost to much to promote a fight card? Are there too many sanctions around? Is it that most of our divisions don't have Champions to look for or challange? Are the people who are taking responsibility on their shoulders to promote the sport not looking in the right direction? So where do we go? I have many opinions, but would like to see others. I'm not asking for us Pro's to recieve millions like boxers or MMA fighters, but just more active popularity and plublicity. Although $ would be nice.....

Just A guy looking for answers and hoping the best for the sport he loves!
Heath Fonnest
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Old 06-08-2007, 09:57 PM
Curtis Bush Curtis Bush is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 365
Default Re: Future of Kickboxing?

Hi Heath. I will be slammed by the MT side, but i'm gonna say it again:
One style of Kickboxing only. Now with High-Kick,Low-kick,Modified Muay Thai,Muay Thai,WCL,Full-Contact,Oriental Rules,Leg-Kick with knees to body only,Leg-Kick with knees to body and head,etc.... How the hell is the public going to respect or embrace our sport when every time they happen to see a show..the rules are always different? Modern Professional Western Boxing has been around since the 1900's and it still only has two fighters throwing all punches above the belt. De La Hoya is going to gross at 35-40 Million off his last fight against Mayweather with the Pay-Per-View royalties!
The PKA on ESPN,CBS,NBC had the highest ratings of Kickboxing back in the 80's. Too bad the PKA imploded. But, its fighters: Bill "Superfoot" Wallace,Don "The Dragon" Wilson,Jean Yves Theriault,"Bad" Brad Hefton,Troy Dorsey,Dennis Alexio,etc...were becoming household names. The sport was growing with only one set of rules the public could understand and follow. The sport was on the verge of finally crossing over to main stream when in the mid-90's things changed. All the rules changed for different styles of Kickboxing and the sport went downhill really quick! Just my 2 cents....
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Old 06-09-2007, 09:26 AM
Pammypanda1 Pammypanda1 is offline
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Posts: 517
Default Re: Future of Kickboxing?

Originally Posted by Curtis Bush
Hi Heath. I will be slammed by the MT side, but i'm gonna say it again:
One style of Kickboxing only. Now with High-Kick,Low-kick,Modified Muay Thai,Muay Thai,WCL,Full-Contact,Oriental Rules,Leg-Kick with knees to body only,Leg-Kick with knees to body and head,etc.... How the hell is the public going to respect or embrace our sport when every time they happen to see a show..the rules are always different? ....

Mr. Bush, Are you suggesting that the increased interest in Muay Thai is what has dirtied fans desire for "kickboxing"?

Actually, Muay Thai should get a few thanks for the kick it's giving "kickboxing". (Pun intended) There are 2, possibly 3, Muay Thai reality shows starting this summer. It is reviving interest in the sport, along with the faster pace of the WCL. Media IS picking it back up, it's just slow in developing.

With MMA growing so fast, and people wanting more blood and beatings, I think part of the decline of "kickboxing" came from fighters wanting more and fans wanting more, so things start getting modified to add extra excitement. Evolution is NOT bad but I agree there are too many names being used for the same things. Low Kick, Leg Kick, Internation Rules, Oriental, etc, all mean the same style it is very confusing to many people. So part of the problem is everything has been lumped together and called "kickboxing". That is like calling all cuts of beef "steak". Its generalized, but not accurate. Muay Thai is not kickboxing just as all MMA is not "UFC" fighting.

Don't you think it is more that society is changing? With Pride, UFC, and other "MMA" type events getting more and more exposure, the side of people that want to see the blood and beatings is winning out, they want more then the traditional FCR kickboxing.

Hmmmmmmm, does it mean our evolution is moving ahead or actually moving more backwards to our ancestors, the cavemen?
God makes things possible, not easy!
"If you think Muay Thai comes with fried rice, you're in deep sh*t!"

Last edited by Pammypanda1 : 06-09-2007 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 06-09-2007, 09:55 AM
Pete P Pete P is offline
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Default Re: Future of Kickboxing?

I am on the fence with this one Curtis, At one time I felt there should be just one rule style as to avoid confusion and bickering as well. Then I felt that with a huge compromise for all fighters to come together with "one" style, it would no longer be "fun" for the fighters, because they would not fully enjoy the sport.

I also at one time thought it was too much for the media to grasp with all the different rules sets. But then look at Racing...Nascar is the BIG one (similar to UFC) and then you have all the rest like stock, hobby stock, modified stock, street stock, figure 8, dirt track, etc...see what I mean?

These smaller race "styles" are not getting the money and media backing, thus they are not big, but they still have a fan base.

I still think that it all boils down to money, media exposure, and the right person behind it all to explode it, whether it is FCR, IR, MTR or any of the rest. I still do not think it will grow again just with having one still needs to have money behind it.

People in general have become more barbaric with regards to their desires in watching a fight. The UFC is huge, mma in general is huge. I can put on a Muay Thai show here and have all the fights be 3 round wars with hard hitting, some blood....but because it is amateur, the pads discourage fans from coming to watch. Then they have an amateur mma show with all the fights over by sloppy ko's in the first round, and the fans love it. they pay big money for 16 total minutes of action that is stretched out into a 2 hours show, via intermissions, interviewing winners, etc...

I do not understand it myself, when I go to fights, I want my money's worth, I want to see some wars in the ring.

So unfortunately, I don't think it is having just one rules style that is the answer...I think it is the fact that the general public wants blood, brawling, ko's, etc...and they want "no pads".
Just my 2 cents....see, I am MT and I didn't bash you, lol.

Pete Peterson
Team RoundKick
Progressive Self Defense Academy
Carroll, Iowa
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Old 06-09-2007, 01:32 PM
Curtis Bush Curtis Bush is offline
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Posts: 365
Default Re: Future of Kickboxing?

Hi Pam,Pete..If fighting is going through an evolution. Then why is straight boxing (which has not changed) still the #1 money-maker? Their sport never changed (except for safety rules), but their marketing, promotion,etc..has evolved. The De La Hoya/Mayweather was the biggest pay-per-view audience in history! Kickboxing FC-style emerged in the U.S. back in 1974 with the crowning of Bill Wallace,Joe Lewis,Jeff Smith,etc..becoming PKA World Champions. ESPN picked up the sport in 1980. Everything was getting better. CBS,NBC picked up the sport and then reality set in. The end of the PKA. But the fans still wanted their kickboxing (FC-style). Why FC, because that is what they watched and understood as Kickboxing. The ISKA grew out of the former PKA and ESPN again picked up the fights. The highest ratings ever for kickboxing were seen. Then when every style of Kickboxing were created and thrown at the public...we are now in our self-created mess. The UFC is not kickboxing. it is a new sport all its own. It came and is now conquering. And we are still at the back of the pack argueing about which rules style for kickboxing is the best. We had the ball rolling with FC and we lost the ball!
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Old 06-09-2007, 07:21 PM
Heater Heater is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 58
Default Re: Future of Kickboxing?

All good points I believe. But I do think there is an easy way to pump up the sport..... Find the trainers and promoters who want to throw cards. Help organize them or give each other outlines for success. (Ticket sales, sponsors, event centers, etc.) And make it as cheap as possible to throw a good card. When promoters need to spend 10,000 - 18,000 to throw a card, it makes it kind of hard for possible promoters to take that step. Make the public see these fights on a regular basis in their home towns and cities like boxing once did before the big tv and pay per view booms. Once every couple few months would be great! We need to start some where and getting it to the public through fights and promotions since tv and payperview are not an option yet is the way I believe.... Enough of what you think happened. Good points aside, What is the fix?
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Old 06-10-2007, 12:01 PM
johnnyd johnnyd is offline
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 13
Default Re: Future of Kickboxing?

Hi Guys,

I don't post often anymore but when there is a real constructive and sincere discussion going on and I have a moment to spare...I think to get involved a bit...

I think all of you have pretty good points but in my observation as one who has done many levels of the sport- is that we need a few major things:
Honest, passionate and hardworking people at the top who's interest is for the greater good of the sport. This org. or group could streamline what is most popular to the majority of the public and push may be something a little different than anyone has discussed on this thread...but stand up fighting. (Hope that makes sense)

* MONEY- a big sponsor who is willing to invest millions into a group that will openly promote the sport and work with all fighters and promoters regardless of their affiliation with other orgs....only bringing the best fights to the public (period)! I personlly do not care what org. you've fought for in the past of future...what I want to know if you want to fight the best out there and give fight fans what they want and the sport needs...

*MEDIA- We need a TV Network to believe in Kickboxing and give it a great schedule for the masses to see.

With the right people with the right amount of money not only doing shows themselves but passing the money on to other promoters to promote in their local areas and build local stars that will later become the nations' and the world' stars is also a major piece of making this work.

*Rounds- I do think too that we need to get back into longer fights with shorter rounds. 12- 2 minute rounds and, or like for a world championship is what fight fans are use to because of boxing. I don't care of the idea that because someone and are the tradition of a certain style is accustomed to going three minute rounds of grapping and clinching etc. I'm convinced that shorter rounds and more of them will make any style of striking (kicks, knees, boxing etc) more exciting!

My thing is this...lets continue to do what we can to promote the sport in a positive manner and slowly, we will again start to re-build our great sport. It might be later rather than sooner but it will happen. Support Kickboxing events where ever they are and eventually people will begin to recognize its presence and the sport will re-emerge as a major player on the mainstream.

Keep the faith and never give up!

Forward March!
Johnny Davis
Truth Crushed to the Earth will Rise Again! WCB
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Old 06-11-2007, 10:25 AM
40214 40214 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 28
Default Re: Future of Kickboxing?

different perspective: The Jeff Smith's, Wallace, Joe Lewis moved from tournament karate; as the Sport "evolved" and it looked like the sport was going to take off, the boxers moved over and did the manditory attempt at the min 8 kicks but they looked like boxers that had no legs and took away from the sport.

The old PKA was undermined from a lot of different angles. From the boycott of the Battle of Atlanta in 84 from which Joe would use the profit to support the PKA. He at least was trying to develop and avenue to take sport karate to another level and provide Martial Artists a platform to compete and a product the public would get behind.

To good old fashion jealousy and back stabbing ....the same old "if it ain't ours then nobody".... there were others that were jealous of Joe and started competing and underming what he had started because they thought they could do it better ,to many wanted to be big deals and not enouogh humility..and in the end killed the sport and it hasn't recovered

I don't know the IKF, I have talked with Steve and he seems to be sincere however the alphabet soup of sanctioning bodies over here and the outright undermining of anything would hurt the attendance of the precious sport karate promoters tounaments and the genuine disinterest interest in having another level for the elite of their sport to go to, has hurt. I think if we can't all work together we can at least not undermine. when we don't like somebody or some org. we need to be aware that if it goes to far and we overtly attack them then in the end that just hurts eveybody. doors close and things will remain fragmented.

The WCL may not be the way to go for eveybody over here and it may not be your alls cup of tea however we have to go from it sucks and Cory is a this or that to if you guys have something going good luck it's not for us. We need to support whatever has a shot of being successful rather than undermining it. We have to be aware of the difference between I don't like it and it sucks and they're bad

MMA is great but not everybody likes the ground fighting, it's too boring for some and most want to see who escapes stands up and knocks somebody out. Lets pull for what ever kind of stand up fighting that has a chance and wish everybody the best of luck.
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Old 06-11-2007, 01:50 PM
Nelsmooth Nelsmooth is offline
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 33
Red face Re: Future of Kickboxing?

Hello Everyone, Finally a civilized discussion. Being a fighter, the one thing I think we are missing in kickboxing, is unity. If we can make an event that includes all the sanctioning bodies, all rule styles, and is open to good constructive criticism, we should be in there. As warriors we sometimes get at each other, misunderstanding one another. I wish I had the money to put on an event of this nature. I think money is what stops a lot of us. Now we just need an event that will be so interesting that we can at least have our highlights televised on Spike, Versus, or ESPN and bring sponsors to the sport. Many kickboxers and boxers push away MMA guys when they look up to us, don't make that mistake. We need to market ourselves how they have. Will it bring us back? Maybe, but we definitely need exposure. When UFC first began there were all sorts of rule styles involved until it slowly evolved to what it is today. Men like Gracie, Shamrock, and Severn transformed it giving birth to ground and pound and guys like Ortiz, Liddel, and Cotture. The WCL made a more explosive form of kickboxing/point fighting which caught the interest of many. Now we need someting that recognizes all the other forms of kickboxing and perhaps gives us an Olympic shot. If we the fighters must evolve, then we will. But after all the years kickboxing has been around there has to be someone out there that can give us mouth to mouth. Time to unite? Or Time to evolve?

Last edited by Nelsmooth : 06-11-2007 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 06-11-2007, 02:23 PM
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Default Re: Future of Kickboxing?

Agree, a great thread finally!
Nel, you said, "If we can make an event that includes all the sanctioning bodies, all rule styles, and is open to good constructive criticism, we should be in there." With all the fighting between orgs, how would this be possible? And if it did happen, who would do what work? How would the money be spent, where would it come from, how would it be split if any made, and if not, who would lose? It sounds like a great idea, but there seems to be more problems that would arrise from a organizational stand point. There would end up being a lot of "I did this, what did you do?" and "I paid for this, what did you pay for?" and "Use our officials, not yours!" I just see such an idea as a continued argument among leaderships.

What we have now are several USA based Tournaments. This is a major plus for the north american kickboxers! Lets attend as many as we can and in the end, let the fighters decide which one was best. Best competition, best organized, best arena, best location, best officials, best crowd, best belts, best additional awards, best exposure after it all and many other things. Sound good? if we can formulate some kind of a pole, this can be the answer for many next year, this way, we won't waste our money going to the bad tournaments, only the good ones.
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