Kickboxing is a fighting style that uses four limbs of the body, the two arms, and the two legs. It was originated from the ancient martial arts from Thai Land called Muay Thai, which uses eight limbs of the body; two arms, two elbows, two legs, and the two knees. In the 1960s a Japanese Karate fighter by the name Osamu Noguchi studied Muay Thai and merged it with karate as a means to develop new martial arts that have constant strikes. He also removed the elbows, knees and clinch from Muay Thai and added some karate moves like ridge hand and upward block, etc.
A few years after, a governing body for kickboxing was formed in Japan. Kickboxing traveled to Europe and then to America in the 1970s. At this time most karate fighters fought kickboxing. As time passed Kickboxing evolved into three forms, Full contact which is kicking above the waist, Low kick Kickboxing where kicking from head to leg was allowed and finally, K-1 where knees were allowed. Today there is one organization who gained sanctioning by the Sport Accord to control all forms of Kickboxing and it is called the World Association of Kickboxing Organisations (WAKO).
In conclusion, kickboxing is the child and Muay Thai is the mother. Muay Thai has one hundred times more techniques than Kickboxing. Therefore, at Challenge Gym we place emphasis on Muay Thai and adjust training accordingly for kickboxing competitions.
How was Kick-Boxing introduced
In the 1980s there were only different forms of karate and Kung Fu and all competitions were based on a point system of scoring whereby a competitor had two minutes to score three points on his or her opponent, awarding of these points were based on tagging or lightly touching the opponent. No contact was allowed to the facial area and if contact was made there was a warning which led to disqualification if this occurred three times, however, if bleeding occurred no matter how slight the bleeding was the competitor inflicting the blow was immediately disqualified.
Introducing a Full-Contact sport like Kick-Boxing to Martial Artist who was accustomed to light touch took a heads-on approach to determine which competitors would embrace the sport. Being a Martial Arts instructor and also a promoter of Martial arts events I used this avenue to introduce the sport straight from the Low-Kick rule instead of the Full-Contact ruling where kicks could only be thrown above the waist as I noticed from prior karate competition that a lot of the competitors were not that flexible, and besides if the competition was introduced using the concept of both Full-Contact and Low-Kick there would not have been enough competitors to make the event a successful one.
The first phase of introduction took the form of staging events using the two minute duration of the karate matches and the three-point system of scoring and allowing contact to be made to the facial area with either the hands or feet, there was no disqualification for the drawing of blood and to score a point competitors had to hit their opponent solidly (Safety protection was mandatory), all the competitors who were under Black-Belt were matched according to their belt ranking system and the Black-Belt were matched using three weight categories (Light-Weight under 154lbs) (Middle-Weight over 154lbs to 170lbs) (Heavy-Weight over 170lbs), in later competitions these weights would be spread out as the rules changed.
In the second phase of introducing the two minute duration for the matches was kept, however the points were moved from three to five points in the two minutes then in the third phase the five points was moved to maximum points scored in the two minutes, in this phase three weight category was introduced for the under Black-Belts in each belt division (White to Yellow) (Green to Blue) (Red to Brown) same as the Black-Belts Light-Weight, Middle-Weight, Heavy-Weight.
The fourth phase saw the introduction of the kickboxing ring for the finals as this was fought over two rounds of two minutes each with maximum points being counted for the winner, at this point I was giving free kickboxing seminars to interested karate schools who remained in this type of competition preparing them for the next phase of competition and also for future events with the idea of having them represent Trinidad and Tobago.
At this final stage the Judges, Referees, Scorekeeper, Kick-Counters had reached a level where I could now introduce single match-ups for the competition whereby the competitors were match up according to their weight using the International weight system of the World Kick-Boxing Council (W.K.C.) where we had a membership at the time.
I had developed the rules and regulations for the local competitions and also a national rating system was introduced which would be used in the future as a reference to select the top two fighters of the different weight categories who would compete for a chance to be crowned national champion of Trinidad and Tobago.
On May 2nd, 1996 I received a fax from the International Kickboxing Federation (I.K.B.F.) which was led by Commissioner Detlef Turnau of Germany asking me to represent them in Trinidad and Tobago, I accepted the position since I was looking to broaden the scope of opportunities for the Trinidad and Tobago kickboxers, this acceptance led to a visit by Mr. Detlef Turnau and the (I.K.B.F.) United Kingdom representative Mr. Lincoln Boney for an event was promoted in July 1996, they even got two international fighters to compete against two of our local fighters they are Donald Lindo from United kingdom and Anna Maria from Italy.
This visit proved fruitful for the Trinidad and Tobago kickboxers, because of the age of some of the T&T fighters who were already in their twenties and had a late start to their careers I negotiated with the (I.K.B.F.) commissioner Detlef Turnau to have these fighters accepted into the (I.K.B.F.) professionals World rating Sheet, this was done in 1998 (see document 1A) we had eleven T&T fighters into the (I.K.B.F.) Low-Kick World ratings.
Later that same year October 10th -13th 1996 we sent two kickboxers Paul Francis and Andre Fraser to the (I.K.B.F.) World Championship in Kunsan korea, where one of the fighters Andre Fraser of Tobago won a Bronze medal in the Middle Weight Full-Contact Division and gained a number ten ranking in the (I.K.B.F.) World Full-Contact rating sheet.
In August 1997 the (N.K.C.T.T.) sent a seven member national team to Mexico for an international friendly against the Mexicans, out of the five fighters we had two victories for T&T from kickboxers Kevin Jackie (Super Middle Weight) and Floyd Trumpet (Welter Weight). From then on to this present time we had a number of success and equal disappointment, as we went along we affiliated the N.K.C.T.T. to a number of different World Governing bodies at the same time keeping the doors of opportunity open at all times in case one of these bodies got the approval from the G.A.I.S.F. and the I.O.C. as the recognized single World Governing body for the sport of kickboxing, having already attained the Ministry of sport approval as the local governing body the N.K.C.T.T. saw only smooth sailing ahead.
In the absence of a single world governing body for the sport of kickboxing the N.K.C.T.T. became affiliated to below listed World Bodies.
(W.K.C.) World Kickboxing Council
(I.K.B.F.) International kickboxing Federation
(W.K.O.) World Kickboxing Organization
(W.A.M.T.O.) World Amateur Muay-Thai Organization
(W.P.K.A. pro) World Profi kickboxing Association
(W.P.K.A.) World Pan-Amateur Kickboxing Association
(W.F.K.) World Federation of kickboxing
(See document 1B)
On May 2nd 1998 the N.K.C.T.T. held the first recognized national kickboxing championships at the jean Pierre sport complex in Port of Spain under the international sanctioning of the World Kickboxing organization from United Kingdom where I was serving them as the director for Caribbean countries at the time, we even had belts imported from the WKO for this championship.
as any sporting organization, we also had our fair share of detractors and troublemakers but notwithstanding we rose above all odds and is continuing the work that was started with a clear vision as to where we would like the sport to reach and see the athletes fulfill their true potential on the World stage.