Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Dummies Guide to K-1

As many of you know K-1 is prolly one of the biggest event and highest paying Kickboxing events around the world. If you've never heard of K-1??? Where on earth have you been??

What I would love to have hold up my jeans!! THE K-1 BELT!!!

K-1 started in 1993 by Mr Kazuyoshi Ishii. He had the best fighters from Kickboxing,Karate,Kenpo,Kungu even normal Boxing to battle it out in ONE ring,all fighting under ONE Rule to level the playing field. I read this somewhere not sure how far it's true but. Notice all the K's and how his name starts with K and how everyone who fights wants to be Number 1. Also because the concept of the tournament was very much like the racing grand prix,F-1. From there the name K-1 was born!!

The original K-1 was an OPEN weight category meaning there were no weight division. One of my first few trainers the Legendary MuayThai superstar, Nokweed Davy was the LIGHTEST fighter in K-1 in 1995 when he fought French fighter Jerome Le Banner. Nokweed lost the fight to Jerome Le Banner on points.....But hey Nokweed was 75kg and at the END of his career and Jerome weight 40KGS MORE than Nokweed!!! A decent effort for going 5 rounds with someone that much bigger than you!! =)

A very young Zig Zach =) with the Legend and one of the hardest kickers in the business,Nokweed Davy!!

Like the F-1 racing....K-1 did smiliar Grand Prix and qualifiers all over the world and then later all the winners from all the Grand Prix battling in the Tokyo Dome in Japan for the K-1 World Grand Prix Champion titl,a super slick belt + $400,000 USD Prize money!!!! K-1 was a huge hit in Japan and Europe. It made superstars out of the REAL fighters. K-1 was the equivalent to WWE and Boxing put together. It meant that Kickboxing tournaments practically had a facelift!!! The fireworks...the music and the grand entry.....the suits and the press conference. It made fighters realize they deserve just as much attention and glory as the guys in WWE jumping of the top rope!! K-1 fighters were the REAL DEAL. No fake story line...no fake titted girls with bad acting getting slapped around!! =) What alot of fighters make compared to what the more established guys in K-1 make is just UNBELIEVABLE!! Basically alot of us are making loose change!!

With every K-1 passing. Fighters were soon turned to SUPERSTARS!! Names like Branco Cikatic (1st ever K-1 winner 93), Peter Aerts(At age 39 has won 3 K-1 and was runner-up for the last two years!!!!),Ernesto Hoost, Ray Sefo,The late Andy Hug, Jerome Le Banner were made famous in the fighting circle. And now a new generation of fighters have come on the scene like The Flying dutchman Remy Bojavsky,Bad Boy Badhr Hari,Paul Slowinkski,Tyrone Spong,Semmy Schilt the list goes on.

Peter Aerts & the late Andy Hug in action.

K-1 fighters are the "A "List of standup fighters in the world!! And most fighters have a dream of making it ig there!! Who wouldn't!!??? What some fighters make out of fighting in smaller tournaments,compared to what some of the more established guys in K-1 make is just UNBELIEVABLE!! Basically Im making loose change compared to them!!

"K-1 Max" later was born in 2002. The weight set at 70.5kgs. Fight fans wanting to see leaner...fitter...faster yet hard hitting guys in the ring rather than some of the K-1 heavyweight "freakshows"....Akebono the Yokozuna from Sumo Wrestling, Bob Sapp "The Beast!" an Ex-NFL Pro Footballer,The Korean giant,Hong Mun Choi who is a towering 7ft 2Inches who is pretty much as tall as me even when he is sitting down!!!

Image Left:Hong Man Choi vs Kaoklai Image Right: Akebono vs Bob Sapp

K-1 Max has already established some superstars since it's first tournament in 2002
2002 K-1 Max Champ - Alber Kraus
2003,2008 K-1 Max Champ - Masato
2004,2006 K-1 Max Champ - Buakaw Por Pramuk
2005,2007 K-1 Max Champ - Andy Souwer.
Gago Drago, Taishin Kohiruimaki,Mike Zambidis,Sato,John Wayne Parr,Ole Baguio Laursen and last but not least one of my personal favourite fighters who has been making waves the hard hitting Ukranian, Artur Kyshenko.

Albert Kraus after 2002 Final. Andy Souwer winning in 2005.

Buakaw & Masato at a K-1 Press Conf then later bashing each other up in the final.

This years K-1 Max has a couple of new faces,one new fighter who Ive been following for awhile. And is really making a name for himself. He is currently at the top of his game winning everyone from Raffik Bakkouri to Andy Souwer! A name not to forget - Giorgio Pertrosyan. Another deadly southpaw who even managed a draw with Buakaw a couple of years back. Would love to see him and Yoddy go toe to toe!! Battle of the southpaws!!

Also in this years line up,The Contender Asia's smallest,youngest but hardest hitter and my fellow teammate from the Tiger Kings.......... Dzhabar Askerov!! All of us in The Contender Asia knew that he would get the chance one day.

Ohhh and lastly the new show man to the K-1 Max,a worthy mention coz of his Cosplay outfits!!
- Yuichiro “Jienotsu” Nagashima of Japan. Wacko is good...Look where it got Zidov!! =) haha

Another event of the night worth mentioning is the Exhibition fight between K-1 Max 2004,2009 and a Legend in the K-1 circle and a Superstar in Japan, Masato!!!! sparring with The japanese wonder boy and K-1 Max champ hopefully next time,Hiroya!! Masato is on his way to retirement and this will be one of his last 3 fights before he leaves the ring for good.

Read More about the Final 16 K-1 Max 2009 Fighters here: http://www.k-1.co.jp/k-1gp/b09_0410.htm

Sadly in Singapore...We don't get much Fighting sports aired on TV. So if anyone from Mediacorp.......ESPN....Starworld...Super Sports.......if you're reading this.....GET WITH THE TIMES AND THERE IS MORE TO SPORTS THAN ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE FOOTBALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank god for the internet and this website where you can watch the latest K-1 fights,UFC and other fight shows!! Ahhhh you gotta love the internet!! So check out http://kimjudas.blogspot.com!!

Right and just as a special treat. I've got the latest fight from K-1 Max Final 16 which happened on 21st April. It's one fight that I wished happened in the final rather than the Eliminatin rounds! The fight is between Dzhabar Askerov and Giorgio Petrosyan. Im not gonna say what happens. Enjoy!!


Monday, April 6, 2009

Nikon - Care To Give Charity Campaign!

Right so if you've read my facebook status. You'll know that Im one of the Ambassadors for "Nikon - Care To Give" charity campaign. If you haven't read it yet...Well,NOW YOU KNOW! haha =)

It's a real honour for me,that Nikon has asked me to be an Ambassador for their campaign. I've always wanted to do something for charity as it's a great way to help the under privileged. Apart from all my work,training,fighting and DJing. I try to do abit of good every now and then, like how after every fight I donate money to my neighbourhood mosque and even when I was in Thailand I went with my trainers to the local mosque during the fasting month and bought fruits and donated money to the mosque. But all that is something on a small scale. This is something pretty big as Im sorta using my "STATUS" to promote a good cause. I always believe,"What goes around comes around."

So what is this "Nikon - Care To Give" all about. The link will lead you to a site where you can actually play around and make your own message for the website. Each word provided is said by a different child and you can jumble them up to make some pretty cool messages. Go on to the "MENU" and click on Supporteres and you'll be able to see the message I made.

The elected Charity for Nikon's - Care To Give campaign is the Singapore Children's Society. They were set up in 1952 and have since then reached out to more than 15,000 kids!!! The society helps children of all races and religion. They help children who are neglected,have social problems/issues, are from dysfunctional families and even those who are abused.

There will be a $1 donation to the Singapore Children's Society when you sign up to Nikon's "My Picture Town". Nikon's "My Picture Town" is a FREE online storage and sharing portal. It's very easy to use and it's a perfect site for me coz whenever I'm training in Thailand or travelling abroad and don't have all my pictures on my external harddisk I can just go online to to "My Picture Town" and send it to the promoters,booking agencies or even to the reporters for an interview if it's urgent. For every sign up to "My Picture Town",Nikon will donate $1 to The Singapore Children's Society. Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeet deal isn't it??

So I really hope you guys after reading this will sign up and help the little kids out. =) Come on people!!! It's FREE and it only takes you ONE MINUTE,and that $1 doesnt even come out of YOUR pocket!!!!


Thursday, April 2, 2009

2 weeks of all in ONE blog post!!

Hey everyone,

Sorry for not updating for so long. It's been a BUSSSSSSYYY 2 weeks. I have visited 5 cities in Thailand in 2 weeks!!! I was in Samui,Krabi,Koh Phi Phi,Trang and Koh Phagnan!!!

I was in Samui for ONE night and caught a flight out the next day to Krabi. Where I stayed and trained at Emerald Gym for a week. However upon arriving at the airport,My trainer Bangman said to me in Thai "You're fighting on Sat in Koh Phi Phi.Ok?" I was like...."WHAT?!? It's Thursday today!!!" In the end I thought whatever......been training pretty well the last 2 or 3 weeks so it should be alright.

So I accepted the fight and worked a couple of stuff with him over the next day and a half!! It's always so good to train with him. He immediately see's my mistakes and corrects me back to the way he wants me to fight. Everytime I see him he
goes,"Everytime you go back to Singapore ...You train Muay Thai but Farang style!! I always have to slow you down and work on techniques again rather than rush through 5 rounds."

Here's an older video of me training at Emerald Gym.

Saturday morning came quickly and I've had a day and a half training. Was actually abit sore even from grappling with the other Thai trainer,Petch and the owner of the gym,famous french fighter Wilfred Montagne!! We had to drive to the Pier in Krabi and then jump on a ferry that took an hour and a half to Koh Phi Phi. Upon arriving we went straight to Aswindum Stadium where I was to be fighting. They showed us the room...and it was like 3 mattress (and there were 4 of us!!!!!) and the room was sooooooooooooooooooooo hot and had a tiny fan!! So we weren't too pleased and we all decided that we'd get a room elsewhere. Eventually found a room and me,Bangman and Jason (An American Korean Guy who was staying at the camp) shared a much nicer room with a better working fan! Everyone went off to walk around Phi Phi and I decided to stay in the room to rest.

Arriving in Koh Phi Phi!!

730pm and I went to the stadium. Where I met my fighter who was called in to fight coz my opponent couldn't make it. (This was the first of many changes in my opponents!!!). Bangman was actually supposed to fight that night too,but had his fight canceled. Reason: They were scared of Bangman =) His is pretty known now in the South Thailand as he's been winning all his last fights with some nasty elbows. The promoter than says to me,"We gonna go do promotion"...this is prolly the FUNNIEST thing I've ever had to do for promoting a fight was to wear my muaythai shorts and walk around the whole of Phi Phi Island distributing flyers =) hahah Uhmmmmmm didn't help that the poster said..."SixSax from Australia" AND IT WAS A BLOODY WHITE GUY ON THE PICTURE!!!!!!!!!

SIXSAX!!! We look soooo alike!!

Got back to the stadium and by about 10pm and I got ready and saw my opponent wrapped and ready. And the promoter tells me.....There's a thai guy who wants to fight you? I was like????? Bangman said it'd be better to fight the tall guy coz he's about the same height and size and it would be a better fight for the crowd. But the shorter thai guy kept insisiting he wanted to fight me....Bangman got pissed and said,"Whatever,he'll fight either of them. See you in the ring." haha So yeah I basically had no idea who I was gonna fight til about 20mins before the fight when I see the shorter guy's trainer massaging him. Funny enough while massaging his fighter....his huge ass PISTOL gun slipped out from under his shirt and me and the boys were all like..."Ohhhh shit!!Right...maybe I should lose this fight????" but the thai guy assured us that it was for he was from the Army and was a high ranking officer. Yeah ok...that still didn't really make me any more comfortable!! haha

Getting Ready to Rumble!!

Was really not in the mood when I got in the ring. I just did a quarter of my wai kru and even realized I forgotten my armband!!...Bell went and off we went. Started out nice and easy and I kinda gauged he wasn't THAT good so wanted to take my time and pick him apart slowly.....But he had other plans!!! Next thing I know he's coming at me hard.....So I covered up and threw a couple of straight knees to keep him away. Alot of em landed but he didn't go down. So kept him away with a couple of hard left kicks and then he came at me again. Right I had enough. He dropped his guard alot so I lef loose a couple of left elbows when he punched and the 2nd one cut him open. I saw some blood...the Ref checked and said it was ok to carry on. He still kept trying to come towards me and I must have landed about 5 elbows on him and he didn't go down. There was one I hit right across his forehead and I looked at him and smiled and I was thinking this MUST cut him!! But Nope....NOTHING!!! Bloody hell........Bell goes and we're in the corner.

After some words of wisdom for Bangman. I stand up and am ready for Round 2. I try to keep my distance but he keeps pressing forward hoping to land a good punch on me to knock me out. I just throw some straight knees and same thing it all catches him but he just didn't go down!!! He gets me in the corner and starts firing straight punches and for a minute I think the crowd thought he had me. I covered up well and waited for him to stop then landed a huge elbow and a big knee into him. He stumbles...The ref tries to pull me apart but Im desperate to keep going....I get back to the neutral corner and the ref gives him an 8 count. Once the counts over I charge in and land a huge knee again to the solar plexus and as he covers up I land a HUGE right elbow on the jaw and you can hear a loud "CLUCK" sound as his eyes go back and he stumbles,I land another left elbow and he goes DOWN!! Fight was over Rd 2. =)

I was hoping to not be injured and fight again the next week in Phuket. But yeah my Elbow was sooooo sore from hitting him on the head!! D'OH!!! hahah So yeah it was party time in Koh PhiPhi and when we got back to Krabi I just trained abit on techniques with Bangman and did a couple of weights session.

During my time off from training one day. Me,Bangman with his wife and kids took a road trip back to his home town,Trang. Which was about an hour and a half drive from Krabi. Was nice for me as I got to meet his family and he took me around his favorite places. Loads of people knew Bangman coz he's one of the FEW that has made a name for himself in Muaythai coming out of Trang. There was a small Thai Boxing gym next to his house that his ex fighter,Siamchai had built for the kids. There were about 20 - 30 kids and one of the 8yr olds had to get on a bike with his dad everyday 20km just to get to the gym. Shows you how much they LOVE the sport. Then there were all these old men who would sit there and give advice and tell the boys what to do. It was really nice to see so much KNOWLEDGE and so much PASSION for the sport from all the villagers. Bangman had to train his son,Bao,as he had a fight soon. So the whole gym watched as Bangman trained Bao. Bangman does not show ANY mercy when he's training fighters....not to his other fighters in Bkk...not to ME...and definetly not to Bao!!!! After Bangman finished training his son,some of the fathers who were siting around asked him to please just do one or two rounds with their son. It was very cool to see that people respected him so much back in his small village....Bangman the superstar trainer! =) Everyone from Trang knew that Bangman was a very good trainer and loved Muaythai very very much. The stories I can tell you about Bangman are pretttttty damn cool. He left home at 12years old with very little money and against his parents wishes to chase his dream of being a Muaythai Fighter in Bkk!!

Bangman and one of the boys doign some technique before he fights next week.

After my quiet days in Krabi at Emerald Gym it was time to head over to Party town Samui again. And this time it was just pure HOLIDAYING!!! =) I was actually there for Jaymee Ong's wedding. yes thats right guys.....I can hear all your hearts cracking into a million pieces as I said that...Jaymee Ong's Wedding!!! Becky introduced me to Jaymee and Matt (her husband)...and we've known them from even way before Contender Asia. So was weird when we found out we were working on the same show =) There gonna be people from America,Singaporea and mainly Australia who were gonna be at Jaymee's wedding.

My home for a couple of months in 2004!

I managed to head over to the WMC Camp in Lamai where it was once my home for 4 months!! Some of the old trainers are still there and the little boys have all grown up. Some familiar faces and some people from the shops around the gym still even remember my name!!! I mean this was the first time in 5 years that I've been back in Koh Samui!!! So much has changed and yet still some of them still remember my name. Crazy!!

DJing at Hush on Soi Green Mango

On the Friday night in Samui I even scored myself a DJ gig at the club HUSH on Soi Green Mango. Samui is a real paaaaaaaarty town with some very cool clubs and after hours places playing some decent dance music. Tho alot of places still play the same old shittyRnB and HipHop music that I last heard 5 years ago too!! YUCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!! The DJ before me played exactly what every other DJ played... RnB/HipHop crap that was going on everywhere....I got tired of listening to him and my friends were telling me to go on ASAP....So I kicked him off the decks and soon the club started to get a flow of crowd going. Had an awesome night DJing some good proper dance music!!...Another club to add to my list. =)

So after a mad night of DJing and 2 hours of sleep...It's Sat morning and I suddenly find myself on a speed boat headed for Koh Phagnan with 25 lo
ud drunken aussies giving wedgies to whoever had anything on under their boardshorts!! (Im soooo glad I didn't have any on!!!!) The day goes by and it only gets "fun" when soon one by one started spewing and one by one started to fail the "follow the line" drunk test we had on the beach!!! Yes this was a a sign of a good bachelor party!! =) hahah

The wedding was like a fairytale! It'sgGonna be hard to top what they've done!!

Sunday left everyone unable to do much except lie by the pool and relax in the sun. Not that it was a bad thing coz the Baan Taling Ngam Resort was just BEAUTIFUL!!!! There was a Buddhist Wedding with 9 monks blessing the bride and groom on Monday which was very special for Jaymee's dad who is buddhist, and even just for the Aussies and American guys who flew over to see something different. Tuesday arrived and it was the actual wedding day,and I have to say that this wedding on the beach was one you would imagine out of a movie. Everything was PERFECT!! The music that played as Jaymee and her dad walked down the aisle,the exchange of vows...everything was verrrrrrrryyy touching. Yes yes even I had to shed a tear!!!

After the sun had set and we finished listening to a couple of touching speeches. We had to go to the beach and light paper lanterns that flew up into the sky. It was prolly the most beautiful thing seeing all those lanterns go up in the sky. Just AMAZING!! We were then seated down for a buffet dinner and had to listen to a couple more speeches. And I think Matt's brother,Reds prolly wrote one of the BEST POEMS/BEST MAN SPEECH I HAVE EVER HEARD!!! It was 3 pages long telling us about what Matt was like as a young boy and all his mischief right up til the wedding day. It was soooooo funny and best part is it all RHYMED too!! Damn he must have a lot of free time!!! This was followed up by the bride and grooms first dance. Was very beautiful to see them so happy. And to top the night off.....There were some SERIOUS fireworks!!!!!!!!! That was the icing on the cake to end an amazing night and amazing few days at the hotel!!

Leaving Baan Taling Ngam Resort was hard....but I gotta get back to the real world. It was a GREAT trip altogether,having had good training at Emerald Gym...Fighting in Phi Phi...DJing in Samui....and then the beautiful wedding to end things off. This trip is gonna be one of the best in 2009 I think!!

Until next time! =)