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The Ax Forum
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Posted: 2006-08-19 02:11:07
I've nothing against pro-wrestlers that actually did shoot matches. Pancrase was founded by ex-shoot wrestlers, and Shooto's grappling is partially derived from Karl Gotch's teachings of catch-as-catch-can wrestling. But yeah, you're right. Too much of this showmanship and freak matches have eroded some of the foundations in which K-1 and other fight promotions sought to instill in having legitimate and non-scripted bouts. I realize that K-1 has to attract viewers, and sometimes promotions and marketing overrided what these fight sports were meant to be. However, it still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth when there are fans who understand nothing what the fighters have to go through. Rob Kaman, Peter Smit, Leo de Snoo, and all the other pioneers in the 1980's-1990's had the misfortune of not fighting professionally nowadays. You've got the WPKL, WPMF, WMC, S1, WBC, etc. to internationally promote and popularize Kickboxing/Muay Thai events. Better sponsorships, fight purses, coverage, etc. are now making Muay Thai/Kickboxing into something that crosses over from the Netherlands, Japan, and Thailand into the global world. It's true that you have to market fight sports as "consumer friendly", something which K-1 and Superleague are doing quite well with their events. Taking out the elbows is okay (I personally don't agree with it though), but for the sake of general audiences, I can understand why they don't allow them. But the more restrictions that are being placed on Muay Thai/Kickboxing, it's not muay thai anymore. It's not a question of rules and regulations, it's also about preserving an aspect of Thai culture and heritage. I admit I was skeptical that the WBC was setting up a Muay Thai division, but the fact that they are working closely with the Thai officials to maintain the dignity of the art, I was duly impressed. K-2 and K-3 were great ideas that Ishii had, but they were never used again. Many a good fighter was passed over because of the fact that they couldn't make weight and/or willing to face the dangers of competing against guys who were in totally different weight classes. Having MAX is heading in the right direction, but it's not enough.

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