Friday, February 24, 2012
Old School to New School
I recently got some early 90s Shidokan full contact karate fights on VHS. If featured the top Karate fighters of that time(like Ralph Linares, Hidetso Otsu, Norm Rivard, and the late Tomaz Kucharezki). Fighters from World Oyama, Kyokushin, Seidokan, Shidokan, Kempo, Tae Kwon Do, Kickboxing, and Kung Fu squared off and fought bare knuckle karate matches. It is cool to watch because this was a time where martial artists fought hard with no dreams of becoming the next great UFC champ or making a lot of money. They just fought. A lot of guys today have the illusion that they are going to become the next Jon Jones, Anderson Silva or GSP. Or the hold out on fighting waiting for that big pay day. The great thing about the fights I watched is they were before Youtube and Google in that, these guys entered and fought. Some of them had no clue which is what makes it raw and appealing. Watching a couple of years fight shows showed Shidokan's tournament evolution of the Triathlon (Karate, Kickboxing and Grappling). What started out as a Karate tournament added gloved fighting to draws and later grappling to make all 3 required in an event. The Karate fighters gave way to the Thai boxers like Marco London who would win 4 World Opens in a row. The Karate guys who once ventured out of their own organizations went back into their own world and the fighters who would later take over were the kickboxers and MMA fighters. Hope to see the Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Kung Fu guys in the future. Being a promoter of Shidokan events and a match maker for them, I tell you it's hard to get karate guys to fight out of their element. We'll see what the future holds. But until then, I will keep looking at these fights from the past.