Old school kickboxers, how did you start?

Discussion in 'Boxing/Kickboxing' started by chrissyp, Jan 25, 2017.

  1. chrissyp

    chrissyp Yellow Belt

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    This is a question more for those who fought traditional kickboxing (American rules) back in the day.

    While i'm not from that era, my first boxing/kickboxing coach was.

    When he started me kickboxing, he told me I would first be learning how to box, before I could kick. To This day, I always found that a strange training method, but it retrospect, it made me very good with my hands, and gave me strong fundamentals, that when I trained at other gyms, couldn't replicate.

    My other question is, for those who were apart of that era. Did you start boxing first, or did you start with Karate? How did you go about blending training back in the day? I'm just kinda looking for a history lesson here, and wondering if anyone else was taught to "box before you can kickbox"
     
  2. frank raud

    frank raud Master Black Belt

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    My background is more jiu jitsu than kickboxing, but I did some. How did I start? Walked into a club, was getting info on different classes, someone walked up the stairs with a flock of reporters and photographers. Who's that? I ask. "Jean-Yves Theriault, the world kick boxing champion. He's our kickboxing trainer." Worked a lot on hands. Jean-Yves Thériault (kickboxer) - Wikipedia Oddly enough ,many years later I was on the grading board when Jean-Yves went for his black belt in jiu jitsu.
     
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  3. Headhunter

    Headhunter Master of Arts

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    Started with boxing but when I did kickboxing I didn't start with one or the other it was a mix of punches and kicks in combos and I started boxing first then kickboxing but now I focus more on karate but use kickboxing workout to stay in shape
     
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  4. IcemanSK

    IcemanSK El Conquistador nim!

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    I came to full contact rules kickboxing as a student at the tail end of the excitement of it. I was a Taekwondo guy & loved watching PKA karate on ESPN in the 80s. I started FC kickboxing in 1994 (the year after UFC 1 & BJJ changed what people saw as the norm of fighting for money). I initially walked into a boxing gym across the street from my dojang to work on my hands. It was much needed. From there, I went to an FC kickboxing gym run by the trainer of world champions like Marek Piotrowski & women's boxing world champ, Chris Kreuz.

    So, to your question: I had to "unlearn" kicking, by just boxing. Then I learned to incorporate my kicking with boxing. The focus of my trainer's (Kevin McClinton) philosophy was to not separate our kicking from our punching. What I mean is, too many FC fighters back in the day would throw punches & then throw kicks as separate actions. Like: "Now, I'm going to punch you...and now I'm going to kick you." Rather than making one's kicks an intentional and natural extension of one's punches. For example, Compare Brad Hefton from the 80s to Jason Robinson from the 90s (and student of McClinton)
     
  5. IcemanSK

    IcemanSK El Conquistador nim!

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    Here's a better video of Robinson fighting 80s kickboxing legend Jerry Rhome. Rhome in black/red vs Robinson in black/gold.
     
  6. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Master Black Belt

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    you might want to message one of our members BUKA. he trained and knew Joe Lewis quite well. he might have some insight.
     
  7. JP3

    JP3 Master Black Belt

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    I came up in TKD, learning to kick first, since TKD is, by habit or pattern, usually taught (erroneously in my opihnion, now) as a kick-first art.

    I didn't go first into PKA style, but into Muay Thai style kickboxing, but even in that, the instructor had me go off witht he school's main boxing coach for about 3 months, in which I was not allowed to kick at all, even when facing someone who had all their weapons to bring to bear. The main instructor was Thai, and in his English he said, basically, "You kick good. Good enough. You hands no good. Go do box for time. Box get better, then box and kick both good." And he was right.
     
  8. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    I was a karate student when a boxing gym opened across the town square from where we were. Our Karate school didn't open until the kids class started at 5 o'clock, the boxing gym was open in the morning. It was a no brainer, we joined there, too. It wasn't a boxercise gym, it was a spit and sawdust kind of place with a sixteen foot ring. It was the best of times for us, we'd train boxing all day and walk across the square and train karate all night.

    This was 1973, same year I met Joe Lewis. But Joe wasn't training us in kick boxing then, he was training us in Karate and self defense. (he was one of the best self defense instructors I've ever met) At the time, we had only been training a few years, we had so much to learn it didn't matter what he was teaching.

    Over the course of the next year our karate sparring morphed from "hands low, wide stanced, no contact kumite" to actual sparring, kind of like how we were sparring in the boxing gym. In 1974, the PKA made it's debut on network television. It was my birthday. It was pretty awesome, they were fighting like we sparred. And Joe won the heavyweight crown, and Bill Wallace won the middleweight crown. We were so excited.

    In 1976 a guy I knew became a fight promoter. He asked some of us if we wanted to fight three rounders for five hundred dollars. The rounds were two minutes long. You had to throw at least eight kicks. We thought he was kidding. Five hundred bucks? For six minutes work? For what we did for free every day? We actually tried to talk him into letting us fight two fights the same night. Five hundred bucks doesn't seem like much now, but back then it was a serious score, espeially for six minutes work.

    A side note - if you've read my posts over the years, you know I love boxing. But not anywhere near how much I love Karate. After five years or so in the boxing gym, the owner let us kick the bags when we we did bag work. This was a really big no-no in boxing circles. As time went on, some of the boxers (who we were friends with by then) asked us to spar them "using that Karate stuff". We had been waiting for this, and had been working that very scenario for a couple years back at the dojo. We knew exactly what they were expecting - that we would try to kick them in the head. Instead, we swept their feet out from under them. (We had been working sweeps forever) Then we would snap kick to the groin. They were at first furious. But our boxing trainer said, "Hey, that's how they karate spar, and you asked for it." When we would tie up in a clinch, we'd throw them. Gave them fits. To this day, never had a problem sparring a boxer, and I've sparred some good ones. There is a particular way to go about this, but it shouldn't be difficult if you train both arts. And if they're foolish enough to let you use "that karate stuff."

    That led us down a path where we learned to not let a fighter fight his fight.

    Then.....sometime in the seventies, the State of Massachusetts outlawed kick boxing. The reason - kick boxing matches were drawing a much bigger paying audience than boxing cards in Boston. Boxing's "old guard" was not happy. And a few of them had fat jobs at the state house. They pushed through a bill with the athletic commission (or whatever the athletic commission was called back then) that said (and I paraphrase here) "Kicking is dirty fighting. It will not be allowed in the great state of Massachusetts." A-holes, all of them. We were all furious. The bill was overturned a few years later, but still. (I'm actually getting angry typing this.)

    Interestingly enough, almost twenty years later, a few of these boxing people became MMA judges. And guess who taught them how to judge MMA? Yours truly. We were asked to hold some clinics. Brought in some BJJ purple belts and showed the boxing judges what the ground game was all about. And how you could be in bottom position, but might be actually controlling the fight from there. We showed them what kicking was all about - and I couldn't resist, I turned to them and said, "You know, dirty fighting."
    But we buried the hatchet, part of being professional. But I still hope they get hit by a fricken' truck.

    Anyway, that's how I started kick boxing.
     
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  9. JP3

    JP3 Master Black Belt

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    If there was an emoji for old, sage-looking dude with along beard nodding wisely, I'd insert it here.

    Here's a question for you Buka... Massachusetts to Maui? How'd that happen?
     
  10. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    You know how I'm so easily confused, they both begin with M and all that.

    Back in the day, a group of us used to go on road trips every year, leaving the day after Christmas. Lauderdale, New York, West Coast, Quebec etc. One year, maybe 73, most of us were tied up. So, two of the guys declared "We're off to discover Hawaii!" They went for a month, came back, one of them sold all his worldly belongings and moved to Maui.

    Naturally, you worry about your friends. So we all started flying out to keep the poor guy company. And brought him the supplies that he desperately needed - Bell Seasoning, Sky Bars and Marshmallow Fluff. None of which was sold on Island back then. (One does what one must for survival)

    After way too many trips, over way too many years, we moved here in 94, went back after 9/11 to fight bad guys, came back. We'll go back to Boston to visit friends every couple of years, but other than that, we aim to die right here on the slopes of Haleakala. Hopefully, you know, not for at least a couple more weeks. :)
     
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  11. JP3

    JP3 Master Black Belt

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    Nice! My wife & I've been to Maui from Texas three times, and we like that area around Kehei and Weilea a lot. Happy Hour life... it is a good time.
     
  12. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    If you come back, JP, please let me know, we'll hook up. I have the coveted days off of Tuesday and Wednesday. :)

    I'm more of an upcountry guy, don't care too much for sea level. But I do go to Wailea from time to time, some nice places for grinds. (eat) But I'll gladly show you around my mountain if you like.
     
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  13. JP3

    JP3 Master Black Belt

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    And a plan is formed. Sounds great. The lady & I are beachy types. Well, she's the beachy type and I like to be with her while she's beachy. But, we wanted to go up-slope too, just had no idea where to go. Possibly 2018.
     
  14. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    Beach....that's the thing with the sand, ya? I've lived here on an off for years. Been to one of those sandy things five whole times. And then, only to walk, or body surf big waves. (damn near drowned)

    It's much hotter here on beaches than it was forty years ago. Hotter in general, too.
     
  15. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Master Black Belt

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    See that's why I like global warming. I figure in a few more years massachusetts will be the new Florida and I won't have to move anywhere.
     
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