History Of Kickboxing

(The Hammer's Jeff Overturf World Rating from Kick Magazine)

Mike Instructor "The Greek" Demetrias Havanas

Kickboxing History
United States, Texas

What a sport! Kickboxing in this area of the country was pioneered from the early 60's to present day 1996. The earliest known of some of the great ones was probably the Joe Lewis and Ed Daniels of the late 60's.

This fight was exceptional. For me anyway, This was the first time I ever saw Full Contact Karate. In this area of the country the term kickboxing wasn't used to much to avoid any legal matters due to fact that kickboxing was illegal in many states of the United States. Hence, change the term a few rules, and there you go, you got a new sport. Anyway, Big Ed Daniels was from this area of the United States ( Dallas ). He was formidable in size and presence, His 6'8" frame had 260 pounds of raw power to use, as he did, against opponents in the point karate arena. His intensity reminded you of a real killer. Whereas, his opponent Joe Lewis was more refined in looks as well as conditioning. The fight only lasted a few rounds, but for the first time I got to see what karate would do if you didn't control your techniques. To say the least I was in awe. Joe Lewis looked like a God to me. He was a muscular athlete that could really fight. Regardless of what anyone else says that fight more than any other fight at that particular time in karate history launched American Kickboxing / Full Contact Karate. The ripple effect and impact of that event may not have started kickboxing in America right away but the seeds were planted. The students of these great Karate Warriors were the first full blown generation of Kickboxers in America.

In Dallas the first generation of kickboxers was really only one, Ed Daniels. He came from the 60's era. The other notable names of that time were Jhoon Rhee, Allen Steen, Pat Burleson, Skipper Mullins, Jack Hwang, Joe Lewis, Fred Wren, Chuck Norris, Roger Carpenter, Jim Harrison, Mike Stone, Bruce Lee, David Moon, Bill Wallace, and Ed Parker. These names dominated the karate competition circuit of the sixties and for some also into the seventies.

The seventies is where point karate had it's highest peaks of quality competitors and events. This is also the time period of another group of competitors that emerged as the cutting edge of kickboxers. First, the emergence of the second generation of point fighters. These names were a mixture of point karate and full contact karate fighters. They are as follows.

Demetrias Havanas, Roy Kurban, Bill Wallace, Jeff Smith, Jim Harkins, Pat Worley, John Worley, Mike Warren, Max Alsup, Jim Buton, Al De Cascas, Blinky and his brother Benny Urquidez. All of these fighters were the best of the best in

the point karate arena. For the majority they all attempted the transitions from point karate to full contact karate. Some of the warriors made the transitions and the others stayed in the point karate arena. This particular era of karate was the one that the actual teachers of the Full Contact Karate in America were born. The students of these great ones were the ginny pigs of kickboxing. They started their adventure as the sparring partners of the true pioneers.

In the mid 70's thru the early 80's their were some true champions and celebrities born in the infant sport of Full Contact Karate and the Point Karate Arena.

Both of the sports thrived in this era. The big guns of that time were Raymond McCallum,Glen McMorris, Billye Jackson, Zip White, Alvin Prouder, Mark Payne, Jeff Payne, Steve Mackey, Bob Thurman, Don Wilson, Dennis Alexio, Tony Palemore, Oaktree Edwards, Gene McCombs, John Moncayo,  John Longstreet, Steve Nasty Anderson, Billy Blanks, Cliff Thomas, Troy Dorsey, Jeff Overturf,

 

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John Blaylock, Kenny Wisemnan, Rob Morley, Sante Wilson, James Brown, Mike Hughes, Chuck Timmons, Tim Kirby, Steve Sosa, Rooster Machen, Ismal Robles, Sam Montgomery,Steve Doss, Mike Brynes, Norris Williams, Tommy Williams and Dale Cook. All of these students of Karate and Boxing were in fact the first full generation of fighters of Full Contact Karate.

This era of competitors set the trend and foundation for first generation of TV fighters on ESPN and other networks. Note Bill Wallace, and Benny the Jet spanned the longest careers in point and then kickboxing. They too competed in the 70's and 80's. Currently the most prolific of this era is Troy Dorsey who still competes today. He is the only person in history to win titles in both boxing and kickboxing. Also note Raymond McCallum was a world champ in both point karate and full contact at the same time. These two fighters were unique because of those acomplishments. All of these fighters were the best in thier time. They held titles, or were rated in the top ten in the world in their divisions. The students of all of the above are the current day fighters of the day.

This paper may seem more like a fact of personal history then the history of Kickboxing. However, when you think about it, this is a good personal testimony of a infant sport that has only recently been born. I have been lucky enough to have been a part of a very dynamic location, association and era of very gratifying sport. All of the names that I have mentioned above are fighters that were really good. I had personal contact with all of these legends of fighting. The common thread of all these fight is their courage and willingness to compete in all sanctions against all fighters. Also, each of their journeys through belt ranking was slow and tested in competitonin in each belt division. For the majority of these martial artist they had multiple instructors too. If you didn't have the same experience as the above, it was always there for the taking. If you want that same adventure then find these people or their students. Winners attract to winners past, future, and present.

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