WHAT IS K-1?
The K-1 organization's governing body is Fighting and
Entertainment Group (FEG). They organize a variety of
fightsport events in Japan and around the world. There
are K-1 Regional Elimination Tournaments which qualify
fighters for the K-1 World Grand Prix,
along with licensed K-1 Fighting Network events designed
to develop new talent internationally and there is also
a 70.5kg (155lb) Super Middleweight division called
K-1 MAX ("Middleweight Artistic Xtreme").
HistoryThe sport was first formed by Kazuyoshi Ishii, a former Kyokushin karate practicioner who had formed his own organization, Seido-kaikan karate, in 1980. Seido-kaikan arranged several successful challenge events against other martial arts organizations, originally using rules based on the Kyokushin Knockdown karate rules, but gradually adapting and changing closer to kickboxing rules. In 1993 Mr. Ishii founded the K-1 organization exclusively as a kickboxing organization.
K-1 has developed into a huge event unprecedented in fighting sports with TV tie-ups.
During the progressive era from 1997 to 2000, it was a time for considering how to improve K-1 events. As the number and quality of fighters increased, the K-1 Grand Prix, originally held with just 8 fighters, has developed into a high-level convention with tough elimination rounds starting with 300 fighters.
After the recession years 2002-3, K-1 returned to excellence. The 2005 main event, the World GP Final, attracted a sellout crowd of 58,213 to the Tokyo Dome and is broadcast in more than 90 countries. 2007, a network of overseas broadcasters brought World GP action to television viewers in 135 countries.