Master Ishii's message

Meister Ishii If you are searching for a sport that pits the planet's best contact martial arts experts against one another in combat, then look no further: You'll discover all the drama and thrills you can handle in the world of K-1, the king of fighting sports.

Powered by a swell of fan support, K-1's popularity has rocketed to dizzying heights in its native Japan. In 1999, some 60,000 fans crowded Tokyo Dome for the 7th annual K-1 Grand Prix while more than a million watched the event on television, making K-1 the fastest-growing spectator sport in the country.

This year, K-1 is taking the excitement to the world with a series of Regional Qualifying Tournaments in ten countries on five continents.

K-1 fuses centuries of tradition from martial arts such as karate, kung fu, tae kwon do and kickboxing into a thoroughly modern and electrifying spectator sport. The K-1 rules are designed to allow fighters from different disciplines to meet and compete on an even playing field, while the elaborate staging of K-1 events makes these extravaganzas a veritable feast for the senses.

Honor and respect rule in the K-1 arena, there is no grappling or wrestling and there are none of the cheap shots that mar many so-called "open" or "no-rules" fighting competitions. Instead, K-1 combatants draw on their finely-honed skills to deliver the clean punches and kicks that make this the most sophisticated and advanced fighting sport in the world today. K-1 is where you will find the finest stand-up fighters vying for the distinction of being crowned the best of the best.

You don't have to be a karate or kung fu aficionado to enjoy K-1. Many if not most of the sport's fans have little previous interest in martial arts. A host of celebrities join males and females of all ages and backgrounds to make up K-1's dedicated fan base, and the reason for this is simple: People like excitement, and K-1 delivers.

With this year's Regional Qualifying Tournaments, you'll have an opportunity to see for yourself. Chances are that once you get a taste of the action you'll be hooked, just like the millions everywhere who have already discovered the world of K-1, the king of fighting sports.


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