Monday, December 31, 2007

Warriors Collide - My World Shifts

Warriors Collide 2
I had never before been to see a fight. In fact, other than some friends taking me as a lark to see some "professional wrestling" in 1985, I had never even considered going to see a fight. I had a brother who, when travelling in Thailand (also in the early 80s), went to see some kickboxing for "local color". In short, seeing a live boxing match seemed something that I was destined to never do.

But two women that I train with (Heather & Laura) launched themselves in 2007 into organizing local amateur fights. So on a Saturday afternoon, I decided to go to "the fights". I got online to Ticketron, picked best seats available, and gave it my credit card. It was Sept 8th, 2007.

At 7pm, we (my honey and I) arrived at the War Memorial Auditorium in Ft Lauderdale for Left Hook Productions: Warriors Collide 2.

First thing, I knew some people. As I entered, there was Ed & Jennifer working a merchandise desk out front. As we found our seats, I greated another half dozen people that I knew from the dojo. Cool. I seemed to know more people here than I do anywhere else in Ft Lauderdale.

Second thing, our seats. We were ringside! I looked at my tickets and it turns out, I had paid $50/seat (or something) and we could see every detail. When they started to fight, we could see the sweat pouring off them and sometimes, we got sprinkled.

Third thing, it was really really cool to watch the fights. There were about 14 fights on the card that night. All amateur. Fighters from Miami, the West Coast of Florida, and Orlando. The matches were mostly "oriental rules" (which I can't find a copy of online and which were NOT explained n the Program) which seems to mean:
  • Hitting and kicking are OK including kicks to the legs
  • Knees to the body are OK but no knee strikes to the head or groin
  • The fighters wear headgear, gloves, and shinpads (and cups presumably)
  • They can grapple standing up
  • They get points for take-downs but the ref immediately stands them back up
  • Most fights were scheduled for three fights, three minute rounds. There was one championship match which was scheduled to go five rounds
The fights were mostly great matches with someone from Left Hook Productions (Larry Borden?) having done a great job of matching people not just by weight but so that the fights were pretty even matches. In some cases, the fighters got exhausted by the end but they both seemed to slow down evenly. Some of the matches were stopped (TKO - technical knock out) by the referree. None were boring.

Fourth thing - I knew really alot of people. My fiance's hairdresser had a friend who was fighting that night so there were ten people that she knew from the the salon crowd. There were alot of parents of friends of my kids. I probably knew about 30 people from where I train. To top if off, I took a look at the guy that they had for security and I knew him too (his name is Steve and he's a body builder with a day job in my building).

Last thing - I had a great time. For me, it was a bit of a world shift. For the first 49 years of my life , I had not liked watching fights, not even on TV. But this night was a shift for me. Maybe because it was amateur and not too violent. Maybe because I had trained in MMA and had a sense for the sport. Maybe it was just weird to show up and find that I knew dozens of people there.

For whatever reason, I'm now really into watching the fight. I left looking forward to the next Warriors Collide. Kyoshi (Steve Lavallee - the head of my school) had shown up apparently to assess whether this was something that he would encourage his students and staff to participate in. I think he will so I'm looking forward (with some trepidation) to seeing some people that I know in the ring.

The fighters were from the Bears Den, American TKA, Atemy Ru Jujitsu, Team Mumfort, US1 Fitness, Ameican Top Team, Freestyle Fighting Academy, Xtreme Marshall arts, FFA, Round 2 Kickboxing, Hammer Gym, ATT, Inferno, American Top Team, and Team Popovich. The Headline Fight was the ISKA Heavy Weight Championship fight (Chris Decaro vs Eric Rivera)

Fights found online from Warriors Collide 2

Joe Ray Part 1

Joe Ray Part 1

Warriors Collide 1 - Video Collage


Kicksboxes Rick said...

Hey great blog, and a nice post.
It's good to hear from people that go to fights for the first time and really enjoy themselves. I think kickboxing (and MMA) sometimes get a bad rep, mostly becuase of the media and movies... everyone thinks it's going to be "Bloodsport" or "Mortal Combat"!

Amature fights can be a whole lot of fun to watch.

Best of luck with your training and with the blog.



Anonymous said...

Here are the ISKA Rules, including the Oriental Rules.

BTW - I love your blog. Why don't you put up the self defense write-ups and videos? JK