WEDNESDAY, June 1st, 2016, AT 1:45 PM/ PST

The IKF Has Always Stood For

And Was One Of The FIRST USA Sanctioning Bodies To Do So...

IKF Pro Muay Thai Middleweight World Title
Defended it 4 times, retired,
then won it again ON November 10th, 2000.

It doesn't take a brain surgeon to answer the question if or not the IKF had Muay Thai in mind when the IKF was created back in 1992. A quick look at the first IKF logo (Left) answers this question right away. However, for some, maybe medical school is required...

When the IKF was created as the International "KICKBOXING" Federation, things here in the USA were looked at a little differently than they are today. Back in the early 90's here in the USA, "MUAY THAI" was known as a "STYLE" of Kickboxing. So when the I "K" F was created there were 3 different "STYLES" of KICKBOXING. they included,


The word "Kickboxing" was like saying United States and the "STYLES" under the term "Kickboxing" were like saying, California, Iowa, Florida, etc. etc.

Everyone remembers the movie "KICKBOXER" - (CLICK HERE) a movie about what style? Muay Thai... As for the NAME, all of us here at the IKF laugh whenever we hear people today say, "Well IKF is KICKBOXING, because it's the "International KICKBOXING Federation so they don't know about Muay Thai..." Not only is such a comment ignorant, but it's also insulting to an organization that has fought hard to legalize the style of Muay Thai in many states around the USA.

So when these same people are asked by us if they like what the WBC has done for Muay Thai, by name recognition alone, of course they say "Yes"... Then we remind them what WBC Stands for, World "BOXING" Council.

Same with other organizations and promotional companies such as long time promoter Dennis Warner of Southern California. Warner's WCK Muay Thai is also not what many think, but few even notice it either. WCK stands for "World Championship KICKBOXING". But it doesn't stop there. Take for example the WKA which started out as the "World KARATE Association" which they later changed out Karate for the word Kickboxing to be an accepted sport to oversee Kickboxing in New York and also become a bigger player in the sport of kickboxing worldwide. In fact, the WKA was one of the very first USA based sanctioning bodies to sanction "MUAY THAI" while still under the name, "World Karate Association" and eventually, the "World KICKBOXING Association".

How many here remember when current MMA Promoter (Belletor) Scott Coker use to promote Kickboxing? His "Strikeforce" promotional company promoted something far different before it made headlines as an MMA Promotion in the mid 2000's. Back in the 90's Strikeforce was known well as "Strikeforce KICKBOXING", which in it's later years before it started promoting MMA, featured the "STYLE" of Kickboxing known as "MUAY THAI".

Now, add to this the Muay Thai organizations that also sanction not just Muay Thai but also MMA and even Boxing, such as the USMTA. Other "Kickboxing" sanctioning bodies have also added other rule sets to their letters and sanction Kickboxing, Muay Thai and even MMA.

Look at some of the other well known "Karate / Martial Arts" organizations that don't even have Kickboxing or Muay Thai in their name at all, that have done very well in these sports such as the ISKA, International Sport KARATE Association, which like the WKA, also changes the word KARATE for KICKBOXING when needed.

It's all a play of letters and words. What's important to those fighting for a title is that the title is well recognized so if they win a title under a certain set of letters and use the title letters in their future resume, people will know who the organization is and with it, the value of the title itself.

Back in 1999 when the IKF started the IKF Tournament program (CLICK HERE), keep in mind Muay Thai was "NOT" at all popular here in the USA. However, we still included it in the selection of Rule "STYLES" fighters could register in to at the first IKF Tournament, the 1999 IKF/RINGSIDE USA NATIONAL AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIPS which was held over the weekend of September 3rd, 4th & 5th in Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA.

That first year, of the 33 Champions crowned that first year, 15 were Muay Thai Style Champions. They included some names that became pretty big in the sport proving themselves by "Walking the Walk" at the very first "OPEN" National Amateur Championship Tournament.

They included:

  • Anthony Kindel, Junior Light Heavyweight of Milwaukee, Wisconsin/.

  • Hawk Chhim, Featherweight of Modesto, California.

  • Nat McIntyre, Lightweight of Brooklyn Ctr., Minnesota.

  • Dan Rawlings, Super Lightweight of Euclid, Ohio.

  • Christopher Tyre, Light Welterweight, Camp Pendleton, California.

  • Joey Corro, Welterweight of Chicago, Illinois.

  • James Downey, Super Welterweight of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

  • Duane Ludwig, Light Middleweight of Denver, Colorado.

  • Harvey Grasse, Super Middleweight of South Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

  • Brian Fowler, Light Heavyweight of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

  • Brad Fowler, Cruiserweight of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

  • Jason Johnson, Heavyweight of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

  • Ryan Quendensley, Super Heavyweight of Omaha, Nebraska.

  • Angela Rivera, (Eventually Angie Parr ) Flyweight of Hespeira, California.

  • Lisa Morrison, Women's Super Lightweight of San Diego, California.

So for all those out there who still don't think the IKF has played an important role in the development of BOTH Kickboxing AND Muay Thai, look at what the IKF has done to grow "MUAY THAI" in California alone over the last 2+ years. On March 17th, 2014, the California State Athletic Commission officially delegated to the IKF the exclusive authority to regulate Amateur Kickboxing & Muay Thai in the State of California. Since this delegation, the IKF's work in conjunction with the Teamwork of promoters, officials, trainers and fighters took the Amateur portion of these sports from less then 15 events the year before to over 40 the first year, 60 the second year and on pace for even more for our third year. This rapid growth rate has never been seen in any state or region anywhere in the USA or in ANY Nation worldwide. ALL of us in California alone can be proud of that we "ALL" accomplished.

Lets all continue to rise the water of not just Muay Thai, but Kickboxing too around the USA and around the world because the growth of one can only help the other...

The Look of the IKF Logo...

The IKF Logo was obviously the most important piece in regards to recognition for the IKF. The logo had to express to everyone and clearly define what the IKF was all about. It had to be recognized by everyone and it had to include the name as well as recognizable figures to relate to the sport in question. A kicker and a boxer to relate Kick - Boxing. However, what kind of kicker? A Muay Thai style fighter would leave out the work of a full contact fighter while a full contact fighter may leave out the Muay Thai fighter. The choice was made to be a Muay Thai fighter in a traditional Muay Thai position facing a Boxer dressed as a Full Contact style fighter. The globe expresses the seriousness about becoming internationally recognized. Finally the shape was a question. It had to be a unique shape, not a traditional circle, but something that would make a proud medallion on a title belt. The answer in this first version of the IKF Logo was a Diamond...

Although the IKF Logo has had a few changes over the years,
one thing has remained the same...
The Representation of Muay Thai!

Julie Kitchen
(Cornwall, England, 52-9-0-1)
Won her IKF Pro Muay Thai Super Lightweight
World Title on May 9th, 2010.

Movers & Shakers Of That First Year And Beyond L-R: Mick Doyle, Steve Fossum, Dan Stell
Marshall Hamel, Brooks Mason, Ricardo Sanders
Duke Roufus.

Naruepol Tong-Vam " Naruepo Fairtex " of Fremont, California, USA,
Via Bangkok, Thailand,183-46-5/54, 164, 5'11", won his IKF World
Title on May 27th, 2018 in Oakland, CA, USA when he defeated Eddie
Farrell (Phuket, Thailand, Via Gold Coast, Australia, 20-7-2)
by TKO (**CUT) at 1:17 of round 5.

September 3rd, 4th & 5th, 1999
Harvey's Casino Hotel, Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA