This is a great resource for the origins of K-1 posted on another forum by the K-1 all knowing......... boobs or ( o Y o )..............................
During the time when the UWF gained enormous popularity among the young, Mr. Ishii made his karate contests professional nationwide like the UWF. Cross fighting matches were held in which Masaaki Satake and Nubuaki Kakuda who belonged to Seido Kaikan entered the ring against professional fighters from kickboxing or “RINGS.” When the time was ripe, the K-1 Grand Prix was held to determine who was the strongest in all fighting sports.
At that time, there were many world champions only in (one) standing fighting sports. The concept of K-1 was to hold a one-night tournament bringing together all the world champions to determine who was truly the strongest. Consecutive knockouts with a single blow from heavy weight fighters created a big sensation. For this reason, the K of K-1 is sometimes mistakenly thought to be the K of knockouts.
The aggressive fighting terrified fans who were normally accustomed to watching professional wrestling or boxing. In this way, K-1 shocked the world of fighting sports to become widely rapidly known world wide as an international sport from Japan.
In particular, the concept attracts many fans. They want to watch the concept of the strongest. For this reason, K-1 should not be the place in which one champion in one genre, kickboxing, is decided. It is the place in which cross fighting matches are held between karate fighters and kick boxers or between boxers and Tae Kwoon Do fighters under K-1 rules. Unlimited matches like this have caught on.
When unlimited cross fighting matches are held, unfair conditions are inevitable. For example, a kick boxer has a greater advantage over a karate fighter under K-1 rules, as they are similar to kickboxing. And K-1 doesn’t have weight divisions, so heavier fighters have more advantage over lighter fighter(s). However, it is this unfairness that has enhanced the popularity of K-1.
A typical example is Andy Hug. He was small in stature for a K-1 fighter and unaccustomed to K-1 rules because of his karate career. However, fans tend to side with the weaker in unbalanced matches. Actually, Andy made great efforts to purse revenge even if strong opponents like Peter Aerts, Ernesto Hoost, or Mike Bernardo knocked him out many times.
The word, revenge become a fashionable new word because of K-1. It is because the drama in which a fighter recovers again and again in spite of so many defeats, make K-1 so attractive. In other words, K-1 is an epoch-making sport genre directing a spotlight on the weak as well because of the unfair conditions of cross fight matches.
This is why a champion of the K-1 Grand Prix has not played host to the most popular world. For this reason, Mr. Ishii still provides imbalanced matches between Jerome Le Banner and Gary Goodridge or Ernesto Hoost and Bob Sapp instead of creating a match between two fighters on the same level. This is the reason why the match making overwhelmingly appeals to fans rather than K-1 fighters fighting each other.
This concept of K-1 is the method which is never seen in other fighting sports such as boxing. During the early days of K-1, there were strong fighters such as Peter Aerts and Ernesto Hoost, and weaker fighters such as Andy Hug and Masaaki Satake, who made K-1 more dramatic. The emergence of boxer-like fighters such as Mike Bernardo and Jerome Le Banner into the situation made K-1 matches even more diverse. Andy’s championship in '96 was the curtain fall of the K-1 pioneer days. The attractive K-1 sport genre developed into the social phenomenon. - Sadaharu Tanikawa, Chief Editor of SRX-DX*
What do you expect? The comedian is dead.