Around the world the search has already begun to find the K-1 World Grand Prix Champion 2008.
Fighter’s dreams and aspirations have been renewed for the coming year with the best from each country competing until there is only one champion. Eliminations have begun in the European and Asian continents to see who will represent them in the K-1 Mecca of Japan.
I catch up for an update on K-1 with Jayson Vemoa (NZ) known more commonly in Martial Arts circles as Supercharge, a former World Champion and currently a top-level trainer now living in Japan.
TP: Congratulaitons! We heard you are training some new K-1 fighters from IKO Kyoukshin, and producing some very good results in K-1, could you tell us more about this.
Supercharge: So far it has been a great year with the continued support from Kancho Matsui (President of IKO Kyokushin). We have been training the boys hard and smart at the Ichigeki Academy and it is starting to really pay off well for the fighters.
Ewerton Teixeira (Brazil Kyokushin) has won the K-1 WGP Japan 2008 in Fukuoka in June and has a very promising future ahead of him definitely one to look out for.
Ewerton Teixeira (Brazil), the new K-1 WGP Japan Champion 2008 – Fukuoka Japan.
Alex Pichkunov (Russia Kyokushin) has been on fire this year, with a win in March 2008 over Chalid Arrab (Germany and the K-1 WGP USA Champion 2006) and has just recently competed in K-1 WGP Asia in Taipei where he placed 2nd, losing in the final to Ruslan Karaev (Russia).
TEAM ICHIGEKI – Jayson Vemoa (NZ), Faii Falamoe (NZ), Mauricio Da Silva (Brazil) supporting Alex Pichkunov (Russia) in K-1.
Takumi Sato (Japan Kyokushin) who fought the best fight of the night in K-1 WGP Japan 2008 in Fukuoka Japan and placed 3rd and we also have Kou Tasei (Japan Kyokushin) at only 83kg won the reserve match in K-1 WGP Japan 2008 Fukuoka.
TP: We understand you were also training Glaube Feitosa (Brazil Kyokushin)?
Supercharge: Yeah I’ve been training and preparing Glaube Feitosa from 2004 and helped him in his K-1 career until the end of 2007, getting him to 3 Grand Prix Finals. He then moved back to Brazil to start a family, so now primarily trains at the Brazil Ichigeki Academy with Shihan Filho Francisco (K-1 legend and 7th World Kyokushin Champion).
TP: Ewerton Teixeira is the 9th World Kyokushin Champion and a very big name in Kyokushin circles. Is it different training a fighter from another discipline for K-1 competition?
Supercharge: Yes it is different, new, exciting and a challenge. There have been some very long hours with hard work and the results produced have shown that we are doing something right (laughs).
To move from one discipline to another discipline at an elite level is hard enough. To master a totally different discipline in such a short amount of time is a phenomenon.
The analogy to describe it is like switching a World Class Tennis player to a World Class Badminton player in 3 months. Both are racquet sports but both are played very different. This is the only way I can explain to others what someone like Teixeira has accomplished from Kyokushin to K-1.
In saying this Teixeira has a great team preparing him here at the Ichigeki Academy consisting of fellow Kiwi, Faii Falamoe (NZ Boxing), Mauricio Da Silva (Brazil Kyokushin) and myself, Jayson Vemoa (NZ Muay Thai). We work well together and have good management from IKO Kyokushin.
Ewerton Teixeira (Brazil) and Jayson Vemoa (NZ) training in Japan
TP: Could you give me more details about Ewerton Teixeira from Brazil?
Supercharge: Basically Ewerton just won the World Kyokushin Title in 2007 and switched codes to K-1 and in less than a year has became a Top 16 Finalist K-1 fighter of the World in 2008. Here is his K-1 journey so far.
November 2007 Ewerton Teixeira wins the 9th World Kyokushin Champion Title. This tournament is held every 4 years in Tokyo Japan (basically the Olympics of Kyokushin Karate) around 80 countries represented in Kyokushin. They all fight over 3 days in an elimination bare-knuckle style tournament. Out of the 200+ elite fighters that started only 1 remains. Ewerton Teixeira (Brazil) was the last man standing and became the new Kyokushin World Champion.
April 2008: In his 1st kickboxing fight with only 3 months training he fights Fujimoto (Japan) the K-1 ASIA GP 2007 Champion also a top 16 fighter in the world of K-1 and Teixeira wins by KO.
June 2008 K-1 WGP Japan, an 8-man knockout K-1 tournament. Ewerton defeats the top fighters in Japan tournament to become Champion and qualifies direct entry to K-1 Final 16 Eliminations in Seoul Korea September 2008, where he has the chance to progress for K-1 WGP Final 8 in Yokohama Dome.
TP: How has this year been faring for NZ fighters in K-1?
Supercharge: It has been a busy year for the NZ contingent here in K-1, with NZ being represented at top level K-1 competition. Ray Sefo has recruited NZ fighters into his Team Sefo and getting them international exposure on the K-1 world circuit. Here is the update on them.
March 2008 K-1 WGP Yokohama – Super Fights – Yokohama Japan
Ray Sefo (NZ) loses by KO to Badr Hari (Morocco)
April 2008 K-1 Max WGP Final 16 – Hiroshima Japan
Jordan Tai (NZ) qualified for the Final 16 K-1 Max fighters in the world, he matched up against Artur Kyshenko (Ukraine). It was rated the best match of the night and Jordan fought really well to a draw but lost on the extra round decision.
April 2008 K-1 WGP Europe – Amsterdam Holland
Doug Viney (NZ) 5th place, he loses in the Quarter Finals by decision to Zabit Samedov (Russia).
June 2008 K-1 Max WGP Scandinavia – Stockholm Sweden
Jordan Tai (NZ) 5th place, receiving an unfortunate cut to stop the fight in his Quarter Final.
July 2008 K-1 WGP Asia – Taipei Taiwan
Ray Sefo (NZ) loses by split decision to Zabit Samedov (Russia).
Supercharge helping Jordan Tai (NZ) K-1 Max Eliminations Final 16 – Hiroshima Japan
Jayson Vemoa preparing Doug Viney at the Ichigeki Academy
TP: We have heard some rumors about you coming out of retirement to fight, is this true?
Supercharge: (laughs) I am already training and preparing the best fighters in the world with great results. In saying that, I need to keep myself in fight condition for sparring and training all these guys so if the right opportunity arises who knows.
TP: So what is next on the K-1 agenda?
Supercharge: We will be concentrating on the K-1 WGP Eliminations Final 16, September in Seoul Korea to qualify for K-1 WGP Final 8 – December 2008.
TP: Thanks Supercharge for the update, good to know Kiwi’s are represented well in Martial Arts there in Japan. For more information on current events Supercharge visit www.supercharge.co.nz