Stephane Cabrera: Fighting Sports to Dimension of Art

President of the World Kickboxing Network, Stephane Cabrera recently spoke to Japanese media.

Established in 1994 the WKN, organization known by its slogan “Simply The Best”, operates on every part of the Planet. It sanctions championship bouts in all disciplines of kickboxing. In addition, the entity is an international matchmaker for numerous events throughout the world. It also plays the role of a fighter’s manager. The Land of the Rising Sun is not an exception. The WKN, headed by Stephane Cabrera, has been prominently collaborating with different projects held in Tokyo.


Early last month Cabrera traveled to Japan. He attended the sixth edition of Ganryujima. The event was the forth cooperation between two organizations. The fight show is a project of Sadaharu Tanikawa, former executive of K-1. The concept is as simple as it comes, MMA fighting. However the competitors on the cards are the athletes representing numerous national Martial Arts, rather than modern fighting styles. The shows air live on FUJI network.

During the trip the WKN head spoke to Japanese media

The Ganryujima has recently published the release on its website. Stephane Cabrera was asked to share his opinion on the concept and what he has witnessed so far.

“The first time we’ve worked together was in March 2016. With each following event, the project evolves. It gets better,” he said.

“This is due to a variety of traditional Martial Arts that along the way bring their national culture to Japan, which is [Japan] a very historical and traditional place itself. We have athletes out of Jeet Kune Do, Kushti, Sanda and even Calcio Fiorentino [an early form of football in Italy].”

Stephane Cabrera, the man credited with helping popularizing kickboxing throughout the world, looks deeper in the understanding of “what is fighting sports”.

“Japanese Martial Arts are the roots of today’s fighting sports such as kickboxing and MMA. Most [people] have forgotten the fundamental basis of these sports.”

“In this respect Mr Tanikawa’s vision has a solid philosophy. Ganryujima aims to raise fighting sports to the dimension of Art. This gives an opportunity to martial artists from all around the world to demonstrate their national disciplines to others. The events are live on TV. The audience in Japan is huge.”

In addition, Cabrera made a mention on another project that he has worked with in Japan. SEiZA – the women only Budo competition. The debut event was produced on January 19 in Tokyo. The next edition is currently in makes.

“The bouts are full contact, although it [SEiZA] is an entertainment that everybody can watch and enjoy. There is no violence, but there is charm. I think both [projects] have a potential to reach farther. Both have future.”


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