Last week, Dutch martial arts website Vechtsport Info NL reported an official K-1 amateur event is being planned for the Netherlands.
The current K-1 ownership has primarily focused on the Japanese market in recent years, so the news of an official K-1 sanctioned amateur event in Holland was a surprise.
I reached out to Mr. Willem-Jan Verdonk, the Dutch fight manager who is organizing the event.
Mr. Verdonk took the time to share more information with us.
KickboxingZ: You deal mostly with professional kickboxing-managing, matchmaking, that sort of thing.
What made you decide to organize an amateur event involving K-1?
Next to the management of professional fighters and my work for Glory I am National President of the ISKA in the Netherlands. The ISKA is one of the biggest associations worldwide concerning amateur tournaments. A while ago already I had the idea to organise an original K1 Amateur tournament in the Netherlands. This because the Japanese K1 is still the non plus ultra dream for young fighters. Most of the famous K1 fighters came out of the Netherlands. Now we will organise a huge event with the two most recognised things in the world concerning fighting sport: The K1 and the Netherlands! That was the main idea behind it!
KickboxingZ: The current K-1 ownership has focused primarily on the Japan market, and hasn’t really had a big presence in Europe recently. Was it a difficult process to get official approval for the event?
It took me over a year before I got the permission to organise it. It was very difficult to convince people that it would be a great deal to have the K1 for youth in the Netherlands.
KickboxingZ: This will be an amateur tournament featuring youngsters under 18. If the event runs smoothly, are you hopeful of doing more work with K-1 on amateur or even a professional event in the Netherlands?
Yes for sure but now we will act if this will be the only K1 event for youth which will ever take place. It’s the first and only officially K1 event for youth worldwide! So first let’s do this right and than we will look to the future!
KickboxingZ: One of the big problems for K-1 has been unauthorized use of it’s name and logo. Events in England, Poland, Romania, and many other places use the name or logo without permission. I understand K-1 is taking steps to protect their intellectual property. Do you have any updates on this matter?
I know about it but I don’t know the steps which will be taken exactly. I think it’s a good thing that the K1 is taking steps to protect their intellectual property. A lot of fighters think they are a sort of K1 champion but don’t realise that there never was an official K1 tournament next to the official one with the Japanese logo. Our tournament now will be the first chance for youth fighters worldwide to get an OFFICIAL RECOGNISED K1 Champions Belt ever!
KickboxingZ: I know you’re always looking for fighters for events. If any professional fighters, trainers, or managers, want to contact you to help them get fights, how can they contact you?
Of course. They can send a WhatsApp on +3118313023, write me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or write me on Messenger
KickboxingZ: That’s all the questions I have at this time. Is there anything else you’d like to say or anyone you’d like to thank?
There is just thing what is important now to make clear for all young fighters worldwide. Realise that this maybe will be the only chance EVER to be a real official K1 Champion! Take your chance, don’t miss it!!
(Note: the use of the K-1 logo in this article was for illustrative purposes. Any trademark or copyright infringements are completely unintentional)