“Every PKA Kickboxing class is another step towards a stronger, fitter more confident you”.
Mike Haig, PKA-Kickboxing Principal
In PKA Kickboxing lies the foundation of modern ‘Contact Kickboxing’ in Europe. Holding the first tournament to use boxing gloves and to be held in the ring in the West in 1974, the PKA has become the most prestigious organization of it’s kind. Originally most participants were drawn from other more traditional Martial arts such as Karate, Tae Kwon Do or Kung Fu, but it is far more common today to find complete beginners taking up PKA Kickboxing as a fitness routine or self-defence activity. The PKA syllabus has proven an extremely exciting work out and in addition to its now established benefits as a fitness programme it has provided the training for some of the World’s most capable Kickboxing champions.
Such has been the popularity of PKA Kickboxing in the UK today that, many organisations have followed; as a full on fitness and training regime, however, there is no substitute for the original, the PKA.
Professional Karate Association (PKA) Kickboxing History
In 1973 the former World Heavyweight Champion Joe Lewis and the Senior Vice-President of Universal Studios Tom Tannenbaum conceived the idea of fully sanctioned full contact karate tournaments
It was in 1974 when promoters Mike Anderson and Don and Judy Quine came together to form the Professional Karate Association (PKA).
September 14th 1974 was the date of the first World Championships promoted by the PKA in Los Angeles Sports Arena, California. These first championships were held on a matted area and attracted enormous worldwide media interest and television coverage.
Some of the champions crowned at this event are now Martial Arts legends such as Joe Lewis, Jeff Smith and Bill ‘Superfoot’ Wallace. Already then, the term full contact karate was being replaced with what we all now recognise as American Kickboxing. Many great fighters fought through the years under the PKA with the notable inclusion of Benny ‘The Jet’ Urquidez. These fighters have now achieved immortality in the world of Martial Arts.
Mike Haig the Principal of the PKA in the United Kingdom first promoted Kickboxing in England, UK within months of the inaugural 1974 American event.
In fact this first British event was just as much a milestone for Kickboxing because it was the first time a roped boxing ring and boxing gloves were used.
In those early days most of the athletes came from traditional martial arts styles of Karate, Kung Fu or Taekwondo. Since then, American Kickboxing has evolved into its own unique art form and over the past few years has probably become the fastest growing Martial Art.
The PKA today
The PKA (Professional Karate Association) in the USA is secured by Joe Corley.
Here in the United Kingdom, PKA-Kickboxing is very much alive and growing and still headed by our Principal Mike Haig.
We are not a sanctioning body, governing body or promotional company. We are an association dedicated to delivering high quality kickboxing classes. Fighting within our association is semi contact and light continuous only.
Our classes teach genuine kickboxing and are designed for everyone, safety is paramount and enjoyment high. Sparring (fighting) is optional.
PKA-Kickboxing continues today to deliver its promise of promoting genuine sport Kickboxing, training individuals to the highest standard possible and to keep developing the Martial Art.