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Saturday Night Is Fight Night At The Kamikaze Club

By: Angelina Esparza

Date Posted: 2000-06-23

The gloved fighters enter the dramatically lit rink. In the darkness a crowd of smokers and fans fill the air with enthusiastic profanities and cheers. The bell is sounded and a moment of silence begins the fight. Attempted jabs are traded and an exhaustive scrambling of limbs provokes the ref to cut in. The fight is re-established and the crowd responds to the slapping of decent kicks and cringes to the blows on the face. Finally a tired bloody body falls to the ground and the victor is decided.

Witness Blood Sport in real-life at fighting stadium Kamikaze (named after WWII suicide planes-Wind god). Located on the third floor of the Chatan Palm Springs building, this gym hosts an amateur kickboxing fight night the first and third Saturday of each month. Owner Kouki Kawama, also known as Mr. Kamikaze opened the place in early November of last year. With the intention of creating a barrier-free atmosphere for Americans and Japanese, he has organized a recruiting system in which he welcomes anyone with a kickboxing background to sign-up for a match.

A typical fight night program begins with a couple of fights between a Japanese and American fighter. The judges sit at the rink-side while the referee calls the fouls in the rink. The half-time entertainment is a selection of martial arts demonstrations by karate title-winners. One freak demonstration includes a veteran black belt breaking a bottle with his kick, chopping a bat with his hands and cracking layers of tiles with his head. With bilingual narration, the show proves a great crowd-pleaser for both cultures.

Services Include beer, soft drinks and snacks sold at the front counter, while foods and drinks may not be carried in. Although it is a relatively small stadium the seat arrangement includes a VIP section for large groups and a waiting lounge in front of a TV display for the pre-show customers. Reservation tickets cost 2,500 or $25 a piece and can be purchased at (098) 936-0781. At-the-door tickets are 2,000 or $20 and the seat distribution is on a first-come first-serve basis.

For those Bruce Lee fans who are eager to get more personally involved, a new feature is under construction at the Kamikaze. A K-1 school is opening, in this month of June, to instruct beginners and intermediates of all age groups, both kickboxing and karate style fighting. Among the advanced instructors Mr. Kamikaze himself will train people for 3,000 a month or 300 a lesson. Prospects can sign up at the gym for the 8pm classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Don't miss the next fight, scheduled on Saturday June 17th from 8pm. For more Information on future events and classes call Kamikaze at (098) 936-0781 or the Maki-Dojo at 926-2523.

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