Lewis 1982 interview on this.........

December 5 2012 at 4:20 AM
Irishguy2012  (Login Irishguy2012)

Response to Lee Faulkner asked Bruce to participate in the first Full contact match....

From fighting, 1982 lost interview.......

Q: Were you still competing at this time?

LEWIS: Yes, but it still disappointed me that the sport wasn’t real. Going out there and just touching each other and having people say that you beat that other guy: To me, that was all nonsense. If you’re in a contact sport, the only way you can evaluate a punch or a kick’s effectiveness is to make an assessment on the results it produced. But if there’s no result, how do you judge? I just felt humiliated. I didn’t think it was fair, so I wanted to make the sport a reality. The national media weren’t dumb either. They weren’t going to have anything to do with the sport unless it was full-contact. So I decided in the latter part of 1969 that I wasn’t going to have anything more to do with karate unless it was for real.

The promoters were hot-to-trot because I was the big name then. So I told them, “I’m not going to fight anymore unless I can go full-contact.” So Lee Faulkner gave me my first full-contact match in 1970.

Q: Was that the first-ever kickboxing bout in America?

LEWIS: That’s right. But I had to find my own opponent. I went after those Shotokan guys first, the JKA (Japan Karate Association) boys in particular. Their arrogance was a little irresponsible: They resented it if you wanted to go over and fight in their closed tournaments, but they would consider it an insult if you invited them to come and fight in your open tournament. I thought they operated on that double standard long enough. I went to their best guys and said, “Hey, come out here and let’s fight in public, and let’s see what’s what.” But they told me they didn’t want to have anything to do with full-contact.

I wasn’t challenging them or anything like that, I just said, “Hey, you guys say that if it came down to the real thing you could beat me, so here’s your opportunity.” The top names in the country all passed until I came to this kid Greg Baines. He was biggest thing going then. He had beaten just about everybody. I thought he was about the best heavyweight in the US, if not in the whole world. And he was the only one who would fight me.

Bruce Lee was my instructor at that time. He worked with me for a couple years prior to the Greg Baines match. Bruce was a principle-centered trainer. In other words, he stressed techniques that adhered to certain guiding principles: good strong positioning, being able to bridge the gap fast, being explosive off the initial move, and mobility. Bruce Lee taught me how to put substance into my techniques.

Unfortunately, for several months before the match we could not work together. I had no trainer. I had no sparring partners. I came into the match basically all alone. I was working out at Chuck Norris’ karate school. I went down there every morning at 7 o’clock to work on the heavy bag, then I did a little roadwork in the afternoon.

I knocked out Greg Baines in the second round with a double right hook combination. The double right hook was one of the moves Bruce Lee showed me.

I got tired of full-contact right away because nobody in this country could fight. I felt kind of humiliated going out there and fighting guys who weren’t great athletes. They weren’t ready for me.

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  • Thanks for the interview - Anonymous on Dec 5, 2012, 3:38 PM
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