With karate moving closer to kickboxing in style, Ishii organizes the first K-1 Grand Prix at the Yoyogi Dai-Ichi Stadium in Tokyo. The event is held in a regulation-size boxing ring under the revolutionary K-1 rules, which permit punches to accommodate both karate and kickboxing fighters. A sellout crowd of 10,000 sees Branco Citatic win the first K-1 Championship. Two more K-1 events are held later in the year, and these are won by Satake and Ernesto Hoost.
Peter Aerts wins the second K-1 Grand Prix, with newcomer Andy Hug losing in his first match. In September, Hug wins a ‘revenge’ bout at the Yokohama arena, and establishes himself as one of K-1’s first superstars.
Aerts successfully defends his title at the 3rd K-1 Grand Prix in May. The following month, Hug’s native Switzerland hosts K-1 Fight Night, the rapidly growing sport’s first overseas event. More than 12,000 people watch favorite Hug win by knockout over WKA USA Champion Dennis Lane.
K-1 INTERNATIONAL RULES
Article 1 VENUE
The match shall be held in 6m X 6m square ring surrounded by 3-levels of ropes. The ring must be square shaped in order to secure the safety of fighters in case of an accident such as tumbling down.
Article 2 ESSENTIALS
Each fighter shall wear regulated gloves provided by the promoter. In principle, usage of regulated protective cup and mouthpiece is mandatory.
Each fighter shall prepare their own protective cup and a mouthpiece. Fighters must wear official protective cup specified by the promoter, and the usage of commercially available protective cups which tend to cause defect upon application, and structurally defective is prohibited. If fighters do not exercise their duties, they are not entitled to preferential treatment to remedy unfairness caused by accidents.
Furthermore, , in case fighters do not wear official protective cups, and use their own cups, a fighters may severely be penalized for delaying the fight when the cup is damaged due to an accident, or when the process of arranging a new cup to replace the damaged one is time consuming.