PKF Kickboxing-Untold Stories
I drove 4 1/2 hours to attended Premium Kickboxing Federation IV on March 18th in Dubuque, IA. I was there to corner a first time amateur fighter and left the event with several impressions. A sold out crowd of over 600 watched a night of amateur kickboxing in what was a smoothly run event. I was told it was the first kickboxing event in over 30 years in the city of Dubuque. Had more of a family atmosphere to it than other events I’ve been to with kids competing on the card. It was noted by some that his event was largely ignored by the local press and media. What a mistake! I walked around the warm up areas and watched all the athletes, officials, and coaches. You could tell that a lot of back stories existed and would have been a gold mine for any journalist. I find it curious these combat sports events are largely uncovered by regional journalists in this and other areas. If events are covered sometimes you get win or loss stats, but rarely the story behind the stats. Is it ignorance, bias, disinterest, or stereo types?
Can you imagine some of the stories that were missed? People would have loved to know more of the background of what it took to get an event to Dubuque after that long of an absence. What kinds of things were driving the fighters to compete? I’d like to know more about the families of the kids who competed, the people who came from out of state, the Dubuque Martial Arts Group, Luke Lessei, the promoters, and more. There’s a lot of great narratives flowing out of events like this and it’s a misstep to let them go unnoticed.
Personal stories connect with people. Athlete I was cornering has been open about her mental health struggles and her journey to recovery. Has anxiety but choose something stressful like fighting on purpose. A lot of people can’t relate to celebrities or millionaire athletes. But they can relate to struggle, sacrifice, discouragement, fear, anxiety, insecurities, and challenges in life. Many of those type of human interest stories I’m sure were walking around that night sadly untold or unnoticed.
One of the valuable reasons these stories should be told is because they help others and communities at large. To read something and know your not alone in that struggle. To be inspired by what someone else accomplished despite significant obstacles. Stories are meant to be told. People are meant to connect-even if at the end of each other’s fists. Somehow that connection might result in a deeper understanding of each other. The value of the stories that have gone untold could possibly bridge gaps, create understandings, strengthen communities, education, motivate, encourage, and inspire. There is a lot out there and more people should write about it!
Hopefully journalists will start to bring to light these stories on the regional combat sports scene. If not then the combat sports people themselves should start writing. As future events take place or time passes feel free to contact me if you have a lead on a story or a feature on an Iowa athlete that should be told!