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Supercharge K-1 World Grand Prix 2009


The K-1 Final 16 Champions have battled it out in Seoul Korea for their final places. The Final 8 have now chosen their paths in the ‘Draw’ continuing towards the K-1 World Grand Prix Crown 2009 where the countries Holland, France, Curacao, Russia, Morocco and Brazil are represented. Who will be the last man standing in the K-1 WGP Final 2009?

I interviewed Jayson ‘Supercharge’ Vemoa (New Zealand) who is the Head Kickboxing Instructor at the IKO Ichigeki Academy in Tokyo, Japan. He is currently helping prepare the Kyokushin Karate World Champion, Ewerton Teixeira (Brazil) for the K-1 WGP Final 8 tournament in Yokohama Japan this December.

TP: Congratulations on making the K-1 WGP Final 8 this year which makes this your 8th consecutive time since 2002 for a K-1 WGP Final 8 tournament! Could you please tell us more about your fighter Ewerton Teixeira for this upcoming World GP tournament?

Supercharge: It’s been hard work and it doesn’t get any easier! Every year the caliber for K-1 WGP Final 8 increases, they seem to get taller, much faster, more skilful and definitely much more bigger. It’s not going to be an easy night with Ewerton’s first match up in the Quarter Final - Alistair Overeem (Holland) and if all goes according to plan a Semi-final against Badr Hari (Morocco) or Ruslan Karaev (Russia) and then a Final with any one of the 4 champions from the opposite pool - Schilt, LeBanner, Zimmerman or Bonjaskey. Not forgetting the reserve matches which brings another dimension to the tournament with the Peter Aerts vs Gohkan Saki and Daniel Ghita vs Chalid ‘Die Faust’. Ewerton Teixeira’s phenomenal rise through the K-1 elite ranks with such a short K-1 fight career has generated curiosity worldwide and we’ve been getting lots of interest from the Martial Arts community to see how much this Kyokushin World Champion has developed for the Final. Whatever happens the fight fans will be in for an exciting night.

K-1 World Grand Prix 2009
K-1 Final WGP 8 Qualifier, Ewerton Teixeira – Seoul, Korea (Compliments of K-1 FEG)
(Left to Right) Mauricio Da Silva (Brazil), Ewerton Teixeira (Brazil), Jayson Vemoa (NZ)


K-1 World Grand Prix 2009
Team Ichigeki 2009 – Tokyo Japan
(Left to Right) Ewerton Teixeira (Brazil), Glaube Feitosa (Brazil), Mauricio Da Silva (Brazil), Jayson Vemoa (NZ)

TP: How are preparations going for the K-1 World GP Finals?

We have an experienced group here at the Ichigeki Academy in Tokyo, Japan - Team Ichigeki; consisting of Mauricio Da Silva – Baboo (Brazil Kyokushin), Faii Falamoe (NZ Boxing) and myself, Jayson Vemoa (NZ Muay Thai). This year we have been fortunate to have some of my Tongan brothers from New Zealand specially come to Japan to help out for this tournament. A long time friend and stable mate, Doug Viney (NZ) – K-1 USA Champion 2007 with his helpful K-1 knowledge / sparring skills and another good friend Jonah Lomu (NZ) – All Black Rugby Legend, who visited the team to give us some inspiration. As for preparations we are preparing Ewerton Teixeira to win by points, KO or extension rounds and like everyone else who is converging to Yokohama Arena, we come to the K-1 WGP Final 8 for the Crown and nothing less.

K-1 World Grand Prix 2009
The NZ Connection – Supercharge, Jonah Lomu and Doug Viney in Tokyo

K-1 World Grand Prix 2009
Jonah Lomu with Team Ichigeki for the K-1 WGP Finals 2009
(Left to Right) Supercharge (NZ), Teixeira (BZL), Doug Viney (NZ), Baboo (BZL), Jonah Lomu (NZ), Kou Tasei (JPN), Jan Soukup (CZE), Takumi Sato (JPN)

TP: Who do you think is the greatest threat to the K-1 WGP Crown 2009?

Supercharge: Due to the particular match ups in the Quarter Finals it’s a close call and any one of the K-1 Final 8 champions has a chance to be K-1 World champion this year.

Nobody has an easy night and each match is going to be a complete war! From my experience injuries, surprise KO’s, reserve matches, long damaging fights and luck all play major factors leading up to the final. This is what makes K-1 WGP Final 8 one of the most popular martial arts events viewed worldwide.

As usual everyone has an opinion on this year’s tournament, we will just see how it plays out on the night and whoever becomes champion will have truly earned it.

TP: It has been announced by K-1 that the Kyokushin fighter Jan Soukup (Czech Rep.) vs Tsutomo Takahagi (JPN) is an opening K-1 match, could you tell us more about this.

Supercharge: Jan Soukup is another elite Kyokushin exponent that has been preparing and training K-1 here with us at the Ichigeki Academy Tokyo this year. Since his debut KO loss in July 2009 to the current (<100kg) K-1 Heavyweight Champion, Keijiro Maeda (JPN) Jan has been active and fought October 2009 in Ichigeki Brazil (San Paulo, Brazil) winning by decision. His next match against this Japanese opponent will be a good test to build his K-1 experience.

K-1 World Grand Prix 2009
A victorious Jan Soukup (Czech.Rep) with Supercharge (NZ)
Ichigeki Brazil Champion 2009 – San Paulo, Brazil

TP: It is unfortunate that we don’t get live TV coverage of K-1 here in Oceania, what is the atmosphere like for a K-1 GP?

Supercharge: K-1 Fans wherever you are can tune in on the Internet at HD.Net to watch and listen to the K-1 play by play, sharing the K-1 World Grand Prix experience with us live! In my opinion we are very fortunate to have the English speaking K-1 TV commentator from Oceania, Micheal Schiavello (AUS) more commonly known as ‘The Voice’. Schiavello brings another level to the fight game commentary by calling the shots as he sees it, precise, informative and in an exciting unique fashion. He is a brother from way back when I was fighting and he always looks after us in the commentary of K-1.

Each time I hear him commentating he makes me want to ‘Throw Down and give out the Big Kabooosh!’ (laughs).

As for the K-1 GP atmosphere, it can be summed up in the words of the NZ Heavyweight Boxing legend David Tua (NZ) - ‘O for Awesome’.

TP: For sometime now you have been a major component of Team Sefo could you tell us about Ray Sefo and his future in K-1? Supercharge: Ray is a good friend / brother and we have both shared over 20 years in martial arts together. I have the utmost respect for him with his fighting accomplishments in K-1 therefore I think it is only appropriate that Ray Sefo would be the best person to answer this question.

TP: Could you update us on any New Zealand news in Japan over the past year of 2009?

Supercharge: It has been awesome to see more New Zealand martial arts exponents here in Japan.

September 2009, I was fortunate to meet up with friend and NZ Boxing Coach - Chris Martin (NZ) to witness 2 time World Muay Thai Champion - Michelle Preston (NZ) battle out a close decision loss for a World Boxing Council OPBF Womens Boxing Crown in Tokyo.

I was also able to catch up with my former stable mate and K-1 WGP Oceania Champion 2005– Jason Suttie (NZ) before his protégé Antz ‘Notorius’ Nansen (NZ) fought a MMA bout (Sengoku 10) in Tokyo. Nansen won by 1st round KO against Horoshi Izumi (Japan) - Olympic Judo Silver Medalist Athens 2004 and Gold Medalist Judo World Champion 2005.

K-1 World Grand Prix 2009
ETK (Elite Thai Kickboxing) in Japan
(Left to Right) Antz ‘Notorius’ Nansen, Jayson ‘Supercharge’ Vemoa, Michelle ‘Pressure’ Preston, Chris Martin, Gwen Martin, Jason ‘Psycho’ Suttie.

August 2009, it was awesome to meet the IKO Kyokushin Karate NZ Team here in Chiba, Japan. I witnessed Rachel McLean (NZ) in an impressive Karate bout with the Womens Open Kyokushin Karate World Champion - Agnieszka Sypien (Poland), and saw some promising talent in the NZ Youth Kyokushin with Jordan Peters (NZ) and Hamish Roake (NZ) who placed 3rd in the Youth Colts World Championship. Also it was nice to interact and meet with leading NZ Kyokushin exponents Shihan Stephen Takiwa, Sensei Tahi Parata and Sensei Kapi Peita organizing the NZ athletes to compete at this international level.

NZ Kyokushin at the World Category Championships Tokyo, Japan.

K-1 World Grand Prix 2009
(Left) Rachel McLean –Women’s Open

K-1 World Grand Prix 2009
(Right) Jordan Peters - Youth Open

TP: Thank you so much for the update from the land of the Rising Sun - Japan, we wish you the best of luck from Aotearoa. It is good to learn NZ it is being well represented at an elite level of martial arts in Japan.

Supercharge: I always enjoy supporting the fellow Kiwi’s when they compete here in Japan, whatever the sport code. It was an amazing experience during October 2009 in Japan supporting the NZ All Blacks and their great win over our Australian rivals at the Bledisloe Rugby Cup in Tokyo. Proud to be a Kiwi!

We will see what K-1 brings this year and I would like to wish everyone a safe and enjoyable Christmas holiday season.

To keep up to date with our fellow Kiwi Supercharge go to

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