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The league of the strongest people in the world

The Seidokai association in Japan originally demanded two forms of training - that of classical full-contact karate, plus that of Thai and kickboxing. Though these two fields were not mingled directly, they formed the training basis for Seidokan competitors. Martial arts promoter Ishii was not happy that there were countless masters in various forms of martial arts and their associations, without any comparison ever having been drawn amongst them. "It is understandable for advocates of certain styles to believe that their type of sport is the best and strongest. However, I want to know who is the best fighter of all. We need to form a league, look for the strongest fighters in the world and to pitch them against one another. Only this way will we be able to obtain a clear answer to this question." He expressed this opinion in 1992 in various discussions with martial arts fighters, event organizers and the press.
For this reason, the full-contact K-1 League was founded in 1993 as a result of his efforts. The letter K stands for Karate, Kung fu, Kempo und Kickboxing, and the figure 1 for the strongest fighter, the number one. "We have to develop a professional form of competition, which will give the martial arts idea new meaning and become an expression for something to which the spectators can also aspire!" This ambitious vision provided the driving force for Kazuyoshi Ishii to bring in the K-1 tournaments. At the very first events in Japan, tickets were sold out within one hour and the TV ratings shot up.
Andy was able to personify the idea incorporated within K-1 in a credible manner. He became the role model for Ishii's ambitious vision. "Only if we have role models can we have dreams too", Andy once remarked in an interview. With this in mind, he wanted to set an example to young people in Japan and Switzerland of the realization of his dream. Andy and Ishii regarded the K-1 idea as an economic and cultural model for the future. Part of K-1 has been lost as a result of Andy's death.
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