(Photo courtesy of God Bless the Ring)
How do you know that a sport's popularity has reached a new level of critical mass? An encyclopedic book used as a college textbook is probably a good indication.
Branko "The Croatian Tiger" Cikatic, who became the inaugural K-1 World Grand Prix tournament champion in 1993, has authored the official K-1 bible, "The Way to the Top K-1."
Regarding the impetus behind the book, Cikatic commented, "K-1 is the most popular sports in the world. The book has come about because I wanted to summarize the history of K-1 since the early '90s. Chronicling the history of the sport is a meaningful endeavor."
"The Way to the Top K-1" begins with an introductory section titled, "What is K-1?". The book subsequently covers the history and various attributes of K-1. In addition, it includes sections expounding on effective training methods and the issue of doping with a large number of photos and detailed illustrations.
The book has apparently gone on sale and been used as a textbook on some college campuses (no word on which country this has happened in, but presumably some European countries, including Cikatic's home country of Croatia); it is expected to be translated into Japanese and hit the Japanese book stands in near future.
Who wouldn't want to get up fto go to a 8AM lecture for K-1 101?