I've often thought of kickboxing as the forerunner discipline of mixed martial arts. A combination of boxing and karate, it was the real deal to me before the Gracies took it a few steps further later on.
I grew up in the 80's and got into karate at an early age where I quickly found out who Jean-Yves Theriault was. In fact, I was no less a fan of his back then than I am of GSP today if that means anything to you. I believe Theriault's career can be an inspiration to anyone training and competing in mma today. I also think anyone interested in combat sport history should at least have a minimal knowledge of what that man has accomplished in his career.
I've put off doing this fanpost for a long time now, today is the day, I hope you enjoy it.
Name: Jean-Yves "The Iceman" Theriault
Weight class: Middleweight (PKA), Light heavyweight (ISKA).
Born: January 1955, New-Brunswick, Canada.
Record: 76 fights, 69 wins, 6 losses and 1 draw (61 knockouts).
Jean-Yves Theriault begins to train kickboxing in 1975 and becomes The Canadian Middleweight Champion three years later.
In 1980, he becomes the PKA Full Contact Middleweight World Champion, a title he will defend 23 times for over 13 years.
Jean-Yves Theriault is considered by many to be the hardest puncher and kicker that the sport has ever known, knocking opponents with both hands and both feet:
The "Iceman" never trash talked any of his opponents in the course of his two decade career. I have witnessed his friendliness and humility myself when I had the honor to meet him a couple of times at karate competitions. He took time to shake my hand on both occasions and made conversation as one would with someone important. A+
He got his nickname "The Iceman" from opponents because of his icy stare and cool demeanor during fights. A truly intimidating presence in the ring.
Many kickboxers of his era had the same tools he possessed (speed and power) but very few could match his work ethic. In his book entitled "Iceman: kickboxing Legend Jean-Yves Theriault", Perry William Kelly wrote that
Theriault had a single minded determination to become champion and was prepared to pay the price in blood, sweat and tears every single day.
In 1995, after defeating Marcus Reed via K.O., Theriault decided to put an end to his distinguished career though he has since remained active in the world of combat sport. He still trains 5 days a week and teaches classes at the Therien Jiu-Jitsu and Kickboxing Schools. in 2008, he obtained his Jiu-jitsu Black Belt at the age of 53. He authored books and videocassette series on the science of combat sport. He also became an important promoter of young talents through the "Iceman Amateur Kickboxing Circuit".
Jean-Yves Theriault: Canadian kickboxing legend, Honorable Ambassador of combat sport and a personal favorite.
Cue Freddy Mercury Jokes.