One of the greatest karatekas and kickboxing fighters of all time – Salvatore “Sam” Greco took us on a trip down memory lane. The five-time Australian Kyokushin Karate Heavyweight Champion needs no introduction to combat sports old school fans who grew up watching fighters like him, Peter Aerts, Ernesto Hoost, Semmy Schilt, Branko Cikatic, the late great Andy Hug and many more.
Greco published beautiful story, heading “The day that chainged my life!” in Instagram:
“One of the greatest moments of my martial career was fighting in The Mas Oyama Cup in Singapore. Obviously the highlight was fighting in front of the man, the legend and founder of Kyokushin Karate “Mas Oyama”. This was a very special day for me, not because of my fight but because I had the opportunity to speak to Oyama in a private meeting about moving forward to turn into a full time professional fighter. It obviously meant possibly my departure from the kyokushin organisation and a transition to Seidokaikan/K-1.”
“It wasn’t the easiest of meetings let me tell you, but I got the opportunity to put my point across as to why I was doing it. At the end of my lengthy meeting , he was disappointed but somewhat understanding as to why I wanted to turn completely professional. It was purely because I needed to earn dollars to support my family through a sport I absolutely loved. Therefore the move was critical.”
“Even though I did make the move, I was so glad and honoured I had the opportunity to discuss it with him personally and that alone will be something I’ll treasure for the rest of my life. In a written letter from Oyama to myself he wished me all the very best and still left the door open for me to return if someday I ever wanted too.”
View this post on Instagram
Note: Andy Hug and myself were the first 2 fighters/students to leave the kyokushin organisation to fulfil a promising martial arts career through Seidokaikan /K-1.
“It was a change that shocked most Kyokushin people around the world but the interesting thing was that after serval years, others would follow to join us at the top. These were the likes of Francisco Filho, Glaube A. Feitosa, Nicholas Pettis, Michael Thompson just to name a few.”
“The backbone to my success definitely started with kyokushin for many years. I could not have done it without the traditional strength it implemented into me over the years. Seidokaikan also played its part in my success by allowing me to continue traditionalism through Karatê and finally joining the K1 world stage. Thank you to everyone involved”, finished Greco.