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Star-Bulletin Sports

Tuesday, March 28, 2000

E X T R E M E _ F I G H T I N G

Promoter wins
another round in
battle with state

By Pat Bigold


Super Brawls promoter T. Jay Thompson left Hawaii in 1997 after legislation was passed banning his events.

But Thompson, who took his extreme fighting shows to Guam and Iowa, returned to the Blaisdell Center without opposition in 1998, and he hasn't budged since.

Officials at the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, the only agency charged with enforcing the law against high-risk ring combat, said then it had insufficient evidence to hinder Thompson's enterprise.

Thompson said that the department couldn't touch him because changes had been made to the Super Brawls format which made his events as legal as any boxing event.

The agency has yet to apply against any promoter the law's penalty of a $10,000 fine and revocation of the promoter's right to do business in Hawaii for three years.

Last week, Thompson won yet another round in his battle with the state over staging the Super Brawls.

A Senate committee's attempt to amend Chapter 440D of the Hawaii Revised Statutes died a quiet death. It would have required Thompson and other extreme fight promoters to submit their rules and format to the Department of Commerce and Consumer Protection for review before each event.

State Sen. Brian Taniguchi, who co-chairs the senate committee, said the intent was to save the promoters the expense of bringing in their competitors and then finding out the event is illegal.

Thompson said there was much more than that to the bill.

"The bill clearly outlawed any martial art other than tae kwon do, karate, kenpo and judo," he said.

Thompson said his Super Brawls incorporate pankration rules combat, which he says is a martial art dating back to the 33rd Olympiad.

"We already submitted our rules to the DCCP," said Thompson. "They subpoena them before each event, as well as fighter contracts, medical records, and an unedited video tape of the event."

Thompson, who said he'll stage his "biggest event yet" on April 15 at the Blaisdell, promises to propose a bill in the next legislative session that would give the sanctioning bodies for Super Brawls full authority to regulate the event within Hawaii's borders. It would eliminate any state agency from overseeing the fights.

"This would ensure the safety of the participants without having to spend the taxpayers' money creating a new martial arts commission or overburdening the already overworked boxing commission," said Thompson.

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