Tomasz Kucharzewski

Last updated
Tomasz Kucharzewski
Born(1968-08-13)August 13, 1968
Częstochowa, Poland
DiedMarch 8, 2008(2008-03-08) (aged 39)
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Nationality Polish
Canadian
Height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight225 lb (102 kg; 16.1 st)
Division Heavyweight
Heavyweight
Style Kyokushin karate, Shidokan karate
Fighting out of Windsor, Ontario
Tomasz Kucharzewski
Medal record
Representing Flag of Poland.svg  Poland
Men's Kyokushin Karate
Polish National Championships
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 1988 Heavyweight
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 1989 Heavyweight
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 1990 Heavyweight
European Oyama Cup
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 1988 Heavyweight
Representing Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada
Men's Kyokushin Karate
Canadian National Championships
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 1991 Heavyweight
Men's Enshin Karate
Sabaki US Open
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg Denver 1992 Heavyweight
Silver medal icon (S initial).svg Denver 1993 Heavyweight
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg Denver 1994 Heavyweight
Men's Shidōkan Karate
US International Championships
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg Chicago 1992 Heavyweight
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg Chicago 1993 Heavyweight
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg Chicago 1994 Heavyweight
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg Chicago 1995 Heavyweight
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg Chicago 1996 Heavyweight
World Championships
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg Tokyo 1994 Heavyweight
Australian Open
Silver medal icon (S initial).svg 1998 Heavyweight

Tomasz Kucharzewski (August 13, 1968 – March 8, 2008) was a Polish-Canadian martial artist. Kucharzewski initially gained fame while fighting competitively in Kyokushin kaikan and Shidōkan styles of karate. Though greatly successful in karate, he became more involved in kickboxing during his later career. A dominating force in the ring, Kucharzewski was described by the veteran karate instructor and journalist Roger Salick as "indestructible" following his fourth (of five) International Shidōkan Championship wins. [1] He held notable victories over Glaube Feitosa and international karate champion Gerry Marketos.

Contents

Early life and karate career

Born in Częstochowa, Kucharzewski began training in karate at the age of 14. He had won three Polish national titles in Kyokushin kaikan karate and one European title by the time he was 20. He moved to Canada in 1991 and settled in Windsor, Ontario, from where he fought in an estimated 300 fights. [2] He achieved his greatest competitive success at this time, including two first-place wins in the annual US Sabaki Challenge and five consecutive gold medals at the International Shidokan Championships.

At the 1994 US International Shidokan Championships, Kucharzewski powered through opponent Christopher Harrison and knocked out Alain Grosdesormeaux with a knee strike en route to reaching the finals. The championship ended up being awarded to him without a fight, as his opponent Dontel Fleming forfeited the match in favor of hospitalization after experiencing concussion-like symptoms. [3] The following year, Kucharzewski endured a bizarre, DQ-bound single round against Soneybourne Ali before knocking out international karate champion Gerry Marketos and claiming his fourth shidokan title in a hard-fought match against Akio Kobayashi. [1]

K-1

With a substantial martial arts career already behind him, Kucharzewski accepted an invitation to K-1 - the era’s premier kickboxing organization. His initial bouts proved fruitless: he met Jean-Claude Leuyer and Lloyd van Dams at the K-1 USA Grand Prix '98 and K-1 Braves '99 events, and both defeated him with low kicks which injured his left knee. He fared considerably better at the K-1 USA Championships 2000 tournament, using substantial boxing skills to score TKO victories over American fighter Jason Johnson and future K-1 World Grand Prix finalist Glaube Feitosa. Despite a strong first round in the finals wherein he stunned opponent Andrei Dudko with a spinning back kick, Kucharzewski found his left leg under attack again and went to the canvas following two powerful low kicks, whereupon he was unable to meet the 10-count.

Kucharzewski fought twice more for K-1, his final match coming in the K-1 World Grand Prix 2001 Preliminary USA quarterfinals. After being pressed by opponent Duke Roufus throughout the first round, he suffered two knockdowns and the referee ended the fight as Kucharzewski leaned on the ropes.

Death

During the later years of his life, Kucharzewski suffered a knee injury and ceased being as active in training and competition. He was found dead in his downtown Windsor apartment by family members on March 8, 2008. Although an autopsy was performed, the cause of death was not immediately known. [2] According to Monika Kucharzewski - Tomasz' younger sister - doctors claimed that his death could have been caused by cardiac arrhythmia. [4]

Personal life

Kucharzewski was known by his contemporaries for his calm and friendly demeanor, which led Albert Mady - his coach of 16 years - to describe him as "happy-go-lucky". [2] [4]

At his time of death, worked at the Chromeshield steelmaking company in Windsor. He was unmarried and had no children. [4]

Titles

Karate

Kickboxing

Amateur boxing

Kickboxing record (incomplete)

Kickboxing Record

Legend:   Win   Loss   Draw/No contest   Notes

Karate record (incomplete)

Karate Record

Legend:   Win   Loss   Draw/No contest   Notes

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References

  1. 1 2 Salick, Roger. Shidokan's Slugfests Impress Gracie Archived 2008-12-27 at the Wayback Machine , Shidokan.com. Accessed December 23, 2008.
  2. 1 2 3 Late fighter was "Happy-go-lucky" Archived 2012-11-05 at the Wayback Machine , Windsor Star , March 12, 2008. Accessed December 23, 2008.
  3. Salick, Roger. , Salick's Karate & Martial Arts. Accessed December 16, 2019.
  4. 1 2 3 Windsor kickboxer fought at elite level Archived 2012-11-05 at the Wayback Machine , Windsor Star , March 13, 2008. Accessed December 31, 2008.