ATLANTA, GA. – PKA WORLDWIDE, the legendary pioneers of American-style kickboxing, have added another blockbuster hire to their all-star team, as kickboxing and martial arts legend Jeff Smith has officially joined the company as the President of Sports Operations.
One of the most sought after instructors in the world, Smith’s role will see him in a key position recruiting and developing the striking talent that will compete for the revitalized company led by CEO Joe Corley. With his decades of experience in competition and as an instructor, Smith will be vital in helping in overseeing the operations that will lead directly to non-stop action for fans.
“I’m honored to be at the forefront of PKA WORLDWIDE’s return to their spot on top of the kickboxing world,” said Smith. “We’ve made it loud and clear that we’re searching for the world’s greatest strikers, and with the team we have on board here, I know that we’re in a position to deliver the competition that sports fans are clamoring for.”
“Jeff’s expertise is second to none and we’re thrilled to have someone as widely revered as he is helping to lead our venture back into kickboxing,” said Corley, who is often credited as one of the founding fathers of modern-day MMA. “As we near our first event, Jeff will be critical in putting fighters in the best possible position to deliver memorable bouts again and again. With the moves we’ve made so far, fight fans should be confident in the imminent return of kickboxing’s glory days.”
Before becoming a seven-time PKA World Champion, the Kingsville, Texas-native Smith put together a sensational run in Taekwondo that led to him winning the first ever Bruce Lee Award for Fighter of the Year and eventually induction into the Taekwondo Hall of Fame in 2007. When PKA debuted in 1974, Smith became their first Middleweight champion, defending the title successfully seven times. During his run as champion, he defended his title on the undercard of 1975’s “Thrilla in Manila” trilogy match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, in an event seen by over fifty million viewers.
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He finished his full contact kickboxing career with a 21-1 record, including seven knockouts before transitioning into his career as an instructor. His coaching resume includes a 10-year run as the coach of the WAKO World Champion United States Karate Team, winning world titles in all 10 years. He went on to operate a series of martial arts schools in Virginia and was eventually promoted to the rank of Grand Master (10th degree black belt) in 2016. He also serves as the Director of Instruction for Mile High Karate and COO for Martial Arts Wealth Mastery, a nationally recognized martial arts consulting company.
“With my years of experience competing in PKA, combined with decades as an instructor, fighters competing for PKA WORLDWIDE can expect to have all the tools they need to reach their full abilities as competitors,” added Smith. “This is just the start of what I’m confident will be a sustainable system that benefits the kickboxers and kickboxing fans alike for years to come.”
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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