Japanese Kickboxing Legend Tadashi Sawamura Dies

Sports Society

Tokyo, April 2 (Jiji Press)--Former Japanese kickboxing star Tadashi Sawamura, who dominated the world of the martial art in the 1960s and 1970s under the nickname of "the Demon of Kickboxing," died of illness on March 26. He was 78.

Sawamura, whose real name was Hideki Shiraha, was born in Manchuria, now a northeastern part of China.

He practiced karate from his childhood and later started a career in kickboxing.

In televised matches, Sawamura knocked out many opponents with his signature jumping knee kick, gaining enormous popularity.

Half of his life was featured in television anime "the Demon of Kickboxing," and the title of the program became his nickname.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press