Massive drums, slicing swords, martial arts masters delivering vicious body blows and bell-ringing knockout punches, a bit of bloodshed, and a guy laid out across a bed of nails with 200 pounds of flaming concrete on his stomach are just a few of the things to expect when the Tsunami XF Budo and Fight Spectacular sets up shop at the Page Youth Center this weekend.
An arena-style, rolling-thunder review of kung fu, karate, boxing, grappling, jujitsu, judo, and kendo-complete with a 24-foot steel cage and full contact Ultimate Fighting Championship-style exhibition matches-are taking over the building for three action-packed hours on Saturday, March 31. Add a bright lights show, booming sound system, and the soul-stirring primal beats of ancient Japanese taiko drummers and you get an event that promises to be an all-out assault on the senses.
Organized by area Sensei Jack Sabat, the Tsunami XF is a two-act play with the first half dedicated to expert demonstrations in various Japanese, Korean, and Chinese disciplines as well as the obligatory brick- and board-breaking session; the second half will be comprised of 6 one-on-one matches featuring fighters from Santa Barbara pitted against opponents from Ventura, San Luis Obispo, and Seattle, Washington. It is during the latter event when the show will turn from an inspirational and highly skilled display of martial arts mastery and weapons skills to a tried-and-true Saturday night fight event soaked in the possibility of bloodied and broken bodies. Sabat, who has put on arena-style martial arts shows before, promised, “The whole night is going to be just awesome.”
As an added bonus, a former pupil of Sabat’s and the current Ultimate Fighting Championship light-heavyweight champion Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell will be at the event. A Santa Barbara native who once played Vanilla Ice music as his entrance theme into a competition, Liddell has become a household name in recent years for fans of the hugely popular Ultimate Fighting Championship events. His famous “lights out” right hand and characteristic full-body scream upon winning a match have endeared him to the fast-growing ranks of Ultimate Fighting Championship followers, not to mention the fact that his technique of attack first and defend second is just plain fun to watch. A trained collegiate wrestler-he wrestled for Cal Poly-and black belt in kempo karate, Liddell trained under Sabat from the age of 12 to 25. Though he won’t be fighting on Saturday, Liddell will take the ring when he is presented with an award, on behalf of the Santa Barbara martial arts community, for his world-wide efforts promoting the wonders of martial arts.
Tsunami XF Budo and Fight Spectacular takes place on Saturday, March 31 at Page Youth Center (4540 Hollister Ave.). The event starts at 6 p.m. with exhibitions; at 7 p.m., get ready for fight night. For tickets, call 284-6630 or visit TsunamiXF.com.