G.K.E. – Global Kombat Entertainment
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Duncan Airlie James is Scotland’s most successful, ever competitive prizefighter! He engaged in various of the “styles” of combat ringsports, namely – KICK BOXING, THAI BOXING, and MMA – MIXED MARTIAL ARTS. He has been actively involved in the martial arts for over 30 years, starting in Shotokan Karate at the famous Budokan Dojo, in Candleriggs, Glasgow, and going on to engage in various other martial arts.
For most of his martial arts career, he has specialised in the full-contact arts and training methods, primarily those in which he competed, but he also explored many other non-sport martial arts and systems of Personal Self Defence and Protection, and continues to do so!
In the late 80’s, Duncan had begun to compete in very general, low level domestic fights and matches. He soon realised that competitive fighting was something he loved, and by the early 90’s he was getting serious offers of matches and title fights.
So, in 1993, Duncan became the first Scotsman to win a genuine, recognised International Kickboxing title when he beat Lee Hasdell of England, by first round T.K.O. for the W.K.A. – World Kickboxing Association, Commonwealth, Thai Boxing title at Super Light Heavyweight. After successfully defending that title, he vacated it and moved up to the Cruiserweight division.
In September of 1995, Duncan got the chance to fight for a WORLD Kick Boxing title of the new W.K.O. – World Kickboxing Organisation (now defunct). He fought Hassan Babchi of the Netherlands and won by 1st round knockout, becoming WORLD Cruiserweight Kick Boxing Champion, and the first, ever Scottish WORLD Kick Boxing champion in the process!
A couple of lean years followed, his focus and desire wavered, and Duncan questioned if the life of a full-time fighter was what he wanted. After some major soul searching, he refound his drive and commitment! In 1997 he won the W.K.A. “Quest”, 8-Man, Cruiserweight, Kick Boxing Tournament, in spectacular style, knocking out Paul Senior of England in the Final ! And then, after a couple of general fights, in June 1998, Duncan challenged for and won the I.S.K.A. – International Sport Kickboxing Association, WORLD, Thai Boxing, Super Cruiserweight title, beating the French fighter Christophe de Tholomaise on points, and thus became the first, ever, Scottish, WORLD Thai Boxing champion!
His desire and commitment were truly back! 1999 saw him move up to heavyweight and travel to Japan to fight in the prestigious “K-1” events, the biggest and best fighting sport events in the World. He fought 3 times in Japan, against – Musashi in Tokyo, Yoji Anjo also in Tokyo, and Nobuaki Kakuda in Sapporo, and became quite popular in that country, with major media interest towards him, being the first Scotsman ever to fight on the K-1. His famous tartan shorts were a major point of interest to the Japanese fans. Of course, they were also of great interest to many other fans around the World!
In 2001, he won 2 major titles. In April of that year, he won the W.K.A., International, Super Heavyweight, Kick Boxing title (by 1st Round K.O.!). And then, in the middle of the year, Duncan won his third WORLD title, when he knocked out the well – known French fighter Stephane Reveillon (also by an awesome 1st Round K.O.!), to win the WORLD, Heavyweight, Thai Boxing Title of the W.K.N. – World Kickboxing Network.
2002 saw him unsuccessfully challenge for more World honours, when he lost a very close decision to the top Belarus fighter Sergei Ivanovich, on a big show in Scotland for two major World titles – the W.A.K.O.: Pro – World Association of Kickboxing Organisations and the I.S.K.A., World, Heavyweight, Thai Boxing titles.
But, in late November of 2003, Duncan was offered the opportunity to again challenge for, the W.A.K.O. : Pro, WORLD, Heavyweight, Thai Boxing title, in Palermo, Sicily, in Italy. Putting in an awesome performance, Duncan won with a superb 2nd Round stoppage of the young Italian – Angelo Grenata, making Duncan a four time WORLD Champion!
In the last years of his competitive career, Duncan added more World titles to his achievements. In May of 2005, Duncan fought the excellent, young Hungarian fighter Tibor Nagy, in Glasgow, Scotland, for both the W.P.K.A. – World Professional Kickboxing Association, and the W.K.F. – World Kickboxing Federation, WORLD, Heavyweight, Thai Boxing titles. He won by unanimous decision, and were his 5th and 6th WORLD Titles.
Duncan retired from competitive fighting at the end of 2006, when a bad shoulder injury actually during the fight trying to win the World titles of the W.P.K.L. – World Professional Kickboxing League, and the K.L. – Kombat League, saw him lose to Daniel Waciakowski of the Czech Republic. He attempted a short comeback in 2007, aiming to end his fighting career in a more positive way by challenging for another major World title. But it was not to be.
Duncan fought on many events all over the World – USA (5 times), Japan (3 times), Europe (5 times), New Zealand, Canada, and elsewhere, and will always be remembered as the tough, hardcore, honourable “Lion Rampant” in the tartan shorts, that he was.