"Here is my story: In the early 1990’s, I was taking private martial arts lessons in San Pedro from a man by the name, as we know him, Kazja. He was a legend in his surroundings. He is a creative man with many talents outside and inside of the ring. He was once married to Apollonian. Here I am in the business world particularly in the finance field of business. As an outsider of the martial arts world, I had been hearing for many years of the wide variety of types of martial arts. One is always better and more effective than the other."
Richard Maize continues: "One day I came into Kazja’s Dojo and said, 'Why don’t we create a tournament taking the best of the best of many different types of karate and see which one is the best?' He took that idea and used his martial arts creative mind to build on that concept."
"We created an entity which was called WMAA (World Martial Arts Association)
"Kazja started to get the fighters interest and I tried to put a team together to put on a show which included PR, licensing, venue and other behind the scene guys. Kazja helped in all aspects of this project. I was the one funding the event."
"The problem came when we tried to get a license for this event. We were stone walled by a number of governing bodies not the least was the boxing commission. No way were we going to change their minds nor did we have the appetite to even try. Our only other option was have a choreograph fighting not too dissimilar to wrestling"
Richard Maize then told Kazja that this type of fighting could be better for us.
"Wrestling did great and we can too, said Maize." "Now, all we need is the Hollywood aspect of this event. We can now make up great stories about these fighters such as one being left as an orphan in the streets of Los Angeles and had to fight every day to survive. Now we can also get great costumes from Hollywood closets and make this a fun event for the kids."
Maize states: "Our original idea when we thought we were going to use real fighting, the ring seemed logical. Since it was going to be choreographed, I thought a black square chain linked fence was the way to go as it would hide the less than real moves in the fights. Kazja took this a bit further and said, “No, let’s do an octagon so that there were no corners”. Thus, the Octagon cage was created and made in Kazja’s garage by the help of some local welders."
Richard Maize continues: "Then the cage was painted black. It was called “the cage of rage”. I took a “how to” book to patent the idea. I did it myself and invested $35. Needless to say, the big companies as they used this cage had very little time overriding this and obtain a real patent on the cage. However, our group can still use the one in storage because of a law known as “first to use” without permission."
"Here we are the venue and fighters along with the show were ready to go. It was held at the Bren Center in Irvine California. We had some PR and many excited kids in the audience. The fighters had costumes associated with their role both in character and good guy and bad guys. We had a “wizard” in complete wizard gear as the announcer. The kids were going crazy with the wizard’s antics with him creating smoke as he announces the program etc. We were selling t-shirts and programs. It was great. Everything was great except the actual fights. Not great. I should have hired a pro who might have worked with the wrestling team and not expect a real fighter to choreograph this fight. It wasn’t horrible; just a lot to be desired."
Richard Maize concludes: "Two weeks later, Kazja received a call from someone in the audience. It was one of the Gracie brothers who asked us if we were interested in taking this forward with real fights as he loved the concept. Kazja asked me and I told him to tell this guy, first off, they can never get a license and second way too brutal. Tell him we are not interested. Well, needless to say, another great idea and bad result for our team. And, another bad choice."
"We all know that he went on to get licensed in Las Vegas (who knows how. Many rumors about that one) and started the “ultimate fight”. I, on the other hand lost $2,000 on this one time episode."
The Rochelle and Richard Maize Foundation is a philanthropic organization that supports and contributes volunteer and financial resources to causes locally in the community and worldwide by supporting meaningful programs focusing on art, culture, family services and health care that work to help people live more fulfilling lives.
Richard Maize has generously supported organizations and causes including the American Cancer Society, Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services, Hurricane Katrina, Los Angeles Police Foundation, and Cedars Sinai Board of Governors.
Richard Maize and his wife, Rochelle Maize, are longtime benefactors of the American Cancer Society, among many other organizations, and Richard Maize has been recognized for his efforts on behalf of more than a dozen charitable groups and community projects.
The Rochelle and Richard Maize Foundation supports an extraordinary number of foundations, organizations, and non-profit groups. The Rochelle and Richard Maize Foundation is a philanthropic organization that supports and contributes volunteer and financial resources to community and global causes by supporting programs focusing on art, culture, family services, and healthcare. The Rochelle and Richard Maize Foundation’s efforts also help people with cancer and those who care for them lead live more fulfilling lives.
The Rochelle and Richard Maize Foundation supports the Friends of Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills, Calif. For three days in 2008, the Rochelle and Richard Maize Foundation helped sponsor the California Spirit XXIV for the Vital Work of the American Cancer Society.
The Rochelle and Richard Maize Foundation also supported the “Accessories for Success Lunch and Fashion Show Benefit” for the Big Brothers / Big Sisters (BBBS) of Greater Los Angeles and Beverly Hills. In this capacity, the Rochelle and Richard Maize Foundation supported the luncheon and fashion show to benefit the organization’
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