K-1 began in 1993 and is a kickboxing platform and martial arts brand well-known worldwide mainly for its heavyweight division fights.
On January 2012, K-1 Global Holdings Limited, a company registered in Hong Kong, acquired the rights to K-1, and is the current organizer of K-1 events worldwide.
The letter K in K-1 is officially designated as a representation of words karate, kickboxing and kung fu. Nevertheless, some reports suggest that it represents the initial K found in competing disciplines such as karate, kickboxing, kung fu, kempo, kakutougi (the generic Japanese term for “combat sports”), and [tae] kwon do. Yet another theory claims that the K simply comes from kakutougi and the “1” component pertains to the single weight division (in earlier competition) and the champion’s unique position. Nevertheless, the promotion held several tournaments under K-2 and K-3 banners from 1993 to 1995.