Steve Fossum's
Newcastle, California, USA

"It's not WHAT you know, It's What you are willing to DO. "
Master Sensei Steve Fossum



"At the end of each day, play back in your mind your performance. The results should either applaud you or probe you"

"Fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times."
An old Shaolin saying

Dear Readers,

Thank you for visiting the web page of Steve Fossum's International Karate, System 5. We would like to inform you that this web page is NOT AN ADVERTISEMENT. It is an Information page about System 5 Combat Karate, It's past mainly... We are NOT a Commercial Club or School.


Steve Fossum's International Karate was once one of the largest karate schools on the West Coast. Three levels and over 17,000 square feet in size and over 400 students. However in 1997, Fossum was well aware of the rapid growth of the IKF and because of this he was faced with a decision he had to make.

As World President of the, IKF since 1992, in just 5 years, Fossum has built the IKF into one of the Largest Kickboxing and Muay Thai Sanctioning Bodies in the World overseeing thousands of kickboxing fighters, trainers, promoters, officials and hundreds of events on every continent around the globe. The IKF experienced its main growth between 1997 and 1999. Because of this growth, Mr. Fossum was on the road a lot, traveling to IKF events around the world along with being on the road with his other businesses. (His travel schedule can be found by clicking HERE.)

From this growth, Fossum was forced to make a decision to downsize his Karate School and put more focus into the Worldwide operations of the IKF. So, in December of 1998, he decided to close the Commercial System 5 Combat Karate school. With this decision and after several physical changes to the facility, the club reopened in June of 1999 as a Private Club. In doing so, Mr. Fossum become very selective as to who he instructed in the Program, eventually narrowing his student base to a select few he knew wanted to attain their Black Belt rank in System 5.

His decision to close his commercial school was also based on the growing number of what he and other long time Martial Artists of the area call "Black Belt Factory Schools." or McDojo's. Fossum has studied martial arts since 1976 and like many traditional martial artist, he shakes his head when he sees an 8, 10 or 12 year old Black Belt. He simply hated to see a child be given FALSE CONFIDENCE at 8 years old with a black belt around his waist, even with the clever marketing term some schools use by calling this a "JUNIOR" Black Belt. To Fossum, there was only ONE Black Belt!

A quick look in any dictionary gives the definition of Black Belt as "An EXPERT in the Martial Arts." Sorry, but there is no way a child can become an expert in a fighting system such as System 5 Combat Karate or ANY Martial Art for that matter. He/she can become good at self defense skills, forms, katas etc, but for any instructor to promote and certify a child as an EXPERT in martial arts is a SHAME to the Martial Arts! Such a rank at such a young age is simply ridiculous!

Many schools today passing students through belt ranks are doing it for one purpose only… Financial Gain$$$! Mr. Fossum will NOT have any part of that. We've all seen children as well as grown men and women with the same false sense of confidence when they're given that black belt or any belt from very little effort. In most schools today this is often done just to keep them motivated so they'll keep paying those dues and make their instructor happy and rich.

This may explain why System 5 Combat Karate is no longer a commercial karate school.

Martial Arts Room Newcastle - After 2000

Boxing & Kickboxing Gym

Martial Arts Room 1990-1997

Boxing & Kickboxing Gym

Martial Arts Room 1990-1997

Arena Room 1990-1997

The main floor is around 1,400 sq. ft.

Taking up another 3,000 sq. ft. are the locker rooms, weight room, bag workout room, lobby and school office. The remainder of the space is where "Ringside Gym is, the Boxing and Kickboxing area.


After several changes around the facility, he reopened in June of 1999 as a Private Club that was 11,000 square feet in size. The facility would be the new home for the IKF as well as his private Martial Arts school and Ringside Gym, ( operated by former IKF Champion Greg Kirkpatrick teaching both Kickboxing & Boxing.

In 1999, Fossum brought on the International Sport Combat Federation (ISCF) for his IKF Kickboxing Promoters who were looking for neutral regulation of what was then called No Hold Barred Fighting, later known as Mixed Martial Arts or MMA. In the early stages of the ISCF Fossum worked with ISCF World Advisor Mike Carlson in fine tuning the ISCF into the first non promoting, regulatory - sanctioning body for Mixed Martial Arts.

Like the growth of the IKF, today the ISCF is the largest regulatory / sanctioning body for Mixed Martial Arts in the world. As of 2011, the ISCF had sanctioned events and or ISCF Title bouts in Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri, Nevada, Idaho, Louisiana, Virginia, Washington DC, Oklahoma, New Jersey, Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Alabama, Arkansas, North Dakota, Michigan, Massachusetts, Kansas, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Florida, Ohio, Connecticut, South Carolina, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and of course, California. The ISCF also sanctions events in Canada, South Africa, Mexico, England, Scotland, Australia, India, Iran and even an armed forces event in Iraq in 2009.

In the spring of 2008 Fossum officially formed International Fight Sports (IFS - ) IFS became the chief parent company to oversee all of his Fight Sport Organizations & Companies.

At this time, Boxing was a fight sport not included under the IFS umbrella. So in March of 2010 the IAB - which was actually two different Boxing organizations, International Amateur Boxing for Amateur Boxing and the International Association of Boxing for Professional Boxing was added to the IFS Banner of Fight Sport Companies.

Here is a list of the companies under the International Fight Sports Banner below...

Back to System 5 Karate...

The Styles That Make Up
System 5 Combat Karate

The 5 original root styles that made up System 5 Combat Karate in the beginning were Tae Kwon Do, Kenpo, Shotokan, Kung Fu and Judo. However as System 5 evolved, the number "5" became its only limitation as it took on applications from other styles such as STIHC (Pronounced STI-HICK, Special Training In Hand to Hand Combat, A Military Style of Combat), CMT Training (Control Moves & Takedowns - Grappling For Law Enforcement) and of course, Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do. Other technique development came from styles such as JuJitsu, Aikido, Kickboxing and Boxing.

History Of Martial Arts...

Hundreds of years ago when martial arts began, the world was amazed with its dazzling skills of power, perfection, quickness and its precise accuracy. It was;

"Seeing what cannot be seen,
doing what cannot be done and knowing what cannot be known."

In the beginning, it was used for military purposes, the fighting itself is where the word "Martial" comes from. "Art" explains the type of skill used to battle ones opponent. It began in the far Eastern countries such as Japan, China and Korea. Some styles or "Arts" like Tae Kwon Do stressed kicking more that punching because the feet can reach farther than the arms. This skill became very popular with the Korean Military. Others such as Shotokan and Kempo focused on total body power using low kicks and great upper body strength while styles such as Judo developed skills of throwing their opponent and locking them to the ground. The Kung Fu styles seemed to vary from tight inside trapping movements to graceful flowing movements. All styles though, enabled the victim to inflict pain upon attack or to even take another life with a single swift blow.

Karate and the Martial Arts will always be a dynamic force and mystery to those who do not know its powers. A well trained student learns to respect its powers and has far more ability to survive in a self defense combat situation than the average person no matter what the individuals size or age. The skills of karate in America didn't mean very much until a man named Bruce Lee emerged on the picture screen. Weighing only about 140 pounds, Lee showed tournament audiences how even a person his size could lift a man of 250 pounds off his feet with one swift movement. (Lee's famous 1 inch punch) Bruce Lee was also the first to break away from traditional training and clearly develop his own method of training called Jeet Kune Do. Lee developed movements to be more practical and quicker. He constantly argued with traditional karate practitioners who were against anyone going against "The Way." Although Lee never attained the ranking of "Black Belt" during his time, he was physical proof that "The belt doesn't make the man, the man makes the belt." He became by far, the most talked about, the most explosive and most feared man of the Martial Arts and the nations first Martial Arts film star.

Since Lee's death in the early 70's, many martial artists have tried to take his place on the big screen as the worlds number one martial arts film star. Chuck Norris without a doubt, made his mark on the big screen and continues to do so along with others such as Steven Seagall and Jean-Claude Van Damme. Movies such as "Karate Kid l, ll & lll," "Kickboxer" and of course "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I, II & III" woke up America again to Karate and Martial Arts. There have been several new karate styles developed since Lee's Jeet Kune Do. Most of these are called "ELECTRIC STYLES or AMERICAN FREESTYLES."

System 5 Combat Karate is an Electric or American Freestyle martial art. It was developed in the early 70's by Grand Masters Dan and Bruce Norris. (no relation to Chuck). When the Norris's developed System 5 Combat Karate they wanted to stress practical, to the point training instead of art form and looks. Each had a black belt rank or above in several styles along with being military hand to hand combat special forces instructors in a program known as STIHC (Pronounced STI-HICK, Special Training In Hand to Hand Combat for Military Special Forces). When combined, those styles the Norris brothers had Black Belts in made up the original styles of System 5 Combat Karate (See explanation above).

Back then, the Norris Brothers just called it "Way of 5." The styles and main techniques that created System 5 were the swift & powerful kicks of Tae Kwon Do, the strength & body power of Ken(m)po and Shotokan. The animal like fighting & flow of Kung Fu & the grappling & throwing power of Judo. However, as mentioned above, since it was formed, System 5 might as well be called System 10 or 20 since it took on skills from MANY other styles. Much of it's application & philosophy in the beginning was taken from Lees Jeet Kune Do.

"There is no right or wrong, only different"
"Not all fighters will apply their techniques the same"

A 5 year old child will certainly use or require different skills to fight off a 200 pound man than a l9 year old teenager would. Therefore, children must be taught differently and practical skills must be taught so the student can grasp the REALITY of Self Defense. A student must learn how to avoid danger first so they will not have to be forced to use their physical skills in the first place.

"System 5 is a modern and practical instructional method of the application of self defense skills as both a physical and mental science."

Since the development of System 5 in the 70's, System 5 Combat Karate has been through over l0 revisions of the style itself and the ranking system for easier and more practical use. Since System 5 Combat Karate is a "COMBAT" style, students do not meditate or learn Katas or Forms. They specialize in "PRACTICAL SELF DEFENSE SKILLS". Classes focused on general skills such as kicking, punching and balance along with timing, accuracy, power, speed, reaction & of course, Practical Application. Also, when a System 5 Combat Karate class is taught, a student is taught to visualize ones skill & overcome emotions such as panic & fear in a self defense situation as well as how to deal with realistic pain.

System 5 Combat Karate students learn to control emotions such as anger & aggression & learn how to focus that aggressive energy to more constructive sources like the physical training itself. Grand Master Dan Norris, as previously mentioned, was a special forces hand to hand combat instructor during the Vietnam War. His skills were tested in life or death situations time after time. During war time, drill instructors of STIHCdidn't have months or years to teach a soldier skills and how to use them effectively with traditional martial arts training. Because of this an instructional skill known as "MFI" (Mental Forced Instruction) was implemented into the training helping the soldiers retain and learn their material easier and faster. This instructional skill is used in many of the System 5 Combat Karate classes today enabling students to learn faster and memorize easier. It is a very calm yet precise approach. It is more of what a student believes he or she can do mentally rather than physically.

"You either know it or you don't.
There is no 'kinda' or 'sorta' in MFI training, only students striving for perfection.
When we seek perfection, we attain excellence."

Thank You for viewing this page.....

On August 2, 1964 in Long Beach, California,
Bruce Lee demonstrated his 1 Inch Punch.
The strike knocked his attacker back 6 feet.
Many of Lee's Theories of fighting as well as his open
Philosophy were incorporated into the training of
System 5 years ago.

"I cannot teach you;
only help you to explore yourself.
Nothing more."
Bruce Lee...

"Don't think; feel.
It's like a finger pointing away to the moon.
Don't concentrate on the finger,
or you will miss all the heavenly glory."
Bruce Lee in Enter The Dragon (1974)

"Knowing is not enough; we must apply.
Willing is not enough; we must do. "
Bruce Lee

International Fight Sports
9250 Cypress Street, Newcastle, CA USA
Mailing: P.O. Box 1205, Newcastle, CA, 95658, USA
PHONE: (916) 663-2467 - FAX: (916) 663-4510