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Interview of ROGER PASCHY by Serge TREFEU (2013)

(Thank to Cathy PASCHY)


First of all thank you very much Roger to grant me this interview, if you want well we shall begin with your fighter’s great career. You began the combat sports with the Judo and the Karate, what brought you to push the door of a Dojo?
Effectively, I began to have a practice of the judo then the Karate with Master TAIJI KASE. One day by walking me with my wife in the streets of Paris, we found a kimono, in a trash can. At that time, we had little means. My wife took it, washed it, then gave me so that I try him. Incredible! The kimono fitted like a glove to me. Instinctively, I put myself in front of the mirror and I made some movements without having any knowledge of the martial arts…
My wife says to me: we would say a Grand Master in this kimono !

And everything left from there. I bought books to get acquainted with the techniques of the karate. Then, I was in master KASE’s gym to attend a trial course. In the time I had no means to join then, I came to look at the lessons. Master KASE had spotted me and every time, he made me participate in the lesson, about twenty minutes…


How passed your first meeting with the world of the martial arts?
Strangely, when I pushed the door of the Dojo for the first time, I felt immediately comfortable, this environment was me familiar and when in my first lesson, I had no difficulty executing techniques and those unpretentious. I felt at once that it would be my universe!


You quickly obtained good results in Karate with several championships of France then champion of Europe, how many titles you gained?
3rd of the French cup Karate in 1968, Finalist in the French championship Karate in 1972, 3 times France Champion of Karate (1973, 1974, 1975), Several times semifinalist and finalist of the French cup and the French championship Karate with the team of the ASPP, 3 times Europe Champion of Karate (1972, 1974, 1975), 3 times Europe Champion of Karate by team, Winner of the Technical International cup in Paris of Karate in 1971, Member of the French team world champion of Karate in 1972, Semifinalist in the World championship of Karate (any categories – the USA) in 1975, 18 times international Karate!


What was your most tough opponent in Karate during your career?
I have no memory to have fought with a harder or more tough opponent. I adapted myself and I improvised according to their technique
In the time certain French champions of karate had a speciality like Dominique Valéra with his special “sweeps”, what was your technical speciality in fight?
My favorite technique was ” mawashi geri “. But, my peculiarity as I indicated it above, was to improvise and to invent sequences of movements according to my opponents…

In 1975 you represented France to the World championship of Karate to Long Beach in the United States, you were in particular in Dominique Valéra’s side and you were classified third in individual, an honorable place, which memory you keep of its world championships for Long Beach?
I consider that there was cheating. The referee being Japanese gave winner his fellow countryman (Murakami, futur world Champion) while I led the fight, besides, he almost give up!
What memory you keep of your fights in karate?
During the fights, my capacity to guess the movements even before my opponents execute them what allowed me to counter. I felt a big satisfaction


You make parties of the pioneers of the Full contact in France with an excellent path including several professional fights and a championship of Europe, it was in which year when you conquered this title and against what opponent?
In 1976, I beat by KO the dutch Jhon de Ruyter then Kemal Zeriat in final



When you fought in Full contact the sensations were different with compared with the karate?
Yes, the sensations are different. It is a mixture of Kick Boxing and Karate…


What was your hardest fight in your career in Full contact?
I did not keep a memory of a fight harder than other one!
After fought in Full contact, you left for Asia to fight in Kickboxing and Thai Boxing, you fought several times in Thailand, it was in which year?
I do not remember any more very well, I believe that it was in 1983 / 1984. I have make 14 professional fights in Kickboxing among which 5 in Bangkok and I met in Amsterdam the boxer Ron Kuyt (Europe Champion of Kick Boxing) from Gym CHAKURIKI!


You discovered the Thai boxing by travelling in Thailand or you knew this sport before because in your time in France nobody had heard about the thai boxing?
Yes, it is during the journey in Thailand with my wife for the holidays that I discovered this sport
You trained in a camp to prepare your fights in Thailand?
Yes, I trained in a military camp managed by Captain NARIS


What were the champions known for time in Thailand?
Samart, Attapong (Fanta), Dieselnoy, Somsong, Krongsak …

Thanks to your love at first sight for this sport, you became the precursor of the Thai boxing in France, in the important on our territory, what is that it was difficult to impose this new sport in France?
Yes, it was very hard. To make recognize the Thai boxing in France, I had to at first say that it was about a sport named “Kickboxing”. In the time and by default of information, people said that it was a violent, dangerous sport etc….


In 1977 you opened your gym of Karate then Thai Boxing and you named him “Yamatsuki”, why this name it was in reference to your karateka’s career?
YAMATSUKI wants to say punch, moreover, this punch represented the emblem, the logo of gym

Your pupils quickly obtained from excellent result, what memories you keep of your first years of trainers in your gym?
I keep excellent memories in my trainer’s quality. My pupils were themselves of excellent fighters, and became in their turn champions then trainers. We formed one heck team. I am so proud of them!



You then formed a many great champions, and at the beginning of the 80s, the Yamatsuki became a reference in France and in Europe, what are the champions that you formed?
There was the brother DESJARDIN, Jean-Luc LEGOUEZ, Gilles TIROLIEN, Kouider ABDELMOUMENI, Jami MOHAMED, Omar BENAMAR, Christian BAFIR, Daniel ALLOUCHE, Chen, Candale, who became for some at first, champions of karate then in Thai boxing. I had to certainly forget names, and I sorry for it…



Your pupils often left fighting in Holland, Holland it was over there that the best European fighters were in the time?
Yes, it is over there that were the best fighters and also in England
You had many pupils but have little to say that in a time you had Team of dream with Daniel Allouche, Omar Benamar, Kouider Abdelmoumeni, Jami Mohamed, the brothers Desjardins, Jean-Luc Legouez, Christian Bafir, Gilles Tirolien, André Zeitoun, Saïd Bouzid what memories you keep of this team of great fighters?
There was others also, and I’m sorry once again for having forgotten names… I am proud to have was their trainer, to have shared with them all these memorable and unforgettable moments. It was respectful and respected warriors !

Daniel Allouche became the biggest French speaker, Omar Benamar, Kouider Abdelmoumeni, the brother Desjardins, André Zeitoun, became reference trainers, you are proud of their path?
I am extremely proud and very happy for them of their beautiful success. I wish that it continues for them and that their pupils in their turn in front of even

In the 70s, it is also you who went up the first events of Thai boxing in France, the first one I believe was in 1978 with there star fight the young person Rob Kaman (18 years) against the French champion Carillon, it complicated to organize a event of Thai boxing in this time?
Yes, extremely difficult. All the doors were closed as soon as it was about the Thai boxing. Because as I mentioned him above, in the time the Thai Boxing was considered as a violent sport and thus not recognized. It was necessary to get round by other means…



Then, you follow on the events successfully and you also were the first organizer to make come to fight Thai champions in France as Attapong, Nonglek, Somsong then Krongsak, French discovered invincible Thai, what is what it was difficult to find opponents in front of these terrors of boxing rings?
Yes, and the only fighters who agreed to fight were Dutch or English
You organized to the Cirque d’Hiver, to the Elysee Montmartre, in the room Maubert Mutualité, small Bercy, how much you went up of events during all these years?
Approximately 30 events!

What are your memories as promoter?
The events announced ” full room ” every time, the sets of the boxers, the boxers surpassed themselves in the fight. Contacting which turned out more and more positive to allow the Thai boxing to be recognized, as the media, the radios, the magazine…

Today that do you think of events of Thai boxing in France, for example of the big show that there was recently in Hall Carpentier, the « Best of Siam »?
Very beautiful success, we were able to attend quality fights. Moreover, I look forward to being in the BEST OF SIAM, on February 14th, 2013!

You think that the Thai boxing in France in still of beautiful days?
Yes, still of very beautiful days

Of what do you think of the wear of elbow pads for the fights in France, according to you it is necessary or it distorts the Thai boxing?
It distorts maybe the Thai Boxing, but when we know the devastation that the pokes can make, then I am for the wear of elbow pads and it to protect the fighters

The Thai boxing evolved a lot for 30 years, that do you think of young people of today, what is what they are also “warrior” as in your time?
The European level really progressed, technically the young people today are at the top but in my opinion and it is strictly personal, they are not also warrior as in the time. The objectives, the stakes are not any more the same either…

In parallel with your competitor’s career you shot in numerous movies, most standing the out among others is famous “Doctor Justice”, which memory you keep the shooting of this movie?
I keep of it an excellent memory. On the film set, the actors had asked me to dedicate them some time for a daily training and they in exchange gave me lessons of arts dramatic. The atmosphere was of an any simplicity. During this period when I made many cinema, my wife and my daughters took over by organizing about twenty events!


You also shot in movies in Hong-Kong with in particular scenes of spectacular fights in front of the actor John Liu in « Dragon Blood », « The Crunch Punch », « Ninja in the Claws of The CIA », and « Zen Kwan Do Strikes in Paris » these scenes of fights against John Liu must be complicated to realize, especially that of the fight on the boat in « Zen Kwan Do Strikes in Paris », you remember it?
Yes, naturally, I remember it. For all the movies which I was able to shoot, I proposed and settled the scenes of fight. I had this vision of what could well produce to the screen or not…

Among the numerous facets of your incredible epic, as fighter, trainer, organizer and actor, in whom you the most bloomed?
I the most bloomed in my sporting career as fighter, trainer and organizer. It is three functions brought me various wealth as the respect, the gratitude, the human contact, the teaching…
You want to add anything?
I deeply wish that the Thai Boxing continuous on this way!
Thank very much for this interview!


ROGER PASCHY will be present as invited by honor in the event ” Best Of Siam 3 “, on February 14th, in Halle Carpentier, as well as in the event ” Warriors Night ” on March 2nd, to the Sports center of Levallois!



Roger PASCHY is a legend of the Martial arts. A great karateka who possessed a formidable technique, real warrior, he plunded all the tatamis of the planet. His incredible charisma and his fighter’s beautiful career allowed him to go into the world of the cinema, and to impose his style in action movies. 

In the 70s after several roles in action movies, certain specialists even go as far as comparing him to the star international of moment Bruce LEE, rightly because Roger Paschy it is a little our French Bruce Lee. Indeed, it is one of the first french fighter of Martial arts to handle the nunchaku and to introduce it in France!


But for all the enthusiasts of Muay Thai, Master’s PASCHY, it is THE precursor of the Thai boxing in France, and we can say also one of the big pioneers in Europe. With other samurai of boxing rings, Patrick Brizon (Rest In Peace), they made discover in French Muay Thai, this ancestral art which was born in Thailand. 

At that time, in the 80s, the media were really retissant to the Thai boxing, this new sport was considered too violent to their taste. But Roger Paschy is going to persist to introduce this sport into the France, a sport with which he fell in love with passion. This exceptional man is then going to struggle to make discover this sport in all France, by organizing demonstrations and seminars. 



Then his sport goes begun to be known, competitions go to see the day, the machine was thrown, the Thai boxing was going to feel swamped on France, thanks to the perseverance and the talent of Mr Paschy.
He created his gym, the YAMATSUKI, and forms champions’ pleiad who became then leading players in the evolution of the Thai boxing. Among his pupils certain wrote the story of French Muay Thai as Bahfir, Kouider, Jami, Legouez, Benamar, Desjardins, Tirolien, Allouche (Daniel and Fabrice), Zeitoun, Jaid Seddak, names which still resound in the gyms of boxing…

It is also Roger Paschy who organizes the first events of Thai boxing in mythical places of the Paris region, to the Cirque d’Hiver, to the Elysee Montmartre, in the room Maubert Mutualité, in the room Wagram with every time of full rooms!
His events have a lot of success because Roger Paschy managed of great accomplishment to bring in France the great Thai champions. The french discovered for the first time champions of legends such as Somsong, Attapong, Nonglek, Krongsak,
Kiosot, Wanphadet, Samart, terrors of the boxing rings which were going to mark the spirit of public French for ever…
Muay Thai owes a lot to this iconic figure of our sport, THANK YOU KHRU PASCHY, we shall never thank you enough of it you made for the Thai boxing!


Roger Paschy
Born on September 9th, 1944 in Saigon (Vietnam)
Heigh: 1,73 m

6th dan of Karate
Four children

Fight’s record:

Team world champion in 1972
Semifinalist in the World championship of Karate (any categories – the USA) in 1975
Europe Champion by team in 1972, 74, 75
Winner of the technical International Cup in Paris in 1971
France Champion in 1973, 74, 75, finalist in 72
Full Contact
Several times finalist of the Cup and the team French championship
Europe Champion in 1976

Thai Boxing

14 professional fights among which 5 in Bangkok


Kick Boxing – Muay Thai

Karate « Technique et Efficacité »

Docteur Justice, La Casse, Dragon Blood, Made in CIA, Zen Kwan Do Strikes in Paris,Gwendoline, Tu rentres ou tu meurs, Les Keufs, The Crunch Punch, Ninja in the Claws of The CIA