Jean-Yves Theriault
"The Iceman!"

Quebec, Canada


Jean-Yves Theriault is a living legend in Kickboxing!

Born on January 15th, 1955, he began his Martial Arts career in Jiu-Jitsu in 1972 where he achieved the rank of blue belt. In 1976, after only six months of training under the direction of Kyoshi John Therien, he won his first Kickboxing competition. Two and a half years later, and a lot of hard work and determination he became the Canadian Middleweight Kickboxing Champion. In 1980, he won the title of the World Middleweight Kickboxing Champion, a position that he held for 15 years! He is a natural athlete, he trains extremely hard, and has the greatest disposition. His ring name is "The Iceman" due to his intimidating icy stare and his cool demeanor in the ring.

Thériault fought 76 fights from June 1976 to December 1995. Of those fights, 69 were wins (61 knockouts), 6 were losses, and 1 was a draw. The one draw was with Don "The Dragon" Wilson on December 18, 1984. Thériault was full-contact World Champion 23 times.

Since becoming a Champion, Jean-Yves has worked with many groups and charities, such as, the Big Brothers, Children's Wish Foundation, Laucan and numerous others. He is author of a book on his winning techniques and has a series of video cassettes on the science of combat sports. He is the subject of an hour and a half film produced by the National Film Board. He was voted Athlete of the Decade by the Sports Writers Association of his home province.

Jean-Yves is often asked to speak as a motivational speaker at schools, sporting events, banquets and business groups. His Martial Art and People Seminar have made him in constant demand in Canada, the United States and Europe.

Since his retirement on December 1st, 1995, (a 3rd Round Knockout of Marcus Reid) Jean-Yves still trains 5 days a week and teaches all of the kickboxing classes himself. He is a role model for all Martial Artists today; he is humble, honest and down to earth. He is a devoted father and a friend to all of his students. Today he runs a successful martial arts school (Therien Jiu-Jitsu & Kickboxing) and organizes events in his new "ICEMAN Kickboxing Circuit".

  • 1995 ISKA Full Contact Light Heavyweight World Champion.
  • 1992 ISKA Full Contact Super Middleweight World Champion
    Theriault retained his title after losing to Rob Kaman earlier that year.
    Kaman didn't respect the rules of Full Contact and used his low kick on Theriault during the fight.
    Theriault could not continue the fight because of the pain in his legs so the bout victory of Kaman was not acceptable.
  • 1988 ISKA Full Contact Light Heavyweight World Champion.
  • ISKA Full Contact Super Middleweight World Champion.
  • PKC Super Middleweight Full Contact World Champion.
  • 1980-1995 PKA Full Contact Middleweight World Champion.
  • 1978 Canadian Full Contact Middleweight Kickboxing Champion.

Jean Yves Theriault 1983 Full-Contact Fighter of the Year

Black Belt magazine removed this article from the web. However, we felt it worthy to keep this history of a Great Kickboxing Champion, so we re-posted it here.

One Canadian sportswriter has described Jean-Yves Theriault's fighting style as "charming." But ask any of Theriault's numerous victims (when their heads stop ringing, of course), and they'll tell you there is nothing at all charming about fighting the hard-hitting Professional Karate Association (PKA) middleweight champion.

The 28-year-old Theriault has won 38 of his 41 professional full-contact karate bouts (at this writing) 34 by knockout. He has won 26 straight fights, taking the PKA middleweight crown from Robert Biggs in November of 1980 with a one-round TKO.

Theriault went 8-0 last year in defense of his title, and was undefeated in six fights through October of '83, with three more scheduled before the end of the year. He obviously likes to stay busyand make money. Or maybe he just likes to punish other full-contact fighters. He does it often enough.

Whatever Theriault's reasons for fighting so often, his success is hard to ignore. Few fighters can boast of going 14-0 (most likely 17-0 in the conclusion of 1983) their entire careers, much less over the course of two years. There's little doubt Jean-Yves Theriault deserves the honor of being the first BLACK BELT Hall of Fame Full-Contact Fighter of the Year.

It's not just Theriault's record and fighting ability that warrant him such an award. It's also his demeanor, both in and out of the full contact ring. He is genuinely a nice, intelligent, clean-cut guy. He's not the type to taunt or verbally abuse his opponents. The amicable French-Canadian simply goes about the business of winning in a quiet, dedicated, professional manner. And a highly successful manner at that.

The combination of his fighting ability and soft-spoken yet confident nature has made Theriault the darling of Canadian kickboxing fans. "I think they look at me as an ambassador for the sport," says JeanYves. "I just see myself as another man doing his job."

And doing it very well. Theriault is not what you would call a flashy fighter, although he is attempting to diversify his attack for both practical and aesthetic reasons. He sticks mainly to the basicsfront kick, roundhouse kick, jab, cross, hook and uppercut. He has a deadly right hand, but Theriault is quick to point out that he has other weapons in his arsenal.

"If people think I can only hurt them with my right hand, it gives me an advantage," he notes. "I think I can hurt people with either my legs or my hands." He has certainly proven that in the ring. Outside the ring, he has proven to be a man dedicated to his training. He realizes the necessity of hard practice if one is to meet the constant challenges a champion faces. "If I don't prepare myself physically and mentally, I'm not going to stay on top," he says.

A typical Theriault routine begins with three to five miles of roadwork in the morning, followed by two-and-a-half to three hours of exercising in the gymbag work, sit-ups, pushups, rope skipping, sparring, etc. Theriault does 700 sit-ups a day, and as if that weren't enough to toughen his midsection, he also has his manager, John Therien, repeatedly drop a 16-pound medicine ball on his stomach and side. "It's like getting punched by a very large glove," Theriault explains. Uh huh. OK Jean-Yves, whatever works.

So thorough is his training that Theriault documents his workouts on paper to see what areas, if any, he is lacking in. "I try to diversify my training as much as possible and not limit myself," he says.

It's been a hard road to the top for Theriault, whose father died when Jean-Yves was only four years old. The champion-to-be began practicing jujitsu in Ottawa at 18 and started karate training soon after. He fell in love with full-contact after watching former champion Jeff Smith demolish an opponent in 1976. Less than five years later, Theriault was the PKA champion.

Now he has won 26 consecutive fights, going undefeated for three years. There are some big fights still aheadpossibly a rematch with Rodney Batiste, who Theriault decisioned in 1980, and of course, the much-ballyhooed bout with PKA Super-Middleweight Champion Bob Thurman. "I think, potentially, it would be the biggest fight in PKA history," says Jean-Yves of the proposed Thurman bout.

But that's all so much talk right now, and Theriault would rather let his fists and feet do his talking. Until that fight becomes more than pure conjecture, he will continue to accept all challenges to his crown, most likely adding to his string of successive victories. And if he gets a break from his training and fighting, perhaps he will savor being named BLACK BELT's Full-Contact Fighter of the Year.

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