Photo gallery: Ron Sarchian kicks his way -- 6,012 times -- to a Guinness World Record
The sound of a good beating came from inside the Martial Arts History Museum in Burbank on Saturday.
But the steady thwack! thwack! thwack! had nothing to do with the UFC, Bruce Lee or Mr. Miyagi. Instead, it was Ron Sarchian, an actor and stuntman who was hoping to earn his way back into the Guinness World Records for the sixth time, this time, by kicking a pad 6,000 times in an hour.
"I guess I didn't get enough attention as a child," joked Sarchian, who also is a personal trainer. "I just love doing it."
Sarchian has kicked and punched his way into the Guinness Book of World Records five times over the last decade, dedicating his quests to charity, or else to his father.
Last year, he broke a record for punching a 100-pound bag for 50 hours straight. In 2006, he set the record for completing 5,545 full contact kicks in an hour. But that title was taken from him in 2007 by a man named Paddy Doyle from the United Kingdom, who one upped Sarchian by kicking a pad 5,750 times in an hour.
So inside the Martial Arts History Museum, surrounded by 12th century Samurai armor replicas donated from Japan, colorful magazine covers, a variety of weapons, and movie props, Sarchian listened to music from the Rocky films and delivered rhythmic punts onto a kicking pad held by Ky Gray and Raul Garcia who took took turns. Sarchian averaged 101 kicks a minute.
Nearly 30 minutes in, Sarchian had kicked the pad more than 3,000 times. But he was slowing down.
"Come on Ronnie!" shouted his admirers.
"He sets these goals for himself that has nothing to do with fame and fortune, and I think that's great," said Lisa Watson, also a trainer.
Perspiration dripped from Sarchian's forehead and arms. Minutes turned to seconds and as the hour almost came to an end, Sarchian dug deep and kicked with feet of fury.
At 1 p.m., after an hour had passed, a man called time and Sarchian slumped to the floor.
"Six thousand and twelve!" another man yelled across the room. Applause and cheers erupted for Sarchian, who would be celebrating his 49th birthday on Sunday, and who appeared to re-enter the record books. He rose from his knees and said he dedicated his goal to a family friend named Lola Shimshock, who died in May at the age of 85.
"The hardest part came at 40 minutes in," and out of breath Sarchian said. "I started to feel dizzy."
But any weakness was lost on his young fans.
"That was crazy!" said an impressed Elijah Dearmon, 13, of Pasadena. "I don't know how he did it. If I dedicated myself, I'd like to try it."
Others said they admired his courage.
"I thought it was a great effort physically and mentally," said Celeste Cisneros, a 15-year-old student with the Martial Arts Training Academy. "It takes a lot of will and guts to do that."