To be honest, I have been out of the martial arts for the past 14 years while I am starting this blog, but from 1980 to 1998 I used to be very involved in fighting sports, mainly in Germany. Most people who remember me know me as a journalist, publisher or promoter. While being an active kickboxer for a couple of years I started to take photos of events and fights. People were offering me money for prints and magazines asked me to publish my best shots. I guess, because I was a fighter I had the eye to catch the decisive moment of an action scene better than regular press photographers.
During my early professional career in martial arts I was not a fighter anymore. Instead I traveled the world covering important championships, conducting interviews with great masters and personalities as well as helping organizations to fill in gaps, like providing them with publicity or just by being a judge at an understaffed event (yeah, that happened a lot of times). I was a freelancer and lucky to be successful because I had two great mentors: Georg F. Brueckner who introduced me to the greats of martial arts and his friends including Mike Anderson. Karl-Bernd Bockstahler, founder of German Karate Revue (later aka: Karate Budo Journal) who helped me to become a better journalist. I have a lot of admiration for these people and owe them a lot.
With support of my 2 mentors and Mike Anderson I was able to start promoting seminars, tournaments and fight cards in Germany and other European countries. Bill Wallace, Jean Frenette, Don Wilson, Rob Kaman and others conducted seminars for me. I provided German and international kickboxers opportunities to capture world titles at my promotions. Michael Kuhr and Ferdinand Mack captured their professional Kickboxing titles on events I promoted in Berlin and Mannheim. At one point Ukrainian and Russian officials approached me to promote fights with Vitaly Klitchko, today’s professional Heavyweight boxing world champ.
After a change in Europe’s media landscape I found myself in the position of leading a publishing house with up to three magazines: Kick Illustrierte, Kung Fu Revue and Samurai Magazine. I published these fine print magazines from 1991 to 1998 and recently began to archive old articles for reference online. At some point I had to realize print magazines were no longer having a future and I left the biz and the arts. My partners were pretty upset about this, but recent closures of other martial arts magazines prove that my perspective was mature and correct. I was tired of struggling with print media and looked for new challenges.
Today, I am starting my martial arts blog to write about previous experiences, remember great personalities and to re-publish historic articles of my English writers who I believe contain information that should neither be missed nor forgotten. Today’s online media contains a lot of false information that I think is worth offering alternatives. In most cases people just write stuff for marketing and self promotion and in other cases it’s plain manipulation and corruption. A recent meeting with Don Wilson, Joe Lewis and Cynthia Rothrock in Bangkok, Thailand makes me believe that I can contribute to our global martial arts community again. George Brueckners 20th death anniversary is another reason. Hope you will find my columns, articles and opinions of value.
You may find my English text a bit bumpy from time to time. I am not a native speaker and do this project on my own. Feel free to write a comment about my funny grammar 🙂
Keep an open mind.