THE BLUE EYED SAMURAI | ANDY HUG, 21 YEARS LATER
August 24, 2021 marked 21 years since Andy Hug, the K1 Legend. Andy Hug is likely to be viewed only by younger fighters as highlight reels, which show off a wide variety of moves.
Andy Hug is best known for his ax kick and a variety of punches and kicks that left his opponent confused. These techniques were what made the highlight reel. But Andy Hug's fundamentals are what allowed him to win after victory.
Andy Hug started his journey in martial arts with Kyokushin Karate. Although most children have tried karate in their youth, unless they're learning a style like Kyokushin, they may not be learning the hard-fighting art they want.
Kyokushin is different from other styles in that it emphasizes hard sparring and fighting rather than kata or form. It bans punches to the face but allows head kicks. This is due to an unusual rule. Mas Oyama, the founder, prefers that competitors fight naked knuckle to gloves. Fighting more realistically allows for fighters to sacrifice punches to their heads. Although it's false, it creates a training environment in which fighters are taking hard bare-knuckle body shots as well as hard kicks to their legs with minimal to no protective gear. Kyokushin fighters are tough and can get very tough very quickly.
Andy Hug stormed through Europe's Kyokushin scene, before making it to the Kyokushin World Open. This is the most prestigious tournament of the sport. He participated in the world open three times. Two times, he lost to Shokei Matsui (a fellow karate legend), in round 4. In the fourth round, '84, he eliminated Hug and beat him in the final of 1987. Matsui, who was then the youngest Kyokushin champ in history, would participate in the 100 Man Kumite. This is a ridiculous, but very real test where fighters must compete against 100 new opponents one after another.
Andy Hug reached the finals of his last KWO tournament and faced Francisco Filho.
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