University of Florida - Berlin 2008 Study-Abroad Photojournalism Program

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by Amy Ustjanowski

Andy Michels
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No Pain, No Gain for Martial Arts Master

Andy Michels ultimately would like to be a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter. In the United States, we refer to MMA as the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship).

“If you really want to fight on a high level here in Germany, then you have to train three to four hours a day,” he says.        

Andy’s day consists of various sport activities throughout the day. He goes to work at a rehab center where he trains a beginning and an advanced class. The class consists of people who have been in rehab for four weeks.

On Fridays, he trains the advanced class by doing more interactive activities such as volleyball. He also has a class where he teaches his own students in MMA. He feels he is a better trainer than fighter because he can monitor what needs to be done and express it in an effective way.      

Besides work, Andy continues to train himself whether it is through MMA, Ju Jitsu or some other form of martial arts.

There is a competition in four weeks that he will partake in. He is not sure whom he will be fighting yet. In order to prepare for this fight, he participates in open competitions on Sundays. There are challenging fighters that come to these open competitions and it is a good way to train for the upcoming event.

“They got an ego problem and so do I, but I have to do it normally because I am too good for my students and I will not progress,” he says.