September 7, 1964
|Died||August 24, 2000
Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan
|Other names||Mr. K-1, Typhoon
The Blue-Eyed Samurai
Iron Man, Tetsujin in Japanese
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Weight||98 kg (220 lb; 15.4 st)|
|Team||Team Andy Hug
Hiranaka Boxing School Gym
|Years active||21 (1979–2000)|
|Notable students||Xhavit Bajrami, Bjorn Bregy, Petar Majstorovic|
Andreas "Andy" Hug (September 7, 1964 – August 24, 2000) was a Swiss Seidokaikan and Kyokushin karateka and kickboxer from Wohlen. Hug was the K-1 World Grand Prix 1996 champion and runner up in 1997 and 1998.
Biography and career
Andreas Hug was born in Sursee, Switzerland in 1964. His father, Arthur, was a foreign legionnaire, who died in Thailand without ever seeing his son. Hug rarely saw his mother Madelaine Hug-Baumann, and grew up, with his brother Charly and sister Fabienne, with his grandparents in Wohlen. At age six, he started playing soccer and was also selected to the Swiss National Under-16 team. At eleven years old, he started practising karate at Wohlen Karate school under Werner Schenker.
At the age of fifteen, he won the Swiss national 'Oyama Cup'. In November 1977 he was selected to represent the Wohlen Karate School during the National Team Championships.
Andy recorded his first international success in 1981 at the Dutch Kyokushinkai Karate Championships. Two years later, he took first place at the European Cup in Hungary. In 1983, Andy took part in the Karate World Championships. Around eighty fighters from all over the world were at the start of the open weight class. Andy was able to battle his way through and reached the final sixteen. He made his second World Championships in 1987. In the semi-finals, Andy defeated his opponent Akira Masuda and for the first time in the history of Kyokushinkai, a non-Japanese fighter, was taking part in the finals. Andy lost in the finals by a point decision to Shokei Matsui.
The fifth World Championships of full-contact karate no weight division took place in 1991 at the Budokan, Tokyo, Japan. As early as 1988, Andy had become a trainer for the Swiss national team, thus offering his knowledge and experience to other competitors. In his third fight, Andy came up against Francisco Filho. At the end of the round, as the bell rang, Filho landed a high kick on the side of Hug's head and knocked Andy to the floor. Mas Oyama confirmed that the technique was legal. It was later confirmed that Filho's kick had indeed struck after the bell rang, but he had started his move before the time was up and Filho was declared the winner.
Andy kept fighting in Japan with success and became extremely popular. The fans were impressed by his technical diversity, spectacular aesthetics, tactics and strength. On August 28, 1993, Andy married Ilona in Inwil. At the same time he changed from Kyokushinkai to Seidokai karate, completing the step from being an amateur to becoming a professional fighter and star in Japan.
The Seidokai Association, headed by Kazuyoshi Ishii, founded K-1 in 1993. In 1994 Andy promoted his first K-1 Fight at the Hallenstadium in Zurich, and went on to compete in a double main event called "K-1 Challenge" where he upset reigning WGP champion Branco Cikatic in a close fight.
Later that year Hug competed in his first WGP tournament, where he was favored by the Japanese fans having already defeated Branco Cikatic a few months earlier. Andy was upset by American kick-boxer Patrick Smith via first round stoppage.
In the autumn of 1996, Andy was struggling within himself that he wasn't able to win the K-1 World Grand Prix. In his second fight at the 96 WGP Finals he met Ernesto Hoost and won by decision. In the final, Andy was matched up against Mike Bernardo. After his two defeats to Bernardo in 1995 Andy was determined to beat him and was ultimately successful, winning via spinning low kick, securing his first and only WGP title.
Andy Hug reached the K-1 Grand Prix finals again in 1997, where he lost to Dutch kick-boxing legend Ernesto Hoost by decision. He made it to the 1998 WGP final as well, where he lost to Peter Aerts by KO, although he became the first fighter to ever make three consecutive WGP finals. (until matched by Semmy Schilt some years later)
1999 was the most successful year for K-1 since its inception. Record numbers of spectators were recorded for all tournaments. At the World Grand Prix, Hug was up against Ernesto Hoost in his second bout. As early as in the first round, the groin injury that he had sustained a month earlier became acute. This handicap was so severe that he could not employ his legs as he was used to doing, and dropped a decision.
He was the only K-1 fighter ever to be rewarded an honorary samurai title by K-1 founder Kazuyoshi Ishii. He was recognized for his axe kick and the spinning low heel kick, targeting the opponents thigh, was another trademark kick of his. In Japan, it was known as "the Hug Tornado" since it was rumored that no other fighter could perform it with the same perfection as Hug. He defeated Mirko "Cro-Cop" Filipović at K-1 Fight Night, on June 3, 2000, in Zurich, Switzerland. His last fight was against Nobu Hayashi on July 7, 2000.
He was diagnosed with acute leukemia on August 17, 2000. On August 23 he fell into a coma and his illness was made public. Only 22 hours later, Hug died following breathing difficulties due to multiple organ failure. He was 35 years old, and left his wife and their son. His body was cremated and his ashes deposited in the cemetery of the Hoshuin temple in Kyoto, Japan.
Titles and accomplishments
- 1991 5th Kyokushin World Open Karate Tournament last 32 (Lost to Francisco Filho)
- 1991 6th European Championships in Budapest, Heavyweight (Lost to Michael Thompson)
- 1989 5th European Championships in Budapest, Heavyweight (Defeated Michael Thompson)
- 1988 1st Swiss Sursee Cup in Sursee (Defeated Kenji Midori)
- 1987 4th Kyokushin World Open Karate Tournament (Lost to Akiyoshi Matsui)
- 1987 4th European Championships in Katowice, (Lost to Michael Thompson)
- 1986 11th British Open in London, Heavyweight (Lost to Michael Thompson)
- 1985 3rd European Championships in Barcelona, Heavyweight (Defeated Klaus Rex)
- 1985 Ibusz Oyama Cup in Hungary, Heavyweight (Defeated Michel Wedel)
- 1985 Swiss National Open Championships Heavyweight (Defeated Klaus Rex)
- 1984 3rd Kyokushin World Open Karate Tournament final 16 (Lost to Akiyoshi Matsui)
- 1984 Swiss National Championships Heavyweight
- 1983 7th Dutch Open in Alkmaar, Heavyweight final 16 (Lost to Flemming Jinzen)
- 1982 Ibusz Oyama Cup in Hungary, Middleweight (Defeated Mark Niedziokka)
- 1982 6th Dutch Open Middleweight final 16 (Lost to Kenneth Felter)
- 1982 2nd European Championships in London final 16 (Lost to Jean Pierre Louisset)
- 1982 Swiss National Championships, Middleweight (Defeated Gabriel Marxer)
- 1981 Oyama Cup (Defeated Heinz Muntweiler)
- 1981 5th Dutch Open in Weert, Middleweight (Lost to Koen Scharrenberg)
- 1981 4 Countries Team Tournament (Switzerland defeated Dutch team in finals)
- 1979 Oyama Cup
38 Wins (22 (T)KO's, 16 decisions), 9 Losses, 1 Draw
|Seidokaikan Karate record|
10 Wins (2 (T)KO's, 8 Decisions), 1 Loss
Legend: Win Loss Draw/No contest Notes
- "Martial arts and TV star Andy Hug dies of leukemia". Japan Times. Retrieved 2010-03-04.
- "Brilliant sports flames snuffed out too early". Japan Times. Retrieved 2010-03-04.
- Death of Andy Hug
- "Grave in Kyoto". Archived from the original on 24 June 2009. Retrieved June 14, 2009.
- Black belt magazine Honorary Award
- Andy Hug - Official Website
- Andy Hug Foundation - The Foundation
- Andy Hug at Find a Grave
- Profile at K-1
- Andy Hug Portrait