Sifu Mukatder Gül, 48 years old, lives in Wiesbaden, actually studied philosophy and psychology. His real passion, however, is martial arts. As he explains, the 48-year-old has been practicing martial arts for 40 years. He now heads the Wu-Te Academy and helps others to achieve their goals in the field of martial arts. In fact, there are several Wu-Te academies: two in Germany (Wiesbaden and Mainz) and two abroad (Turkey and Morocco). A team of ten works for the school. Sifu Mukatder Gül founded the first Wu-Te academy in 1998. His goal was to make the diversity of the Asian martial and movement arts accessible to everyone. As Sifu Mukatder Gül explains, martial arts are more than just hitting and kicking or being physically fit. Rather, it is a mental or psychological training. Training makes you more confident. In addition, the body language changes, which also changes the behavior of the martial arts students for the better. After training, nothing can disturb you.
What is specially trained in martial arts training?
First of all, I would like to explain the word martial arts. The term consists of the words fight and sport. Sport means physical exercise, whereby you do something for your health. Fight, however, means confrontation with one or more opponents. So basically, martial arts is about physical exercise where you measure yourself against others, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You could also replace the word sport with art. In this case, it is about dealing with a person or a circumstance. After all, the fight can take place with your own body or on a spiritual and mental level! So we learn martial arts in order to defeat someone or ourselves. There is even more to it in the word martial arts – especially when we exchange the word sport with the word art. This makes it clear that there is more to the word martial arts. So I don’t start martial arts primarily to do sports. If you just want to do sports, you could choose another sport. But it’s not just about fighting either. It’s actually about staying healthy, wanting to get healthy. Physical, but also mental integrity is the keyword here. I strengthen my body so that I am healthy and fit and remain healthy in the event of a physical attack. I train my mental strength so that I do not overreact to verbal attacks or bullying, for example, and act too quickly physically. On the contrary: I stay relaxed and react appropriately.
At what age can children start training in martial arts?
With us, children start martial arts from the age of four – but it differs from martial art to martial art. Of course, it also has something to do with concepts and teaching pedagogy. I cannot teach children like adults. We carefully introduce the children to martial arts, but I think it’s important to start as early as possible, because in the future, due to a lack of exercise, physical awareness and the ability to coordinate will be lost even more than is already the case! Unfortunately, this is socially determined and one of the greatest challenges of our time.
How do I find out which martial arts suit me?
Trying is better than studying, but first you should think about it and ask yourself the question, what do I want to achieve in martial arts? As already mentioned at the beginning, martial arts are about sport, performance, the arts and, last but not least, about fighting. You should ask yourself: should martial arts only accompany me during one phase of my life or for the rest of my life? In the former, martial arts only accompany me for a certain period of time, which results in wear and tear and injuries and in which strength, endurance, stamina and flexibility are lost with age. In martial arts, which has been with me throughout my life, the motive, i.e. the goal, is to stay healthy, to get healthy. The same applies to self-defense, because this sport is ultimately about remaining capable of self-defense.
Which martial arts do you think is the most effective?
I want to practice a martial art that keeps me healthy for a lifetime and doesn’t break me! I want to be able to defend myself at every stage of my life, not just when I am young and strong. That is why I teach the “martial arts” Wing Chun Kung Fu and Serrada Escrima. These two types contain all the criteria that are important to me, but which martial arts you ultimately choose depends very much on your own motives, i.e. goals!