Monday, June 4, 2012

Andy Hug: The Blue-Eyed Samurai

Andy Hug was a Swiss-German Kyokushin Karate practitioner. Known as one of the few to give Mirko Cro-Cop a run for his money, Hug was the 1996 K1 Grand Prix Kickboxing world champion. An often underrated fighter, Hug was one of the top standup fighters of his time, exhibiting excellence in every field, ranging from striking to blocking to footwork and his ability to take damage.

Andy Hug displayed a wide variety of kicks. Although he maintained a Kyokushin or a kickboxing stance when fighting, his kicks were highly influenced by Taekwondo. Hug launched spectacular axe kicks throughout both his Karate and kickboxing career, rising far up over his opponent's guard, and coming down on the shoulder or the head. These kicks had been previously regarded as fairly useless in high level competition due to the precise timing and high speed required to hit a moving target, in contrast to simpler kicks such as roundkicks. Andy also regularly used spinning hook kicks, a technique relatively new to kickboxing, to the legs and head of his opponent. His leg kicks were powerful enough to often end the fight on their own. Andy Hug was one of the few fighters to prove that unorthodox fighting could, indeed, prevail in the ring.

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