If you take a look at the international martial arts world in the last 20 years one topic overshadows all others ,MMA! Nobody can deny the impact that Mixed Martial Arts has had worldwide. In USA, Brazil , and other big markets MMA is martial art number one. In Japan the boom to the stop was amazingly fast. However in Germany it seems that this trend is not taking place. Besides a few negative media stories and one sided political debates MMA is still nowhere near mainstream in Germany.
Martial Arts in Germany…
… has gotten a lot of negative media coverage. Besides the traditional Boxing every other martial art has only a niche existence as far as media presence. Since the introduction of TV Germany has not exactly overflown with martial arts coverage. Max Schmeling, Henry Maske were the only German martial artists to really have a mass acceptance in Germany. It is as if Martial Arts are only trendy for a short period of time. “In” and then “out” again. Who knows without the Klitschkos speaking German maybe boxing would not be popular at all. In the amateur organizations there is not a lot going on which brings us to the roots of the problem with martial arts in Germany.
It could be different
Just look to the northwest in the Netherlands. A country that is very comparable with Germany geographically and economically. There boxing, kickboxing, Thai boxing and MMA are loved and well known. Many people in the Netherlands could name at least one Dutch MMA star: Bas Rutten, Overeem, Semmy Schilt to name a few.
MMA in Germany
As soon as the media stops reporting on MMA as if it is a brutal blood sport then MMA has a chance. Of course it is a combat sport but compared to boxing has the same amount if less injuries. The negativity has to do with the way people receive the UFC. The martial octagon and the hype videos where the fighters are not always “clean cut good guys”. This just is too much for most Germans. Icons like Max Schmeling where portrayed as good guys and sportsmen, not “fighters”.
Will MMA take off in Germany? With the decline of the kitchkos maybe it is time for a new generation of Martial Artists.