The same year Andy Hug left the Kyokushin organization, he became World
Open Champion in Seido karate, by wining the finale against Taiei Kin on
5-0 judge decision. One year later, in 1993, Andy was again in the finale
in the Seido World Cup, by wining on TKO against the famous fighter
Nobukai Kakuda in the opening rounds. The finale was a fight against the
Japanese champion Masaaki Satake. It was a finale where Andy Hug
controlled the fight from start to finish! Andy even hit Satake in the
face with his famous axe kick so hard that Satake went down. But fighting
against the national hero and champion, Andy was fighting against uneven
odds, and he lost the fight and the finale on tameshiwari after three
extension rounds. But he won the heart of the Japanese people, and got the
nickname: The samurai with blue eyes.
It was also in 1993 that Andy Hug started his K-1 career. On 5th November
1993, Andy had his debut in the K-1 against Ryuji Murakami, a fight that
Andy won by TKO in the first round, after he knocked out Ryuji three times
in only 50 seconds. Andy Hug became a superstar from Hokkaido to Okinawa.
But it was not only his famous axe-kick, super strength and his sublime
technique that made him the people's choice, it was his spirit and warmth
that earned him the deep respect of his opponents and the deep love of his
In Japan Andy Hug received
the title of "Samurai" which is a distinction of great honor. Kancho
Ishii, the promoter of the K-1 in Japan tells: "The reason why the people
in Japan like Andy so much is because he owns something that the Japanese
respects: a big heart, generosity, strength and a will of iron."
Since Andy Hug was a young boy, he was inspired from the "Rocky" movie
to train passionately in his quest to become a World Champion. Andy became
a champion - many times. Andy did take on the world, working through
Kyokushin and Seidokaikan karate. In 1996, Andy Hug's determination netted
him the title of the best martial arts fighter in the world. But before he
became K-1 champion in 1996, and K-1 finalist in 1997 and 1998, Andy also
won the UKF World Super Heavyweight Champion, WMTC World Super Heavyweight
Champion, WKA World & European Muay Thai Super & Heavyweight Champion.
Andy was in Japan when he
collapsed, and was taken to the Nippon Medical School Hospital for
further tests and medical examination. Andy's personal physician found a
swelling tumor on the left side of his neck, and that was when doctors
realized he was suffering from Leukemia. Treatment began immediately,
including chemotherapy. Andy knew that he was seriously ill, and so he
contacted his wife Ilona by phone to tell her the news about his
health and his condition. Andy told Ilona that he would not return to
Switzerland, but that he would stay in Japan. Andy said: Japan is my
home, and here I will stay and fight the illness.
On 21st August at 9 a.m.
Kancho Ishii visited Andy Hug at the Nippon Medical School Hospital.
According to Kancho Ishii, they talked about the K-1 tournament in
Yokohama on the 20th of August, which Andy's friend Francisco Filho won.
Andy also told Ishii that if he should die soon, he would like to die in
On Thursday, 24th August, at
18:21 - Andy Hug died at the age of 35 years old. According to Japanese
TV, Andy's heart stopped three times, but somehow the doctors managed to get his
pulse back again. But the fourth time Andy's heart stopped, the doctors no
longer tried to bring Andy back to life, and let Andy slip peacefully into
death. The fight ended when the doctors stopped.
There are precious few heroes in
this world, and we were privileged to come to know a very special one in our
beloved Andy. He was only a few weeks short of his 36th birthday, when he
suddenly died. Shihan Andy Hug will be sorely missed by many, not only in the
martial arts community. My deepest condolence is offered to Andy Hug's family
I would like to thank the best sports photographer in the world, Susumu
Nagao for pictures and friendship. Without your great pictures this
homepage and tribute to Andy Hug would not be possible.
Thanks to Yo Onda from the People-group, Division of the K-magazine, for
always taking the time to help and for information. I highly respect your
All the pictures on this homepage, were sent to me by friends and
Andy Hug fans from around the world, from Canada, Brazil, Holland to
Japan. I would like to take the opportunity to thank you all for making
this homepage possible!
Special thanks to Susumu Nagao, Yo Onda, Sempai Andrew Ho and Dirk Stal.
This homepage was
made by Oliver Sperling/Denmark.