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Biography - Defeat

 

The next objective that Andy aimed at was the 1991 World Championships. On the way there, he skilfully chose individual international tournaments, so as to check his tactics and his form. As a rule, he asserted himself in a very impressive manner and won first place each time. As early as 1988, he had become trainer for the Swiss national team, thus providing his knowledge and experience for the benefit of other competitors. Finally, the time had come: The fifth world championships in full-contact karate without weight divisions took place in Tokyo's 'Budokan', the official centre for Japanese martial arts.

 

Andy, who knew his way around competition strategies, did not fail to notice that possible favourites from Europe, South America or other non-Asian regions likewise came up against big and strong opponents, whilst top Japanese fighters mainly fought more simple matches. In full-contact karate, it is decisive for a competitor to carry off victory in the earlier rounds and without excessive energy depletion. Andy was annoyed by this championship that was being so obviously manipulated.

 

In his third fight, Andy came up against the talented Brazilian Francisco Filoh. Before this he had to meet a Russian giant, who was 2.10 metres tall and weighed a good 100 kilos. Thanks to his technical and tactical abilities, he was able to have the match decided in his favour. He even knocked out his second opponent. Despite these strength-sapping qualifying bouts, Andy was relaxed and continually responded to Filoh's attacks with his own. Suddenly the bell rang and the round was over. Andy relaxed his arms, turned to his team beaming with joy, but at that very moment Filoh's foot crashed against the side of his head. As if struck by lightning, the Swiss favourite fell to the floor. Oyama confirmed with a hand gesture that the technique was legal. Later on he took the point of view that Filoh had indeed struck after the time was up, but had started his move before then. For this reason, he decided that this blow would need to be counted and that Andy had therefore lost the fight.

 

When Andy came to later on, he made his huge disappointment known. He sat there shaking his head and held back the emotions welling up within him with all his strength. Unbridled anger overcame him and at the same time he was paralyzed by physical exhaustion and mental dejection. His disappointment was so big that momentarily his inner smile had been extinguished and he decided that in future he would pass on his knowledge and experience as a trainer and continue to look after the national team, but that he himself would contest no more bouts. He felt betrayed and saw a betrayal of his ideals regarding martial arts philosophy.

 

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