Emin Boztepe

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Emin Boztepe (born 17 June 1962) is a Turkish martial artist, currently based in the United States of America. He first came to prominence for his fight in 1986 with noted Wing Chun practitioner William Cheung,[1] and he continued to gain attention in the 1990s with a public challenge of the Gracie family.[1] He was a notable member of Leung Ting's Wing Tsun organisation until 2002, when he formed his own organisation.

Contents

Early life

Boztepe was born in Eskişehir, Turkey, the second of six children. At the age of four, his family moved to Germany.[2] According to Boztepe, his early days in Germany were difficult due to his Turkish heritage—he was a constant a target for racial insults and, more often than not, verbal abuse would escalate into physical abuse. Martial arts became something of a necessity and his father urged him to begin training. Boztepe recalled, "Germany was not the healthiest place for a young Turk in those days of growing racism and neo-Nazi movements."[2] He claimed to have been in over 300 street fights,[3] many of them a result of this period,[2] though he also claimed to have not started any of these fights.[3]

Martial arts career

In 1976, at the age of 14, Boztepe began studying martial arts, including judo, Shotokan karate, wrestling, Muay Thai, and traditional boxing.[3] During this period, he also fought as an amateur boxer in 16 matches.[2]

In 1980, Boztepe was attracted to Wing Chun when he saw a demonstration by Keith Kernspecht who was teaching in Kiel, Germany. [3] He said, "Wing Tsun was really love at first sight, and it fit me. For whatever reason I was a natural."[2] Boztepe also began training in Latosa Escrima, which Kernspecht's German Wing Tsun Organization had decided to make part of the family in 1982.[3]

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