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Interview with Christian Grüner

22/02 2016

“I was born in 1981 in Jena/Germany and from there I followed my way all around the world. Now my home is in the region of Eifel just a short way from Cologne and Frankfurt.
Travel, seminars, championships and exciting projects belong to my work. Every time I get to know interesting places and exciting people“
Christian Grüner

You came back with the German Team from the European Championship just several weeks ago. What were the results of your competitors?
After more than one year of preparations, a tough national qualification and and numerous trainings and competitions the european championships were the highlight of the season for me and my students. Nine athletes (kata and kumite) of my region rhineland palatinate with two students of my club qualified to represent Germany in Cyprus. Even that is a great result. But the bronze medal and the fifth place of my two students absolutely overwhelmed my expectations.

How hard was Sarah Mimouni´s way to the bronze medal?
Sarah Mimouni had a tough start in her first appearance at the European Championships. After her two matches I honestly didn't expect Sarah to win a medal. Followed a very close 0:1 against Denmark in round three, Sarah showed great spirit and defeated England and Russia. Sarah is a very mentally strong athlete. That was her key to get her place on the podium in Limassol.

In the strong competition at the European Championship it is a great success for Jil Augel to be on the 5th place. Can you describe his (her) matches?
A fifth place at first glance is really disappointing because it's so close from winning a medal. In the end it was just one flag that was left in order to win bronce. Jil Augel did a great performance especially against the later European Champion from turkey. After a 2:0 from Jils opponent my student made a great Ura Mawashi an led with 3:2. But one mistake cost her win. I'm very proud of her and convinced that next year she'll do even better.

 in European Championship, Cyprus 2016  

What is the name of your dojo, where and how long do you practice karate?
My new dojo's name is Sen5, which means new beginning and the number 5 means the harmony of the five elements. After a great time in the dojo of the German youth national coach Klaus Bitsch where I learned very very much and five successful years with my former national team collegue Lukas Grezella with several German championships and three european medals I decided to launch my own project. I started karate in 1993 and after 13 sucessful years in the German national team now my aim is to build up a new talented karate-generation. I love karate and it's my main intention to transfer my experience to the young people.

What is the optimal age for children to start karate?
My daughter started in the age of one year. In my club we have that group from one until three years. It's called "flea karate". They only train 30 minutes together with their parents and the focus is on having fun and improving coordination, concentration and flexibility. It's a great experience for me and all involved people. The first gerneration which started like this is already very successful on regional championships. That proves my idea that it's never to early to start karate. It only depends on the system of teaching and promoting your students.

Can you tell us about your project SEN5 dojo?
My new dojo is my new center of activities and my test lab for new concepts and exercises. I so grateful to the opportunity to build a new club with my ideas together with close friends and partners. About 95 per cent of the athletes of my former club followed me to Sen5 and showed me their trust and support. Now we're building a strong competition team but also a place where people feel home and comfortable. Sen5 is a place for everybody, children and adults, free-time sportsmen and high-level athletes. The results of Cyprus will only be the beginning a successful development.

You hold the 4th International Rhein-Shiai in January 2016. Were there many athletes and countries? Have you already had the terms for the next time event?
Every year in the last weekend of january the international event Rhein Shiai takes place. It is a really unique tournament because we do every category by the system "round robin". So each athlete has a huge number of matches during the competition day. Besides the tournament there're also training lessons consisting of tactical exercises and sparring, so every participant benefits of a great kumite-experiences. Every year the Rhein Shiai is growing. In 2015 we had 450 athletes from 79 clubs from 12 countries. Next year we'll welcome 550 karateka from all around the world in Mayen. Don't miss it!

Where we can meet you in the near future at a karate seminar?
Nearly every weekend I travel all around Germany and other countries all around the world for karate. Besides the participation of my students in many tournaments I also do a lot of seminars and training camps. I already taught karateka in Hungay, Denmark, Poland, Czech Republic, England and of course Germany. One of highlight every year is the summer camp in Eching/Bavaria with more than 400 participants together with the German kata national coach Efthimios Karamitsos and many other great teachers. In fifth of march I'll teach in Belgium for the first time. My friend Romain Debatty in Liege invited me.

That's one of the great things in the international karate family: Exchange, friendship and sharing experiences and great moments.


 You can find all seminars and events here:www.christian-gruener.com

Thank you very much for the interview, We wish you all the best in the future. Karate Live