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Personal protection martial arts MAGAZINE

28 | ALSTERTAL MAGAZINE MAGAZINE Meeting Axel Wagener is a very impressive spectacle. Big and muscular, he can look really threatening. And he can also tell great stories. His perception of the world is based on his experiences. At the age of 20 he joined NATO. For four years. After completing his basic training, he went to crisis areas around the world. To fight! He was able to expand his combat experience with an American special unit. At some point he came across UCC, ULTIMATE CLOSE COMBAT, which he describes as the art of war and which he still teaches in his sports school today. Compared to other martial arts, at UCC we don't have belts or trophies, we don't compete, we train self-defense in sparring so that our students are able to fight in all circumstances. You shouldn't be completely paralyzed if it hurts. Because: A potential villain will not adhere to any rule. And Axel Wagener knows what he's talking about. For years he was the bouncer of hip clubs in the city of Hamburg. He no longer does this job regularly. Here he often has to do with drunk and aggressive men who cannot accept a no. Then there is a fight. He is booked for courses by the FBI, but also by the police and the SEK. He also works as a bodyguard for business people at risk. All in all, he was and is faced with many threatening situations. However, it always starts with de-escalating. Only when this does not succeed or cannot do it is time to fight and win, says Axel Wagener. He was born in Scotland and came to Germany when he was six. He started judo as a young boy, then karate was added. His best friend boxed, the karate kids were inferior to him, so that Axel decided to learn to box too. Thai kickboxing was added later. But Axel Wagener can also do other things. He plays the piano, accordion and other instruments. He even plays guitar in a band called Roona, which can be admired on YouTube. He's not that meditative, but he takes great pleasure in saving hedgehogs from death by cold, talking to tame ravens and also feeding the ducks in his house pond. But his chickens are a hit for him: They even follow him into the house and cackle at him disrespectfully. There is no provocation, no threat, no aggression. His world can be like that too. Personal protection Martial arts and school of self-defense: It's not about strength, but about quick reactions, agility and technique. After a failed de-escalation he has to go there. He learned martial arts at NATO and in normal Hamburg life. Photos: S eb a st ia n M üh lig