Featured events

7-9 September 2012
Brussels Games

Brussels Gay Sports will offer a weekend of fun and fairplay in the capital of Europe, with volleyball, swimming, badminton, and tennis, as well as fitness and hiking.

Learn more HERE.
26-28 October 2012
Bern, Switzerland

The success of the first edition of the QueergamesBern proved the need for an LGBT multisport event in Switzerland. This year will be even bigger, with badminton, bowling, running, walking, floorball.

Learn more HERE.
17-20 January 2013
Sin City Shootout
Las Vegas
The 7th Sin City Shootout will feature softball, ice hockey, tennis, wrestling, basketball, dodgeball, bodybuilding and basketball.

Learn more HERE.

13-16 June 2013
IGLFA Euro Cup
After this year's edition in Budapest at the EuroGames, the IGLFA Euro Cup heads to Dublin for 2013, hosted by the Dublin Devils and the Dublin Phoenix Tigers.

Learn more HERE.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Portrait of Horangi/SC Janus martial artist Andrea Loewe

We found this profile of Andrea Loewe on the website of FGG member organization IAGLMA, and wanted to share it. Andrea and her club Horangi organized martial arts for Gay Games VIII in 2010, for which we thank her and her team!

What brought you to the martial arts?
I was interested in Martial Arts since I was a child- but I didn´t like Judo or Aikido at the age of 13 (too little physical exercise for me at this time…)- when a Grandmaster in Taekwondo opened a school in my small home town in western Germany, I found my first love in Martial Arts, which I still practise.

What Martial Arts Style(s) do you practice?
WTF- Taekwondo, Hapkido

Why did you choose these styles?
I like Taekwondo for its fast and spectacular kicks and movements- and also like the contrast between traditional elements like kata, self-defense and the modern olympic competition. With Hapkido, I like the soft and circular self-defense, the inner harmony and peace this great style imparts. Taekwondo emphasises power, not speed. Japanese forms of martial arts tend to lean more towards the speed aspect. Korean Martial arts tend to lean more in the way of power, utilising the hips and shoulders as the source. Taekwondo & Hapkido combined gives you traditional and competitive styles.

How long have you studied the martial arts?

I´ve studied the Martial Arts since 1985.

Rank: what do you think about rank?
I´m a 4th degree black belt in Taekwondo and 1st degree black belt in Hapkido

What are the favorite aspects of your style or of the martial arts in general?

Studying Martial Arts is a lifelong journey and could be a way of live, if you open your mind. Never forget to learn- whatever rank you hold. „The consciousness of "self" is the greatest hindrance to the proper execution of all physical action. ( Lee,Linda, The Tao Of Jeet Kune Do) based on the Zen quote : If you seek it, you will not find it."

What is the most difficult part of the martial arts for you?
In learning: The easiest and simplest thing requires most effort to understand and the most difficult to master. In teaching: One most important thing the students need to put behind, is their attitude before they can open their mind and let the knowledge be absorbed like a sponge.

What’s your favorite kata/form? Why it is your favorite?

Right now I like Sipjin- Poomse (form) most. All techniques are on one line- very difficult to show the „flow“ between hard and soft movements, great challenge.

Please tell us something about your club.

With more than 1200 members, SC Janus in Cologne is one of the biggest European gay and lesbian sport associations and hosts the Gay Games in 2010. I´ve founded the Taekwondo section in January 2000- and we now have around 50 male and female members from white to black belt, between the age of 17 and 50. We offer two traditional Taekwondo classes per week and do a “Fit & Fight” training on Saturdays. It´s a cross training with elements from Taekwondo, karate, boxing and kick boxing and includes preparation for the Gay Games competition as well as punching bag training and a special fitness program. We volonteer at community events, do yearly training camps and a lot of other activities beside the sports. We are proud to be the first Gay Taekwondo group in Germany and look forward to meeting with our partners from Triangle/US and other Gay Martial Artists.

Are you a teacher? Why do you choose to teach?
Yes, I´m a teacher. I began teaching as a blue belt and liked it from the first moment on. I´ve learnt a lot about Taekwondo and myself during the years of teaching. I try to pass the whole system of Taekwondo and the philosophic background to my students. Let them help to keep their eyes open and try to share our ideals of spirit, friendship, respect and variety.

Tell us about some issues that you have encountered in your time practicing the martial arts: gender issues, age issues, ability/disability issues, homophobia, HIV related, training, traditional vs modern, and any other point you wish to share with IAGLMA members.
You all may share my experiences- at the beginning it was hard to bring Martial Arts to the gay community. Taekwondo is not so well known as Karate, but through the years we´ve built a very harmonic and mixed group. Of course HIV is also present, but fortunately they all can participate and feel healthy with the MA.
I think it´s important to pass the training of Martial Arts to the future- keep eys open to teach the traditional elements, but don´t forget about new aspects of healthy exercises and progressive training. I´m also a huge fan of cross training and like to share experiences and elements with other styles to make self defense most practical. No style is leading or most attractive or efficient- it depends on what you are looking for. I´ve always liked the idea of connecting the Gay Martial Arts Community that´s why I love the ideas oft he IAGLMA- meeting with martial artist from all over the world. Thanks for this!

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