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The Sundaes Issue


MMA may seem like the “real deal” in the US, but in terms of pure, totally unrestricted fighting it’s got nothing on the illegal matches that have been going on in Germany since the Cold War.

This is the attic D trains in. The things he’s holding in the top right picture are sharpened chop sticks.

Vice: How did you get involved with illegal fighting?


What was it like boxing in a Soviet satellite?

How was it training and fighting with those guys?

What’s the worst thing you’ve seen happen in an illegal fight?

Can you train your bones to prevent that sort of thing from happening?

Have you done any other kind of combat sport besides boxing?


Which kind of combat fighting gives you the best chances in illegal fights?

Are there set fighting styles you have to use in the illegal fights?

Do you use all the different combat styles in the same fight?

How do you win a fight? Are there rounds or points?

How long is the typical fight?

Do they ever stop the matches for bleeding or injuries?

Is everyone who fights in Berlin from the city or are there circuits?

Do you allow foreigners to fight?

Do people bet on the fights and who organizes it?

I guess there’s no such thing as a title, what’s the prize?

Whoa, that’s not shabby. Do the fights ever get out of hand?

How do you prepare for a match?

How do you handle all the pain from the training and the fights?

Recently D. has been giving self-defense lessons to the kids in his neighborhood. He keeps track of each one’s progress in this notebook and can spot a particularly talented child within minutes, though they aren’t given any special treatment. “I want the stronger kids to help the weaker kids through training,” D. says, “The children should also learn a sense of what it means to belong to a group.” Yes, we agree that has some weird undertones in Germany.