Shihan Bernd Bernie Hartmann
More Info at:
1963: Born in East Germany. Trained in competitive swimming from age 3 until age 7.
1970: Transferred to Canoeing as his size & strength lent itself better to that. Became one of the best in East German Canoeing.
1978: Started at the "Elite School for Sport and Science."
1980: Kicked out of the school program because mother's cousin married a U.S. Senior Officer.
1980-1988: Graduated from the Physical Therapy program at Humboldt University.
Began training Full Contact Martial Arts.
After winning 27 International No-Rules-Fights, was arrested several times as it was forbidden in East Germany to train Martial Arts. As punishment, was sent to East German Army. Also, trained with Russian Seals.
1988: Kicked out of East Germany.
Covertly supplied information to the CIA to fight Communism.
Both grandfathers fought against the Nazis in World War II; one escaped in 1943 to Florida, the other one was executed by the SS.
Trained American GIs in Berlin-Zehlendorf with Clifford Shaw, US Army Special Forces Instructor.
Organized 1st Karate Tournament between US & German children.
1993-1999: Traveled to Florida 14 times to teach students at a Martial Arts Training Camp and came to love this country.
Won 69 of 80 professional fights, 60 by knock out.
7 time European Champion
2 time World Champion
Received Honorary Sifu Degree from Shaolin Kung Fu
1999: Neo-Nazis conspired to ruin highly successful professional fight promoter business which resulted in the loss of all his businesses (fight promotion, fitness gym, martial arts, and physical therapy).
1999: Moved to Florida to live with sister and brother-in-law, a U.S. citizen.
Board of Physical Therapy didn't accept German degree. On the path to practice physical therapy again, attended language school to polish English language skills.
2002: Opened Martial Arts School for children and adults.
Volunteered to teach various community seminars including "Self-Defense for Women" and a high school "Seminar against Drugs, Alcohol, and Smoking."
Currently training Police officers and Sheriff Deputies in special courses.
Bernie has become an important member of our community. His mentoring of his students teaches good values and is a positive influence on both children and adults. With my signature, I support his petition to be a U.S. citizen.