Andy Hug was born on 7th September 1964 in the small village of Wohlen in Switzerland. Because his mother was unable to care for him, Andy was immediately given up for adoption. Andy Hug spent the first years of his life in an orphanage, until his grandmother took over his care at the age of three years old.
It has been said that Andy's home situation brought on mocking and bullying from his classmates. When a friend of Andy introduced to him the local Karate dojo (he was only 10 years old at the time) Andy began taking karate lessons so he could fight back. Andy quickly became so good that the Swiss Karate Federation bent the rules to allow the teenaged sensation to compete with adults for the All Switzerland Karate Championship. Andy won the tournament easily!
Andy was only 19 years old when fought in Japan for the first time, at the Kyokushin 3rd World Open Tournament in 1983. Andy was newcomer and a young talent, and he impressed the whole world with his unique fighting skills and technique. Four years later, at the 4th Kyokushin World Open in 1987, Andy made it to the finale by easily defeating big fighters like Masuda from Japan and Ademir da Costa from Brazil - both of whom have passed the ultimate test in Kyokushin, the 100 men kumite.
The 4th World Open finale was a fight against the two best technical fighters ever in the history of Kyokushin: Matsui and Andy. It was the first time ever that a non-Japanese fighter was in a World Open finale, and today Kyokushin karate-ka and fight lovers around the world still talk about the big finale, and about the outcome and the result. But no matter the result, Andy opened a new area for European and western fighters, and showed the world that by hard training and true skills, anybody can become a champion. To a lot of people, Andy was the true winner of the finale, and should have been the champion of the 4th World Open Tournament.
One year later, on 17th September 1988, a special Kyokushin karate event was held in Sursee in Switzerland. It was the 1st International Super-Cup, which had been organized by the Swiss Karate Association. Kyokushin competitors from Japan, Great Britain, Netherlands, Hungary, Germany and Spain fought in the tournament. Before the vice-world champion, Andy Hug was to fight against Kenji Midori from Japan in the finale (Kenji Midori became the 5th Kyokushin World Open Champion in 1991); Andy defeated Siegfried Elson from the Netherlands in the semi-finale. The most exciting fight of the evening was undeniably the finale between Andy Hug and Kenji Midori. After two extension rounds, Andy Hug was declared as the winner of the fight and the Tournament.
In 1989, Andy Hug became Kyokushin European Champion in the Heavyweight Division for the second time. Andy was a superior European champion, and he was so popular that he traveled around the countries of Europe as a special guest instructor at Kyokushin summer camps to teach the art of knock down karate. Before Andy Hug left Kyokushin karate in 1992, to fight for Seidokaikan Karate and in the K-1, he fought against the best fighters and the biggest names in the history of Kyokushin, and only losing very few fights. Even though it has been more than 8 years since Andy Hug has left the Kyokushin karate organization, Andy is still remembered and respected as a superstar and idol for many Kyokushin members - as the true champion that he was in more than a decade in Japan and around the world.
The same year Andy Hug left the Kyokushin organization, he became World Open Champion in Seido karate, by winning the finale against Taiei Kin on 5-0 judge decision. One year later, in 1993, Andy was again in the finale in the Seido World Cup, by wining on TKO against the famous fighter Nobukai Kakuda in the opening rounds. The finale was a fight against the Japanese champion Masaaki Satake. It was a finale where Andy Hug controlled the fight from start to finish! Andy even hit Satake in the face with his famous axe kick so hard that Satake went down. But fighting against the national hero and champion, Andy was fighting against uneven odds, and he lost the fight and the finale on tameshiwari after three extension rounds. But he won the heart of the Japanese people, and got the nickname: The samurai with blue eyes.
It was also in 1993 that Andy Hug started his K-1 career. On 5th November 1993, Andy got his debut in the K-1 against Ryuji Murakami, a fight that Andy won by TKO in the first round, after he knocked out Ryuji three times in only 50 seconds. Andy Hug became a superstar from Hokkaido to Okinawa. But it was not only his famous axe-kick, super strength and his sublime technique that made him the people choice, it was his spirit and warmth that earned him the deep respect of his opponents and the deep love of his fans.
In Japan Andy Hug received the title of "Samurai" which is a distinction of great honor. Kancho Ishii, the promoter of the K-1 in Japan tells: "The reason why the people in Japan like Andy so much is because he owns something that the Japanese respects: a big heart, generosity, strength and a will of iron."
Because of Andy's fitness and charisma, he got enormous popularity in Japan where he had lived in recent years. But even though Andy became rich and famous, he remained modest, polite and truthful. Andy Hug always had time for his fans and he never refused an autograph request, and it was precisely this which his primarily young fan club loved. He was a true hero.
Since Andy Hug was as a young boy, he was inspired from the "Rocky" movie to train passionately in his quest to become a World Champion. Andy became a champion - many times. Andy did take on the world, working through Kyokushin and Seidokaikan karate. In 1996, Andy Hug's determination netted him the title of the best martial arts fighter in the world. But before he became K-1 champion in 1996, and K-1 finalist in 1997 and 1998, Andy also won the UKF World Super Heavyweight Champion, WMTC World Super Heavyweight Champion, WKA World & European Muay Thai Super & Heavyweight Champion.