Emin Boztepe

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Emin Boztepe
Emin Boztepe.jpg
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Born (1962-07-17) 17 July 1962 (age 59)
Eskişehir, Turkey
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
StyleWing Chun, Escrima
Teacher(s)Keith R. Kernspecht, Leung Ting
WebsiteEmin Boztepe Martial Arts System

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Emin Boztepe (born 17 July 1962) is an American martial artist of Turkish origin who held German nationality prior to naturalization.[1] He first came to prominence for his fight in 1986 with noted Wing Chun practitioner William Cheung,[2] and he continued to gain attention in the 1990s with public challenges, including the Gracie family.[2] He was a member of Leung Ting's Wing Tsun organisation until 2002, when he formed his own organisation.

Early life[edit]

Boztepe was born in Eskişehir, Turkey, the second of six children. At the age of four, his family, originally from Bağlıca, Emirdağ,[3] moved to Germany.[4] According to Boztepe, his early days in Germany were difficult due to his Turkish heritage—he was a constant target for racial insults and, more often than not, verbal abuse would escalate into physical abuse. Martial arts became something of a necessity and his father urged him to begin training. Boztepe recalled, "Germany was not the healthiest place for a young Turk in those days of growing racism and neo-Nazi movements."[4] He claimed to have been in over 300 street fights,[5] many of them a result of this period,[4] though he also claimed to have not started any of these fights.[5]

Martial arts career[edit]

Training and teaching[edit]

In 1976, at the age of 14, Boztepe began studying martial arts, including judo, Shotokan karate, wrestling, Muay Thai, and traditional boxing.[5] During this period, he also fought as an amateur boxer in 16 matches.[4]

In 1980, Boztepe was attracted to Wing Chun when he saw a demonstration by Keith R. Kernspecht who was teaching in Kiel, Germany.[5] He said, "Wing tsun was, really, love at first sight. And it fit me. For whatever reason, I was a natural at it."[4] Boztepe also began training in Latosa-Escrima, which Kernspecht's German Wing Tsun Organization had decided to make part of the family in 1982.[5]

His fight with Traditional Wing Chun Kung Fu master William Cheung in 1986,[2] at a seminar in Germany, caused controversy in the wider Wing Chun community. The apparently saw Boztepe jumping on Cheung without warning and hitting him repeatedly.[2]

After some financial problems occurred with his master, Kernspecht, Boztepe headed to his master's master, Leung Ting, and took special lessons from him until a financial dispute, which caused him to leave the Wing Tsun organisation.[6] Boztepe formed his own organisation, called Emin Boztepe Martial Arts System (EBMAS), afterwards.[7]


In 1995, a public feud between Boztepe and the Gracie family happened due to a series of internet comments, purportedly written by students of the latter. The German martial artist had derided the Ultimate Fighting Championship as "no more real than professional wrestling," which the comments addressed by accusing him of refusing to fight in UFC for fear of being defeated.[2] Boztepe answered challenging the Gracies to a bout, which Royce Gracie accepted, but the family was unable to fulfill their opponent's demands about a neutral place to legally host the match, and Boztepe ultimately declared himself unavailable due to his schedule.[8] When asked about it, Royce's brother Rorion accused Boztepe of staging the trouble in order to avoid the fight,[2] which the German denied while criticizing the Gracies for "fighting for money" instead of "for honor".[8]

According to Jon Bluming, his students Chris Dolman and Dick Vrij attended a seminar taught by Boztepe in order to answer an open challenge, in which he would have claimed himself to be unbeatable. Bluming described Boztepe as "...he was on his knees crying, and I’m not kidding you. [...] He said, please guys this is only for advertising, come on, I just want to make a dollar, that’s all, so they just spit on him and they left."[9]

Personal life[edit]

Boztepe was romantically linked with English actress Jacqueline Bisset from 1997 until 2005.[10]


  1. Sadettin Özgenç (April 2011), "EMİN BOZTEPE; "35 YILDIR YOLUMA ÇIKANLARIN SONU HÜSRAN OLDU!"", Siyah Kuşak, archived from the original on 15 April 2011 Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Jim Coleman & Jane Hallander (July 1995), "Royce Gracie vs. Emin Boztepe: Who would win this matchup of Jujutsu and Wing Chun fighters?", Black Belt, 33 (7): 52–54, 57
  3. Emirdağlı Ünlüler[permanent dead link]
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Todd Hester (November 1999), "Emin Boztepe: Kung Fu's 'Natural' Warrior", Martial Arts Combat & Sports: 34–39, 52, archived from the original on 8 July 2011 Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Thomas Nilsson (May 1996), "Emin Boztepe Fighting For Wing Tsun Acceptance", Inside Kung-Fu, 23 (5): 40–45, 111–112
  6. Statement Kernspecht Bozepte[permanent dead link]
  7. "New Wing Tsun Organization Formed", Black Belt, 40 (7): 19–20, July 2002
  8. 8.0 8.1 Gracie-Boztepe Bout Doesn't Come Off, Black Belt magazine, June 1995
  9. "Jon Bluming, Europe's first Mixed Martial Artist". Realfighting.com. Archived from the original on 2015-03-13. Retrieved 2014-09-21. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  10. Jacqueline Bisset: A Biographical Sketch

External links[edit]

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