Taekwondo from Berlin-Spandau: Today the Black Bears introduce themselves in the Tagesspiegel newsletter. I recently met Ahmet Housein, who is the boss of Black Bears Berlin. Here he talks about his club, fat and thin, Corona, black bears – and what “goodbye” means in Korean. Here we go! If you would like to read the entire Spandau newsletter, you are welcome – now here specifically and free of charge: leute.tagesspiegel.de.

Mr Housein, where am I catching you? “I can always be reached at the Black Bears Berlin club, i.e. at Neuendorfer Str. 64-69.”

You’re the boss of the Black Bears, correct? “I’m the Founder, 1st Chairman and the Head Coach.”

And what kind of Spandau club is that? “The club was founded in Charlottenburg in 1993 and then moved to Hakenfelde in 2003. Our club mainly serves the Olympic sport Taekwondo and our focus is on children and youth work to promote youth and integration in Budo sports. The main focus is on children from 4/5 years, of course we would also like to see seniors on the mat. We have represented almost all nationalities and of course the majority of the members here are from Spandau. We also offer kickboxing, but this is more for the adults.”

Are there women too? “We have a lot of girls, including women, but unfortunately no separate girls-only groups, we train mixed.”

Can everyone participate, including fat and not so flexible? “Anyone can join us, fat and thin, flexible and non-flexible, you just have to come to our club for a trial lesson. Bring jogging pants and a t-shirt and off you go. We train on the mat, so barefoot.”

And how did the name “Black Bears” come about when they all wear white coats? “Actually, we wanted to call it Black Belt’s Berlin, but unfortunately this name was already registered when the association was founded. So we quickly rethought and came up with the idea. “Black”, i.e. black, should remain and the Berlin coat of arms is a bear, i.e. Black Bears Berlin.

How long have you been wearing a white coat like that? “I myself found love in this sport when I was 7/8 years old and I’m not the youngest anymore at 56 years old. I have practiced Taekwondo for almost 50 years. I have the 6th dan, i.e. a master’s degree.”

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Are you Spandau? “Yes, as a child I first attended the Carl Schurz elementary school in Hakenfelde, then the Carl Diem secondary school in Forstacker.”

Politics reads along. Your request? “I don’t really have many wishes, but I would like to get a little more support in my tireless work at the club. This Corona period in particular has demanded a lot from us, we couldn’t do any training with our children for almost a year. We were almost exhausted and it was very difficult to get the members back.”

Finally: How do you say goodbye in Taekwondo? “Bow and say tae kwon. Or Ann yeong – that’s Korean and means “goodbye”.

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