Jakob Kjøller Photography
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The other side of Martial Arts

Some time ago, I was provoked by the phrase "we do not want to be associated with martial arts", then I started with this photographic project.

A big part of my life, I have practiced the martial arts, or fighting arts if you want to. It's a big part of me and have undoubtedly helped shape me into the person I am today.

For me, martial art is not so much about kicking someone’s ass (given, that's part of it). But it is a long journey towards an unattainable goal, a perfection one cannot quite reach. It requires focus, concentration and not least dedication.

Take for example karate, as I practice, where only one in 100 practitioners may get his black belt (1. DAN). The belt there is the holy grail for the athletes and what you are training for. The closer you get to the black belt, the more of your training partners are falling away.

You have to keep going, going and then go a bit longer. To practice martial arts requires dedication:

-  If it's the brother who travels to China to learn Kung Fu.

- The architect who is a taekwondo practitioner and runs a school in the evening.

- Physiotherapists who travel around the world and participate in tournaments.

- The classic musician who, as one man, trains Pencak Silat before he travels abroad to graduate, and then open a school in Denmark.

One thing is for sure: All the "troublemakers" - as we are sometimes associated with - they disappears shortly after starting.

With the project I would like to show that martial art is practiced by many different types; everything from craftsman, over creative people, to those with long education and high positions.

All they have in common is that they have been practicing martial arts for a long time and it is a solid component of their lives.

It has been a long and interesting photographic project for me. Along the way, it has grown, and I have learned a lot of new branches of martial arts.

One of the things I find most fascinating is that more people know each other across the styles.

I have taken two pictures of each person. One in their "civil life" and one where they are in their "martial arts" persona.

It is my hope you will enjoy getting a brief insight into the two different sides of these people.

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