“We’ve been the team to beat for about 12 years.” U.S. Martial Arts Coach now at Indiana State University

(WTHI Photo)
(WTHI Photo)

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Strength, achievement and self-confidence.

Those are just a few words to describe what one Indiana State University instructor expects from his students. But, not all of his teaching methods, are coming from a textbook.

In fact, he’s taking his technique from something he has spent his entire life, perfecting.

This is Professor Alberto Friedmann’s first year teaching at ISU. Friedmann has a  Ph.D. in Kinesiology, which is the science of movement.  Right now, he’s dedicated to teaching his students lessons in areas of recreational sports. “Here’s the level I expect you to reach. As long as I can give them the tools and what they need to reach that – it’s all good,” said Friedmann.

However, he credits his passion for teaching to another job title he’s held since 2006.

Friedmann added, “Nobody succeeds at something they don’t enjoy. And what do I attribute it to? I love this stuff.”

That is, his role as Coach for the U.S. Martial Arts team.

According to the U.S. Martial Arts website:

He has coached more than 700 US athletes since 2000. Of those athletes, 698 have won gold medals at the World Martial Arts Games.

And that’s not all. Friedmann is a 12-time World Champion and one of the nation’s top martial arts instructors. Also, a bronze medalist and an Olympic Torch Bearer in 2004.

Here’s a list of Friedmann’s accomplishments:

  • 2013 International Budo Renmei – Top 25 Living Martial Arts Instructors
  • 2009 USA Olympic Karate Team Member for the Maccabiah Games – Israel
  • 2009 Maccabiah Games Bronze Medalist
  • 2004 Olympic Torch Relay, Torch Bearer
  • 2004 World Martial Arts Championships, Barcelona, Spain – 5 Gold Medals
  • 2000 World Martial Arts Championships, Sydney, Australia – 5 Gold Medals, 1 Silver Medal
  • 2000-2016 Coach US Martial Arts Team
  • Eighth-Degree Black Belt, Wa No Michi Ryu Kobudo
  • Eighth-Degree Black Belt, Wa No Michi Ryu Karate
  • Fourth-Degree Black Belt, Korea Tae Kwon Do Association
  • Fourth-Degree Black Belt, National Chung Do Kwan
  • Second-Degree Black Belt, World Taekwondo Federation
  • Lifetime Member – Daito-Ryu Aiki jujitsu
  • Certified Stress Inoculation Specialist

“When you go into the opening ceremony and you’re going country by country, the sound – it’s just overwhelming,” said Friedmann.

To get to this point, Friedmann says it takes discipline. “When I was prepping for Sydney, I was eating 10,000 calories a day and losing weight because we were working out 7 hours a day, 6 days a week. That’s 42 hours of exercise a week!”

Hard-work, that’s paid off as he coaches the U.S. Martial Arts team to victory. “This last game in South Africa we took 30 competitors and took 99 medals. 54 of them gold. We’ve been the team to beat for about 12 years.”

Coaching his team, to not only be the one to beat, but also keeping in mind the life lesson of martial arts.

“If I’m giving athletes that experience, that’s much more beneficial than, I went and won a medal,” said Friedmann.

Indiana State University is one of few schools where you can get a minor in martial arts. Friedmann is also working to make ISU a training center for the U.S. Martial Arts team.

If you would like to learn more about the U.S. Martial Arts team, click here to visit the website.