Francisco J. Fritz
What is your name and what do you do?
My name is Francisco J. Fritz, otherwise called grandpa or Frankie. Currently I am a Postdoctoral researcher at Universitätklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, UKE, Germany.
Since when have you been a member of Kinran?
Currently I am a former member, but I was member since 2016 if I can recall it properly.
As one of the former presidents of Kinran what motivated you to take that position?
Where should I start? Actually, I wanted to be the secretary at first. Somehow I like bureaucracy, don’t ask me why (Germany is a great place for that though), and when I presented my interest to Kinran’s president at the time, she looked at me and said: “Well, you are more suitable for President”. Therefore, I thought, why not? Obviously when I accepted the position and got “approved” by the members, I took my position seriously and always did what was best for Kinran. I realised that changes were needed and we, as board, did our best to implement them.
How do you feel Kinran has developed over the years and do you agree with this development?
Kinran has developed in a way like a butterfly (haha). Let me explain, since I started in Kinran and by the stories I heard from my best friend, who is part of Kinran too, the association was “starting again”. It was having a slow but steady growth and I thought it was time to give it a push. I may say, and hope I am not being too arrogant with this, that we made a definitive push. Several things changed and those allowed to make Kinran what it is today.
What is Karate to you?
Karate was always a guilty pleasure. Well, who has not been influenced by anime and movies? I wanted to do it when I was a child, but I never had the self-esteem to do it. But now that I could do it, I realised how different and similar it was to what you see on TV and read in books. Of course, you can’t do elemental bending or throw energy balls at random or do 5 meters jumps. However, it is true that if you do the techniques properly, you can see that they are dangerous and powerful (thanks, biology and physics). But beyond the strength and power you can get or maybe get aware of, also comes the mental training. And that is really valuable as well. Controlling yourself, being aware of yourself and feeling how your body reacts when you attack or defend, it is not something you learn naturally. And that is also useful outside of training, in your everyday life. In general, Karate has become a part of me. Like a life-long contract. I think you never stop learning and you never stop using what you have learned.
What is Kinran to you?
My family! Ok, it sounds cliché, but I will make it short. Kinran made me feel welcome, allowed me to grow, gave me the chance to see how valuable I can be as a person and gave me the support. I met my best friend, and may I say that my former board also became an important part of my life. But, in general, it is a place that I know I can always come back to when the time arrives.
Any other remarks?
Last but not least, make sure to enjoy karate and endure! My greetings to Sensei Arnold, I miss my 100 sit-ups and being pushed to my limits. Enjoy life and even though I am far away, Kinran is always close to me and I hope to join training again one day.