Feature: A Turkish man dedicated to martial arts

Source: Xinhua| 2019-01-25 16:19:33|Editor: mmm
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by Zeynep Cermen

ISTANBUL, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- He starts the day with a trot early in the morning in different locations in Ankara, Turkey's capital, and later he gives instructions to his students, usually finishing off the day at midnight.

Despite a tight schedule, he travels across the country as much as possible to give seminars on combat sports, and he has even managed to shoot a documentary on the martial arts.

Nehar Eren, 41, has devoted himself to the martial arts for over 20 years. He currently has a total of 150 students practicing mixed martial arts in his schools spread across the country.

He has mainly taught Wing Chun Kung Fu, a concept-based Chinese martial art, and Escrima, the martial art of the Philippines.

According to Eren, combat sports became popular among Turks in particular after the release in 2008 of a movie about the life of Ip Man, the grandmaster of Wing Chun who was Bruce Lee's teacher.

"Until then, not many people in Turkey were aware of the existence of such a style," Eren said, adding Wing Chun is very difficult to learn because it is a traditional art and there are not many instructors in Turkey who have sufficient skills.

There are around 40 instructors across Turkey teaching Wing Chun under the Emin Boztepe martial arts system.

"Boztepe is a pioneer of the martial arts, spreading Wing Chun and Escrima not only in Turkey but also in the world," Eren said of his instructor.

Boztepe has been giving instructions to over 600 trainees in 42 countries around the world.

In Eren's view, as a combat sport, Wing Chun is helpful as well in boosting strength, increasing the body's coordination abilities, and healing the problem of herniated disk.

"It is highly preferred by the elderly, as it improves the blood circulation," he said, adding, "My oldest student is 67 years old, while the youngest one is six."

Wing Chun has been officially recognized as a combat sport in Turkey, as part of the Turkish Wushu Federation established in 2006.

Nehar Eren Academy was recently launched in Ankara, as part of the master's efforts to increase the standard of the martial arts in the country.

"I am also shooting a series of a documentary that introduces the martial arts that originated in different countries across the globe to the Turkish people," said Eren.

The documentary's first episode was aired weeks ago on the state-run broadcaster TRT.

One of the followers of Eren, an academic, said the documentary is telling about the fundamentals of Eastern philosophy, including the culture and the art of war in a significant way.

"The shootings and the story are well above Turkey's standards, revealing some solid sociological facts," the academic said in a comment posted on Eren's social media account.

Eren is planning to shoot another episode on Wudang Mountain and Shaolin Temple in China, in which he is to practice different styles of the martial arts with Chinese masters.

"Of course my primary target is to make some Wing Chun drills with Ip Chun, the son of Ip Man," he said, noting he would also like to discuss the philosophy and the artistic parts of Wing Chun with the grandmaster.

Nehir Mentes, a female student of Eren, has been practicing Wing Chun for almost three years "to learn useful self-defense skills."

"All its technical parts have meaningful applications in actual life," she said.

Metehan, Mentes's younger brother, started to attend Eren's courses at the age of 12 upon the request of his parents.

"While practicing Wing Chun, I realized that it is a beautiful style although it has some difficult mechanisms," said the boy aged about 15.