BAMBERG, Germany - Professional sporting events in Bavaria are usually limited to soccer and basketball, but Bamberg will soon have some sports entertainment that are different from the norm and Soldiers will be close enough to feel the excitement.

Thanks to U.S. Army Garrison Bamberg's Family and Morale Welfare and Recreation, Soldiers and their family members will have a chance to attend a mixed martial arts workshop and watch their instructor, at a discounted price, fight in an upcoming martial arts event at Bamberg's Jako Arena.

"Without overstatement, this event can be called the top event in Germany's fight sports scene, with eight world champions and ten national and international champions coming to Bamberg," said Simon Hupfer, a marketing director for Bamberg's MWR. "I received a lot of good feed-back; Soldiers I have spoken to all expressed their interest in the event. I hope we can increase that."

"Everybody who is interested in martial arts or boxing, at its best, should come and see the Muay Thai Boxing and K-1 Rules Super Fights Dec. 13 at 7 p.m." Hupfer said.

The event happens about once a year in Germany, said Bernard Caplin, the fight promoter who worked with Hupfer to get service members discounted tickets. It's a high profile event for Bamberg and has worldwide recognition in the Muay Thai community.

The tickets are normally priced at Ac'A! 23.50 but the special MWR price is $25. However, Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers is also receiving some free tickets. MWR will also give away two special VIP tickets, with seats close to the ring and free buffet. The martial arts workshop is free to military community members, but they must be at least 18 years old to participate.

"I want to support the MWR program wherever possible, also the BOSS program to provide new opportunities for single Soldiers on their night out," Caplin said.

The sport of Thai boxing takes its roots from Muay Thai, which has a 2,000-year-old tradition that dates back to the ancient battlefields in Asia, Caplin said. "It has developed from these roots to become one of the toughest and hardest martial arts and regulated ring sports on the planet."

Caplin recognized the commonality between mixed martial arts and Solders use of hand-to-hand combat, which is why he arranged for Serdar Karaca, a German who is Thai Boxing champion, to provide some instructions at the martial arts workshop at 6 p.m. Nov. 21 at the Freedom Fitness Facility. Caplin said Muay Thai offers simple but effective combination techniques for a real stand-up fight situation.

"(The) fights are explosive, technical and are often ended with spectacular knockouts through kicks, elbows or punches," Caplin said.

In addition to teaching Soldiers how to implement some basic techniques, the workshop will also help service members understand the rules, so when they attend the fight they will understand how the event is scored, he said.

Hupfer said the MWR special price is available for all military community members stationed in Bavaria.

For the special MWR ticket price, call 0162-362-8309. Regular tickets can be purchase by calling 0951-23837.

For more information about the martial arts workshop, call DSN 469-8890 or CIV (0951) 300-8890. Space is limited, so sign up quickly.