top of page

Interview - 015 - Martin Kotte

Now it´s time for an interview with our german bending machine Martin Kotte. He is probably the longest active bender till now and I am sure that he is as long active till he is alive. After that he will bend further on another place for sure.

He is not just an elite bender, when you talk to him you can feel that this guy is breathing the steel bending thing. If you have any questions in bending this guy is the encyclopedia. All the beginnings, changes, good things, bad things and a lot of guys who started and ended their journey. He has seen all of that.

That sounds a little bit of praise shit, but I am staying in close contact to Martin and we have met a few times at my garden hut, so I know what I am writing here.

I am also very thankfull that we two act together and always pushing each other a little bit on some bending goals.

Martin is known as guy incognito, it´s hard to find some bends from him on video, because he don´t have a youtube account and he is very shy in general. But I have seen some great bends from back in the days and it´s great to see his bends here for the project, where he is also a supporter.

Here is his instagram channel (not very active, of course! But you can see some things):

Thanks Martin that you have finally finished the interview for us, you lazy rabbit:


Martin Kotte

Year of birth:




Weight 118kg


Germany - Lingen


Development Engineer

Relationship Status:


Question 01:

What does steel bending mean to you?

Bending is the only thing I'm pretty decent at, at least from an athletic point of view. It’s for me the best way to focus und to release anger. When I take a piece of steel in the Overhand position it’s like a circuit which is closed and then, boom the magic happens...

Question 02:

When and why did you start steel bending and what does or did your active time look like?

I think I started in 02 or 03 with bending. Why I started with it I can't even say anymore. I think at the time David Horne started selling his Challenge bars and I was curious so I ordered some without knowing what I needed. I couldn't do anything with most of the bars because I had no idea about wrapping or technique. After that I didn't follow the whole thing for a while. That changed when Eric Milfeld released his Maximized Bending ebook in which he explained the DO technique and proper wrapping, etc.. With this information I was able to bend steel in the rednail range within a few weeks.

Question 03:

What do you love about steel bending?

That every bend is a new challenge. Each hit counts. the steel moves or it doesn't. That pushes me every time.

Question 04:

What do you hate about steel bending?

Injuries and constantly re-wrapping the wraps because I'm lazy. But what bothers me the most is today's exaggerated burden of proof when someone has bent something. In the past, you believed someone when they reported a PR, for example. Today one needs 3 video cameras for prove.I liked the "Word is bound“ approuch more, but that's maybe just me. :-)

Question 05:

How does your training for steel bending look like?

Currently I do almost everything by feel with no set training plan or schedule. But I do something almost every day, at least some iso's. My training consists mainly of iso’s and partial movements, full bends are quite rare. I focus on my weaknesses, mainly the kink in thin pads and the crushdown. The sweep doesn't need as much work. This is all related to the double overand technique. One or two times a week I also do some double underhand and reverse bends.

Question 06:

How does your other training look like (strength or other)?

When I am into bending I stop all other training, it costs too much energy. Otherwise I do some basic lifts, bench press, squats, deadlifts und overhead presses. But no real impressive numbers. General gym lifts are useless for bending, at least in my experience. In general I’m more of a couch potato.

Question 07:

What goals have you set for yourself?

Cert the Goldnail, your 12.9 bolt and the Edgin in every way are the top three on my list.

Question 08:

What was the most impressive bend you ever saw (live or on video)?

The most impressive for me are still the double underhand bends by David Ostlund. Completely crazy. They go back to 2004 or 05 and are maybe nothing special these days, but when I saw them for the first time I was blown away.

Question 09:

Rapid stuff – choose one

Bolts or steel?

Stainless Steel

Unbraced or braced?

Of course unbraced, everything else is cheating…. :-)

Singles or doubles?


Chalk or not?


Beer or water?


Cordura or leather or both?


Short bars or long bars?

Short bars

Horseshoes or flat bars? I don´t mind

Chips or chocolate?


Question 10:

The last words belong to you. What do you want the reader take away? Let us know your poems of steel!

Don't be too cocky to consider opinions and tips from inexperienced and new benders. This often results in completely new and good approaches regarding the training or the technique. Don't pay for training tips and fall for these so-called "perfoming strongman" benders who have difficulties to even bend a 60d nail. All the good benders I have dealt with have always been willing to help others and give tips. What you do with it is up to you.

„Alles was gerade ist bekommt man auch krumm!“

M. Kotte :-)

200 views1 comment


Martin Arjoon
Martin Arjoon

This is one of the best down to earth interviews I have ever read .. his answers were very refreshing and I enjoyed his basic and realistic approach to bending! Thank you guys!




bottom of page