Indiana State University Newsroom

Journalist-turned-military champ-turned-academic joins exercise science faculty

March 2, 2017

Of all the life decisions Alberto Friedmann has made, the choice to come to Indiana State University was one of the easiest.

After working 12 years as a journalist who was won top journalist four years in a row and pop columnist three years in a row, Friedmann enrolled in Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville's in exercise physiology master's program and went on to study kinesiology at University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Friedmann was training physicians in pulmonary medicine in Aruba when the opportunity to teach at Indiana State presented itself.

"People outside of the exercise science department here are unaware of the reputation the university's exercise department has. It is one of the top four in the country," said the lecturer. "I heard people talking about Indiana State, and I came here because I wanted to be here."

Friedmann teaches physiology, assessment and prescriptions and is passionate learning how to use movement instead of medication. Next year, he hopes to get back into his research on stroke and brain injury with the goal of developing a new protocol for treating people who are in long-term recovering.

Friedmann's motto is, "It is all about moving the right amount and eating the right amount. The body is really good at taking care of itself when we provide it with the right food and exercise. People continue to talk about obesity and diabetes, and we talk about it as if we need to find a repair for and a new medication."

"Yes, there are people with legitimate medical issues, but most people are not doing what they need to. Our concept has not caught up with the changes in our world. Just 50 years ago, making dinner took a lot more effort than we do now. We need mental shift to occur or else it is going to keep going to get worse."

Friedmann thrives on the enthusiasm and investment of the athletes and students he teaches.

"I love seeing the connection of when students understand," he said. "I remember being on the other side. Any time you are passionate about what you do; it leaches into the rest of your world."

Being a child of immigrants helped to shape Friedmann's worldview.

"I have a different viewpoint on the U.S. in general because of that and the absolute love for our country because I saw what it did for my family. It gave them opportunities that they couldn't get in their home countries," he said.

While Friedmann's hometown may be Detroit, he is not one to stay put. His life's goal is to travel to all seven continents. And he's well on his way; Antarctica as the only place he hasn't been yet.

He has lived in Japan, lectured in the Caribbean and Europe and traveled the orient to Korea as an athlete on the U.S. Martial Arts Team.

An eighth-degree black belt and world champion martial artist, Friedmann began competing in 1993 and is an inductee into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame. He's also earned 14 medals -- 12 gold, one silver and one bronze -- from the World Martial Arts Games between 2000 and 2006.

In 2013, Friedmann was named one of the top 25 living martial artists in the United States. Friedman was competing and coaching in 2004 and stopped competing in 2009 to make his passion a career by coaching with the U.S. Martial Arts Team.

Countless hours of training consumed Friedmann's life, but he would not have had it any other way.

"It is all so worth it. Standing on the platform when your country's flag is going up for you. It is indescribable," he said.


Photo: -- Alberto Friedmann

Contact: Alberto Friedmann, lecturer, Indiana State University, Alberto.Friedmann@indstate.eduWriter: Abby Niepagen, media relations assistant, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University,