Julian Maestro started out in 1978 as part of a childhood team of bullfighters graduating from the newly formed bullfighting school in Madrid. Since then, he has become as much a beloved Madrid institution as any torero.
Along with classmates El Yiyo and Lucio Sandin, Maestro was praised as the future of la fiesta in the 1980s. Tragedy, however, struck without mercy as the three boys became men and chased after their art.
First, Lucio Sandin was gored in Sevilla, with the horn catching him in the face and taking out an eye.
Then, El Yiyo was killed in 1985, when a dying bull gored him through the heart after he placed a fatal sword in the beast.
Maestro met tragedy in yet another way, when still a novillero during a 1989 appearance in Las Ventas in Madrid.
The torero who had once been one of the darlings of the city had a very bad day and did not do well at the kill, causing the public to turn on him.
Surprising the audience, Maestro announced his retirement as a matador de novillos in order to become a banderillero.
This he did and was quite good at the new trade. Perhaps he was even great.
Personal pride still churned within and the thought of unfinished business dangled over him.
He announced he was returning to the ring as a novillero and would do so until he took the alternativa at least.
Maestro did become a matador de toros in Mostoles in May 5, 2002. Luis Miguel Encabo and Alfonso Romero did the ceremonies, but the new matador stole the day. He cut an ear from each bull, though with his second animal he received a minor goring in the process. No one would ever doubt his bravery again.
Having met his goal, maestro returned to the career of banderillero.
He is active in the bullfight to this day and is presently heralded as one of the finest banderilleros in the trade.
His vast knowledge of bulls and appearing as both novillero and matador de toros in the past also have proceed invaluable to current matadores employing him. These include Jose Tomas, Jose Luis Bote, Luis Francisco Espla and Victor Mendes.
One may still see Maestro in the ring placing the banderillas, often in Madrid for example, to this very day.