Started his martial career in 1964 at the age of 18 by joining a Judo club in Adelaide South Australia which had a small group practising Sotokan Karate, under the guidance of an old 3rd Dan British army sergeant Moss Hollis, reaching brown belt within a year.
Due to Australia joining the Vietnam war and in fear of being called up to join the army by way of conscription, his family decided to move back to Holland in 1965 where he joined almost immediately the Kyokushinkai honbu dojo in Amsterdam under the guidance of Master Jon Bluming 10th Dan. Seeing the realness and no nonsense of what Kyokushin Karate was about he, out of embarrassment, immediately changed his brown belt for a white belt and again within a year he was awarded 1st Dan and eventually reaching 5th Dan. During those years he also learned Kendo, Jo Do, Ko Budo and Iai Do.
In 1972 he started, together with his good friend Master Rinus Schulz 9th Dan, practising the internal art off Tai Ki Ken (great energy boxing) with Master Sato Yoshimitsu and Master Jan Kallenbach and a year later with Master Iwama Norimasa and Master Sawai Akiko son of Master Sawai Kenichi founder of Tai Ki Ken, a sub form of the Chinese internal art of Yiquan (mind boxing) which Master Sawai learned from Grand Master Wang Xiangzhai in China when he was stationed there as a military attaché during the Japanese occupation from 1937/1946.
In 1979 Jan travelled, together with his good friend Karate Master Hannes Maass 6th Dan from Sweden, to the far east which included Taiwan and Japan. In Taiwan he learned Yang Taiji Quan, Xingyi Quan and some Bagua Zhang from Master Chen Yun, sword and staff from Master Cheng Bing and in Japan he continued practising Tai Ki Ken.
In the intervening years he travelled to Beijing China several times to further learn about Sun Taiijquan and Yiquan with Master Wang Xuanjie and Master Sue Siqi who both were students of Master Yao Xunshun who was the inheritor of Grand Master Wang Xiangzhai’s Yiquan legacy.
Jan has taught many people of which several have started their own schools in the UK, Spain, Sweden, Germany and Israel.
He is now retired but at 69 he is still practising every day the Internal boxing arts.
Text by Jan Voormeij