Kyokushin Budokai en Jon Bluming.
Jon Bluming is born on the 6th of February 1933 in Amsterdam East side where upon his family moved to the desolate and very poor section of Amsterdam South called “the PIPE“ when he was four years of age.
In 1936 the family moved again to a little better place a few blocks up the road called old south where many small shop owners and diamante cutters lived mostly of Jewish faith. When he was seven years of age May 1940 he watch from the street the German Luftwaffe attack on the Schiphol Airport and the same day standing close to the Berlage bridge he watched the German Army enter the City of Amsterdam starting the 5 years of German occupation of the Netherlands.
In 1943 he saw how the Germans took away all his school friends and neighbors of which only one came back after the war, the son of one of them Harry v.d. Kar. That same time he watched with his friend at the Amstelkade how the Germans threw an elder Jewish couple from the third floor through the window onto the street simply because they could not walk the stairs and laughed when they threw them than in the army truck with the others.
On his way with his parents to church they passed the Jewish theatre witch was converted into a holding centre for Jews to be shipped to the concentration camps and heard his name called out by some of his school friends.
That made a very deep impression on him and was also the begin of molding him what he is today.
1944 came the so-called hunger winter, there was hardly any food left in and he had to beg from house to house in the better parts of Amsterdam together with his sister trying to keep his Mom and his grandparents alive his father was taken away to Germany for slave labor. He became a real dedicated thief and beggar who learned at that young age to take care of himself as well as others.
May1945 he finally saw at the same bridge as in 1940 the English and Canadian army enter Amsterdam and that war was finally over and he went to a youth health camp for 6 weeks because he was terribly undernourished.
When he was 13 years of age he went to the than famous boxing school of the boxing teacher Cosman and so got his first experience with martial arts and in the progress got his first broken nose. When he was 16 he applied for the Marines and was accepted in July 1949 and went to booth camp in Doorn. And then the war broke out in Korea summer 1950 and in the newspapers the war ministry asked for volunteers in the van Heutz regiment special founded for that occasion he applied and was accepted.
From November 1950 until Aug 1951 he was a soldier attached with the Dutch battalion to the US second division, 38th regiment. During that time he was wounded twice. First during the encirclement of the battalion in Hoengsong and the first attack on the hill 325 (where three medals of honor where given) where he was hit by two bullets from a burp gun in his right upperleg and went to Tokyo and the Annex hospital and his first purple heart.
During his stay in Tokyo he went on a army tour of the city and saw for the first time in his life judo when they visited the Kodokan in March 1951 in that time at Suidobashi street. He saw a demonstration by a very small elderly man with a red belt and knew then, that’s for me.
In 1959 November that elderly man would become his head teacher in the new Kodokan when he became a member of the famous Kenshusei the 25 best fighters of Japan. The second time he was wounded was during the assault on INJE where this time the North Koreans and some Chinese where encircled. During the fight he was hit by shrapnel of a hand granate and again spent about 6 weeks in the mash. Before the Bat went back to Holland around Aug 1951 they had to wait several weeks for the troopship to arrive and he spent his first time in a small Korean dojo and as he told us just screwed around with a kind of Taekwondo by a Sensei called Park in Yong Dong Po.
After some months in Holland he could not find his way as a civilian and when they asked for volunteers again but this time as occupation troops he went back to Korea. On board of the troopship to Korea the war broke out again and even heavier than before and as he said he was screwed again.
Aug 1952 he was back at the frontline and names like Old Baldy, Alligatorridge, and White Horse came in the history books. October the 11th at the real outpost Arsenal (75 meters of the Chinese mainline) his buddy and lifelong friend Hans Crebas volunteered to be scout for the rangers who with a full company where going to take the hill next to Arsenal to relieve the pressure a bit. But when they went up the hill the Chinese went of the hill at the back and around and then after the Rangers up the hill again and then all hell broke loose.
Bluming who was behind the 30 cal on Arsenal heard the unbelievable noise and told his LT that he was going down to see what happened to his friend Hans Crebas. Fully loaded with firepower he went down into the dark valley witch at the end was fully lit up by all the mortar and artillery and tank fire together with the hand granates and small arms fire and the screams of the fighting rangers was real loud. Bluming told us later that he nearly pissed his pants but he did not want his body left alone in that mess. He found him after a while in the melee and Hans was helping wounded Rangers a quick bear hug and that night their covenant was sealed when both cared for the wounded and got them out under fire and went Bluming finally came back on the outpost he was wounded again by a mortar which dropped right behind him in the trench and his flack jacket saved his life and he landed for the third time in the Mash with shrapnel behind his left knee. They were both recommended for the Silver Star. But the next day all they got was a promotion to PFC. Bluming was their when his group went out at the last day of the war and where ambushed and nearly all were killed that night. He was not with them this time for his time was up and he was rotated back to Holland. So his first platoon lost 8 men KIA and more than 70% wounded. The second tour the last day again 8 where KIA.
Back in Holland he refused to make a career of the Army and went again into civilian life. Years later there would be justice. During one of his seminars a Budoka in Seattle read hid book and about Korea. His name was Kregg Jorgenson a SGT of the Vietnam War and besides a Silver Star more than 9 times decorated for bravery and three times wounded. He also is the chairman of the decoration committee of the Rangers. He also thought that Bluming and Crebas got the Silver Star. When he found out that they were not decorated he went after the facts and finally they were both decorated after all those years with the forgotten hero award.
For Hans it came too late for he died in Blumings arms in a Hotel in Bunnik Holland on the 28th of April 2000. When Bluming was back in Korea in 1952 he tried to find that dirty little dojo in Yong Dong Po but it was not there anymore. Back in Holland he found by accident the judo club witch would really change his life from that on. When he brought home his girlfriend he saw in a little street a poster of the Tung Jen judo club in November 1953. So he went to that dojo and joined up.
Judo became his foremost hobby and later his profession too. His phenomenal gift for Budo came to light during his amateur judo period when his Sensei, Dr G. Schutte gave him his 1st Dan only after 12 months and he was than captain of the Tung Jen team and won the European championships in Bellevue, Amsterdam Sept 1956.
Opa Schutte was a fourth Dan at that time from the Famous Tokyo Hirano. In 1955 he got his second Dan and in 1956 he was the first Dutchman who became Kodokan member from Ichiro Abe than 6th Dan in La Baulle France no 4719.
In 1957 he got his 3th Dan from Tokyo Hirano at a summer camp in Holland when he throw 75 judoka from 4e kyu until 4th Dan in 26 minutes even when he had broken his big toe of his right foot, the leg he always stands on for the threw them all left side. Then he broke also his right knee and went into surgery. Weeks after that he did his last fight at the amateur championships in Haarlem and threw 10 black belts with his right knee tightly bounded with a bicycle inner tube. He was invited to train a police dojo in Berlin and a private judo club and did that for several months, the money from that event he used to get to Canada. His dream always has been back to Japan witch in the time right after the 2nd World war was almost impossible. So he went to the Canadian embassy and threw his medals on the table and asked for a change to go to Canada. He got his wish and in Jan 1958 he arrived in Halifax Canada. He did not read the small print so when he left the ship he did not get the $ 800 because that was only for married couples. He had tree Can $ left and knew that he could not buy houses with that.
He taken in by an old friend and was introduced the next day to Dalhousy University. Their he really started his career as a Prof Teacher and for two dollars an hour he gave his lessons. He also founded the Maritimes judo associate and became when he left a life time honorary member. He organized the first Mar judo championships and won himself the title All C at and heavyweight although he only weighted 79 kilo at that time. See the picture in his book! His dojo won the team title. He was not allowed to participate in the Canadian championships.
Jan 1959 he left for Japan and started with his students who where truck drivers and drove him all throughout the USA from Maine to San Francisco. At the big cities he stopped and visited all the dojos and fought with all he met. He only lost from Micky Tchutchida in San Francisco. Later he met Mickey in Tokyo and really cleaned the tatami with him they are still friends. Via Hawaii he arrived in Tokyo in Feb 1959 and stayed around three years.
His 3th Dan from Hirano was accepted by Kodokan and he fought right away in the 3th Dan competition and never lost a match in all those years in Judo as well as in Karate later.
Dec 1959 he had to leave Japan to renew his visa and he went to Korea. In 1954 the Korean goodwill team visited Amsterdam and the Tung Jen dojo and he knew them all from those days. He had also instruction letters from them. He was taken in with all egards and did his test for 4th Dan. He was matched against the Korean heavy champ KIM 5th Dan and threw him with a left osotogari. The next day he was matched against the 2nd Dan champ of Korea and the 2nd Dan champ students of Korea and the 3rd Dan champ students of Korea Sup Lee. They all went in seconds Sup Lee with a shime waza when he drove a kosotogari home but Bluming just sit on his backside and strangled him out. He got his 4th Dan and his first teacher’s certificate from Asia, it was the 19th of Dec 1959.
Back in Tokyo he started under the guidance of the famous Donn Dreager again with weight training for judo and karate and became finally what he always wanted heavyweight at 102 kilo solid from 79 kilo in Canada and nobody could stop him anymore, because he also kept his middleweight speed as Dreager taught him.
May 1960 he defeated the Japanese champion Kaminaga again with a strangulation which knocked him cold. During the Olympic training summer 1960 he finally threw Isao Inokuma his very close friend and training partner after a full hour fight with uchi mata makikomi. He also got his 4th Dan from Kodokan in competition.
April 1959 Donn Dreager asked him to go together for more background on Bushido to the police dojo and train under the famous 10th Dan Shimizu and Kuroda bo-jitsu and kendo and iai-Jitsu. During the all Japan police championships kendo ect they were asked to give a demonstration of bo-jitsu and got a standing ovation and a 3th Dan in both disciplines from the Japan Kendo fed. Bluming did after that another examination by his Sensei Ichitaro Kuroda for iai-jitsu and got his 3th Dan from the JKF also for iai-jitsu. From the Japanese Police HQ his lifelong friend Bill Backhus and Bluming got the gold police medal for arresting some dangerous criminals who stole a car. They made the mistake to draw a very small knife on Bluming, who knocked them cold before the police arrived. In 1960 he went to Manila again to get a new visa, he gave seminars at the Manila judo dojo and their he met somebody from the USA embassy whose name cannot ne told for obvious reasons. Later this person would involve Bluming in kind of official business.
In 1961 Bluming was invited to make a gonin gake (a hatch against 5 3th Dans) instead of Inokuma who was in hospital with a bad back injury. Dreager said to him do it that’s good for your name and so it was. They were gone in less than 4 seconds a match. Than the letter came from Holland, Opa Schutte asked him to come back and teach the old dojo and the amateurs association for a year on a good contract. Bluming who by then had a legendary name in Japan and was unbeaten in Judo and karate went back to teach his old friends and make some new ones and also to participate in the world championships in Paris France Dec 1961. Of course it went all very different as planned. He became coach of the Dutch amateur judo Association and made his name throughout Holland and Europe solely because of his fight against the judo union of Anton Geesink who told not such nice tales to the press about Bluming but refused 7 times to meet Bluming on the judo tatami wherever. Bluming was under false accusations not allowed to participate in Paris. The press did not have a field day but some field months. Especially when Bluming was introduced to the black belts of the NAJA as the new coach the first week of December 1961 in Bloemendaal. He made a match against all comers some 80 judoka from 1st Dan until 4th Dan and threw them all within about 4 seconds a judoka under the watery eyes of the press. They wrote the next day that Holland would be first and second in Paris and that Bluming must be allowed to fight. It did not help and Bluming watched in Paris a well deserved victory of Anton Geesink. It made him so miserable that he stopped with competing and started teaching instead.
Names like Chris Dolman 4 times world champ and holds the most titles in Holland ever in fighting sports, when he was 48 he became the first world champ free fight in Tokyo 1993. Willem Ruska double Olympic champ 1972 and three time’s world champ judo. Ottie Roethof World champ in soft style karate and the team world champ. Sem Schilt at the top in K1 and free fight winner of three times the daido juku and three time King of Pancrase and the students of his students like Jan Plas who gave it all to Ernesto Hoost and Peter Aerts, Peter Adelaar, Jan Kallenbach (he was not allowed to fight the so-called 100 man in the Honbu) Bluming was also not allowed in 1961 as Oyama told the press their where not that many ambulances available in Tokyo. Bluming went all throughout Europe and founded the European Kyokushinkaikan. The first karate union in Europe was founded by Bluming January the second 1962.
The first ever karate championships where held in Krasnapolsky Hotel Amsterdam in 1965. The first interland match was held against the team of Steve Arneil a student of Oyama and Bluming in 1967 and won by the Budokai dojo.
Bluming challenged Anton Geesink 7 times the first time was by the Amsterdam newspaper “Het Parool“ redacty of Joop Reuvencamp. The last time was with a famous Dutch TV personality Mies Bouwman during a drive on TV for the disabled. Bluming never claimed that he could beat Geesink easy he only wanted the change and that they never gave him. So he went all in for making champions and good teachers like his Sensei Mas Oyama and his friend and fighting teacher the famous Kenji Kurosaki 10th Dan.
In 1965 the newly founded Dutch sport federation told bluntly the many judo organisations that they work together at making only one federation or nobody would get money. So when the one union was finally done Bluming was first coach for Judo and after in 1969 coach for the Dutch karate team.
In 1971 he stopped being karate coach and was really fed up with the way they wanted their karate system done. Like a sniper who was not allowed to hit the bulls eye. He went on with his own ideas about karate. The 15 th of January 1965 he was the first foreigner awarded the 6th Dan in karate from the Kyokushinkaikan Honbu by Mas Oyama. The in those days not so big karate world was shocked. How was that possible only Japanese was 6 th Dan and who was that Bluming. Oyama put a classical samurai end to that spectacle and told that karate world that they could fight Bluming man to man and no rules in a box ring. The one who could beat Bluming that way would get $ 100.000 from Oyama and he would stop with karate and take away Bluming his 6 th Dan.
It was than very silent all of a sudden, nobody came forward. In 1966 there was one Budoka from Korea who came to Blumings dojo and wanted to fight him in a sporty manner. His name was Kwan Mo Gun 5th Dan Taekwondo and Hvw Champ of Korea. Bluming admired Kwan because he fight his way through Jan Kallenbach, who knocked him cold, than Kenji Kurosaki (the poor man had not heard of him) who knocked him cold and then he still wanted to fight Bluming. That is spirit and real karate and that he lost has nothing to do with that fact. He had KOKORO with big letters. Bluming knocked him out with a shotei for witch he is still famous and Kurosaki stopped the fight. That was the only one in all those almost 50 years who really came to fight in the real samurai manner nothing else a real man.
The Kyokushin Budokai was founded by Bluming in 1980, why this name?
First because of his Sensei who gave him this new martial art witch also changed his life some more after Judo. Second because of Trevor P Leggett who was a 6th Dan before the 2 WW in Kodokan judo together with O Neill an American. Leggett became very tired of (already in those days 1946) the politics and the jackasses who where only interested in making money and taking power positions for the good times without (most of them) having done anything them self’s in Judo. He decided to make the Budokwan in London. His rules where very simple. Anybody who was genuinely interested in doing real judo welcome. Strictly forbidden was talking about politics as well in Judo as in world business, race, religion ect. only judo. Those who stepped on those rules were expelled. That made a big impression on Jon Bluming when his Sensei, Opa Schutte told him that. For Opa and Leggett where good friends. Back in Manila and his student from the embassy.
In 1965 Bluming received a telephone call of his former student who happened to be in Amsterdam. He told Bluming that he wanted to meet his old army friend the famous Captain Ramond Westerling from the Indonesian wars 1945 until 1950. He wanted this Captain to work for US intelligence because of his understanding of the Asian Adat ect. He wanted Bluming also to work together with him and so there was another very interested time ahead again. He went to East Berlin in the time it was certainly not very healthy to work for the US and last in 1972 he went to Bangkok and then he stopped. For his work he received the Army commendation medal and the joint achievement medal making a total than of 23 decorations since 1951.
This organization was founded in 1980. Like Trevor P Leggett Bluming was so disturbed especial from what they had done to karate and all the politics and dirty tricks that he stopped. Until a Budoka from the NAVY, Jan de Bruin called him and asked Bluming to give a seminar at the Navy base Vlissingen. Bluming accepted and after the seminar and a good heart to heart talk to Jan de Bruin he decided to make the Kyokushin Budokai in the same style as Leggett. The first dojo to join was from his former students Tom Eikmans and Frans van Wyngaarden now both 7th Dan. And the Budokai was born and now after almost 23 years it is a good and clean organization where everybody is working for the same cause working together for the good of Budo. Every dojo is on its own and can run his dojo in his own way in other words he stays the BOSS in his own house. He only pays a very small lifetime membership fee and a small amount yearly for the dojo.
The KKK Budokai is not a Union ore federation, the Budokai is run by only one man and that is Kaicho (president) Jon Bluming! There is a committee and they test Budoka for their grade in Holland but the end results stay with Kaicho Jon Bluming. The Dan test is from first until 4th Dan. Above that Kaicho decides but mostly by first consulting the committee. The committee is made of the high grades from 6th Dan until the 8th Dan. In very difficult situations Kaicho always consults Kenji Kurosaki 10th Dan who is also Honorary President of the IBK.
The Kyokushin Budokai later was also molded into the International Budo kaikan with the support of Dave Jonkers, now 9th Dan. The Budokai style is a no nonsense style and especial good for Free Fight or as Bluming likes to call it All Round Karate. Looking into the backgrounds of his students you know why. Bluming already in 1966 showed Oyama Sensei his ideas of fighting but Oyama sensei did not want any of it. In Jan 1989 Bluming received his 9th Dan in Karate from Japan. In November 1989 he got a visit from Akira Maeda 8th Dan of the Budokai. He told Bluming that Oyama Sensei had send him to talk to Bluming and that he wanted Bluming back in the Honbu and wanted to make him President of the world Karate Kyokushinkaikan. Also that he wanted Bluming to teach the karateka of the Honbu who were keen on fighting professionally in all round especial by the fight organization of “Rings Japan“ of witch Maeda was the President. Bluming said that he would do so only if Loek Hollander (who had not done any karate sinds 1969) was out of the Honbu. Maeda said that Oyama sensei was aware of the mischief Hollander did and was accord. Maeda is alive and kicking so this are not kids stories. April 1994 instead of going to Japan Bluming got a fax that his Sensei Mas Oyama had died suddenly in the hospital and that was that. He was so devastated that he went to Tokyo to pay his respect and say Sayo Nara to his Sensei. September the 4 th he got a fax from Kenji Kurosaki that he was awarded the grade of his teacher Mas Oyama and got so his 10th Dan signed by 5 big organization of Budo in Japan.
He was the first 6th Dan in the Honbu and now the first 10th Dan in the world as a westerner. In 1989 he also got his 9th Dan in Judo from Japan and was the only one in the world now who got both of the highest grades in Martial Arts from Japan. The Kyokushin Budokai has now many dojo’s who all work together for the good of Budo who can learn from each other and Bluming travels still all over the world to show them his ideas of fighting, refereeing, shiai, s (the honest way) and self-defense witch is so important our days. Besides all, that it is a fact that he is one of the most complete fighting machines in the world for years even if he is 70 years of age now and is his body sore of all the injuries over the years. His artrose plays a large part in his movements now but he is still a tough man to fool around with but better is it to listen and watch his moves and learn from his 50 years of experience in real Budo. Don’t forget he did not get his style from the books but by doing it himself all those years all over the world and by beating the best they could come up with especial in Japan and Korea.
In 1963 he became in one day very famous after beating 5 pimps from The Hague who attacked him for in those days they did not know him that well. He nearly killed one of them by with a blow taking his left ear off and gave him also a skull fracture and a main artery blow out. The man was dying from 10 o’clock in the morning until they pulled him through in the hospital three o’clock in the afternoon. The other just had a heavy concussion after a haraigoshi and a seiken to the head the rest beat the fast run record. Bluming was later not charged for he did not start the fight and he was alone. That same day we got 80 new members in our dojo. I know all that for I was there. Rinus Schulz 9th Dan, co founder of the Netherlands Karate associate 1962.
I founded the Kyokushin Budokai and the International Budokaikan. As a natural balance against all those so-called Budoka who make Budo as a means of making money without doing anything themselves of having done anything themselves. Don’t get me wrong I am not against making money but at least give something back in return, like being a good teacher who is there for his students. Not everybody is a good fighter and certainly being a good fighter and then also being a good teacher is very difficult and of all those millions of martial arts teachers you won’t find a great percentage of them among them. After I stopped being a coach for the so-called soft style (no low kicks, no hitting ect) I saw what the official Dutch karate union made of Karate and saw the grades they gave to people with was absolutely nuts and than I knew that I was on the right track with my Budokai.
I decided to work together with a group of dedicated Sensei’s and they need not to be good fighters but must have “Kokoro“ Heart and spirit and have also the love and dedication for Budo rather than only work for money.
As all those old Budoka and the new ones who fell between the wall and the ship and never got those grades they deserved after so many years of teaching and living the life of a Budoka.
I saw years after coming back from Japan friends I trained within the Tung Jen old dojo in 1955 and later still being shodan or nidan and most of them have been champions before or damn good teachers. So together with Kenji Kurosaki Shihan, a legend in Japan and others I saw to it that they got those grades they honestly deserved... as well in Judo as in Karate.
My advice for newcomers in the art is. Look for a good teacher not a commercial but a Budoka who made his bones either as a fighter or a good Sensei who can mold people into being good sensei’s or good fighters like Oyama sensei and Kenji Kurosaki Sensei. Look also into what you really want out of Budo. Championships for the hell of it? Or self-defense either for you work or for the hell of it? Or just be in a good dojo with a good sensei who shows you the robes and have fun doing it. Or all together. You want the hard style or the soft one. Look very hard into that. If you cannot learn anything more or you are not at ease or you want something else. Look into that to for life is too short. You want a Dan well that’s your good right you can buy that in our days almost anywhere.
BUT IS IT WORTH ANYTHING!
Could you show the certificate to anybody without getting broad smiles and tiny funny sounds? Look in to that to. The IBK has a very good bunch of Sensei’s who know what they are doing and are still learning (me too) in the progress. I am convinced now that when I am going to teach way up into the blue yonder (or way down, they told me there is more fun) that the IBK will go on witch those dedicated sensei’s who are running most of the show anyway. Well anybody can be a member of the IBK and still be boss in his own dojo.
And guys you cannot BUY a certificate of the IBK you must earn it one way or another but not with money. If you are ready to get a promotion than you have to pay and again it is small money compared to Japan and most other honbu, s I know. Don’t ever forget, you can learn from everybody almost every day, sometimes even how not to do it. You really want to know the truth about what really happened at the cradle of karate from 1959 off.
Get the book I wrote from Street boy to 10th Dan by Jon Bluming.
If you are interested you can mail
or fax 0031.30.2203848, also www.kyokushin-budokai.com
Kaicho Jon Bluming Honbu
De Bilt Netherlands