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#1 User is offline   DougNZ 

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 09:00 AM

An old, retired Dutch jiu jitsuka / judoka asked me to check on some of his teachers. I have googled but to no avail.

Does anyone know what grades the following men ended up?

Maurice van Nieuwenhuizen
Bob van Nieuwenhuizen
Ge Koning
Wim Boersma

If you also happen to know when they received their last grade and from whom, I would be very appreciative.
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#2 User is offline   Cichorei Kano 

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 02:11 PM

View PostDougNZ, on 10 January 2013 - 06:00 PM, said:

An old, retired Dutch jiu jitsuka / judoka asked me to check on some of his teachers. I have googled but to no avail.

Does anyone know what grades the following men ended up?

Maurice van Nieuwenhuizen
Bob van Nieuwenhuizen
Ge Koning
Wim Boersma

If you also happen to know when they received their last grade and from whom, I would be very appreciative.


Interesting ... very interesting ... for many reasons. Anyhow, strange that you would find no information, since these are names of Dutch judo and jujutsu pioneers that you could ask about anyone from Europe with a judo experience of +40 years. These men were already active in the 1940s and as far as know the Internet is full with information about them, be it as authors of books, be it for other connections. These people (don't know about BVN) are all deceased, which is why I will respond and consider this information historic). G Koning, for example, is often termed the Dutch teacher of Geesink, which is enough to make him world famous. He was one, if not the first, Dutch 9th dan holder from the JBN Dutch judo federation. He demonstrated koshiki-no-kata at the occasion of the 1981 world championships in Maastricht, at which virtually no Westerner knew anything of this kata; not that this has much changed since then, but at least most Westerners have now seen it several times and know what it looks like. He passed away more than a decade ago.

Wim Boersma is the only one of the group whom I knew personally. I invited him to my club in 1990 or 1991, I think. He held an 8th dan in judo, and was the first Dutch 9th dan jujutsu, rank to which he was promoted, I think, on 16 December 2004. Boersma's final high ranks were all through the standard JBN Dutch judo federation (or previous designation of that federation) He died shortly after due to prostate cancer. His son Douwe Boersma is a known leading and high-ranked jujutsu teacher in the Holland, also teaches judo.

Maurice Van Nieuwenhuizen was the first proliferative judo and jujutsu author in the Netherlands. He came to our club in 1946 and my teacher knew him very well. He is considered as one of the founders of the first Dutch federation for judo and jujutsu in 1939 and was associated with both Johan van der Bruggen (teacher to our forum colleague Johan Smits) and current Dutch EJU 10th dan holder Jaap Nauwelaerts de Ag. My teacher always pointed MVN's big mouth and snaky personality; my teacher was impressed neither by the person nor by his skills.

I do not know Bob Van Nieuwenhuizen (presumably his son) and defer to Johan Smits for this. He might well still be alive, in which case I don't think it's appropriate to comment as he is not a public figure. I don't recall what Maurice Van Nieuwenhuizen's final rank was. He has been dead a long time (since 1998), and I don't think that in the end he stayed active in judo or jujutsu. I don't think he ever reached a very high rank either.

This post has been edited by Cichorei Kano: 10 January 2013 - 02:11 PM

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#3 User is offline   DougNZ 

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 06:20 PM

Thank you for your informative reply, CK. Please don't misunderstand; I found a lot of information on these men (including translating Dutch sites) but not dates and grades.

Bob Van Nieuwenhuizen was Maurice's brother, I think. Together with Nauwelaerts d'Age and Ge Koning (and possibly with his brother's influence) he formed the Nakoni style of juijitsu, the name taken from the first two letters of each man's name. Their ju-jitsu seems to have come from Kawaishi, Koizumi and Michigami, with influence from Johan van der Bruggen, although Kawaishi gets the greatest credit. Bob died in 1988 and Nakoni survived until the late 1970s when it was revised by Bob's son, Steve, and renamed Nakoni Ni. It is attributed with introducing the cherry blossom badges for ju-jitsu and the founders were instrumental in forming the Nederlandsche Judo Associatie (NJA) about 1948. Funnily enough, whilst my old Dutch friend introduced the cherry blossoms here (and subsequently replaced them with judo belts), he did not know the name Nakoni.

I look forward to anything else that emerges.
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#4 User is offline   Cichorei Kano 

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 11:08 PM

View PostDougNZ, on 11 January 2013 - 03:20 AM, said:

Thank you for your informative reply, CK. Please don't misunderstand; I found a lot of information on these men (including translating Dutch sites) but not dates and grades.

Bob Van Nieuwenhuizen was Maurice's brother, I think. Together with Nauwelaerts d'Age and Ge Koning (and possibly with his brother's influence) he formed the Nakoni style of juijitsu, the name taken from the first two letters of each man's name. Their ju-jitsu seems to have come from Kawaishi, Koizumi and Michigami, with influence from Johan van der Bruggen, although Kawaishi gets the greatest credit. Bob died in 1988 and Nakoni survived until the late 1970s when it was revised by Bob's son, Steve, and renamed Nakoni Ni. It is attributed with introducing the cherry blossom badges for ju-jitsu and the founders were instrumental in forming the Nederlandsche Judo Associatie (NJA) about 1948. Funnily enough, whilst my old Dutch friend introduced the cherry blossoms here (and subsequently replaced them with judo belts), he did not know the name Nakoni.

I look forward to anything else that emerges.


Now that you mention Nakoni, I remember it too. I have not heard anyone mention that word for a long, long time. Maybe you could also PM (if it works) Johan here on the forum. He might have the further responses more readily handy than I. I cannot currently access my detailed records on Dutch historic judo and jujutsu.
"The world is a republic of mediocrities, and always was." (Thomas Carlyle)
"Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has established it and it fixes it fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way." (Blaise Pascal)
"Quand on essaie, c'est difficile. Quand on n'essaie pas, c'est impossible" (Guess Who ?)
"I am never wrong. Once I thought I was, and that was a mistake."
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#5 User is offline   jack 88 

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 01:14 AM

View PostCichorei Kano, on 10 January 2013 - 03:11 PM, said:

Interesting ... very interesting ... for many reasons. Anyhow, strange that you would find no information, since these are names of Dutch judo and jujutsu pioneers that you could ask about anyone from Europe with a judo experience of +40 years. These men were already active in the 1940s and as far as know the Internet is full with information about them, be it as authors of books, be it for other connections. These people (don't know about BVN) are all deceased, which is why I will respond and consider this information historic). G Koning, for example, is often termed the Dutch teacher of Geesink, which is enough to make him world famous. He was one, if not the first, Dutch 9th dan holder from the JBN Dutch judo federation. He demonstrated koshiki-no-kata at the occasion of the 1981 world championships in Maastricht, at which virtually no Westerner knew anything of this kata; not that this has much changed since then, but at least most Westerners have now seen it several times and know what it looks like. He passed away more than a decade ago.

Wim Boersma is the only one of the group whom I knew personally. I invited him to my club in 1990 or 1991, I think. He held an 8th dan in judo, and was the first Dutch 9th dan jujutsu, rank to which he was promoted, I think, on 16 December 2004. Boersma's final high ranks were all through the standard JBN Dutch judo federation (or previous designation of that federation) He died shortly after due to prostate cancer. His son Douwe Boersma is a known leading and high-ranked jujutsu teacher in the Holland, also teaches judo.

Maurice Van Nieuwenhuizen was the first proliferative judo and jujutsu author in the Netherlands. He came to our club in 1946 and my teacher knew him very well. He is considered as one of the founders of the first Dutch federation for judo and jujutsu in 1939 and was associated with both Johan van der Bruggen (teacher to our forum colleague Johan Smits) and current Dutch EJU 10th dan holder Jaap Nauwelaerts de Ag. My teacher always pointed MVN's big mouth and snaky personality; my teacher was impressed neither by the person nor by his skills.

I do not know Bob Van Nieuwenhuizen (presumably his son) and defer to Johan Smits for this. He might well still be alive, in which case I don't think it's appropriate to comment as he is not a public figure. I don't recall what Maurice Van Nieuwenhuizen's final rank was. He has been dead a long time (since 1998), and I don't think that in the end he stayed active in judo or jujutsu. I don't think he ever reached a very high rank either.

Bob is the brother of Maurice.
Douwe Boersma is 6th dan judo JBN, but has no high grade jujutsu JBN!
Maurice got a 7th dan (Judomagazine when he died).
Unless his 9th dan jujutsu was Boersma more judoka then jujutsuka, says Ad Rebel (former student).

What's a grade whem Okano and De Herdt are only 6th dan?
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#6 User is offline   Cichorei Kano 

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 01:55 AM

View Postjack 88, on 11 January 2013 - 10:14 AM, said:

Bob is the brother of Maurice.
Douwe Boersma is 6th dan judo JBN, but has no high grade jujutsu JBN!
Maurice got a 7th dan (Judomagazine when he died).
Unless his 9th dan jujutsu was Boersma more judoka then jujutsuka, says Ad Rebel (former student).

What's a grade whem Okano and De Herdt are only 6th dan?


You're correct about Douwe Boersma. I mixed him up with Mario den Edel. I actually invited Wim Boersma to come teach a jujutsu clinic, not judo ! Obviously the jujutsu he taught was not koryu jujutsu, but modern self-defense. However, in all fairness his teaching was very well structured, very clear, and pedagogically sound. It was fair to say, I think, that he was a better teacher than anyone present. It was also a very successful clinic with many people showing up. Mostly, however, I remember the very yummy diner which I also organized in the evening ! It was a great day, and I am fortunate to have it experienced. But no doubt, you (or Ad Rebel) are correct in a sense, that like Kano evisaged judo as a pedagogy, Boersma taught jujutsu pedagogically. His techniques were lucid, and effective, almost like he brought back judo's atemi back, though obviously his inspiration did not come from just judo. I also found his jujutsu teaching approach very honest. He did not claim mysterious origins or anything, very modern, created from vast experience.

Maurice Van Nieuwenhuizen's 7th or any other dan-rank is not listed in the JBN High-dan rank Vademecum under the "Deceased high-dan rank holders" though. Then again, they also do not list Drs. G.F.M. 'Opa' Schutte either ...

In terms of "what's a grade", the two examples you mention are obviously not how it should be but are two sad cases of what could best be described a miscarriage of judo rank judgment, just like Kimura, Hirano, etc.

At one point, ranks are no longer awarded on the basis of competition though. What I am trying to say, is that Boersma was very experienced as a teacher, and was a excellent teacher. His judo team was very successful both in terms of activity and in terms of competition. Didn't they even win the European Teach Championships for clubs a couple of times. I remember when he was promoted to 6th or 7th dan. I did not know him yet at that time, and was skeptical of such a high rank in those days. But, I was young and much less experienced than him. He was already an 'old' man. When you're 25 or 30 then even a person of 65 is old. However, I saw him then do ura-nage both as a tori and as uke, no jumping with, and at that age. I instantly stopped being skeptical. I could not imagine my own sensei at the time doing that ... That said enough for me. When he taught the clinic at my club (that club, which no longer exists and which I founded, was actually a jujutsu club, not a judo club) and look back on it with my current knowledge and insight, then certainly he taught with the skill, insights and wisdom of someone worthy of a high dan rank (talking judo). Exactly how high that rank should be is not up to me to determine, particularly when talking jujutsu. I am always quite skeptical of "Western high dan ranks in jujutsu" for the simple reason that often it isn't really jujutsu. Judo is judo, it is the Japanese art we practice that came from Jigoro Kano, but virtually no one in the West who practices jujutsu is actually practicing jujutsu, but is practicing things deducted from judo, karate, and aikido and jujutsu. In jujutsu in most ryuha there aren't even dan-ranks. In other words my skepticism transcends the actual person and has more to do with the art than with anything else. Then again, teaching authentic jujutsu in the West is likely a challenge; some do though. There exists Takenouchi-ryu, Sosuishitsu-ryu, Hontai yoshin-ryu, Tenjin Shin'yo-ryu, Daito-ryu, Hoki-ryu and Araki-ryu outside of Japan but it is limited to very few clubs. Most of these do not even have dan-rans. One of the reasons obviously why it is difficult to learn those arts in the West that it is hard for a Westerner to obtain a teaching license in those arts. It requires considerable dedication and time spent in Japan. You don't get that by just going to a local club, participate in a couple of shiai contests, do a couple of nage-no-kata throws, a couple of osae komi.
"The world is a republic of mediocrities, and always was." (Thomas Carlyle)
"Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has established it and it fixes it fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way." (Blaise Pascal)
"Quand on essaie, c'est difficile. Quand on n'essaie pas, c'est impossible" (Guess Who ?)
"I am never wrong. Once I thought I was, and that was a mistake."
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#7 User is offline   DougNZ 

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 03:29 AM

View PostCichorei Kano, on 11 January 2013 - 01:55 PM, said:

Boersma taught jujutsu pedagogically. His techniques were lucid, and effective, almost like he brought back judo's atemi back, though obviously his inspiration did not come from just judo. I also found his jujutsu teaching approach very honest. He did not claim mysterious origins or anything, very modern, created from vast experience.


In a recent letter to me Hans van Ess remembered Wim as an excellent teacher.

I find your comments on Western ju-jitsu interesting. Context is always important in analysing history and we must remember that the spread of ju-jitsu gained momentum during the period between WWI and WWII. WWI had the dramatic effect of squashing much of the romance of the Victorian era and the fussiness of the Edwardian era. People became suddenly more aware of their mortality. How this affected ju-jitsu I cannot say but I can guess that the old kata performed by men in strangely tied kimono may well have been passed over in the West in favour of - as my instructor's instructor used to say - ju-jitsu employing the three Fs: "Fump 'em; frow 'em; and frottle 'em".

Modern ju-jitsu is its own thing separate from koryu ju-jitsu. I think your comment, "Judo is judo, it is the Japanese art we practice that came from Jigoro Kano, but virtually no one in the West who practices jujutsu is actually practicing jujutsu" is somewhat harsh. I am sure that not a few conservative, pre-1890 Kito Ryu practitioners would have said that the young Kano's students were not actually practicing judo, just as many say that modern (competition) judo is not actually Kano judo. To my mind, modern ju-jitsu is simply a response to the times, just as Kano's judo in the late 19th century was.

But you are right that modern ju-jitsu ranks are subjective and prone to abuse. Unlike judo, there are not consistent ways of measuring a ju-jitsuka's skill. That's part of the fun of ju-jitsu; some train to develop themselves through their ju-jitsu and some use ju-jitsu as a means of self promotion. Really, nothing has changed in hundreds of years!
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#8 User is offline   johan smits 

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:00 AM

Sorry for my late reply.
The history of Dutch judo and jujutsu is a bit muddled since there have been many changes to different organisations by people. Usually this had something to do with recognition of grades.
Another issue has been (huge can of worms) the sympathy/antipathy for the occupation forces during WWII.
JNB grades are obvious. As far as I know Maurice van Nieuwenhuizen had a 7th degree black belt which was awarded by Sato sensei of IMAF.

The names mentioned in the posts are obviously the jujutsu/judo big names in Holland form the early days.

The roles of both Bob van Nieuwenhuizen and Johan van der Bruggen has been bigger than they are usually given credit for. Bob's son Steve is still teaching in what I believe is his father's orgininal school in The Hague.
Van der Bruggen's arts died with him although there is still a dojo run by his students the Shin Nakada dojo. Although kendo and jujutsu are taught there the arts differ markedly from Van der Bruggen's kendo and jujutsu.

By the way CK's teachers impression of Maurice van Nieuwenhuizen technical skills are spot on. Technically he was not the strongest teacher/practitioner. He has been very important in spreading and promoting the arts through his writings and his books though.

I am researching the early history of jujutsu in The Netherlands this involves for a part judo's history (Pre-WWII that is) but I am focussing more on people than on organisations. People are fun. Wrong, right, a bit mad or just naughty - they are fun.


ps the remark that Wim Boersma was more judoka than jujutsuka (in spite of his 9th dan) this holds true for all the big names in JBN jujutsu in my opinion.
Happy landings.

This post has been edited by johan smits: 17 January 2013 - 10:06 AM

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#9 User is offline   DougNZ 

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:47 PM

Great insight, thank you, Johan.

Do you know what grade Bob van Nieuwenhuizen ended up, and from whom?
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#10 User is offline   johan smits 

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 08:00 AM

Bob van Nieuwenhuizen was a gentleman and a fine technician according to several people I have spoken to.
I will see what I can find.

Happy landings.
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#11 User is offline   johan smits 

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 03:44 PM

I checked and as far as I know Bob van Nieuwenhuizen got graded a 4th dan in1963. This was from the Judokwai Nederland. If I am not mistaken this organisation was founded by his brother Maurice van Nieuwenhuizen but in 1963 was probably headed by J. Dick Schilder.

A lot of people from the early days seems to have been graded a lot of different grades by a lot of different organisations. It could well be that Bob van Nieuwenhuizen was an exception to this.

Happy landings.
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#12 User is offline   DougNZ 

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 02:31 AM

View Postjohan smits, on 19 January 2013 - 03:44 AM, said:

I checked and as far as I know Bob van Nieuwenhuizen got graded a 4th dan in1963. This was from the Judokwai Nederland. If I am not mistaken this organisation was founded by his brother Maurice van Nieuwenhuizen but in 1963 was probably headed by J. Dick Schilder.

A lot of people from the early days seems to have been graded a lot of different grades by a lot of different organisations. It could well be that Bob van Nieuwenhuizen was an exception to this.

Happy landings.


Thanks, again, Johan.

It seems unusal that Bob went from 4th in 1963 to his death in 1988 with no further gradings, particularly when his contemporaries continued to be graded. I was not surprised to read he was considered a fine technician; that corresponds to what I have heard of him, particularly when compared to his brother.
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