Dutch kickboxers occupy a collective seat of honor on the earth of martial arts. There was a 20-year interval the place 15 of the 19 high Okay-1 Grand Prix champions had been Dutch. What makes the Netherlands notably good at kickboxing?
It may have one thing to do with the truth that Dutch fighters developed a kickboxing fashion that’s distinctly Dutch. Brazil has an analogous pedigree, with the creation of BJJ placing Brazilian opponents on the world MMA map. The identical applies to Japan and Thailand, the house of Muay Thai.
Let’s get right into a super-brief historical past lesson earlier than we have a look at the highest Dutch kickboxers.
A Transient Historical past Of Dutch Kickboxing
The story begins the place many MMA tales begin: Japan. Kenji Kurosaki was a co-creator of the full-contact Karate variant that goes by the identify Kyokushin. Kurosaki then added to his ability by shifting to Thailand to be taught Muay Thai. He thoughtfully included Muay Thai strategies into Kyokushin Karate, shifting to Tokyo to show this Muay Thai and Karate fusion.
Enter the Dutch. Within the ’70s, Dutch fighters just like the world-famous Jan Plas traveled to Tokyo to coach at Kurosaki’s gymnasium. They used the strategies from Kurosaki’s Mejiro gymnasium as a foundation and inspiration for the Dutch fashion of kickboxing. This can be a good place to start out itemizing the highest Dutch kickboxers. The record sheds mild on the Dutch kickboxing scene, from its inception to the current day.
1) Jan Plas
Plas is the founding father of the Amsterdam department of the Mejiro gymnasium. He’s additionally the founding father of the Dutch kickboxing affiliation. All that is over and above his kickboxing and training profession.
Jan Plas holds the title of ‘The daddy of Dutch kickboxing,’ due to his success as a coach and organizer. He skilled well-known fighters like Rob Kaman and Peter Aerts.
Sadly, Plas died in 2010 on the age of 55. He dedicated suicide whereas serving time for drug trafficking.
2) Rob Kaman
Kaman boasts a formidable 21-year profession that features 97 wins and 21 losses. He’s a middleweight fighter who holds a set of Muay Thai and kickboxing titles. His combating fashion featured devastating low kicks that always resulted in knockout victories.
Younger Kaman took up martial arts at 16 when he swapped soccer for Muay Thai and kickboxing. Kaman would go on to coach and take part in MMA competitions around the globe. In 1983 he gained the world kickboxing championship. He continued to gather titles by means of to 1995. The later years of his profession would characteristic fewer wins, teaching jobs, and an performing profession.
3) Peter Aerts
Aerts is a heavyweight fighter with three Okay-1 Grand Prix titles to his identify. His 20-year combating profession was punctuated by excessive kicks that will usually ship knockout victories. This distinctive combating fashion earned him the nickname “The Dutch Lumberjack”.
In 2013, Aerts confronted off towards Rico Verhoeven; a combat that was as a lot a passing of the baton because it was the bookend to an excellent profession.
4) Semmy Schilt
Schilt is a huge, each in stature and accomplishment within the subject of martial arts. He’s slightly below 7 toes tall, with 4 Okay-1 Grand Prix championships underneath his belt. Semmy can also be a former GLORY heavyweight champion. His kickboxing report boasts 38 wins towards 6 losses.
It’s straightforward to return to the (incorrect) conclusion that Semmy’s secret weapon is his seven-foot body. In actuality, Semmy’s dimension is backed by precision and method, to devastating impact. This mix is the recipe behind three back-to-back Okay-1 titles.
Schilt is arguably probably the most achieved Dutch kickboxer of his time. It could have one thing to do along with his Karate background. In 1991, an 18-year-old Semmy earned his first black belt. He proceeded to spend years competing in several MMA circuits, up till his foray into skilled kickboxing.
Semmy began his profitable streak with a quarter-final win within the 2005 K1 championship. What adopted was a sequence of wins and the odd loss. Sadly, Schilt needed to retire in 2013 on account of coronary heart points.
5) Ramon Dekkers
It bears mentioning that the late Ramon Dekkers is an eight-time Muay Thai champion. He’s additionally an achieved Dutch kickboxer with a mixed 186 wins underneath his belt, 95 of these wins had been knockouts. Dekkers solely suffered 36 defeats in his profession.
Dekkers took up Judo at age 12 however rapidly switched to boxing. After a couple of years, he made the change to Muay Thai and the bigger MMA scene. Ramon’s combating fashion is a high-energy flurry of kicks and blows. His means to mount a blitz assault is liable for his success in each Muay Thai and kickboxing.
Sadly, Dekkers died all of a sudden of a coronary heart assault whereas exercising. Ramon was 43 on the time of his dying in 2013.
6) Ernesto Hoost
Ernesto Hoost is a heavyweight fighter and a four-time Okay-1 World Champion. He’s a veritable kickboxing legend with a stage of accomplishment that’s akin to that of Ramon Dekkers.
Hoost’s 1993 profession debut is the definition of a meteoric rise. On his very first try, Ernesto got here one win in need of clinching the championship title. The remainder of his profession is simply as spectacular as his first main look.
At age 15, Hoost made the change from beginner soccer to kickboxing. He proved to be a quick learner and would quickly attempt his hand at aggressive MMA. From 1983 to 1993, Hoost put within the work that will in the end propel him to the massive leagues. He would go on to win the 2000, 2001, and 2002 Okay-1 world championships. He has 99 wins underneath his belt, with 62 of them being knockouts. This compares nicely to 21 losses and a draw.
7) Rico Verhoeven
Verhoeven is the reigning GLORY Heavyweight Champion. His spectacular profession boasts 58 wins and 10 losses. Verhoeven delivers extra knockouts than he absorbs, which places him proper up there with the kickboxing greats. This 32-year-old kickboxer can also be an correct striker who will usually land devastating blows that may ship a KO inside minutes of the beginning bell.
Verhoeven began his combating profession at age 5, and the time he’s put in is obvious in his assortment of wins. In 2012, younger Rico misplaced to Semmy Schilt, one other Dutch kickboxing nice. A 12 months later, Verhoeven gained a match towards Peter Aerts at an occasion that was each a passing of the guard and an excellent combat.
Martial Arts: A Artistic Pressure
Martial arts lend themselves to the creation of recent artwork kinds and the advance of current ones. Now and again, a martial artist comes alongside to innovate, create a brand new neighborhood, and craft a definite combating fashion.
The Dutch kickboxing scene is one such creation story. Jan Plas skilled Aerts and Kaman, and he guided them to their full potential. In flip, Kaman and Aerts type a hyperlink between the older generations of Dutch kickboxers and youthful fighters like Verhoeven. They supplied mentorship and good matches to usher in a brand new technology of fighters.
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