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The epic of Dutch Muay Thai champions

The epic of Dutch

Muay Thai champions

Special report

by Serge TREFEU (2020)

(Thanks to Senseï Thom Harinck, to the great champions Rob Kaman and Tommy Van Den Berg, to Dirk Stal and David Leonardo)

Holland has long been a land of combat sports warriors. Football is Brazil, New Zealand, rugby, the United States and Cuba, Boxing, Holland, it’s Kick Boxing. This small country of Europe is a strong nation, even the best, in the styles Kick Boxing, K1 and Muay Thai.

In Holland, Kick Boxing sports are highly publicized, during large boxing events, people invade stadiums that are often packed (30,000 spectators attended the last show «GLORY Collision 2» which took place at the Gelredome in Arnhem, on December 20, 2019). The Dutch champions are known and admired by many fans.

There is a culture of foot-and-fist contact sports that has been firmly based in the country for a long time. In Holland, a professional boxer of high-level Kick Boxing can live correctly from his sport. Which is rarely the case with kick boxers in most European countries…

Nowadays, Dutch fighters in Muay Thai are less prolific than a few years ago. On the other hand, the Dutch champions are always among the best in the world in Kick Boxing style and in K1 style.

The great Muay Thai and Kick Boxing shows in Holland were in the 80s and 90s, among the most beautiful events in the world

In Muay Thai, the Dutch were the precursors of this sport in Europe, well before the French and English fighters. In the 80’s, the Dutch boxers dominated the European championships and they were the first Western boxers to challenge the Thai champions in their country!

Many battles between Holland and Thailand in the 80’s and 90’s have become anthological matches in the history of the world’s Muay Thai. Also, at the time, in Europe, the French boxers were the great rivals of the Dutch fighters. Team Yamatsuki of Roger Paschy and Team Brizon Gym of Patrick Brizon, the two pioneers of Muay Thai in France, have made terrible clashes against Teams Chakuriki and Mejiro Gym!

Holland against France, a classic from the 80s and 90s, presented in Paris by The Voice Daniel Allouche

Team Yamatsuki

Team Brizon Gym

The Dutch often also faced great English champions such as Ronnie Green, Kash Gill, Sandy Holt, Humphrey Harrison, William Hilditch, Nigel Ashton, Vinny Shoreman.

The Muay Thai shows Holland against Thailand and Holland against France were common in the 80s. Some big events of these magical moments of Muay Thai matches with the Dutch Teams.

January 23, 1982, Holland against Thailand

Peter Van Os vs Rengrit Kittikasem, Rob Kaman vs Lakchart Sor Prasartporn, Milo El Geubli vs Pribul Osothsapha, Marchel Swank vs David Osothsapha.

April 17, 1983, Holland against France and Thailand

Dort vs Ay, Peter Van Os vs Coban, Pearce vs Le Gouez, Rick Van De Vathorst vs Kouider, Sprang vs Wanpadet, Mousid Yamali vs Fanta Attapong, Bloemberg vs Nonglek.

Legendary Thai champions Nonglek, Wanpadet and Fanta face the best Dutch champions

June 27, 1983, Holland against France, first European championship organized in France by Roger Paschy, Gilles Belloni and Richard Dieux

Kappeler (France Brizon Gym) vs Schwank (Holland Mejiro Gym) Victory of Kappeler, Bahfir (France Yamatsuki Gym) vs Kaman (Holland Mejiro Gym) Victoiry of Kaman, Kouider (France Yamatsuki Gym) vs Ay (Holland Mejiro Gym) Victory of Kouider , Jami (France Yamatsuki Gym) vs Van Os (Holland Mejiro Gym) Victory of Jami, Cantamessi (France Belloni Gym) vs Mac Lenon (England), Victory of Cantamessi (The champion Ronnie Green normally faced Cantamessi, the French kept his European champion’s belt one year later against Ronnie Green in Amsterdam, Desjardins (France Yamatsuki Gym) vs El Geubli (Holland Mejiro Gym) Victory of El Geubli

September 23, 1983, Mixed show, Holland, France, England, Japan, Thailand

Moessid vs Perroteau, Milo El Geubli vs Soudareth, Ronnie Green vs Philipe Cantamessi, Muzzafer Yamali vs Wankeow, Peter Van Os vs Payap Penchai, Andre Brilleman vs Nanthan, Iwan Sprang vs Ishino, Fred Royers vs Billy Chau, Rob Kaman vs John Moncayo.

January 15, 1984, Holland against France

Tekin Donmez vs Herman Miser, Hamid El Abbassi vs Chris Klootwike, Didier Le Borgne vs Lucien Carbin, Lilly Rodriguez vs Lucia Rijker, Mark Holland vs Kenneth Plak, Gerard Dimier vs Rik Van Den Vathorst (Championnat d’Europe), Walt Rugebrect vs René Desjardin (Championnat d’Europe), Robert Davis vs Christian Bahfir (Championnat d’Europe), Benny Urquidez vs Iwan Sprang (Championnat du Monde).

May 27, 1984, Holland against France

Ploos vs Van Halden, Carbin vs Charry, Marina vs Paschy, Colak vs Romeo, Gravenberg vs Asdin, Tekin vs Desjardin.

Then, during the 1990s, Holland’s shocks against Thailand were often the most beautiful shows of that period of the Golden Age of the world’s Muay Thai.

February 18, 1990, Amsterdam, Holland vs Thailand

Ramon Dekkers vs Namphon Nongkee Pahuyuth, Rob Kaman vs Changpuek Kiatsongrit, Michael Lieuwfat vs Rambo Pongsiree.

April 27, 1990, in Bangkok, at the stadium of Lumpinee, Holland against Thailand

Michael Lieuwfat vs Karuhat Sor Supawan, Ramon Dekkers vs Nampon Nongkeepahayuth, Rob Kaman vs Changpuek Kiatsongrit, Joao Vieira vs Coban Lookchaomaesaitong.

Holland against Thailand, April 27, 1990, Ramon Dekkers vs Namphon Nongkee Pahuyuth, Rob Kaman vs Changpuek Kiatsongrit, Joao Vieira vs Coban Lookchaomaesaitong, Michael Lieuwfat vs Karuhat Sor Supawan

August 31, 1990, in Bangkok, at the stadium of Lumpinee, Holland against Thailand

Peter Smit vs Changpuek Kiatsongrit, Ramon Dekkers vs Superlek Sor Isaan, Leo De Snoo vs Chartsingh Lukprabat, Marcel Wille vs Kongpattaya Sithyodtong.

Holland against Thailand, August 31, 1990, Ramon Dekkers against Superlek Sor Isaan (Victory by points of Ramon Dekkers), Marcel Wille against Kongpattaya Sityodtong (Victory by KO of Kongpattaya), Peter Smith against Changpuek Kiatsongrit (Victory by KO of Peter Smith for the IMF World belt), Leo De Snoo against Chartsingh Lukprabath (Victory by KO of Leo De Snoo for the IMF World belt), Oley Kiatoneway against Namkabuan Nongkeephahuyut (Victory of Namkabuan), Cherry Sor Wanich against Thedkiat Sitthepitak (Victory of Cherry), Langsuan Phanyuthaphum against Samranthong Kietbanchong (Victory by KO of Samranthong), Samransak Muangsurin against Yodwitaya Sityodtong (Victory of Yodwitaya), Chainoi Muangsurin against Jareonsap Kietbanchong (Victory of Jareonsap)

October 14, 1990, in Amsterdam, Holland against Thailand

Gilbert Ballantine vs Sangtiennoi Sor Rungroj (WMTA World Championship), Ivan Hippolyte vs Mongkondet Kiatprachanchai (WMTA World Championship), Bayram Colak vs Jomhod Kiatadisak, Tekin Donmez vs Samai Suek.

November 27, 1990, in Bangkok, at the stadium of Lumpinee, Holland against Thailand

Ramon Dekkers vs Issara Sakneerin pour la ceinture du stadium Lumpinee (Victory of Issara), Peter Smit vs Changpuek Kiatsongrit for the IMTF world belt (Victory of Changpuek).

Lumpinee Show 1992, Ramon Dekkers (Holland), Orlando Wiet (Holland), Rob Kaman (Holland), Mickael Lieuwfat (Holland), Joël Cesar (France), Orono (Thailand), Sedou (Thailand), Chumpung (Thailand), Kongtawan (Thailand), Den Ubon (Thailand)

King’s Birhday show december 5, 1993, Samart Payakaroon (Thailand), Gilbert Ballantine (Holland), Sakmongkon Sitchuchok (Thailand ), Ramon Dekkers (Holland), Changpuek Kiatsongkrit (Thailand), Stéphane Nikiéma (France)

Holland against Thailand, a classic of the 90s

In the early 1970s, Thai boxing, this unknown sport in Europe was only practiced by a small community of Asian immigrants, most of them were Laotians who lived in France, Holland and England. The largest group was in Paris. They trained among themselves and very few foreigners had access to their Muay Thai lesson. Later, it was the Vietnamese and Cambodian immigrants who developed the Muay Thai more significantly in France and England.

In France, thanks in particular to the Vietnamese Karate Master Roger Paschy who discovered this sport during a trip to Thailand.

Master Roger Paschy

In England, it’s the Thai Masters, Master Sken, Master Toddy and Master Woody who revealed the secrets of their Art. Then, Thai champions installed in the four corners of Europe made it possible to make Muay Thai better known to French, English, Spanish, Belgian and Dutch.

The great pioneers of Thai boxing in Holland are undeniably Thom Harinck, Jan Plas and Johan Vos who have already practiced a style of Japanese Kick Boxing where projections and elbows were not used.

Thom Harinck was a very great karateka who founded his own style of fight in 1972, because he was not satisfied with the existing martial arts in Europe. A little like Bruce Lee had done at his peak, Thom Harinck mixed techniques of Karate, Wrestling, Boxing, French Boxing and Thai Boxing, he called this style «Chakuriki» (In Japanese it means «borrowed power»). He opened his gym in 1972, the Chakuriki Gym which still exists today. It’s the oldest Kick Boxing gym in Holland.

During the early 1970s, Thom Harinck formed fighters in the styles of Japanese Kick Boxing and Muay Thai. In 1976, Tom Harinck, Jan Plas and Jan Van Looijen founded the Dutch Kick Boxing Association (N.K.B.B.). The same year, the first event of Kick Boxing with professional fighters was made in Amsterdam, the protagonists of these matches were De Ruiter vs Schreve, A. Ekkelboom vs W. Galenkamp, R. Leedeman vs P. Zeegers, J. Boom vs R. Kuyt, J. Plas vs G. Platje, F. Karakus vs E. Cairo, J. Vos vs G. Bakker, G. Groningen vs H. Rompa, R. Harinck vs L. Carbin, C. Brugman vs P. Ladenius.

In 1978, Thom Harinck created a team of Dutch fighters who challenged the Thai in their home. It was the first foreign team to fight at the famous Lumpinee stadium in Bangkok. The Dutch team directed by Thom Harinck consisted of boxers Imro Hetten, Faizel Karakus, Ron Kuyt, Kenneth Ramkisoen and Robbie Schumann.

All the Dutch fighters lost by knockout in the 1st and 2nd round against great Thai champions. The Art of Muay Thai was not yet well control by the Europeans, especially the elbow and knee stroke techniques, the Dutch boxers were the first to undergo the lightning techniques of the Thai champions.

Imro Hetten, in 70 Kg, lost in the first round against Sriprai Kiatsompob, Faizel Karakus, in 70 Kg, lost to Satanfah Sor Prathip by KO in the second round, Ron Kuyt, in 70 Kg, was knocked out in the second round by the fearsome Porsai Sittiboonlert (Best Boxer of the Year 1976), Kenneth Ramkisoen, in 60 Kg, lost in the first round against Ekachai Sitmorart and Robbie Schumann, in 60 Kg, did not last more than one round, He was knocked out by Sakata Porntawe.

First Holland against Thailand in 1978 in the stadium of Lumpinee

Holland against Thailand 1978 on the cover of a Thai specialist magazine

After this show at Lumpinee, Thom Harinck stayed three months in Thailand in boxing camps to learn the techniques of pure Muay Thai, in order to teach them to his students in Holland.

The Dutch boxers learned from this stinging defeat by training harder and by learning the techniques they had seen in Thailand. Another team of Dutch boxers went to challenge Thai champions in Bangkok. They were from Johan Vos Gym and Jan Plas’ Mejiro Gym. All the Dutch fighters lost again against the Thai fighters. But this time, the Dutch only lost in points. The heroic epic of the Dutch champions began, a martial adventure that many champions from the Netherlands have forever marked the history of Muay Thai!

Thom Harinck was a teacher who coached his students hard but effectively. Former Kick Boxing boxers in Holland all remember Chakuriki students running at night in the center of Amsterdam before attacking commando training in the Sensei Thom Harinck’s gym.

Senseï Thom Harinck

Kenneth Plak and Thom Harinck

Chakuriki Gym

Chakuriki Gym an exceptional champion team

Thom Harinck with the great trainer Cor Hemmers in Thailand, we can see the Dutch champions Frank Lobman, Gilbert Ballantine, Ramon Dekkers, the French champion Jo Prestia, the Swedish champion Patrick Eriksson

Chakuriki Gym has side gyms in Germany, Japan and Brazil

French superstar Jerome Le Banner fought for Chakuriki Gym in 2010

A book about Master Thom Harinck’s extraordinary career was released in 2016

Thom Harinck is a big name in Kick Boxing and Muay Thai in Holland. In 1983, he founded MTBN, in 1984, EMTA (European Muay Thai Association) and in 1985 WMTA (World Muay Thai Association).

In 1990, Thom Harinck was chosen as the only non-Asian representative to the IMTA (International Muay Thai Association).

In 1994, Thai general Tomrat Yoenyong chose Thom Harinck as president of Europe at the IMF (International Muay Thai Federation).

Thom Harinck is the European ambassador of Muay Thai in Thailand

Thom Harinck formed legends like Branko Cikatic (Winner of the K-1 World Grand Prix tournament in 1993) and Peter Aerts (Winner of the K-1 World Grand Prix tournament in 1994, 1995 and 1998) as well as great champions like Gilbert Ballantine (Muay Thai World Champion, Kick Boxing World Champion, Muay Thai European Champion, Kick Boxing European Champion) and Perry Ubeda (Muay Thai World Champion, Kick Boxing World Champion, Muay Thai European Champion, Kick Boxing European champion).

Branko Cikatic

Peter Aerts

Peter Aerts against Frank Lobman

Three ring legends Gilbert Ballantine, Branko Cikatic, Peter Aerts and Master Thom Harinck

Gilbert Ballantine nicknamed The Bullterrier faced big Thai stars such as Anukun Sitwayvat (Victory by KO), Chanchai Sor Tamarangsri (Defeat), Saengtiennoi Sor Rungroj (Victory), Robert Kaennorasing (Defeat), Samart Payakaroon (Defeat), as well as great French champions Philippe Cantamessi (Defeat), René Desjardins (Victory), André Richard-Nam (Victory). Gilbert Ballantine has met the legendary Ramon Dekkers four times in epic matches, he has beaten Ramon Dekkers three times and he lost only once against the Dutch terror!

Gilbert Ballantine

Gilbert Ballantine against Milo El Guebli in Amsterdam in 1988

Gilbert Ballantine against Sangtiennoi Sor Rungroj in Amsterdam in 1990

Gilbert Ballantine against Chanoy Porntawee in 1994 in Germany

Perry Ubeda nicknamed The Dynamite made great confrontations against the Thai champions Vicharn Chor Rochanachai (Victory), Sakmongkol Sithchuchok (2 Defeats), Nuengtrakarn Por Muang Ubon (Victory) as well as the foreign champions Moussa Sissoko (Victory), Ashwin Balrak (Victory by KO), Ivan Hippolyte (Victory), Stephan Nikiema (Victory by TKO), Orlando Wiet (Draw), Hassan Ettaki (Victory by KO), Rayen Simson (Victory), Joerie Mes (Defeat)!

Perry Ubeda

Thom Harrinck also formed, Tekin Donmez (European Champion), Bayram Colak (European Champion), Rick Van De Vathorst (European Champion), Hesdy Gerges (World Champion It’s Show Time, WFCA World Champion) , Lloyd Van Dams (WFCA world champion, WMTA world champion, EMTA European champion, who started at Budokai Vleesenbeek Gym) and great champion Badr Hari (3 times heavyweight world champion It’s Showtime, 3 times champion of K1 heavyweight world) who was formed at Sitan Gym in Aït Hassou, then at Chakuriki Gym.

Thom Harinck with his Chakuriki Gym champions, Gilbert Ballantine, Tekin Donmez, Rick Van De Vathorst, Branko Cikatic, Bayram Colak

Hesdy Gerges

Hesdy Gerges with Senseï Thom Harinck

Badr Hari

Badr Hari with Senseï Thom Harinck

Tekin Donmez won the title of European Thai Boxing Champion in – 57 Kg in 1984 against the French champion Rene Desjardin. Tekin Donmez also fought in 1984 in France for the European title against the great champion Philippe Cantamessi who beat him in points.

Tekin Donmez

Tekin Donmez against the fearsome Lamkong

Bayram Colak is one of the first Dutch fighters to fight in the stadium of Radja, he also won a belt of champion of European Thai boxing.

Bayram Colak

Bayram Colak in the stadium of Radja

Rick Van De Vathorst also won the European Thai boxing title, he notably beat by knockout the immense champion of Radja Fanta Attapong and made great matches against the legendary Krongsak, Somsong and Nonglek.

Rick Van De Vathorst

Rick Van De Vathorst and Senseï Thom Harinck

Rick Van De Vathorst against Somsong

Rick Van De Vathorst against Krongsak

Rick Van De Vathorst against Nonglek

Rick Van De Vathorst against Fanta Attapong in Amsterdam in 1985

Rick Van De Vathorst now has his gym, Van De Vathorst Gym where he formed one of the biggest Dutch stars of the 90s, Rayen Simson. Rayen Simson was an extraordinary fighter who won 7 world titles and was ranked number 2 at the famous Lumpinee stadium in Bangkok.

Rayen Simson beat great Thai champions like Nongmoon Subutong (World Champion), Lamsongkram Chuwattana (Radja Champion, World Champion) (KO), Orono Por Muang Ubon (Lumpinee Champion, World Champion), Pajonsuk Lukprabat (Lumpinee Champion, World Champion), Vihoknoi Siththeppitak (N° 1 in Lumpinee stadium) (KO), Dejpitak Sityodtong (Lumpinee Champion) and makes terrible battles against Jomhod Kiatadisak (Lumpinee Champion, Radja champion, World Champion ), Yoddecha Sityodthong (Lumpinee Champion), Nuengtrakarn Por Muang Ubon (Lumpinee Champion), Sakmongkol Sitchuchok (Lumpinee Champion, World Champion). Rayen Simson is one of the rare boxers to knock out Ramon Dekkers in a memorable match where the two fighters knocked out at the same time, it was Rayen Simson who recovered the fastest and won the match!

Rayen Simson

On March 23, 1997, Rayen Simson and Ramon Dekkers made a dantesque match with a spectacular double knockout. A match in which the manager of the two stars was the famous Don Clovis (Founder of K-1 with Japanese Mr. Ishii)

Ramon Dekkers, Rayen Simson and Don Clovis

Rayen Simson against Dejpitak Sityodtong

Jan Plas started with Karate, he was formed by Johannes Bluming (10th Dan of Karate), the pioneer of Karate Kyokushinkai in Holland.

In the early 1970s, Jan Plas, accompanied by Peter Van Den Hemel and Jan Van Looijen, went to Japan to perfect their karate techniques. Jan Plas trained in Karate at Master Kenji Kurosaki’s gym. In this gym, Jan Plas discovered the Kick Boxing which was beginning to be taught by Kenji Kurosaki.

Kenji Kurosaki pioneered Kick Boxing in Japan in the 1970s. He created his gym in the Mejiro district of Toshima district in Tokyo and named it simply the “Mejiro Gym”. Master Kurosaki has had many great champions as students such as Mitsuo Shima, Kunimitsu Okao and the legendary Toshio Fujiwara.

Back in Holland, Jan Plas acquired the bases of the Japanese Kick Boxing which was Muay Thai without elbows and knees blows. In 1978, he founded his gym in Amsterdam which he named the Mejiro Gym in reference to his Japanese teacher’s gym, Master Kurosaki.

One of Jan Plas’ first students was Johan Vos, who was training with him in Karate at Master Johannes Bluming’s dojo. Jan Plas opened the Mejiro Gym with Johan Vos, one year later, Johan Vos created his own gym, the famous Vos Gym. The great champion Lucien Carbin was also a student of Jan Plas, he then founded his gym.

The Mejiro Gym is a mythical gym that has achieved great Dutch champions like Rob Kaman, Andre Brilleman, Fred Royers, Milo El Geubli, Muzzafer Yamali, Tommy Van Den Berg, Andre Mannaart, Leo de Snoo, Remy Bonjasky.

Rob Kaman became the first Kick Boxing World Champion in 1982, then, under the colours of the Mejiro Gym, Andre Brilleman, Fred Royers, Milo El Geubli, Tommy Van Den Berg, Andre Mannaart also won this prestigious title, and later, Remy Bonjasky.

On 1 September 2010, Jan Plas, the founder of the Mejiro Gym, after having been imprisoned, on his release from prison, he’s found later, dead at home. His death is officially declared a suicide, he was 65…

The two pioneers of Muay Thai in Holland Jan Plas and Thom Harinck

Mejiro Gym

The magic team of Mejiro Gym

Jan Plas with ring legend Toshio Fujiwara

At the famous Sidyodtong camp in 1982, Milo El Guebli, Kongtoranee Payakaroon, Rob Kaman, Samart Payakaroon, Jan Plas

The Mejiro Gym, which is still in Amsterdam at 86 Lauriergracht street, 15 minutes from Amsterdam Central Station, belongs today to former champion Andre Mannaart who bought the gym’s shares from Jan Plas.

Rob Kaman is the living legend rings the best-known of Mejiro Gym. “The Dutch Man” is one of the “fighters of the century”, as well as his compatriot Ramon Dekkers. Rob Kaman and Ramon Dekkers are surely the two Dutch champions who have made the most of the history of Kick Boxing and Muay Thai around the world.

Rob Kaman started training at the Mejiro Gym at the age of 18, in 1978, just before, he started Kick Boxing with great champion Lucien Carbin at the Black Belt gym where Lucien Carbin was giving lessons. Rob Kaman totals 113 fights for 98 victories (78 KO), he won the World Champion belt of Kick Boxing WKA in Middleweigh and Light Heavyweight, the World Champion belt of Kick Boxing IKBF in Light Heavyweight, the ISKA Kick Boxing World Champion belt in Light Heavyweight, the Thai IMTF Boxing World Champion belt in Light Heavyweight, the ISKA Full Contact World Champion Belt in Super Middleweight and the PKA Full Contact European Champion Belt in Middleweight.

The «Kaman» style with his lumberjack lows kicks inspired many European boxers. But it was above all his exceptional combativeness that forced admiration wherever he fought. His anthological battles against Ernesto Hoost, Changpuek Kiatsongrit, Rick Roufus, John Moncayo, Peter Smit, Luc Verheyen, Jean-Yves Theriault, Marek Piotrowsky, Tosca Pedriti are now part of the best clashes in the history of Kick Boxing!

Rob Kaman

Rob Kaman and Samart Paykaroon, two monsters of Muay Thai

Rob Kaman against John Moncayo for the title of WKA Full Contact World Champion, September 23, 1983 in Amsterdam (Victory by knockout of Rob Kaman)

Rob Kaman vs Payap Penchai, January 12, 1984 in Amsterdam

The champion Rob Kaman, the promoter Roger Paschy and the champion Krongsak Boranrat for the title of world champion, on February 6, 1988 in Paris (Victory of Krongsak)

Rob Kaman against Changpuek Kiatsongrit, April 24, 1990 in the stadium of Lumpinee

Andre Brilleman, nickname The Bulldog, has fought around the world, in the USA, Japan and France. In 1981, he even won a karate championship in Israel. He’s one of the first great Mejiro Gym champions. In 1984, in Amsterdam, Andre Brilleman beat the great American champion Howard Jackson for the world title of Kick Boxing WKA in -70 Kg. Andre Brilleman beat the champions Ron Kuyt (KO), Keith Nathan, Muzaffer Yamali, Kioji Saito and made terrible confrontation, like that against the champion of the Radja and the Lumpinee Fanta Attapong against which he lost by knockout technical KO in Paris in 1982.

During his career as a boxer, Andre Brilleman was one of the bodyguards of drug dealer Klaas Bruinsma and doorman at his night club, the Flora Palace. During a settling of accounts, Andre Brilleman was murdered in 1985, he was only 26 years old…

Andre Brilleman

Andre Brilleman at paos with Master Jan Plas

Andre Brilleman against Howard Jackson for the WKA world title, April 21, 1984 (Victory for Andre Brilleman)

Andre Brilleman against Somkuan in 1984 in Amsterdam

Andre Brilleman against Fanta Attapong in Amsterdam in 1985

Fred Royers is another great living legend of the Dutch rings from the Mejiro Gym. Destined to become an English teacher, he preferred to devote his entire life to combat sports. His career was rich in great victories against the champions of his time and this in several disciplines of contact sports. If, in the 1980s, the Free Fight had appeared, it’s certain that «The Gladiator» would be among the best fighters of this new discipline.

During all his years of competition, he has received numerous on the front page in specialized magazines throughout Europe.

This incredible boxer has always been looking for new experience in different forms of combat sport. He did not hesitate to go to the four corners of the planet, in the USA to perfect his Boxing or in Thailand to learn the secret techniques of the Muay Thai.

Fred Royers was one of the first great Dutch champions, with 43 fights for 39 victories, 4 losses, 1 draw, he was European champion of Full Contact in 1982, champion of Holland of Muay Thai in 1982, champion of Hollande of Full Contact in 1982, European Champion in French Savate Boxing in 1983, WKA World Champion in Kick Boxing in 1985!

Fred Royers faced the best French champions, each in his discipline, such as Robert Paturel in French Savate Boxing (2 victories), Youssef Zénaf in Full Contact (1 victory, 1 defeat), Pascal Leplat in Kick Boxing (2 victories) and Christian Bahfir in Thai boxing (1 win, 1 draw).

Fred Royers has had his gym for years, Kick Boxing Arnhem Gym in Arnhem. In Holland, he’s one of the best coaches in the country, the list of champions he has formed is very long, Jan Wessels, Nico Anches, Perry Telgt, Jan Lomulder, Ray Staring, Khalid Bourdif, Krista Fleming, Mazhar Kamalizadeh, William Diender, Germaine De Randami, Jimmy Eimers, Jemyma Betrian, Tarik Mokhtar.

Fred Royers

Fred Royers has often appeared on the cover of specialized magazines

Fred Royers and the Japanese legend Toshio Fujiwara in 1982

Jan Plas, Fred Royers, Rob Kaman

Fred Royers and Rob Kaman, two immense champions who have marked the history of Dutch Kick Boxing and Muay Thai

Fred Royers in Thailand at Singpatong Gym camp for his preparation for his World Kick Boxing Championship in Japan in 1985, victory of Fred Royers against Yasuo Tabata

Fred Royers and the great French champion Christian Bahfir made two titanic confrontations in Muay Thai, in 1982 in Amsterdam and in 1984 in Paris (1 victory by points by Fred Royers and one draw)

Arnhem Kickboxing Gym of Fred Royers

Andre Mannaart started training at the Mejiro Gym in 1982 after Master Sken stopped his Muay Thai lessons at the Black Belt Gym in Amsterdam. Muay Thai Sken’s grand master taught his art in England from 1977 to 1978 and then in Holland from 1979 to 1981, notably in the Samurai Gym and Black Belt gyms. In 1982, Master Sken come back to England where he founded a boxing gym, married an Englishwoman and stayed in England for many years. The Black Belt Gym in Amsterdam belonged to Robert Bos who taught Taekwondo, Andre Mannaart was his student.

Andre Mannaart made his first fight in 1984 in Muay Thai against Peter Hillen whom he beat in points. A year later, he faced the fearsome Ernesto Hoost against whom he lost twice. Then, Andre Mannaart met the great champion of the time Peter Smit, he lost in points in a match that took place in Japan. Just after this fight, Andre Mannaart beat the young boy promising in Holland, Peter Aerts, by KO.

Andre Mannaart has fought for the Mejiro Gym all over Europe, often in Japan, he has faced great champions such as Maurice Smith, Branko Cikatić, Frank Lobman, Ray Sefo, Adel Ferreira, Luc Verheyen, and won the title of world champion in WKA Kick Boxing, the title of world champion in K1 WKA and the title of world champion in Muay Thai WPKL!

Andre Mannaart is now the owner and head coach of the Mejiro Gym since 1999, he formed the young Remy Bonjasky who became a K1 superstar in Japan with three K-1 World Grand Prix titles in 2003, 2004 and 2008. Also, his own son, Roël Mannaart who is today one of the best Dutch heavyweights in Kick Boxing, K1 world champion in Japan, in 2018, against Croatian Antonio Plazibat, a belt which he defended victoriously in Japan on November 24, 2019 where he beat the Australian Chris Bradford by KO. Andre Mannaart’s daughter, Sharon Mannaart, is also an excellent professional Kick Boxing fighter.

Andre Mannaart

Andre Mannaart against Lakchart Sorprasartporn in Amsterdam in 1989

Andre Mannaart, world champion of Kick Boxing in Japan in Tokyo on March 4, 1994

Andre Mannaart is the head coach of Mejiro Gym today

Another great champion who marked the history of Mejiro Gym is the talented Tommy Van Den Berg, he fought 52 fights for 44 victories (22 KO), 6 defeats and 2 draws and won twice the title of WKA Kick Boxing World Champion in 1989 and 1992, as well as several Dutch Kick Boxing and Full Contact champion titles.

In Japan, in Tokyo, on September 5, 1987, in Kick Boxing, Tommy Van Den Berg was the first Dutchman to fight in the land of the rising sun. He beat the great Japanese champion Naoki Ishino by knockout. In 1989, in Amsterdam, he became world champion of Kick Boxing against the defending champion the Japanese Kioji Saito which he beat by KO with a superb lightning High Kick.

In Muay Thai, Tommy Van Den Berg made great fights, in Amsterdam in 1987, he beat the champion Wattana Soudareth (N ° 1 in the stadium of Radja). In Amsterdam, in 1990, he met the bull Coban Lookchaomaesaitong (Lumpinee Champion, World champion) who beat him by knockout, also, the technician Jareonthong Kiatbanchong (Lumpinee Champion, World champion) against whom he lost at points.

Tommy Van Den Berg now has his own gym, Team Van Den Berg which is located in Almere near Amsterdam.

Tommy Van Den Berg

Tommy Van Den Berg at paos with Jan Plas

Tommy Van Den Berg against Wattana Soudareth in Amsterdam in 1987

Tommy Van Den Berg against Coban Lookchaomaesaitong in Amsterdam in 1990

Tommy Van Den Berg against Jaroenthong Kiatbanchong

Champions Milo El Geubli (European champion, world champion), Muzzafer Yamali (European champion) and Leo de Snoo (European champion, world champion), also contributed to the fabulous history of Mejiro Gym.

Milo El Geubli was one of the first fighters of the Mejiro Gym. Nicknamed «African Tornado», he fought against Thai killers such as Kongtoranee Payakaroon (Defeat), Wattana Soudareth (Victory), and won the title of European Thai boxing champion against the great French champion Rene Desjardins.

Milo El Geubli took on the formidable Joao Vieira for the WKA World Title on 12 October 1986. Milo El Geubli had broken his hand in the second round, despite the pain, he won this fight in twelve rounds and won the world belt. It was one of the best fights ever fought in Holland!

One of the last big fights of the African Tornado was against the star of the time, Gilbert Ballentine, on February 27, 1988, he lost by KO for a Thai Boxing World Championship WMTA. Milo El Geubli made his last fight in 1991 in Morocco, he defeated by KO the French Hosseini El Hermy. Just after this fight, back in Holland, Milo El Geubli and another Mejiro Gym fighter simply disappeared from Amsterdam and Holland, their families never saw them again. This sordid story was broadcast several times on Dutch television in the program “missing persons”, the case of the two missing persons of the Mejiro Gym was never solved and no dead body was found. Officially, both men were murdered…

Milo El Geubli

European Championship between Milo El Geubli and Rene Desjardins

World Championship between Milo El Geubli and Joao Vieira

Milo El Geubli against Wattana Soudareth

Muzzafer Yamali started at Chakuriki Gym with Thom Harinck, he also faced fighters from Mejiro Gym including the great champion Andre Brilleman against whom he lost in points. Then Muzzafer Yamali fought for the Mejiro Gym. This superb technician met great champions like Kash Gill (Victory), Fanta Attapong (Defeat), Stephane Nikiema (Victory). Muzzafer Yamali won the title of European Thai boxing champion.

Muzzafer Yamali

Muzzafer Yamali against Fanta Attapong

Leo De Snoo defeated Chartsingh Lukprabath by knockout for the IMF world belt on August 31, 1990 in the stadium of Lumpinee. Leo De Snoo was the first westerner (With Peter Smit) to win a world belt in the stadium of Lumpinee.

Leo De Snoo made three memorable clashes against Peter Smit with a draw in 1985, a defeat in 1988 and a defeat for the European title in 1990. Leo De Snoo has never been knocked out during his career, he has faced some very tough Thai champions such as Sakmongkol Sitchuchok (Defeat), Sayid Khan (Victory) as well as three times star Ernesto Hoost (3 defeats in points) and Canadian Full Contact star Jean-Yves Theriault for the Full Contact ISKA World Title (Leo De Snoo’s Defeat by Disqualification).

This great champion unfortunately died on February 15, 2004 in an accident, he was 41 years old…

Leo De Snoo against Ernesto Hoost in Amsterdam in 1985

Leo de Snoo against Sayid Khan in Amsterdam in 1990

Johan Vos was a great Karateka who formed at Karate Kyokushin in the dojo of Master Johannes Bluming. He learned the basics of Kick Boxing with Jan Plas, then, in 1978, Johan Vos created his gym the Vos Gym which was located in an alley of the Spuistraat at the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, an urban artery of Amsterdam. The gym has been at this address for 32 years. In 2012, Vos Gym moved to Donker Curtiusstraat in the Westerpark district.

The Vos Gym was an old school gym, kind of like the Boxing gyms in New York’s slums

Johan Vos was a passionate coach of combat sports, he quickly formed within his gym a team of great fighter. In the early 1980s, his team included champions such as Ivan Hippolyte, Mousid Akhamrane, Lucia Rijker and Ivan Sprang. Then came Peter Teijse, Michele A’boro, Tom Walraven, Jerrel Venetiaan and the phenomenal Ernesto Hoost.

Johan Vos

The three pioneers of Muay Thai in Holland Jan Plas, Johan Vos, Thom Harinck

Ivan Hippolyte nicknamed “The Hydro” started at Vos Gym in 1982. This superb champion has won four times the European champion belt in Muay Thai. In 1988, he won the world title in Kick Boxing against the American David Humphries and he was the first foreigner to win a world title in Thai boxing recognized by Thai officials.

On October 14, 1990, in Amsterdam, Ivan Hippolyte beat the Thai Mungkondetch Kiatprasanchai for the WMTA world belt. In 1995, in Bangkok, in the stadium of Lumpinee, he knocked down by KO Pompetch Naratreekul and won the WMTC world title in – 74 Kg. With 82 fights for 69 victories, Ivan Hippolyte defeated champions like Orlando Wiet, Guillaume Kerner, Jomhod Kiatadisak (KO), Vichan Chorrotchai, Changpuek Kiatsongrit (KO), Perry Ubeda, Rayen Simson!

Ivan Hippolyte took over the Vos Gym in 1995, he’s now the owner of Vos Gym and the main trainer.

In 2019, Ivan Hippolyte partnered with Michael Passenier to establish cooperation between their two gyms, Vos Gym and Mike’s Gym. Michael «Big Mike» Passenier is the owner of the famous Mike’s Gym, he trains great fighters such as Badr Hari, Gokhan Saki, Melvin Manhoef and Serhii Adamchuk. Both gyms are in the same building but are independent for training.

Ivan Hippolyte

Ivan Hippolyte against Krongsak Boranrat in Paris in 1989

Ivan Hippolyte against Andre Masseurs in Amsterdam in 1994

Ivan Hippolyte against Vicha Chorrotchai

Mousid Akhamrane made 83 fights for 72 victories, he was Kick Boxing World Champion, Muay Thai World Champion and Full Contact World Champion, he also won several European titles. In 1989, he founded his gym the Mousid Gym in Amsterdam. Mousid Akhamrane became a renowned coach who formed champions like Mourad Bouzidi, Hafid El Boustati, Fikri Tijart and Mosab Amrani!

Mousid Akhamrane

Lucia Rijker is a living legend of the rings, she’s the greatest fighter in the history of Kick Boxing. She also left her mark on the noble female art forever by winning against the best champions of the time. Her ferocity, determination and punch made her a dreaded boxer in every ring on the planet. She remains a charming and generous woman outside the rings. But until today, no fighter has managed to overcome “The Dutch destroyer” who was four times World Kick Boxing Champion (IWBA, WKA, ISKA), twice world champion in Boxing (WIBF, WIBO) and WIBF European Boxing Champion!

Lucia Rijker

Lucia Rijker against Valérie Henin

Ernesto Hoost is part of the very closed circle of the living legends of Kick Boxing. He won the prestigious World K1 Grand Prix tournament in Japan four times (1997, 1999, 2000, 2002). Ernesto Hoost is one of the few boxers, in all categories, to hold the supreme title in all disciplines foot and fist, French Savate Boxing World Champion in 1989, Thai Boxing World Champion in 1989, Kick Boxing World Champion in 1990 and ISKA Full Contact World Champion in 1994.

He fought in the rings of the whole world, his longevity of fighter is extraordinary, 23 years of career with 119 fights for 97 victories including 62 by KO, he beat big names such as Andre Mannaart (KO), Leo de Snoo, Pascal Ducros, Peter Aerts, Branko Cikatic, Luc Verheyen, Jan Wessels, Maurice Smith (KO), Changpuek Kiatsongrit (KO), Masaaki Satake (KO), Rick Roufus (KO), Andy Hug, Mirko Cro Cop (KO), Ray Sefo (KO), Mike Bernardo (Referee stop), Stefan Leko (KO), Jérôme Le Banner (KO), Francisco Filho, Sam Greco (Referee stop), Mark Hunt, Cyril Abidi!

Ernesto Hoost

Ernesto Hoost against Branko Cikatic in Amsterdam in 1989

Ernesto Hoost against Rob Kaman in Amsterdam in 1990

Ernesto Hoost against Seyoke in Amsterdam in 1990

Ernesto Hoost against Changpuek in Tokyo in 1993

Ernesto Hoost winner of the K2 Tournament against Changpuek

Lucien Carbin also trained at the Johannes Bluming dojo, one of whose teachers was Jan Plas, he started Kick Boxing with Jan Plas, Edgar Cairo, Johan Vos and Andre Brilleman. Lucien Carbin was champion of Holland in Kick Boxing, in Karate Kyokushinkai and in Full Contact, European champion in Karate Kyokushinkai, in French Savate Boxing and in Kick Boxing and world champion in Kick Boxing. During his long career, he fought in all styles, in Kick Boxing, Muay Thai and Full Contact, he had only one defeat. Many Dutch champions have been inspired by his fighting style.

Lucien Carbin created his gym the Fighting Factory Carbin, he’s considered one of the best coaches in the country. The list of champions who passed into the hands of Master Carbin is impressive, Rob Kaman, Robert Westmaas, Imro Main, Tyron Spong, Ilonka Elmont, Rodney Doorje, Edmond Amelo, Jerry Morris, Marco London, Vincent Vyent, Gilbert Yvel, Gilbert Ballantine, Vincent Dap, Andy Oosterling, Tarik El Idrissi, Noel Soares, Allistair Overeem, Otmar Diange, Jennifer Trustfull, Merel Dorgulo, Frank Lobman, Aziz Kallah, James McSweeney, Rinaldo Morris, Sonny Zichterman, Rodney Faverus, Faysal Redding!

Lucien Carbin formed one of the greatest champions of Dutch Muay Thai, Ilonka Elmont. Nicknamed “Killer Queen”, she won 7 titles of world champion of Thai boxing and defeated all the best champions in her category!

Lucien Carbin

Lucien Carbin against Mousid Akhamrane in Amsterdam in 1987

Lucien Carbin became a great trainer

Lucien Carbin and his champion Ilonka Elmont

Lucien Carbin with star Tyron Spong

Ilonka Elmont

Ilonka Elmont against Cunera Cremers

Two other gyms have also participated in the development of Muay Thai and Kick Boxing in Holland by producing great champions, these are the Hemmers Gym and the Budokai Vleesenbeek Gym.

The Hemmers Gym which was originally named the Maeng Ho Breda Gym was created by the great trainer Cor Hemmers, the gym is located in Breda in the south of Holland.

Cor Hemmers began his martial arts training in judo at the age of 6, a sport he practiced until the age of 15. Then he moved on to Kyokushin Karate. In 1976, Cor Hemmers started competing in contact karate. In the early 80s, he trained in Kick Boxing and Muay Thai and fought in Kick Boxing and Muay Thai, disciplines in which he carried out 29 professional fights for 25 victories, 3 defeats and 1 draw.

In 1984, Cor Hemmers opened his gym in Breda. Cor Hemmers is one of the biggest trainers in Holland because he has formed many champions like Bas Ruten, Luc Verheyen, Duc Nguyen, Mickael Lieuwfat, Kees Bezems, Silvio Zimmerman, Gerard Van Tilborg, Marcel Wille, Noel Van Den Heuvel, Andre Masseurs, Orlando Wiet and ring legend Ramon Dekkers.

The training and management of the Hemmers Gym is now the responsibility of Cor Hemmers’ son, Nick Hemmers.

In the early 2000s, Cor Hemmers and his partner Bas Boon created an exceptional Professional Fighters Team, the Team was called the Golden Glory and included the greatest K1 style champions on the planet such as Chalid Arrab, Fatih Kocamis, Murat Chungkaev, Valentine and Alistair Overeem, Sergei Kharitonov, Olav Einemo, Stefan Leko, Gokhan Saki, Nieky Holzken and Semmy Schilt!

Today, Cor Hemmers is one of the leaders of the world’s largest Kick Boxing organization, “Glory”.

Master Cor Hemmers

The famous belt « GLORY »

Training in Thailand in November 1990 with João Vieira, Ed Bruin, Luc Verheyen, Cor Hemmers and Peter Smit

Maeng Ho Breda Gym in 1992, we can see the great champions Ramon Dekkers, Fred Royers, Orlando Wiet, Marcel Wille, Noël Van Den Heuvel, Bas Rutten, Silvio Zimmerman and Master Cor Hermmers

Cor Hemmers with his boy Ramon Dekkers in front of the famous World Thai Boxing Temple, the stadium of Lumpinee

Ramon Dekkers, Cor Hemmers, Luc Verheyen

Cor Hemmers was the father-in-law of Ramon Dekkers, who formed the young diamond of the rings at the age of 12.

Ramon Dekkers made 210 fights for 185 victories (98 KO), 20 defeats and 5 draws. He won the titles of champion of Holland Thai Boxing, European champion of Thai boxing, and he was 8 times world champion of Thai Boxing and Kick Boxing in four weight categories in – 59 Kg, – 63 Kg , – 67 Kg and – 70 kilos Kg.

Nicknamed “The Diamond” and “The Turbine of Hell”, Ramon Dekkers was the first Westerner to beat the Thai champions at home in the major stadiums in Bangkok. In Thailand, he’s considered a living legend of Muay Thai. All over the world his name is engraved forever in the history of Kick Boxing.

Many champions have beaten him but very few have succeeded in a career as prestigious that his. His punch and extraordinary courage allowed him to crush the biggest fighters of his time. “The Diamond” has been a terror for many years on every ring on the planet.

The list of champions he has beaten is impressive, and he has often beaten them at home, as Ramkisoen (KO), Andre Richard Nam (KO), Mike Morris, Gilbert Ballantine (KO), Namphon Nongkee Pahuyuth, Cherry Sor Wanich (KO), Superlek Sor Isaan, Sombat Sor Thanikul, Coban Lookchaomaesaitong (KO), Joel Cesar (KO), Jo Prestia, Mourad Djebli, James Bond (KO), Hassan Kassrioui (KO), Saengtiennoi Sor Rungroj, Decharwin (KO), Pralomran (KO), Taro Minato (KO), Hiroshi Yoshitaka, Fernandos Calleros (KO), Hector Pena (KO), Gerald Mamadeus (KO), Marino De Florin (KO), Kenichi Ogata (KO), Duane Ludwig!

He also fought memorable fights by losing little by points or by injury stoppage against great world champions such as Joao Vieira, Jomhod Kiatadisak, Issara Sakkreerin, Den Muangsurin, Sakmongkol Sitchuchoke, Orono Por Muang Ubon, Jareonthong Kietbanchong, Dida Diafat, Khalid Rahilou, Rayen Simson, Namkabuan Nong Kee Pahuyut, Jerry Morris, Luiz Guilherme, Saimaï Chor Suananant, Dany Bill, François Pennachio, Takayuki Kohiruimaki, Andre Menzentsef, Joerie Mes.

On February 27, 2013, a heart attack knocked out The Diamond, this legend of the rings at 43 years old leaving a big void in the world of Thai boxing…

Ramon Dekkers The Diamond

Ramon Dekkers and Thailand’s largest promoter Mr. Songchai Ratanasuban. It’s Songchai who nicknamed Ramon Dekkers The Diamond, according to the Thai promoter, the Dutch fighter was like a diamond gem, he was hard, and also beautiful

1991, training in Bangkok, just before the second fight between Ramon Dekkers and Coban Lookchaomaesaithong in the stadium of Lumpinee. Cor Hemmers, Orlando Wiet, Ramon Dekkers and Ben Pontier

Ramon Dekkers was often on the cover of specialist newspapers in Thailand


Ramon Dekkers against Superlek Sor Isaan in 1990 in Bangkok at the stadium of Lumpinee

Ramon Dekkers against Namphon Nongkee Pahuyuth in 1990 in Bangkok at the stadium of Lumpinee

Ramon Dekkers against Coban Lookchaomaesaithong in 1991 and 1993 in France in Paris

Ramon Dekkers against Sangtiennoi Sor Rungroj in 1991 in Japan in Tokyo

Ramon Dekkers against Jo Prestia in 1992 in France in Paris

Among the many other Hemmers Gym champions are Luc Verheyen, Mickael Lieuwfat, Orlando Wiet, Andre Masseurs and Noel Van Den Heuvel.

Luc The Destroyer Verheyen, in 1990, beat the terrible Peter Smit for the European belt of Kick Boxing WKA, he made three big confrontations against Peter Smit with a victory by stop on injury and a victory by stop of the referee, and a defeat by KO. In 1994, he won the European WMTA Kick Boxing champion belt by defeating big champion Frank Lobman. In 1995, in Bangkok, he won the WMTA Thai boxing world champion belt in – 75 kg against the solid Saidkhan Kiatpathan.

Luc Verheyen against Ernesto Hoost in Amsterdam in 1991

Mickael Lieuwfat (European Champion) was a huge fighter, durable boxer, who faced the greatest Thai champions such as Samart Payakaroon (Best boxer of the year 1981, 1983 and 1988), Orono Por Muang Ubon (Best boxer of the year 1994), Langsuan Phanyutaphum (Best boxer of the year 1987), Paluhadlek Sitchunthong (Lumpinee Champion), Karuhat Sor Supawan (Lumpinee Champion), Rambo Pongsiree (N ° 1 of Lumpinee). Mickael Lieuwfat also made two memorable European championships against the great French champions Jaid Seddak (2 defeats, one by knockout) and Rachid El Herdmi who beat him for the title.

Mickael Lieuwfat

Mickael Lieuwfat with the star Karuhat Sor Supawan

Mickael Lieuwfat against Rambo Pongsiree in Amsterdam in 1990

Mickael Lieuwfat against Paluhadlek Sitchunthong in Amsterdam in 1990

Mickael Lieuwfat against Noppadet Sor Raywadee in Amsterdam in 1991

Orlando Wiet nicknamed The Gladiator has fought 180 fights in the disciplines of Thai Boxing, Kick Boxing, Boxing and Free Fight. He was one of the first Dutch fighters to fight in Free Fight at the UFC in 1994. Orlando Wiet won the belt of European Thai boxing champion in 1985 against the French Stephan Nikiema and in 1989 against the French Omar Benamar, he then won a world title.

Orlando Wiet faced Thai champions like Kongburi Phayaphan (World Championship in 1991, Kongburi victory), Changpuek Kiatsongkrit (World Championship in 1992, Changpuek victory), Denubon Premchai (Loss), Jomhod Kiatadisak (Loss), Krongsak Boranrat (Loss) and other Thai fighters that he sometimes beat in the stadium of Lumpinee.

Orlando Wiet also met many great European champions such as Azem Maksutaj (Victory by KO), Ivan Hyppolite (1 victory, 1 defeat), Stephan Nikiema (1 victory, 1 defeat), Keith Nathan (victory by KO), Aurelien Duarte (1 draw and 1 defeat for the title of world champion of Thai boxing), Farid Kenniche (European Championship, victory of Farid Kenniche), Perry Ubeda (Draw).

Orlando Wiet


Orlando Wiet has won numerous titles

Orlando Wiet against Mongkoldet Kiatprasanchai

Orlando Wiet against Stephan Nikiema

Andre Masseurs won the world Thai boxing title in – 72 Kg in 1992 by beating Mankonjuk Sayam by KO, and he faced notably in France the formidable champion of Lumpinee Jaroenthong Kiatbanchong as well as Vichan Chorrotchai.

Andre Masseurs

Andre Masseurs against Vichan Rudchai in Amsterdam in 1992

Noel Van Den Heuvel, of Belgian origin, nicknamed The Lion, won in 1993 the world Thai boxing title by defeating the French star Dida Diafat, and two titles of world champion of Kick Boxing.

Noel Van Den Heuvel

The Budokai Vleesenbeek was mainly a big Kyokushin Karate gym but it also produced several great champions of Kick Boxing and Muay Thai, like Ricardo Nassy, Michael Bos, Kurtulus Akpin, the most known are the heavyweight, Lloyd Van Dams and the legendary Peter Smit.

Lloyd Van Dams was first formed at Surinamese gym then at Budokai Vleesenbeek Gym and he ended up at Chakuriki Gym.

Lloyd Van Dams won the Muay Thai Power tournament by beating Rémy Bonjasky in the final, he won the European champion belt of Muay Thai EMTA against William Van Rosmalen and the WMTA world title in Muay Thai against Bob Schreiber.

Lloyd Van Dams

Peter Smit is one of the legendary Dutch fighters, this warrior has marked the history of Kick Boxing and Dutch Muay Thai. He started with Karate at Budokai Vleesenbeek with Senseï Jan Vleesenbeek, the founder of Budokai Vleesenbeek. Later, Peter Smit fought for Cor Hemmers’ Maeng Ho Breda Gym.

Peter Smit has won numerous Karate champion titles with his fellow trainers Andre Van Den Linden and Gerrie Hoogeveen. In 1984, he started Kick Boxing then Thai boxing in 1985 where he went to train at the famous Sityodtong camp of Samart and Kongtoranee Payakaroon. Nicknamed The Hurricane, he fought 26 professional fights for 17 victories 6 defeats and 3 draws.

In 1990, he won the Kick Boxing European Champion Belt in 75 Kg against the fearsome Leo de Snoo, a belt he successfully defended by beating by KO Luc Verheyen. But his two memorable fights are against the lord of the rings Rob Kaman and the Thai star Changpuek Kiatsongkrit. On June 30, 1990, in Japan, for the title of WKA World Champion of Kick Boxing, he defeated Rob Kaman by KO in the tenth round, a match that was elected Fight of the Year in Japan, the land of Kick Boxing.

Two months later, on 31 August 1990, at the Lumpinee stadium in Bangkok, Peter Smit managed the feat of beating by KO the bull Changpuek Kiatsongkrit for the IMTF world title of Muay Thai. Peter Smit was the first Westerner (With Leo De Snoo) to win a world belt at the Lumpinee stadium. Three months later, Peter Smit defended his world title at Lumpinee stadium, losing to points for revenge against Changpuek Kiatsongkrit.

Unfortunately, this great champion had a tragic end, on August 15, 2005, during a fight in street, he was shot dead in Rotterdam, he was 43 years old…

Peter Smit

Peter Smit IMF MuayThai World Champion

Peter Smit WKA Kick Boxing World Champion

Peter Smit in training with champion Frank Lobman in 1983

Peter Smit in training with legend Ramon Dekkers

At the famous Sityodtong camp in Thailand in 1985, John Brand, Peter Smit, Kongtoranee Payakaroon, Maurice Vleesenbeek

Peter Smit against Andre Mannaart in Tokyo, January 29, 1989, a dantesque match won by Peter Smit

The two memorable confrontations of Peter Smit and Changpuek in the stadium of Lumpinee, August 31, 1990 and November 27, 1990

Peter “Hurricane” Smit against Rob “The Viking” Kaman, match of the Year in Tokyo June 30, 1990

Victory of Peter Smit and Leo De Snoo in the stadium of Lumpinee in 1990 for the titles of world champion IMF

Joao Vieira, who was formed in a small gym, the Ommoord Gym, is also a great Dutch champion who participated in the golden age of the Dutch Muay Thai. Joao Vieira fought against the Thai terrors Coban Lookchaomaesaitong, Kongtoranee Payakaroon and Superlek Sor Isaan. He won the Kick Boxing World Champion, European French boxing champion and Dutch Thai boxing champion. On September 28, 1985, in France, he met for a European Thai boxing championship, the French European champion Philippe Cantamessi who held the title, Joao Vieira lost the match on points.

Joao Vieira beat the Dutch stars Ramon Dekkers (He was the first to beat by KO Ramon Dekkers in 1988) and Gilbert Ballantine (1 victory in French Savate Boxing, 2 defeats in Thai Boxing), as well as the French European champion Andre Richard-Nam (1 victory, 1 defeat), he also made two beautiful WKA world championships against the legendary English champion Ronnie Green and against Milo El Geubli of Mejiro Gym, both beat him on points.

Joao Vieira now has his Muay Thai Vieira Gym in Rotterdam.

Joao Vieira against André Richard-Nam in Holland in 1987

Joao Vieira against Kongtoranee Payakaroon

Joao Vieira against Superlek Sor Isaan

The Dutch champions of Muay Thai and Kick Boxing are so numerous that the have not enough pages to put them all, we can quote again Brian Pieters, Chris Van Venrooij, Dylan Gravenbergh, Frank Lobman, Gerold Mamadeus, Hassan Ettaki, Iwan Thorne, Jan Lomulder, Jerry Morris, Joerie Mes, William Van Roosmalen, and many others…

Brian Pieters

Chris Van Venrooij

Dylan Gravenbergh

Frank Lobman

Gerold Mamadeus

Hassan Ettaki

Iwan Thorne

Jan Lomulder

Jerry Morris

Joerie Mes

William Van Roosmalen