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NETHERLANDS, HISTORY OF AIKIDO IN THE

Aikido began in the Netherlands c. 1963 with visits by Hirokazu KOBAYASHI to teach small groups of Dutch judoka. The organization which grew out of these first groups joined the Aikido Section of the Judo Bond Netherland (JBN = Dutch Judo Federation) headed by Pierre GERAEDTS in 1986. Kobayashi still conducts yearly seminars. Initially, many Dutch aikidoka traveled abroad to practice. Some, for example, trained in AIKI BUDO under Alain FLOQUET in France while others practiced in Germany under Katsuaki ASAI.

Nobuyoshi TAMURA from France began conducting regular seminars in the Netherlands in 1970 and currently instructs two weekend seminars each year. After moving to Belgium c. 1979, Seiichi SUGANO taught courses one weekend per month for some nine years before relocating to New York City. Other Belgian teachers such as Schelstraten and J. Dedobbeleer have also taught in the Netherlands.

On 22 November 1979, a new organization, the National Cultural Aikikai Bond (NCAB = Dutch Cultural Aikikai Federation) was established separately from the JBN. Its founder was Peter Bacas, 4th dan Aikikai. This group obtained INTERNATIONAL AIKIDO FEDERATION recognition at the Congress held in Paris in 1980 while recognition of the Aikido Section of the JBN was withdrawn. This came about due to the IAF statute authorizing recognition of only one national organization per country and proved to be a source of considerable dissent during the tumultuous Paris sessions held. Nonetheless, the JBN Aikido Section retained its membership in the EUROPEAN AIKIDO FEDERATION under the technical direction of Tamura and is the largest Aikikai organization in the Netherlands. It is recognized by the Dutch government and the National Sports Federation and national seminars frequented by Japanese and French instructors are conducted on a regular basis.

For its part, the NCAB is presently recognized by the other EAF group headed by Karl-Fredrich LEISINGER, the Dutch Ministry of Welfare, Public Health and Culture and the Dutch Eastern Martial Arts Federation. Its Technical Supervisor is Masatake FUJITA, 7th dan Aikikai, while Minoru KANETSUKA, 6th dan Aikikai, is the Technical Director. Various Japanese teachers have visited the Netherlands to conduct seminars since its foundation including a visit by AIKIKAI HOMBU DOJO-CHO Moriteru UESHIBA in 1990.

Even though a small country, the Netherlands has more than 80 dojos which include the following major groups: Aikikai, the Tamura organization, TOMIKI AIKIDO, SHINSHIN TOITSU AIKIDO, TENDOKAN AIKIDO of Kenji SHIMIZU, the Aiki Budo of Floquet, and the independent Mushin organization.