The so-called “Beast
of Amsterdam” is still well-known fixture in
the dojos of Europe. A 10th Dan in Karate and 9th
Dan in Judo, a decorated veteran of two tours with
the Dutch Marines in Korea, Jon Bluming began his
martial arts training in Holland in 1953. In 1959,
he continued his martial art training in Japan, studying
with legendary teachers that included Donn Draeger,
Mas Oyama, Kenji Kurosaki, and Ichitaro Kuroda. He
quickly mastered techniques in judo, Kyokushin Kai
karate, iaido, and jodo. His competitive performances
in Japan soon drew the awe and respect of his colleagues...
and the public. After returning to Europe, he coached
the Belgian and Dutch national karate teams, and some
of his better-known students include Olympic judo
champion Willem Ruska, world sambo champion Chris
Dolman, and current RINGS champion Dick Vrij.
Although his muscle was employed with efficiency
by strip club owners in Amsterdam’s Red Light
district, Bluming has a softer, more cultured side.
In fact, he seems more like the incarnation of the
classic Samurai warrior. He is well-versed in Japanese
culture, and his small tidy house on the outskirts
of Amsterdam is a virtual museum of arms and armor,
books and art prints. A serene Japanese garden sits
out back of the house, replete with a prize-winning
But back in the dojo, Bluming tolerates no disrespect,
and his students mirror his philosophy, and certainly,
his warrior code of honor.
During the course of the production of MARTIAL ARTS:
THE REAL STORY, Bluming discussed the essence of his
“Martial Arts isn’t the mystical practice
that many believe. It’s a hard way of life.
It means be yourself, try to improve yourself, be
honorable to everybody…. But once someone
tries to shaft you – really whack him!”
And Bluming has made good on his word as TOUGH GUY
will reveal – both on the street and in the
gym. And his tradition is carried on by his students,
whose adventures and travails will be covered as they
compete for coveted trophies in competitions around
the world, all under the watchful eye of their beloved
Jon Bluming made his first appearance in Pacific
Street’s 2000 documentary Martial Arts: The
Real Story. Well into his 70’s he continues
to serve as leader of Europe’s International
Budo Kai Kan Foundation.