My father Rinus Nansink was a talented boxer in his younger days, so I presume my love for martial art is primordial. I started with kyokushinkai karate in 1967, after Peter Koopman introduced me to sensei Rinus Schulz, an high ranked instructor in Jon Blumings honbu karate dojo in Amsterdam. In those days the home base of Kyokushin Karate heavy weights, like Jan Kallenbach, Jan Stapper, Ton Heumen, Jan Plas, and wrestling and judo champions like Chris Dolman and Willem Ruska. Kumite (free sparring) was tough those days, but I could handle myself. Rinus Schulz was an inspiring teacher, he introduced many philosophical aspects of karate and practical kickboxing techniques into our training. About 5 years later, sensei Jan Kallenbach invited a selected group of karate enthusiasts to train under Yoshimichi Sato in his Shin bu ken dojo in Amsterdam Osdorp. Jan Kallenbach was the first Dutch who trained with Kenichi Sawai in person. Yoshimichi Sato, the son in-law of Kenichi Sawai was a senior instructor in Matsutatsu Oyama’s Kyokushinkai headquarters in Tokyo. That combination, Kallenbach, Sato and Taikiken, was something that really touched my feeling. As a black belt in Kyokushinkai karate, I increasingly started to concentrate on Taikiken. With some friends, we started to train Taikiken in the early morning in a forest in Overveen. In that time I met Leong Kwok Wai (Gary) a Chinese martial artist from Malaysia. He taught me long arm fighting, meditation and simple healing methods. After a period of training with Sato sensei, Akio Sawai (Kenichi Sawai's son) and Iwama Norimasa, took over the Taikiken training Shin Bu Ken. My Taikiken became more and more skillful, and half a year later my teachers invited me to Japan, to study under the old Master himself. Autumn 1975 I traveled to Japan for a seven month Taikiken practice. On the way I made a short side trip to Malaysia to visit Gary my Chinese friend, he introduced me to Chan Eng Hin famous for his fighting skills. Master Hin demonstrated his iron palm to me, breaking bricks by slapping them, and iron shirt qigong by moving a large piece of tree-trunk away from his belly, without any visible physical interaction. I requested him to be my teacher, but he smiled and said, that the time available was to short. But he offered me, to teach me how to learn. Since I was on my way to study with Kenichi Sawai, this was the best what could happen to me. In Tokyo I stayed with Masashi Saito a student of Sawai Sensei. Saito introduced me to Oshi Os sensei his Chinese Taiji teacher, from him I learned a form of Tai chi chuan in the lineage of Wang Shu Chin (1904-1981).
Saito and I did train in Meiji Jingu, near the Meiji Shrine, every morning from six till eight in the morning. Our training started with half an hour Ritsuzen meditation (zhan zhuang), Hai (crawling), basis stepping (mo ca bu), testing force (shi li), some pushing hands (tui shou) and Tai chi chuan.
After breakfast I practiced Taikiken and Taijiquan at the same spot. Most of the mornings Hatsuo Royama was there to do his Taikiken training. He taught me a three line stepping system and his famous low kick (mawashi gedan geri).
Every Sunday morning, Kenichi Sawai Sensei came to Meiji Jingu, to teach his fellow Taikiken trainees as he called us. He was clear in his teaching, and touched the essence of every movement. by explaining how to apply them in real combat.
He was in his seventies, full of life-force and often demonstrated Hakei, an explosive power (fa li). At the end of the Sunday mornings we had to do free sparring (kumite) (san shou), Sawai Sensei’s favorite part, rules? No rules! He often joined us in action. After a long Sunday morning training, it was theory time in Renoir coffee shop, where Kenichi Sawai spoke inspired about Taikiken and his training with Wang Xiangzhai. He talked with arms and legs and often we flew around the coffee shop, when he showed the fundamentals in action. Martial art not only added years to his life, but more important, life to his years. This was very meaningful to me, because mastering ki (qi), the main target of Taikiken was a transcendental goal. So, When he told us “if you practice your Ritsuzen for thirty years you will feel ‘it’, he himself was an living illustration of what that ‘it’ could be. The year after, I went to Malaysia to learn from master Chan Eng Hin. He taught me iron shirt qigong, and how to train with special equipment, methods I integrated into Taikiken.
In 1977 I became one of the first company trainers and personal coaches in Holland using martial art and its philosophical background in management training for companies like KLM, Samson, Casino Holland and others. My first coaching client was Jan Lammers who I prepared for his career in formula one car racing. Meeting celebrities and captains of industry, and their positive reactions on my work made me realize, that martial art as a form of professional team building and coaching had a prosperous future.
In 1978 I used my knowledge of qigong to do research on the influence of EMF (electromagnetic fields) on human health and the environment. I used high tech equipment like a thermograph and a spectrum analyzer to prove the ancient Chinese ideas about energy and polarities. From my findings and my knowledge of martial art I developed a contemporary form of feng shui which I still use for clients.
When I returned to Japan some years later and I found that my old tracks at the training spot were still there. Waking the same path day in day out had done its job. This time I enjoyed the warm hospitality of Yashuhide Takagi’s family. Yashuhide was captain of the Housei university Karate team, and showed a keen interest in my Taikiken, later he became one of Sawai Sensei’s senior students. I visited Japan several times and I was living there when Sawai Sensei died in 1988. I attended the funeral ceremony to pay respect to my teacher, who greatly influenced my martial arts and my way of living.
Most of the years from 1975 onwards, I escaped the energetically weak and unpleasant winters in The Netherlands to train in South East Asia, Japan, Taiwan or China. During these journeys, I studied various styles of Wushu and widened my awareness by experiencing different ways of living and the philosophical ideas behind it. Taikiken served as the motivator for my personal development and since Kenichi Sawai always talked about his teacher Wang Xiangzhai and Yiquan with so much fire, I traveled several times to China to research the origins and philosophical ideas of Yiquan. The clarity and practicable use of Yiquan as combat science and philosophy made me an adept of Taoism. I talked to all kinds of people involved in Taoism, from lay persons to priests and in 1978 I had the rare opportunity as a non Chinese to be initiated in the Wong Loo Sen See Chee Choong Temple, in Kuala Lumpur. This initiation into the realm of the wuji (the supreme void) fill in the mystical, supernatural part of Taoism. Integration of wuji into Taikiken (yiquan) is the reason I changed the name of what I am practicing into iBoxing ‘intuitive boxing’. Intuitive boxing is also where Taikiken is all about. Over the years the focus of practicing and teaching martial art, moved forwards and backwards between many different aspects like: health, philosophy, fighting, healing, spirituality, living and working. Today most of my mentors passed away, but they are still alive within me.
Since 1997, I more and more integrate my martial art skills into a high-performance management and leadership development concept, the main ingredients of this concept are: utilizing inborn natural talents, reducing interference and tuning compatibility within management teams.
The end of 1999 I traveled together with Nadja Kotrchova to Southeast Asia and China to train and research martial arts, and stayed on several famous Taoist Mountains and in Shaolin (China). We experienced the special atmosphere of Taoism and Buddhism in the monasteries were we stayed during our research. We realized that ancient ideas can bring you straight to an inner-awareness of how life can be lived in the present-days. Surrounded by the monks we enjoyed the wisdom of the oldest children, or the youngest of the aged we came across.
More then thirty years ago I started to train people in martial arts, This lengthy teaching experience produced a comprehensive expertise in practicable use of martial art. Nowadays, together with Nadja, I teach iBoxing, Taikiken and Taijiquan for different purposes and different participants. We teach all the way, from playful schoolchildren to middle aged captains of industry. We guaranty that from family tuning to leadership and management development, it is all the same important to us, we do it with the same integrity and the same mesmerizing power.