Picture: Group photo “Sportkot Leuven” 1983.
It all started in 1970 when I got invited to join a friend (Ausloos Alain) at their weekend house. Every Friday evening Alain had to go to his weekly Judo training and after this, his whole family was going to their cabin in Grez – Doiseau. So me too I joined the Judo club under the guidance of Sensei Rik Veulemans.
During a school fight, the aggressor jumped on my back, and even after 3 years of Judo, I couldn't do anything to defend myself. This was in 1973, the year I started Karate at the children club “Banzai” thinking that Karate would help me to defend myself better. The Wado Ryu Karate Club Banzai teachers were Jean Van Roy and Johny Verbieren, both students of Sensei Luk Galmart, head of the Wado Ryu Karate club Samurai.
During the 5 years of Karate training (1973-1978) I started to hear from Bruce Lee. It was also the time when I first saw the “Kung Fu’ movie “Enter the Dragon”. I was surprised by his speed and formless style of fighting. Wanting to “be like Bruce Lee” I started to train harder, longer, and more dedicated.
After High School, I went to study at the University of Louvain, I quit the Karate and together with a friend, Jose Lopez, we started the ISDS in “Sportkot-Leuven". As we already trained for several years together (Judo, Karate) we wanted to train more mixed styles, like the Jeet Kune Do but called it Intensive Self Defence System. Jose was more the Trainer and I handled the school as a Teacher.
We used the book “Tao of Jeet Kune Do” (Bruce Lee notes) to guide us in our mixing the Judo with Karate, with a taste of Jiujitsu. Besides this we used sticks and Nunchaku to hit eachother...it was a wild time.
We went from 0 students (1980) to 17 (1981), 35 (1982), 77 (1983), 107 (1984) ending with 117 in 1985. That season I got “dismissed” out of my own school. Jose and 17 others said that I stole from the school, which was later proven as a totally wrong accusation and Jose was jealous of the fact that I was officially appointed as Teacher Self Defence by the University, and he not.. So I left with bad feelings and a great friendship was lost.
After my leave, the school lost lots of students and stopped existing in 1987.
Later that year I started again teaching and give the name “International Self Defence School", which opened at “Squash Center De Vaart”.
A new chapter started.
Next Blog... The development of the I.S.D.S. till today.