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Thom Harinck

Memoirs of Thom Harinck, Kickboxing and Muay Thai LegendCelebrity kickboxing coach of countless national and international champions and mastermind behind three K-1 championships.Thom Harinck trained world champions such as Peter Aerts, Branko Cikatic, Gilbert Ballantine, Badr Hari and Hesdy Gerges, and has coached masses of students in his dojos in Amsterdam, Brazil and Japan. Harinck invented his own style of fighting: Chakuriki, which is a unique mix of techniques from kyokushin karate, judo, boxing, jujutsu and wrestling.In Thom Harinck, Godfather of Muay Thai Kickboxing in the West, the 72-year-old coach candidly tells of the highs and the lows, the struggles and hard-won victories on his journey to becoming a living legend in the world of martial arts. He looks back on 40+ years of a remarkable career as a kickboxing coach, sharing anecdotes about his life as a bouncer, martial arts apprentice, stuntman and trainer.The book contains fascinating stories from the world of kickboxing, some of which have never been published before. Harinck relates the thrill of fighting in international tournaments, including intense battles in Thailand, the home of Muay Thai. We read about the sensei (teacher) of the Chakuriki dojo running barefoot with his students through the streets of Amsterdam at night, and about the deep friendships between Harinck and his fighters. His memoirs are filled with the Amsterdam tongue-in-cheek wit and wisdom of a man who has truly lived his life as an intrepid spirit, and to the fullest."Thom Harinck is one of the finest kickboxing coaches ever on record. The list of great champions he has trained is long and full of superb fighters. Harinck's book is essential reading for all reality-based martial arts fans." - Bob "O'Hara" Wall, American karate champion and co-star of Enter the Dragon.The book is illustrated with photos from Thom Harinck's archive, documenting his life from humble beginnings as a shy Amsterdam kid to the celebrity coach of the present day. A selection of students and champions appear throughout the book, including: Richard Ploos, Iwan de Randamie, Saskia van Rijswijk, Rik van de Vathorst, Stuart Ballantine, Branko Cikatic, Tekin Donmez, Kenneth Plak, Corrine Geeris, Patrik Eriksson, Perry Ubeda, Nobu Hayashi, Peter Aerts, Badr Hari, Hesdy Gerges, Satoshi Ishii, Jerome Le Banner, Menno Dijkstra, Amir Zeyada, and Gilbert Ballantine."
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About the Author

Julio Punch (1971) is an author, translator and computer instructor from the Amsterdam area of the Netherlands. He studied Philosophy and Cultural Anthropology, and has studied several martial arts as well as yoga. Thom Harinck (1943), Dutch kickboxing trainer, and founder of the Chakuriki Gym in Amsterdam. He is married to Professor Marjan Olfers, former member of the board of Ajax.


This book informs us in a most stimulating and informative manner about the martial arts phenomenon Thom Harinck and the many champions he has trained. It portrays a man with a passion for the martial arts and all that is related to them. That passion has led to the development of a highly specific style 'Chakuriki' (for Duch readers Ontleende kracht). This style has been shaped by Harinck through taking elements from diverse martial arts - including judo, karate, boxing, savate and not least Muay Thai - and combining them. The discipline, the tough training methods and the mutual respect are further typical of the Chakuriki style. Thanks to the charismatic personality of Harinck the Chakuriki style has led former students to adopt it as a lifestyle which has allowed them to distinguish themselves in society. The now 71 years old Harinck has undoubtedly earned his spurs in Muay Thai kickboxing. The effectiveness of his training methods has resulted in a large number of champions, both male and female, whom he has trained in his forty-year career as coach and mentor. The books author has done his background research well which has resulted in rich portraits of the fighters and matches. This leads to a varied insight into the personalities of those who practice Muay Thai and other styles of kickboxing. Some are modest and withdrawn youngsters but who are transformed in the ring into real gladiators while some can end up in a criminal environment. Most turn out well - in some cases aided by Harinck and his positive influence over his young disciples - but others have been less successful in finding a "wholesome" career, to put it mildly. The dividing line between taking the criminal path or enjoying a successful career in sport or business can be narrow and this is a recognizable picture for police forces in many western countries. That it is why it is important to learn in depth about this subculture in order to be alert to any signals of degeneration within it (writing as a former police officer with knowledge of this issue). What in any case is perfectly clear is that Thom Harinck as the 'founding father' of the martial arts in the Netherlands has had a colourful life during which hes experienced diverse personal dramas. He is an interesting individual who has meant a great deal in the world of kickboxing in the Netherlands and elsewhere. What we now see during matches on the various commercial television channels, for example, would not have been possible without his dedicated involvement in the sport. This book by Julio Punch provides an insightful history of the rise of the martial arts in the West which is full of rich portraits of matches and fighters and which strongly conveys that next to physical prowess a sound mental attitude is crucial as a bedrock for a healthily balanced life. - Willem Broer Thom is a legend and this book is great.

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