Sensei Fred van de Vijver - European Isshinryu Karata Pioneer since 1986

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Fred van de Vijver

Pijpestro 20

7887 GK Erica

The Netherlands








Karate Biography
Sensei Fred van de Vijver
The Netherlands

Fred van de Vijver has been born on 24th of November 1954. At the age of eighteen years he started his training in karate, before that he practiced judo. Since 1972 he practiced the style Kyokushin, after that Shotokan, Goju Ryu and again Kyokushin karate until 1985. In between he did some Tai Jutsu and kickboxing.


Van de Vijver received in 1978 black belts in the systems Kyokushin and Goju Ryu. He has a 3rd dan in Kyokushin, presented to him by Sensei Jon Bluming. In May 1985 he started his own karate school 'Bushido'.

Searching for a harder and more direct full-contact system outside Kyokushin karate he read many books and magazines, among them books written by Steve Armstrong, and learned about Tatsuo Shimabuku's Isshinryu karate. Isshinryu Karate was not taught at the time in Europe.


He became devoted to this unique style of karate and searched for an instructor. In 1986 he contacted Steve Armstrong in Tacoma, WA, U.S.A., took an airplane and travelled overseas. Fred stayed with Sensei Armstrong and practiced and trained with him every day for several months. He managed to learn all Isshinryu kata and, before leaving home, Sensei Armstrong promoted him to 3rd dan (Sandan) Isshinryu karate.


Back in the Netherlands Van de Vijver founded in 1986, with Armstrong's permission, the Netherlands Isshinryu Karate-do Association (NIKA). In 1988 Sensei Armstrong came on invitation from Van de Vijver to the Netherlands. Together they decided to form an European organization too: European Isshinryu Karate-do Association (EIKA). At this occasion Steve Armstrong promoted Fred van de Vijver to 4th dan renshi.


On the 22th of October 1993 sensei Armstrong graduated Fred van de Vijver to 5th dan.
On the 22th of October of 1998, exactly five years later, Sensei van de Vijver was promoted to 6th dan by Steve Armstrong for his never ending devotion for and promotion of Isshinryu karate in the Netherlands and Europe.


In April 2000 Sensei van de Vijver along with Sensei Marien Jumelet, trained for two weeks with Sensei Advincula in his Oceanside Dojo, CA., USA.


Sensei Armstrong due to health problems could not manage to travel anymore and Fred sought contact with first generation Isshinryu Shihan Harry Smith. Shihan Smith accepted him as his student and promoted him to 7th dan in 2006.


In 2006 Fred van de Vijver founded the Koden Isshinryu Karate Kobudo Kenkyu Kai (=Research Society of the 'Old style' of Isshinryu Karate and Kobudo). This organization is open to any Isshinryu school. Fred taught Isshinryu in The Netherlands, Danmark, Spain, Germany and recently in San Marino (Italy).


Sensei Van de Vijver currently teaches, together with Sensei Marien Jumelet (4th dan), at the Dojo Kushikawa Seibukan in Emmen, The Netherlands.

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