Sensei Fred van de Vijver
European Isshinryu Karate Pioneer since 1986
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
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)
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,
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 in San Marino (Italy).
He also taught Isshinryu in America at the Ganster Summer camp different times
Sensei Van de Vijver currently teaches at the So Honbu dojo Konbo Europe in Erica in The Netherlands.
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