Jon Bluming, one of Europe’s first MMA fighters

Here’s a blast from the past but still relevant today: Jon Bluming talking frankly and freely about Judo, Kyokushinkai and debunking some of the myths that are still making the rounds today.

You might not enjoy this video if you practice either of those arts…


For those who don’t know him, Jon Bluming was one of the first in Europe to mix martial arts and fight effectively with them, both in competition and on the pavement. He took the striking from karate along with the throwing from Judo. But that doesn’t really do him justice. He was first and foremost a tough-as-nails street fighter. What’s more, he routinely took on challengers and fought all comers.  For some more background, check out this video:

Some people might get annoyed by Bluming’s words and that’s fine. But the fact remains: he was there then and chances are, they weren’t. Everything they know about what Mas Oyama really did or didn’t do, they learned from a book, video or other sources. Bluming didn’t, he was there… So it’s hard disputing what he has to say.

Also, I first started reading his column in a Dutch magazine twenty years ago. Back then, he already had that no-nonsense approach and called a spade a spade. Given the amount of revisionist history there is in the martial arts, it’s nice to see somebody call “Bullshit!” when he sees it. And the funny part is this: nobody ever comes out and proves him wrong. I wonder why…




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  1. Jon Bluming is one of the giants in the history of martial arts in the west.

    • I totally agree. But outside of Europe, and especially in the US, few people know him. Which is a shame.

    • So I heard (from a legit source) that at the time, just before they fell out, Oyama visited the Netherlands to straighten out a dispute with Bluming about due membership fees. During one of their meetings, Bluming was trying to negotiate a lower membership fee, which is normally to be paid to the Honbu (head organisation) in Tokyo. Oyama rightfully, did not accept this, and at one point during their conversation, he hit the steel top of a solid table, which was in the room, with his bare fist. He hit the steel table top so hard, that there was a big dent visible to the shocked onlookers in the room. After that, Bluming gave in, and agreed to pay the membership fees that his organisation was due to the Honbu in Tokyo. Oyama was amicable in person, but he was not someone you could mess with in business. He was a legit badass and is an undisputed legend, period.

      • Well, if you feel the need to take it there…
        I heard from a legit source that the horns of the bulls were “prepped” to break off more easily. If true, that would make Oyama a fraud, period.
        Given as both Oyama and Bluming were controversial figures, to put it mildly, we can play this game of mudslinging all day long. Is that what you want?

  2. Peter Gross says

    Hi Wim,

    Thanks for this post…I had seen some of this footage years ago, but could never remember the gentleman’s name. What an incredible martial artist and literal living piece of martial arts history Mr. Bluming is…to have personally known Mas Oyama and Donn Draeger!

    Very much enjoy your blog,

  3. Weyland Billingsley says

    Wim, I remember reading about Jon in Black Belt and other magazines. Always thought he was one of those legends like Don Drager who went to Asia to study and bring back the real stuff.

    I can’t find this out online but there was one of the early European Judo guys who was working as security somewhere and killed a man with a blow to the temple..and had a lot of regrets about it. Do you know if it was Jon or someone else?

  4. I liked his autobiography book when I read it. Really great, especially about time in Korean War (non-PC, too). :)

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