I started Judo and Japanese Jujitsu at a young age with Jan Snijders, one of the earliest pioneers of Dutch Judo in his gym in Utrecht. One of my friends wrestled at the Halter in Utrecht and there I was introduced to wrestling. Actually wanted to try all kinds of sports, I am committed to constantly improving and determined to be a strong fighter. That was a necessity in my neighborhood where I grew up. Being able to stand your ground was a pre to survive in the neighborhood. There was a curious Christmas spirit. As children we literally fought with clubs and iron bars to conquer Christmas trees from other neighborhoods.
My friend went to try boxing in addition to wrestling. In the old wooden building in Jutphaas, at Ben Zwezerijnen gym "de Voltreffer", I learned the first steps in boxing. My willingness to take on all challenges attracted me to Toon Stelling (former Karate World Champion). At the wrestling club De Halter he taught what was then called Barokai, one of the forerunners of MMA.
The Road to Sports Education
Toon Stelling, Bas van Hout and Rob Houweling had developed a combat training where karate, kickboxing, judo and wrestling were combined. For my work as a bouncer this was very instructive and I also picked up the necessary wrestling techniques. Teaching in this started with so-called bouncers training sessions that I gave together with Toon Stelling in the gym of Hennie Hijman (wrestler and Powerlifter) and in a Gym on the Oude Gracht.
So it is not so much a single sport alone that had piqued my interest, but the combination of sports and getting the most effective out of them. Did a number of sports education at an academic level, where I learned to coach children, athletes and competition preparation, students with special attention requirements such as ADHD, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
The Beginning of Mejiro Bali
After that I founded and led various companies as an independent entrepreneur, at that time there was not much money to be made in the sport. During the aforementioned entrepreneurship, I started studying Dutch Law in the evenings. Worked in the legal sector for several years.
Finally emigrated to Bali and returned there in 2015 to my passion for sports and opened Dojo Masaru for Kickboxing and MMA in Denpasar.
In 2019 Mejiro Gym Amsterdam, Sensei Andre Mannaart and his son Roel Mannaart came to Bali. Andre is an 7 times World Champion Muay Thai and Kickboxing, his son a Heavy Weight World Champion K1. We trained several times together, the world famous Dutch Style of Kickboxing seems so practical and effective. The idea to start a Mejiro Gym in Bali was born. After a period of building the new gym, We opened our doors on September 1, 2020.
Our Philosophy in General
As Mejiro Gym Bali we encourage a friendly and welcoming environment with zero tolerance to ego and attitude. We welcome everyone from all walks of life. Please enjoy our facility and respect our values and each other. Welcome the challenges. Look for the opportunities in every situation to learn and grow in knowledge.
Coaching & Competition
My vision on coaching: Although I highly value the Dutch Style of Kickboxing, I do not close my eyes to other effective fighting styles. From traditional fighting styles to today's evaluated fighting styles, I believe that you should tailor the best of all of these styles to the individual fighter's capabilities.
Motivation is important, so is discipline and hard training. Focusing on a defensive and counter tactical style is fundamentally essential. But above all, the fighter must be hungry to win, train for mental invincibility, learn to scan an attack and defense pattern, learn to break through and go for a hard knockout that will be remembered.
A Sneak Peek of my Team Mejiro Bali
Questions-and-Answers with coach Michel
How do you maintain your cardio for boxing?
What is your favourite martial art and moves?
Can I specifically book a private session with you?
Yes you can request a private session with me, simply book a session and write in the details which coach you would like to train with, but keep in mind that the coach might not be available at the time / day that you requested and your booking will be rescheduled.
What is now not acceptable but was okay when you were training kickboxing?