Influencer Earl Blijd
In this week’s blog (6th of July till the 16th of July 2023) we had an interview with Earl Blijd. We will invite you to our next MYM Book presentation on Thursday, the 20th of July. We will share some short videos on ‘Earl Blijd and Bao Trieu’. We will upload one of these videos every day on our facebook.com/share2uplift page.
Could you share with us some information about your family life?
I was born on the 14th of September 1960 in Curaçao. I attended Mgr Nieuwindt College and Maria Immaculata Lyceum in Curaçao and later on, after leaving for The Netherlands, studied Chemistry at the University of Groningen.
I have one sister and two brothers, both my brothers are living in The Netherlands. My sister lives in Curaçao. I have a 22-year-old son. I live alone and I have a good relationship with the mother of my son. My son Yulong trains in my sport school and helps me wherever possible. I am frequently in contact with my father especially after my mother passed away 2 years ago. Our family bond has always been a strong and important one.
My parents, especially my father, have been very important in my upbringing, as he always inspired me to reach high and try to go as far as I can reach. I come from a family of humble beginnings. My grandmother used to work in cleaning just to make it possible for my father to study and climb the social ladder. My father was an example of this, as he used to be a teacher and later on became a Master’s graduate in Law. In the interview with my brother Carl Blijd you can read more about our family.
Could you share something about your educational background and your experience?
When I left for Groningen, The Netherlands to study Chemistry, I was attracted to study the technical side of Chemistry. I have a Bachelor’s in Chemistry and used to work on research, where Wubbo Okkels was involved in. At a certain moment I got in contact with Kung Fu, via a Vietnamese student that was also studying Chemistry, and he noticed my interest in China.
I had a broad interest in the background of the Chinese Martial Arts, including their ceremonies like the tea ceremony to mention one. It also originated from my interest in Chinese history and culture. The father of my mother in Suriname came from China and that fascinated me so much, that I wanted to know more about it.
I also watched the Kung Fu series with David Caradine on TeleCuraçao every Wednesday evening. I watched this and started to try things out, all by myself as I went to Judo, but that wasn’t as inspiring to me, compared to Kung Fu. For example, I made my own iron ‘Nunchaku’ and trained with it. It is only when I was 19 years old in Groningen that I got seriously involved in Kung Fu. A little late basically. At my sports school, we start at age 6 and also have a pre-class of those children between 4 and 6 years old. When they are 6 years old, they start to get real lessons in Kung Fu.
You are a Martial Arts specialist that has competed internationally. Does this involve real fights and is it a competition?
Kung Fu / Wushu is just like other Martial Arts, there are two ways of competing: sparring or perform choreographed forms. This is being judged by several referees. With sparring you have two ways: fullcontact and semi-contact, both is with an opponent and you are allowed to hit each other, to score points. But with semi-contact you’re expected to have more control over what you do. The rules really depend on the organization and the competition, so it can change each time. In Kung Fu and Martial Arts, more styles have been developed, whereby some focus more form and some were harder and some were softer.
You were known as the Panther of Curaçao. How did you get this nick name?
The first demonstration was live during an event at Night of the Martial Arts (Avond der Krijgskunsten) on Veronica Sport in 1988, it was also broadcasted on TV. Later on, I was approached by the owner of the Martial Arts Magazine from Germany called Budo Journal. ‘Budo’ is the Japanese translation of Martial Arts.
He gave me the name ‘The Panther from Curaçao’. This name made me a famous person in different European countries like Norway, Slovenia, France, Spain, United Kingdom and more, but even outside of Europe like Canada. Here I was announced as ‘The Panther From Curaçao’. Newspapers called me for interviews, etc. It was a great experience.
I have also been a head coach of the German selection for the official fullcontact Chinese Sparring called Sanda. It is allowed in Sanda to box and (low)kick but also use techniques to bring the opponent to the ground. These techniques come from the Chinese wrestling: Shuai Jiao. In 1991 as the head coach of the team from Germany, we attended the first world championship Sanda in Peking, China. After the world championships, I went to Shanghai to train in a Wushu gymnasium and learned some new techniques. I learned Taijiquan in Hangzhou, that now has become a tourist hot spot.
We had quite a few accomplishments early on. For example in 1993, we entered the first official World Championship in Wushu. And a big part of the competition was Sanda. In that same year in a tournament in Karhsrule, Germany I became the European champion with forms on music. Also I participated in one of the first world championships Sanda organized by WKA (the World Karate / Kung Fu Association), one of the biggest martial arts federation. In Atlantic City, I participated in a competition that was going to be my last: the world championship WAKO and came in second for the Kung Fu / Wushu Musical Forms.
After that, I decided to focus more on teaching and demonstrations. I stopped competing myself.
What was a defining moment in your life?
The car accident I had in 1995. I had a terrible car accident in 1995 and was in a coma for days.
It took me a while to re-learn everything again and beat the odds because I was not expected to recuperate as well as I did.They told me at the Beatrixoord where I was in revalidation to forget Kung Fu.
I have always lived towards the life motto: ‘Don’t be afraid of moving forward slowly, be afraid of standing still.’ So now this got me through it as well. My well-wishers used this quote after the accident a lot.
Now I am so proud of my son as he is a student but also is involved in music, he plays percussion and the Chinese drum. He accompanied me to China which was also another defining moment.
I visited China for six weeks in 2016. Here I was fully accepted as an experienced Kung Fu Master, that I am on the right path and doing the right things. Also in Germany and United Kingdom I am recognized as the Kung Fu Master but in The Netherlands, I always have to prove to myself again, that I can still do it and that I am a worthy teacher.
What are the challenges that you are dealing with? And how are you dealing with these different challenges you confront?
I am having issues with my hip and this has become worse over the last year. I have decided to replace my hip in an operation planned for the 20th of July. I am preparing myself for this operation and hopefully, I will be traveling to Italy in September this year. My right hip was severed seriously from the beginning after the accident.
I have overcome this over the years, but of late my body has been deteriorating. I am optimistic about the operation because they will apply a new technique to operate it going from the front of the upper leg to the hip joint, instead of cutting through the muscle mass there. It is also better known what to do before the operation and afterwards as part of the revalidation process. At first, you start slowly and then later more intense. It involves being a lot on the home trainers, which I already do often. I am preparing myself mentally and spiritually for this. In my Wushu practice, I have been trained to be mentally and spiritually strong. I require a lot of controlled breathing exercises to activate the ‘Qigong’ which means inner strength that is related to one’s breathing. Another example is the practicing of and expressing “a drunken man”, you appear to be drunk but you are very active at the same time. All these help.
We have taken notice that you are now more involved in organizing events like the Bao Trieu / Blijd Training Weekend 2023, you have your own sports school Bao Trieu and your own YouTube channel. This also shows that you are still very active. Where does this motivation come from?
Kung Fu / Wushu is more than just a fighting sport: it is a martial arts and includes a whole culture, with very different aspects to it. This is what keeps me on my toes and makes me want to learn and do more. I am very passionate about it and the fire just continues in teaching other people.
Keti Koti and Tula commemorations:
Last year on the 1st of July Keti Koti, I was asked as a role model to talk about my background. I wanted a broader audience in Groningen to get to know me better, and know where I come from. I shared the story of the hero of Curaçao: Tula. I invited two ladies from Curaçao who were in the Netherlands at the time: Tuti and Joyce Plaate. They sung ‘Tula warda’ (Tula be patient). The main message is: Tula be a little bit more patient as we have so much more things to learn. I shared some information about who Tula was and what he was fighting for. That turned out to be an impressive event. Next to that, we performed the Dragon dance.
This year the 1st of July 2023, I have been asked to present the Lion Dance at Hoogezand during ‘Keti Koti’ commemoration. In Chinese culture, the Lion dance brings prosperity for all those present.
What kind of people do you inspire to attend your sports school?
I attract the youth and have those that are between 4 to 6 years (little Dragons) and 6 years and older. I appeal to those that are 35 years and older. To prove to them that they can still grow even though they are turning older. This group is steady. But also those that are 60 years and older and the youth with a handicap.
What is your BIG WHY or driving motivation to be who you are right now?
I consider my Big Why to be teaching people how to be able to listen to their bodies. If they have talent, I will help them and teach them to improve this, by jumping higher, to be able to stand deeper and show off beautiful poses with or without weapons. The idea is to make the demonstration fights look as real as possible. The older practitioners, they should feel that they still can improve. To take a strong stand, to turn around, to throw punches, to shout, without being afraid and without being quiet.
What else do you offer at your sports school?
Sometimes in education, schools are approaching me also to give trial lessons in Kung Fu, Chinese culture, and the Chinese Lion dance. Usually it is about three to six lessons.
At BTB, I offer lessons that start at the end of the afternoon till later in the evening. You can also practice Taijiquan lessons, self-defense lessons, boxing and Thai boxing lessons.
What are your plans for the coming years for the coming 5 years from now?
I will be doing what I am doing now at this beautiful location in Paddepoel Groningen. On the other hand, I am constantly learning new techniques and exploring. One of my current interest is in Chinese wrestling called Shuai Jiao. As a Dutch representative, I was invited on a trip to China to the establishment of the World Shuai Jiao federation.
My son is sharing the interest and is practicing intensively. In September he will participate in the European championships. Not to win prizes, but just to learn more.
Do you use your inner voice to evaluate when dilemmas show up?
The choices that I make are a balance between what I am allowed to do and the expression of what I am entitled to. I use it to determine for example the direction I take in my development. I often use my intuition to decide which way I take.
How does that work for you? Martial Arts has a physical side to it, but also a mental and a spiritual side to it. Can you describe how this affects you and others attending your sports school and events?
When we prepare for a demonstration, it involves mental and spiritual preparation. You just present a demonstration just like that. We train on Saturdays and form the best team possible as we strive to grow. We train new techniques, forms, and tricks with the Lion, with the Dragon, or with weapons. I stopped participating in demonstrations myself, as my hip was playing out. I make the program and choose the music and take care of the decor.
How are you trying also to keep up with your knowledge and skill levels?
I watch a lot of YouTube. The competition in China is of such a high level. I study these and discern which elements I need to train more. Via the Internet, you can show everything basically. I usually approach someone that I know and invite them. Over the past weekend, I have invited two great Chinese masters that live in Germany but are also well-known in China, that are often asked to play roles in movies. They were present and they give” clinics” to participants during the weekend. During such a weekend participants and myself learn a lot.
What are your strengths?
I can discern very well what a practitioner can do, and what are his/her strengths and talents. What can become their specialty. In that sense, age doesn’t matter. I can help practitioners to increase their agility and strength.
Do you have hobbies or interests that you are also passionate about?
I am passionate about everything that is related to preparing for events at our sports school, like making flyers and promotional videos, selecting the right photos, and the right music that we will use. Also the preparations involved, I am constantly busy. I love all of this.
If you Earl would meet a stranger on the bus (let’s say in Berlin or Medellín Colombia) and they would ask you to introduce yourself, what would you answer?
I have been studying Chinese history and Culture for over 40 years in general and more specifically Chinese Martial Arts, as I am a practitioner and trainer of Chinese Martial Arts.
How would you describe Earl in one word or one sentence?
Constantly studying how to use your own body. This can be in a very broad sense, as it could involve Martial Arts but also dancing.
Who are the persons that have inspired you the most in your career?
Several people have inspired me like Muhammad Ali, Bruce Lee, but also the Chinese masters Li Yanlong and Lin Qiuping, who were present at the BTB Training Weekend and have been coming for the last 30 years, and I became good friends with them.
What is a trait that is still a work in progress?
Being consciously present and doing what needs to be done either doing the cleaning up activities or working on the computer. I always try to do my utmost to finish off the work at hand, instead of procrastinating on them.
What would you want your Loved Ones, family, friends, and others to say about you let’s say 20 years from now?
Earl has always been very involved with Kung Fu and the Chinese Martial Arts.
Do practitioners of Martial Arts become better human beings, do they have more self-control?
This depends on the person involved, it varies per person. But they do grow. Most of them come to become faster and stronger, to shine. Slowly but surely they learn that there is more to it.
What makes you stay optimistic about the future of the world?
The war in Ukraine is having a lot of influence on our societies. These are challenging times. But I do see some positives. On the 1st of July 2023 we will commemorate 160 years of the abolition of slavery, ‘Keti Koti’. The Prime Minister has offered his apologies and forgiveness, and the expectation is that King Willem Alexander will also offer his apologies and forgiveness. But the refugees from Africa also need to be helped and allowed to enter Europe.
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Yes, I want to show you around in our garden, that we created during the period of Covid. We have yellow ‘golden’ lilies in the garden, the Chinese translation of the flower is Tjim Lin which is the Chinese name of my mother that passed away 2 years ago.
Dutch interview (Volkskrant 2001) – Download the interview (translated from Dutch).
One of the 250 Influencers
Earl Blijd is a driven, eager to learn life-long learner, trainer, coach, mentor in Chinese Martial Arts. Since he was a young boy, his grandfather from his mother’s side being 100 % Chinese, Earl has been interested in Chinese Culture, Religion and History. This interest evolved in a lifelong dedication in Chinese Martial Arts and his disciplined work ethic made him a multiple European champion Forms and World champion in 1993 a World Champion in Musical Forms W.K.A. He also ended 2nd in the Musical Forms in the World championship WAKO Atlantic City (USA). This was the last time he participated as a participant before he became a fulltime Coach of Netherlands Sanda Team from 1993 on till the year 2000. He extended resume is impressive, only illustrating his life-long dedication to his beloved sport. In his sports school in Groningen Earl had the following Confucius quote hanging “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop”, which symbolizes exactly his resilience and his extraordinary ability to overcome adversity after a car accident where it was a matter of life or death as he laid in coma for days. This changed his life for good. He was told that he would have to forget Kung Fu, but it turned out that he did recover showing mental and spiritual strength as he picked up training, mentoring and coaching people from all ages in the Martial Arts with a new drive, while being active until today. Earl never stopped organizing events, like his weekend long trainings camp that he organizes every year. He never stopped participating with his team in different tournaments where they can show off their ever-evolving new masteries. Teaching people how to be able to listen to their bodies, enable them and teach them to improve themselves, has become his strength. His logo is: “Constantly studying how to use your own body”.
For all these reasons and his drive to make a difference in the Dutch Caribbean, Holland and the world, we consider Earl Blijd as one of the 250 Influencers, representing the Martial Arts & Sports Sector. Look at the list of the Influencers we have interviewed or reported on, up to now.
The goal of the core group of Share2Uplift for 2023
The goal of the Share2Uplift movement is to: “Identify 250 leaders from all walks of life to connect, align and create impactful changes in all walks of life, which includes intergenerational collaboration by the end of 2022.” We will use interviewing Influencers, meet-and-greet events, “train-the-trainers”-programs on “Emotional Mastery” and “Intentionality “as national intervention strategies, to reach this goal on top of our goal to scale up the possibilities to connect, align and create impact via a virtual platform. We believe that by collaborating with Miguel Goede on the virtual Vision 2030 platform, we will accelerate the possibilities to connect the diaspora and others elsewhere in the world and on the island willing to constructively create impactful changes in Curaçao, to join.
As Share2Uplift, we are fully trying to align with this thinking of Center for Curriculum Redesign to promote this agenda in our educational systems and workplace. So, in that sense, we fully support any initiative to make our educational system 21st-century proof.
Share2Uplift aligners are those that:
– Create an inspiring vision of the future;
– Motivate and inspire people to engage with that vision;
– Manage the delivery of the vision;
– Coach and build a team, so that it is more effective at achieving the vision. These criteria are now being polished.
We also consider these 5 values the most important ones for Share2Uplift aligners. They are:
• Peace from within;
As we will progress towards this goal, we will update you on the progress.
Our next MYM-platform session will be on Thursday the 20th of July via Zoom from 7 – 9 pm, where we will present two books on High performances: High Performance Habits, by Brendon Bruchard and The Compound effect, by Darren Hardy.
High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way
These six habits will make you extraordinary
After extensive original research and a decade as the world’s highest-paid performance coach, Brendon Burchard finally reveals the most effective habits for reaching long-term success. Based on one of the largest surveys ever conducted on high performers, it turns out that just six habits move the needle the most in helping you succeed. Adopt these six habits, and you win. Neglect them, and life is a never-ending struggle.
We all want to be high performing in every area of our lives. But how? Which habits can help you achieve long-term success and vibrant well-being no matter your age, career, strengths, or personality? To become a high performer, you must seek clarity, generate energy, raise necessity, increase productivity, develop influence, and demonstrate courage. This book is about the art and science of how to practice these proven habits.
If you do adopt any new habits to succeed faster, choose the habits in this book. Anyone can practice these habits and, when they do, extraordinary things happen in their lives, relationships, and careers.
Whether you want to get more done, lead others better, develop skill faster, or dramatically increase your sense of joy and confidence, the habits in this book will help you achieve it. Each of the six habits is illustrated by powerful vignettes, cutting-edge science, thought-provoking exercises, and real-world daily practices you can implement right now. High Performance Habits is a science-backed, heart-centered plan to living a better quality of life. Best of all, you can measure your progress. A link to a professional assessment is included in the book for free. This book will be presented by Ivan Kuster.
The Compound effect
No gimmicks. No Hyperbole. No Magic Bullet. The Compound Effect is based on the principle that decisions shape your destiny. Little, everyday decisions will either take you to the life you desire or to disaster by default. Darren Hardy, publisher of Success Magazine, presents The Compound Effect, a distillation of the fundamental principles that have guided the most phenomenal achievements in business, relationships, and beyond. This easy-to-use, step-by-step operating system allows you to multiply your success, chart your progress, and achieve any desire. If you’re serious about living an extraordinary life, use the power of The Compound Effect to create the success you want.
This book will be presented by Ivan Kuster.
Date: 20th of July
Time: 7.00 – 9.00 PM
Entrance fee: Free
Subscribe by emailing us: at email@example.com and we will send you the Zoom link so that you can participate in our presentation of this book.
Personal Coaching Tip
This week we will share some short videos on ‘Earl Blijd and Bao Trieu’. We will upload one of these videos every day on our facebook.com/share2uplift page.
Earl Blijd & Bao Trieu Demoteam at Festival des Arts Martiaux de Paris Bercy 1995 – YouTube
Earl Blijd 60th Birthday – YouTube
Stretching by Earl Blijd (Bao Trieu / Blijd Season 2013/2014) – YouTube
1 NOVEMBER 2012 EARL BLIJD 33 YEARS KUNG FU / WUSHU / BAO TRIEU – YouTube
Carl Blijd Sieuw Hung Kuen – YouTube
Demonstration of Sifu Trieu Trung La & Earl Blijd – YouTube
BTB Wushu / Kung Fu Demo – YouTube
Bao Trieu / Blijd Dragon Dance – YouTube
Mòru Bon Dia – 2 januari 2023 TeleCuraçao – Interview met Earl “The Panther of Curaçao” Blijd – YouTube
Wushu demo of Bao Trieu / Blijd at the Budo Gala Zagreb – YouTube