Interview Met Earl Blijd


1. As a quick intro, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your school? When, where, how and why did you start practicing?

My name is Earl Blijd and I was born in 1960 in Willemstad, Curaçao. I came to the Netherlands in 1978 to study Chemistry at the University of Groningen.

It was a year later when I met Kung Fu teacher Sifu Trieu Trung La. I took a first trial lesson on November 1st, 1979 and things clicked right away – I became fascinated with Martial Arts and my life has revolved around Kung Fu / Wushu ever since.

In 1984 Sifu Trieu Trung La made me his assistant; in 1985 Sifu Trieu withdrew as a teacher, and I took over as the new teacher of Bao Trieu.

2. What are the most common mistakes, or assumptions, you’ve encountered during your years of teaching?

One of the biggest mistakes is that after a few years of training any Martial Arts, anyone can become a perfect trainer, a big expert.

3. Movies such as “Yip Man”, “The Grandmaster” and such are probably one of the reasons many people start to practice at some point. Since reality is mostly not matching most of these movie scenes, what are some key aspects a beginning martial artist should focus on?

First of all, try to find a good trainer/teacher!!! And especially learn to feel what your body can support.

4. How can Kung Fu be used in an educational, non martial arts setting?

For years, I’ve been asked by several schools and organisations to teach them Kung Fu through courses or workshops. Most of the time as a physical education training, an introduction to Martial Arts or to self defense.

But sometimes the focus is more on the cultural background, and I inform them about historical development, and the origins and meaning of Lion Dance, Dragon Dance and Chinese drums.

One of the educational organizations that I work with is called Rebound. Here’s what they say about the training I give to their students.

“Rebound Groningen is trying to prevent students from dropping out of Secondary Education because of behavioral problems.

The students are being offered several different sports activities in order to orient themselves on the sport options being offered in the city.

At the same time, the students are taught about the norms and values of the sports they select. Besides that, they learn how to communicate and behave around someone outside of Rebound, who stands in front of the group.

One of the sports that the youths of Rebound Groningen regularly go to is Kung Fu at Bao Trieu / Blijd. The students receive Kung Fu training from Earl Blijd.

During this training, they learn to treat each other with respect and learn several Kung Fu techniques. Besides that, they learn that around here, things revolve mastery and (self) control.

Rebound Groningen is very happy with the guidance that the students receive during these classes.

Because of the sense of calm, knowledge and skills of Earl Blijd in relation to our students we trust him completely.

It’s because of this trust that Rebound Groningen requests these classes regularly, every school year at Bao Trieu / Blijd”.

5. The internet has completely changed our lives over the past 10-15 years. We now have access to lots of information (both good & bad) and connections like never before. How do you feel about this evolution and its impact on Kung Fu?

I agree that the internet completely changed our lives. It enables me to be in touch with many people all over the world.

And by having a good website, and being actively present on my YouTube channel and several Facebook pages, I am able to share high quality information with my students, Facebook friends and followers.

6. What direction do you see Kung Fu or martial arts, as a whole, heading in?

More and more, people are mixing several Martial Arts, the Arts, sports and all kinds of movements systems.

Though this is the main direction, I still really appreciate the few people who are promoting true traditional Martial Arts.

 7. To end this interview in style, what is the best Kung Fu or martial arts advice you have personally ever received and what is the best advice you would give to our readers?

On May 6th 1995, I was involved in a severe car accident. I was so heavily injured that the doctors feared for my life. 7 days I was in a coma.

After 2 reconstructive surgeries of 17 and 9 hours, I rehabilitated in Beatrixoord in Haren.

Though the doctors told me that I would never be able to do Wushu again, within 6 months after the accident I already gave my first Wushu demonstration in Germany.

My rehabilitation formed a great example of the slogan of my life, an old and wise saying from the Chinese philosopher Confucius:

 “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop”.


Earl Blijd

Bao Trieu

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