Karate world has been deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Mr. Rob Zwartjes, who passed away Tuesday at the age of 89.
A pioneer of Karate in the Netherlands and one of the most respected Karate masters in the world, Zwartjes devoted his life to martial arts and was recognised with WKF’s highest rank of the 9th Dan at the 2010 WKF World Congress in Belgrade.
He introduced the style of Wado-Ryu in the Netherlands after studying the discipline under Wado-Ryu’s founder Grandmaster Hironori Ohtsuka. He is regarded as one of the main figures in the development of Karate in Europe.
Member of the Technical Commission of the World Karate Federation and the European Karate Federation among many other top responsibilities, Mr Zwartjes was also a first-class competitor. He won the world title in team Kumite at the 1977 World Championships in Tokyo.
He acted as the national coach of the Dutch team from 1971 to 1980 before moving to advisory and teaching positions. His experience, vast knowledge of the sport, and his geniality made him a pivotal personality of the sport in the Netherlands.