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Interview with Tamara Wewengkang

30/08 2015

Tamara Wewengkang,
5th dan JKA and Vice President of JKA Nederland

Who created your club and when?
My father Peter Wewengkang started in the early 70's our sportsclub Karate do Weng in the Netherlands. He came from Indonesia to the Netherlands. Since I was 14 he asked me to help teaching the kids. I really loved it! Together with my father, brother and some volunteers my fathers school started growing.

Which trainers are at your club?
At this time we are still a "family" not only real family, but also karate family. We have a lot of volunteers who help us. The main instructors are: Ramon Wewengkang, 6th dan JKA and also Chief instructor of JKA Nederland, Tamara Wewengkang, 5th dan JKA and vice president of JKA Nederland, Olga Esteban, 4th dan JKA, and sempais: Linsey de Vries, 1st dan, Giuseppe Domante, 1st dan, Paloma Wewengkang, 1st dan. All JKA degrees.

How many times per week can members of your club practise karate?

According to the information from your facebook profile also handicaped people can attend the trainings. Do you have some special training methods?
Yes! And we are really proud of this. Our father Peter, thaught karate to everybody. Not only the most talented people. His motto was that everybody has to listen to his/her own body and is able to do karate. If you think I cannot do that; you will never can. If you believe in yourself, we (as teachers) also believe in you. Even if you miss an arm or cannot stand "straight". You can learn karate (and the philosophy) in your own tempo and with your own body. Because of this way of thinking and teaching karate is a part of someones life (the way of life) and many (disabled) people in our dojo feel better after training and feel more confidence and stronger in the daily life. In our dojo is everybody "the same": we all wear karate gi and train together. The healthy people and the disabled people; we help each other and respect each other. I think that is a good thing.

Which are the most important results of your members in competitions?
I think for me, as a 'girl' it was really a big achievement to pass my godan exam at the JKA headquarters in Tokyo. I was young and a female! Also my judging license is great: I was invited to referee at the world championships in 2011 - Pattaya- Thailand and in 2014 in Tokyo-Japan. That's a really great experience in the "mens-world"!
In the past our teams did great and won a lot of titels or final places in international tournaments. The juniors are growing now: we have some talented karatekids which are also 1,2 or 3 at the Europeans. Last May one of our teams made it to European champion kumite: Paloma Wewengkang (it runs in the family), Maaike Weijl and Audrey Storcken became champion!
But for us is this not the most important thing of karate. Our goal is teaching karate on the purest way. The behaviour, attitude, respect and way of thinking is more important than competitions.

  2014, in Tokyo, Japan  
2015, JKA European
Champions team with
sensei Hideo Ochi
Champions team with Tamara
and Ramon Wewengkang

What are other club activities?
Yearly we organise a lot of activities national and international. But since 2012 we have a special seminar in November. Our father past away in April, a big lost for us as children, but also for the JKA in the Netherlands and international. My father received his "nanadan" (7th dan JKA) after his passing in Japan. My brother and I were so proud and we decided to organise a memorial seminar every November (my fathers birthday). This year we organise the seminar for the 4th time and the event is growing. Even people from outside the Netherlands are joining: for us is this really great! Last year we had visitors from Belgium, Germany, Ireland and Italy! Of course also from the Netherlands. This year we invited Kawawada Sensei from the JKA HQ in Japan, Bura Sensei from JKA Europe (Denmark), Sawada Sensei from Belgium, Gneo Sensei (JKA Belgium) of course our chief instructor Ramon Wewengkang will also join! A list of great JKA instructors and everybody is welcome to join us! The event will be on 20-21-22 November in Beek (The Netherlands).


Thank you very much for the interview. We wish you all the best in the future. Karate Live