Note: in these years the EJC (jodo) and EIC (iaido) were still held together in one week. In 2003 it was the 10th EIC and the 2nd EJC.
This succes for Kevin Groos didn’t come completely out of the blue. Hence, his results earlier in this season were too good. During the Open French Jodo Championships and during the Open German Jodo Championships he managed to get gold medals too. The consequence of having these medals saddled Kevin up with a high expectation pattern. The pressure was very high Kevin Groos told the newsreporter. Especially during the pool competitions in jodo he suffered from his nerves. There were six poules of three, and the numbers 1 and 2 went through to the next round. I knew I had to perform right away. One mistake would be fatal. That made me nervous!
After 2 nervous fights in the first round – turned into profit by Groos (2-1) – a burden fell from his shoulders in the quarterfinals. From the quarterfinals on, it started to run smoothly. Kevin was much calmer. In the quarterfinals he beat somebody from Tsjechië, and in the halffinals somebody from Austria. He remembered this Austrian guy: a bear of a guy! And in the finals I beat a German. This same German he also bested in the finals of the Open German Championships.
iaido and jodo are originated in Japan. In comparison with jodo, in iaido there is no opponent, at least not a visible one! In iaido you make all kind of forms, what is called “kata”. In iaido in Paris there were 6 rounds. Two of four minutes and four of six minutes. During the rounds of four minutes you had to make three katas’s. During the rounds of six minutes, five kata, Groos is telling. Kevin Groos started training at an age of ten years old, at Kiryoku Dojo in Zoetermeer. His Sensei is René van Amersfoort. Since 1984 René runs his dojo in Zoetermeer. In this dojo is next to iaido and jodo also karate (Wado-Ryu style) and kendo being taught. In iaido and jodo it’s about self-control. Vigilance is essential like it was necessary in the old Samoerai times. iaido and jodo are practiced under the umbrella of the Nederlandse Kendo Renmei (NKR).
In Paris Kevin not only won two gold medals, but also took revanche in jodo on Matt Turner. The Englishman Matt Turner won in 2002 during the 1st European Jodo Championships in the individuals the final and Kevin Groos became 2nd. But during the jodo team championships in 2003 – where The Netherlands got a third place – Kevin Groos won from Matt Turner.
Note: in 2002 the Dutch jodo team was second after France getting the first place and the United Kingdom and Austria both got third places.
Note: in 2003 the first place went to the United Kingdom, second for France and Austria together with The Netherlands third places.
The next big event is in 2004, the European jodo and iaido Championships in Stockholm Sweden. Kevin Groos: “There is no World Championship, but there are enough challenges. For example getting a third dan in jodo and a first dan in iaido.
Note: During the 3rd European Jodo Championships in 2004 in Stockholm Sweden, Kevin Groos got the gold medal in the third dan category!
Note: During the 11th European iaido Championships in 2004 in Stockholm Sweden, Kevin Groos got the gold medal in the first dan category!
Nowadays Kevin Groos is 6dan Jodo and 5dan iaido and teacher within Kiryoku Dojo Zoetermeer The Netherlands. And still training with his teacher René van Amersfoort. Also Kevin Groos teaches jodo abroad in Sofia Bulgaria with Shinbukan Dojo Sofia.
From a small boy training every week to an adult man, a real Budoka. Between Kevin Groos and René van Amersfoort there are many years of crossing swords and by this method becoming friends. Together we achieved a lot and took many barriers.