Hans Van Ess

Presented in Auckland,25 September 2004

Hans arrived from Holland in 1961 having trained under such greats as Jaap Nauwelaerts d'Agé (9th Dan), Gé Koning (9th Dan) and Anton Geesink (10th Dan). In 1962 he set up the NZ Judo College in central Auckland and began teaching the Kawaishi system of judo and ju-jitsu.

Hans helped found the NZ Jiu Jitsu Association in 1968 and in 1974 became Match Controller for the fledgling tournament scene, establishing a referees' and judges' course the following year. He remained active in the NZJJA until his retirement in 1996, by that time having achieved the rank of 7th Dan.

Today more than half of all clubs in New Zealand have been affected by Han's contributions. Among the notables to have trained under Hans are Gary Trail, Laurie Olliver, Jack Bailey, Ivan Gale, Steve Heremaia, Bruce Wilson, Dave Butler, Rob Powley, Baret Patel and George Taka.