The latest news and announcements.

Biography and training manual of the 17th Century Wrestling Master and Wine Merchant

Published October 2013.
Biography and training manual featuring the life and martial art of Nicolaes Petter from Amsterdam. Written by Jerome Blanes after many years of intensive research and reading a large number of predominantly original books from the 17th century. Foreword by Mixed Martial Arts legend Bas Rutten (, the only man comparable with the talented and undefeated wrestler Nicolaes Petter and his entertaining antics.

ISBN 9781105916694,
Pages: 642,
Size: 14.81 cm wide x 20.98 cm tall x 3.5 cm thick,
Weight: 1.04 kg,
Language : English. 

Who is Nicolaes Petter?
Nicolaes Petter was a Wine Merchant and a well-known and undefeated Wrestler in Amsterdam during the 17th century. In 1674 his knowledge about wrestling and self-defence was published in a book with 71 etchings by the famous artist and illustrator Romeyn de Hooghe. According to martial artists and historians, it is one of the most important martial arts books ever published. Copies of his book are highly valued items in the collection of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and in many other collections of museums and universities all over the world. The name of the book is ‘Klare onderrichtinge der voortreffelijke worstel-konst’ (‘Clear tuition in the excellent art of wrestling’). Petter must have had a great love for everything Greek like sports, mythology, science and wisdom which he shared this with all merchant-gentlemen in Amsterdam at the time. After a decade of working in a wine and beer garden with a dancing room (lusthof met mighel kit/danskamer) he started his wine business at the Prinsengracht at a house he named Gustaafsburgh. His students were mostly merchants and other gentry like people from the government, the city regents and from royal background, but also had commoners as students. One of his most valued students was a humble musician.

For more information and reviews see:

Stavast - Netherland's Knife Fighting: Work in progress.

Status book: Following up on last leads. Research trip planned to Holland, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg.

Presentation first dummy: March 2015

Expected publication: 2015

The history and culture of a typical Netherlands phenomenon: Bekkesnijders (Maul Cutters), a violent and crude traditional knife fighting art as practiced through at least 3 centuries with a full training manual describing the techniques and strategies.
As usual this project is a lot more work than expected. When information is required from people out in the field, things start to slow down and a lot of waiting is involved. Another time consuming exercise is the following up of all the last open leads. I always follow up on each and every one of them to make sure I missed absolutely nothing. This can take many months. It's the point where most researchers stop due to other commitments such as full time jobs, families and a lack of funding. I fully understand. However, I stop at nothing and simply add time to the project. Time is free, even if there is only little of it available. This is why on a good day I can walk in with a dummy and give the impression a book is about to be published and then disappear with it for a year. It probably needed some lose ends tied. This project is no different. But in March I will have a dummy, that is certain.

For more information: