Due to his excellent physical condition and mental abilities he was selected to drive an AMX tank during his military service. It was in that same period that he started boxing. After his military service he had several jobs, but his heart was always with the martial arts and eventually he got involved professionally.
With 5 other friends he founded "Stunt Team Six" which team was very competent in many stunts with ear and motor vehicles, but also in horse riding, diving and fighting arts. For a short while he practiced Mas Oyama's Kyokushinkai karate, but it was in 1972 that he founded his own "Chakuriki" style. This was a combination of karate, English boxing and the grappling techniques of judo and wrestling.
Handling the traditional weapons bo, manrikigusari, nunchaku and sai was also an integral part of the Chakuriki style. Characteristic for the Chakuriki style became the training with weights and the extremely hard outdoor trainings during which they drew the attention of each and everyone because they were all dressed in red karate-gi (in those days the gi were all white).
All the above, coupled with extreme hard discipline introduced a new period in the existing world of martial arts. It was in 1973 the reputation of the Chakuriki fighters started to spread out. At a free-fight tournament organized by the 'Internationale Organisatie voor Gevechtssporten' all the fighters of other disciplines were beaten soundly by the Chakuriki stable. In other tournaments that same year the same happened over and over.In his many years in the martial arts Thom Harinck received many diplomas and other documents for his accomplishments in sports like karate, kenpo, wushu, jujitsu etc. Amongst others a sixth degree black belt from John Bluming in Kyokushinkai karate, a seventh degree in shaolin kempo and he is also a member of the International Sokeship Council. Furthermore he became the chief advisor for the United States Police Defensive Tactics Association throughout America. He wrote three books about Chakuriki and Muay Thai, produced an instruction tape about Chakuriki and Muay Thai and is Holland's, maybe even Europe's biggest promotor of national and international fights.
1974: Chakuriki was the first karate style to enter the fighting area dressed in red satin trousers and stripped to the waist.
1975: Thom Harinck went to Paris with a Chakuriki team. They made a lasting impression and he was the first Dutchman ever to receive a diploma of the French Savate association. In the same year trainer Thom Harinck managed to have three European kickboxing champions in the WAKO in Berlin.
1976: He was the co-founder of the NKBB (Dutch Kickboxing Association) and the red thaiboxing shorts became characteristic for the Chakuriki fighters.
1978: Thom Harinck and his Chakuriki team were the first Dutch to fight in the Lumpini stadium in Bangkok, Thailand. The USA declared Thom Harinck the most successful trainer of the world. (Based on the most champions in different weight classes).
1979: Chakuriki was declared the best martial arts school by the Hong-Kong martial arts magazines.
1980: Thom Harinck trained the famous "Hundertmannschaft" of the German anti-terrorist group in Bonn. Thom Harinck trained several divisions of the special forces of the Dutch police.
1983: Thom Harinck founded the MTBN (Dutch Muay Thai Association).
1984: Thom Harinck founded the WMTA (World Muay Thai Association). Thom Harinck founded the EMTA (European Muay Thai Association).1985: These associations can boast to have a membership of over 47 countries.
1990: Thom Harinck was elected as the only not-Asian in the board of the IMTA (International Muay Thai Association).
1993: Branko Cikatic becomes the first winner in the K-1 tournament of the best eight heavyweight fighters in the world in Tokyo, Japan.
1994: Thom Harinck achieves again with another heavyweight fighter Peter Aerts, first place in the famous K-1 tournament in Tokyo, Japan. For the third time a Chakuriki fighter wins the K-1 tournament in Rotterdam, once again Peter Aerts is the best heavyweight fighter. Furthermore, 47 countries became a member of the W.M.T.A. And in Bangkok General Tomrat Yoenyong selected Thom for president of Europe in the IMF (International Muay Thai Federation).
1995: For the fourth time in a row the winner of the K-1 in Tokyo is a Chakuriki fighter. Peter Aerts, the best heavyweight fighter of the world.
The 8th of July was a very special day in Thom's life: Thom marries his girlfriend Marjan Olfers.
The first K-1 for ladies in Amsterdam. The winner is the Dutch Chakuriki girl Corrine Geeris. Bangkok, Mr. Montri Mongkolsawad selected Thom for Vice chairman of the world in the WMTC (World Muay Thai Council) from the International Competition.
1996: Perry Ubeda is the first Thai-boxer to win a Taekwondo tournament in Tokyo.
1997: On the 18th January there was a big party with over 1000 people to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Chakuriki Gym in the Jaap Eden Hal in Amsterdam. Peter Aerts wins KO against the legendary 8 Men heavyweight champion Andy Hug. Branko Cikatic celebrates his comeback-fight at the age of 42 with a KO against the Japanese champion Musashi. On the first day of March, Thom's beautiful daughter Jane is born.
1997: Lloyd van Dams wins Best 8 of Holland.
1998: Lloyd van Dams wins KO tournament.
1999: Lloyd van Dams becomes world champion WMTA. He will fight June 20 in the K-1 braves in Japan. Thom's precious little daughter Charlotte is born (7 May).
Thom's wife Marjan has graduated in law (Free University, Amsterdam) and is now doing research for her dissertation. The subject: competition law and sports a comparison between the US and Europe. Besides this, Marjan is the financial director of Gladiators BV and prepares the sponsoring- fighting- and other related contracts.