Mattijs M. van Katwijk

“Cultivating stable attention and energy is currently my main objective.”

Mattijs is an ex-intellectual who discovered the corrupting powers of his mind and went in search of methods for truth.

First at the Vrije Hogeschool (Driebergen), Mattijs was emphatically confronted with the discongruity between his cerebral inclination and his actual actions: he who is clever can sell his trade (and walk) well!

The realisation that thinking can be far removed from reality was reinforced when Mattijs studied Comparative Art Science at the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam. Later, at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, the extremely cerebral approach to art there magnified the realisation of how far mind and body (physical reality) have become disconnected.

In Aikido, Taiji Quan and Qigong, Mattijs discovered disciplines that focus pre-eminently on integrating the mental and physical. These arts emphasise the importance of coherence, which is not only reflected in the efficiency of its techniques. It also shows in the development of qualities such as diligence, focus, overview, flexibility, decisiveness, perseverance, integrity and correct manners.

In 2005, Mattijs started teaching Taiji and Qigong. He founded Studio MENG in The Hague, where he teaches and organises workshops and seminars focusing on Daoist arts and personal development.

The lack of sincerity that Mattijs observed in people, he naturally perceived in politics and business as well. This gradually led to a desire to extend his field of work to those people who, because of their position, have more influence on our world. One idea was that ‘if the director of Shell becomes sensitive to the integrity of mind and body, this will have an effect on his dealings with the environment’.

Mattijs founded Elementair werk and started teaching companies and organisations in 2017. Internationally, there has since been a huge development with themes such as integrity, physical and mental well-being and embodied leadership appearing high on the agendas of large organisations.

Mattijs stands out from many other trainers and agencies because of his lack of corporate or managerial background. He relies on his 20+ years of study and training in the arts of change and draws on insights from his university and arts education as well as a broad cultural interest. Mattijs convinces even the most sceptical participants with a thorough and clear cognitive bedrock. With humour and safety. But above all with deeply lived and substantially physical practice.

Currently, Mattijs and his partner live mostly in Indonesia. They both train internal arts (Neigong) full-time at Lotus Nei Gong international, the school run by Damo Mitchell. The curriculum includes ‘external’ and ‘internal’ martial arts (Taiji Quan, Hsing Yi), Chinese yoga (Dao Yin, Qigong), health science (Yang Shen Fa), meditation, philosophy and psychology.

Mattijs is a great film buff. He loves natural horsemanship and sunlight.

“It is my mission to make the individuals, teams and organisations that make a difference feel the ground beneath their feet. I want to let them connect with their spine, get their blood flowing and let them breathe. It fills me with joy to see people, beyond their mechanical roles, emerge radiant, powerful and energetic. To this end, I move people physically and mentally: experientially, down-to-earth and with humour.”

The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, housing association Portaal, Vervoersregio Amsterdam, Police Netherlands, Philips, the International Criminal Court, European Patent Office, EY Netherlands and others have been inspired by Elementary work. I am allied to several consultancy agencies, among which Twijnstra Gudde, Ardis and Bon Courage. 

Would you like to develop the core of the matter?

Call or email Mattijs!