Student - May 24, 2012

'In the final I was up against my first opponent again.'

Who? Hendrik Staarink, fourth-year International Land and Water Management
What? Jiu-jitsuka and chairman of the student martial arts club 'De Grondleggers'
Why? Beat seven participants and on 12 May became the Dutch Student Champion Jiu-jitsu in the under 77 kg weight class.

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What it a tough battle?
'It was a tense and exciting day because I've only just got my orange belt. I lost the first match. But after that I beat people who had a green belt or even a black belt. In the final I was up against my first opponent again.'
In view of your experience, this triumph isn't entirely unexpected.
'No, it isn't. As a rule, this tournament is not super high-level, unless you are unlucky enough to get matched up with a Dutch Champion who happens to be a student. Besides, I've been training seriously for this event: three times a week and in the particular martial arts system it requires.'
How does that work then?
'At this tournament you can win points for performing particular techniques well. First standing using punches and kicks, then with throws and lastly in a fight down on the mat. The person who gets two points in each category wins. I have practised ways to score effectively in all those categories.'
Will you maintain your intense training schedule?
'No, I've set myself up as a gardener and there's more to life than Jiu-jitsu. I don't necessarily feel the need to get a black belt. It's about the training, that's what I enjoy.' 

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