Daan Westra: “Basically the strategy is to play my own game, attack!
“Volgende week zaterdag zal Daan Westra het in Londen, op de Toukon Challenge, opnemen tegen een aantal van de beste bruine banders van Europe. Nadat er een plek vrijkwam in de Brown Belt GP is hij opgeroepen als vervanging en zal hij deel uit gaan maken van het eerste BJJ PPV in Europe.
Hi Daan. Thank you for taking time to answer some question regarding your presence at Toukon Challenge.
Who do you think is the toughest opponent in the GP?
Well, honestly I think Gus has done a great job of getting 8 top-level brown belts in the GP. It might sound a bit cliché but all the competitors are super tough. I mean just look at their accomplishments and you’ll see that there are guys who have medals from the highest levels of competition in the mix, including world champions. So what else can you say!? I don’t really see the point of worrying about a specific opponent of whom you don’t know whether you’ll even face him though. You never know what will happen during the matches so I’m not looking past my first opponent at this point. That’s the first hurdle to take.
How were you invited?
It was just a very fortunate coincidence. I had noticed some hype around the event on social media and I noticed there was a brown belt GP. I understood it was full though so I wasn’t expecting to compete. When a spot finally opened up everything was arranged rather quickly. Some people started mentioning my name as a solid replacement and the guys at Defense Soap Europe put in a good word for me. I ended up being invited and I gladly accepted.
What is your strategy going into battle?
My strategy will be the same as it always is. That is, I’ll try to enforce my game and utilize the things that I’ve worked on in training. Basically the strategy is to play my own game, attack, and above all; have fun. I always enjoy competing. I find that having fun during matches helps to lower the pressure that comes with competing. Ultimately, Jiu Jitsu is my passion so having the chance to compete is another chance to have fun.
What are your expectations?
I think I’m probably one of the least well known guys in the tournament so I am really looking forward to showing people who don’t know me what I can bring to the table. Although it is the first of its kind in Europe I am expecting a real solid event on November 23rd of which I hope there will be many more. Definitely an event which is worth buying the PPV, so don’t forget to do so !
Do you prefer point matches or sub only?
Most of my competition experience is with point matches in tournaments obviously, as is the case for most competitors I guess. But I love the sub only format! If you look at my track record than you’ll notice that I have a high submission percentage anyway so I think in that sense the sub only format fits my style well. Since the first Metamoris the 20 minute sub only format has been used a lot more and I think that’s great. It adds another dimension to matches.
The brown belt matches are only 6 minutes compared to the regular 8. How will this affect your game?
It won’t have a big influence on my game to be honest. When I compete I always look to step on the mat and fight for the submission, either in 6 or 8 minutes. The only difference will be that I have 2 minutes less to get that submission. The good thing is that in 6 minute matches there is less time to make something happen which forces both fighters to start the action right from the start. I hope the format will result in some exciting matches in the brown belt GP.
To support Daan Westra and initiatives like the Toukon Challenge, you can buy the PPV on http://toukonchallenge.com/. Choose your favourite fighter on the order form so will support him as well!
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