Who is she?
Laure Verheyen was born at 26 November 1993 (20 years now).
She started jiu-jitsu and karate at nine years old. At the age of 17 she also started with judo.
Judo is indispensable if you compete at a high level jiu-jitsu because jiu-jitsu exists of karate and judo.
Why did you start doing jiu-jitsu?
Because my father wanted that I could defend myself when someone attacks me.
In the beginning I loved karate more but from the moment I started the “fighting system” (one of the competition forms of jiu-jitsu) I found my favorite hobby. I noticed I was good in it and started international competitions as well. My biggest dream was competing against the best of the world. Last year my dream came true!
What was your biggest challenge so far?
My biggest challenge was when I had the age of 19 I stood at the World Championship in Romania.
I won my first World medal and the feeling I had I couldn’t and still can’t describe .
This feeling is the reason why I love the sport so much, it’s just really amazing.
What would be your motto?
I teach little children from 3 years and older. When they say “I can’t do it” then I say :
“Don’t say you can’t, Everything is possible, if you have the courage to pursue your dreams”
I never thought I could do it, winning on world level.
Before the world cup I thought it was only a dream to stand there at the podium. But you see… I did it! The bronze medal is in the pocket.
Mostly because I believed in myself! Now I want a bigger challenge. Yeah that’s me always searching exciting challenges…
The World Games and World Combat Games is the next step.
How did you accomplish your goals?
Every time I go to the gym I give a 100%, I train with a goal in mind: winning the challenge.
Not going for 3th or 2th but going for the first place… with lower I am not happy (I am a perfectionist) .
Of course I am happy with my 3th place at the Junior World championship but it can always get better, even if you are first.
This makes someone a real champion.
Go for the best and don’t look back, if you didn’t make it than you should learn from your failures.
Even you are number one you can still learn!
how does a day in your life looks like?
Haha, am I allowed to write a 100 pages? Because that is how my life looks like (smiles ).
Well I’m studying law at the University of Antwerp. I can say it is not an easy combination, daily sports (fitness , fighting sports, teaching children,…) and university studies.
I must give up things sometimes, like going out with friends, or some journeys. Not taking all classes and do it on my own… But until now I can handle it. I am the type of person that gives 100% for something if I want it.
That’s my target and I do everything it takes to get that in sports, in life, in school and other things that matter.
What challenged you the most?
Thing I can’t do: Win from people I couldn’t beat before is a great moment because that proves your working hard at the tatami. (This is where she practices the fighting arts) Besides I don’t care if it is an Olympic discipline or not, every sport has it’s beauty. Jiu-jitsu isn’t involved in the Olympic Games, but you can see how complete this sport is and I don’t doubt the fact it will be involved in the Olympic Games someday. Until now we have this beautiful event named the World Games. And recently the World Combat Games (first organized in 2011) it still challenged me to stand there one day.
What tip would you give to someone who wants to start with jiu-jitsu?
If you start training don’t look at your friends or other people, what they do or how they look. Do your own thing, find enough information before you start working out because exercising in a wrong way can be pernicious. Give yourself the time to evolve, I’m very serious about this. I am also working hard on my body. Some days go easily others go hard..That’s the circle of life in everything you do.
“not giving up” is the best message I can give you guys. You are never too old or to weak for big life changes!
You can find more information about her at www.laureverheyen.com
Thank you Laure for sharing your great story and tips with us, i’m sure you motivated a lot of people with this!