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Warrior: Bart Weling

Train hard and have fun while doing it

Icon of calendar 19/05/2022


Kata Guruma



Dutch judoka Bart Weling won the national senior title in 2019. He became Dutch Cadet Champion U18 in Tilburg in 2018. He clinched the gold at the Dutch Open Espoir U21 in Eindhoven in 2020. He captured a bronze medal at the Dutch Junior Championships in 2020. He took a bronze medal at the Dutch senior Championships in 2021.

Who or what inspired you to become an athlete? Why?

I started training when I was very young and just got inspired by every sport, as long as I could lose some energy and be the best in it. My love for judo and becoming a pro athlete came with the years, it never was a focus. It just happened to me because I really love the sport and had so much fun practicing, I just always wanted to be the best. 

When did you first realize that you were talented and wanted to be an athlete? What made you choose to pursue that talent?

The first thing that made me realize that I was good in sports wasn’t judo. When I was younger, I played football. There I got selected to train with the academy of the professional club nearby. Turned out that I wasn’t good enough, but that first experience of being an academy player made me realize that I really wanted to be an pro. athlete. Shortly after that I made the change back to judo again because I wanted to do things by myself, so a team couldn’t hold me back. The years after that made me realize that I had talent, but I needed to work hard to get where I wanted to be, because I wasn’t as talented as a lot of the boys around me. In the end I choose judo because of the attitude, the respect that comes with the sport and that I could practice by myself. 

What sports performance are you most proud of? Why?

National senior champion 2019. I chose to finish my study that year and live at home for one more year. With making this choice I would not be selected anymore and could not compete in Europe for a year. This resulted in a lot of people doubting me, so the nationals in the end of the year was the perfect moment to let them reconsider their doubts they had. This made this win so much more special to me.

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

I faced a lot of challenges in my judo career, but I think injuries where the biggest challenges for me. At some point every athlete has to deal with injuries and recovery. Last year I got a big shoulder injury that took a lot of time to recover. Just after I joined the national academy I found it very hard to deal with the bad news and how to move on. You see your team move on, win and improve. But you are still in the same place, maybe even worst. In this period the metal recovery was even a bigger challenge for me then my physical recovery. I overcame this with a lot of reading about mindset and how to move on when you’re in a darker place. By really focusing on these things, I started to understand what was going on in my head and how to overcome these things. In the end I think that this made me even stronger than before. Just keep focusing on the bigger picture!

Which sports person is a true warrior (hero) to you? Why?

I really love Conor McGregor and think he is a true warrior, but there is one person that is even a bigger warrior for me, Tyson Furry. How he moved away from boxing, struggled with some serious and then came back and become champion. Not hiding from his past and instead of running, embracing this hard period he went through. Helping other people who are struggling with the same issues in the process.

What do you think is the key to becoming a successful athlete?

Train hard and have fun while doing it!

What was the best advice you were ever given in your sports career? Why?

Don’t stop enjoying!

When you are getting better and becoming an pro. athlete everything is moving so fast that you sometimes forget why you started in the first place. It is imported to realize why you started in the first place and to have fun. Having fun makes it so much easier to train. Train a lot, train hard and get better in what you are doing. 

Can you describe to us your current training schedule? What do you do in your training that you think is key to your success? Why?

A normal week of training looks a bit like this: 

 07:45 – 09:00 Strength
 16:00 – 17:30 Randori (sparring in judo) 

 08:00 – 09:00  Technical session
 16:30 – 18:00  Randori (sparring in judo)

 08:30 – 09:45 Strength
 10:00 – 11:00  Technical session

 08:00 – 09:00  Technical session
 09:00 – 09:45  Conditioning
 16:30 – 18:00  Randori (sparring in judo)

 07:45 – 09:00 Strength
 16:00 – 17:30 Randori (sparring in judo)

What are your favorite exercises and best training tips? Why?

o or: What exercises do you recommend to people who are striving to become where you are now? (= training tips) Why?

Make a lot of randori minutes without much brute force, the gives you the opportunity to feel more and recognise movements. In the beginning you will get thrown to the ground more, but you will learn how to move around it and feeling every movement your opponent makes.

What kind of diet do you prefer & do you always eat healthy food? How important is this to you as an athlete? Do you use supplements? Why?

A healthy diet is something every judoka must follow. Before tournaments I have to lose around 3 to 4 kg so I can fight under 60 kg. To achieve this I have to follow a strict diet. In the years I tried a lot of different diets, but a combination of intermediate fasting and lots of vegetables and protein works best for me. But not in preparation for a tournament. The I try to maintain a healthy diet as much as possible just without the intermediate fasting. But I have to say, I’m not too strict in my diet when I’m not in preparation. 

I also use supplements such as vitamins and of course the Victus Energy Water and Nutrition Water. These supplements really help me to get ready for a training and recover in the best way possible. Victus energy water replaced my coffee before training. 

What sacrifices you made did you think were the hardest to make in your career in sports? How do did you stay motivated?

There are three big sacrifices I needed to make to get where I am today: time, financially and friends. To get where I am I had to invest lots of my free time. This resulted in losing a lot of my friends because I never had time to hang out and always choose my sport over everything else. On the positive side, the friends that stayed, I can call true friends! Besides the time I had to invest I also had to invest a lot of money to get where I am today. I’m really grateful my parents supported me on this.

If you could choose another sport to be great at, what would it be? Why?

I think it would be soccer. I have always loved to play and sometimes still do. Judo can be a bit lonely sometimes. The positive side of playing in a team is that you can share to bad and  the beautiful moments, together.

Do you have a favorite workout song/playlist or mantra (motivational quote)? And is that playlist public?

We have a workout playlist with the team. So it is no public, but I have some songs I always listen to before fights. 

Glorious                      Macklemore
You Can’t Stop Me     Andy Mineo 
I Will Go To War        Tessa Thompson
Can’t Be Touched       Roy Jones
Lose Yourself              Eminem 

What are your goals for the coming year? Any other interesting future plans that we should know?

This year it is time to find my way to the senior program. It will be my first year as a senior, so I hope to win some medals at European opens and move on to Grand Prix' next year. 

Where do you picture yourself in 15 years, and what have you accomplished by then? Choose your words wisely, because we’ll hold you to it.
In 15 years, I will be a retired athlete that finished his school and maybe started his own business. I will have made my Olympic debut and won European and world medals. 



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