ROTTERDAMMERS On the high school playground, little Daniel de Groot (28) used to be an easy target. Now, on the Jiu Jitsu mat, he fights for gold medals. “The sport was my salvation.”
“They call me ‘Bunda Branca,’ the white buttocks. But in Rio de Janeiro, I proudly took the national title. In the final, I defeated a Brazilian fighter with a d’arce chokehold around the neck. It cuts off the opponent’s blood supply. They have to tap out, or they’ll get knocked out.
The gold medal I won in Brazil, where Jiu Jitsu is immensely popular, now hangs prominently in my new gym on Weena Street, alongside countless other gold, silver, and bronze medals. When I started with the sport, I never imagined I would become this successful.”
Daniel de Groot’s story is part of the series “Rotterdammers,” in which reporter Marcel Wijnstekers captures the life stories of Rotterdam residents.
Read the rest of the article by Marcel Wijnstekers here: https://www.ad.nl/rotterdam/daniel-28-werd-als-laatste-gekozen-bij-gym-later-won-hij-gouden-medailles-jiu-jitsu-was-mijn-redding~a9e572b26/