You’re the boss.
Every punch you throw has to hurt.
Every kick should be painful.
Everything you do, you begin and nobody else.
I definitely have a hand freefor a new one.
But first I’ll use this handto hit someone’s chin.
I’m Wopke Booijen, 23 years old.
I was born and raised in Nijmegen.
The first one was a good opportunityto open the doors for guys like me.
Or girls, it was the first officialfight between two short people.
Basically, I just go like thisand if I can’t reach it I climb up.
Officially, it’s calledAchondroplasia but you can also call itdwarfism or lilliputian.
I just go like this.
Oh, I banged my head this time.
Just like Funniest Home Videos.
Here is candy, for example.
When I was young, it never reallydisadvantaged me, you know.
My parents never treated me differentlythan my brothers.
That’s a big factor, I think, in why I don’t feel sorry for myself.
If my brother falls down, he has to get up.
If I fall down, I also have to get up.
I only see advantages, that’s what I say.
For example, when I was young.
I really like rap music.
So at a concert I would go all the way up front, and you would think I couldn’t see anything.
But my advantage was that the rapperspulled me on stage so I could stand there.
Other guys would have been taken awayby the security, but I wasn’t.
People who know me, who grew upwith me will always tell you: It never disadvantaged him.
Next week, we’re fighting in Paris.
Yes, bro, it’s almost the big day.
It’s Wednesday today.
-Wednesday, so that’s.
When are you leaving?-We go on Friday.
-In the morning.
Are you ready?-Always, but.
my trainer said: the first 10 fightsyou’re full of adrenalin.
That makes it hard to reallyapply things during the fight.
You need experience, so we’ll see how it goes this time.
I started kickboxing two years agothanks to my mate Khalid el Moukadam.
He introduced me to the sport.
He’s a pro in the Enfusion A class.
I was a vlogger at the time.
The Smallest Vlogs I’m with my homey.
You know, Venlo South.
No way, homey, it’s North, man.
-North, from Venlo North.
I wanted to vlog at one of hismatches so he took me along.
-That’s Tayfun Ozcan.
Catch him on camera.
I was so close to the ring.
I could feel the emotion.
I fell in love just like that.
And I started training.
Body Style GymVenlo .
We’re old friends, we chatted too much in class.
We had a lot of fun.
I thinkmany teachers were fed up with us.
Sponsor for Wopke.
We have cash, every day.
Wopke always gets cash.
? ? One of the first times I trainedwith him was at BodyStyle.
I mostly needed to get fit.
I got better and better andsometimes I’d spar against him.
He’d have a go at me.
I’d oftenbe on my back, gasping for air.
Or I would get completely dizzy.
He toughened me up.
Do they still fit around your calves?-They do for now.
They do for now.
Crazy, isn’t it?It’s really crazy, isn’t it? That’s why people are afraidof my low kicks.
He trains with the adult group.
He trains with the grown-ups.
He is the only one of his height, so he has to work hard.
In the beginning, they wereeasy on him, but he fights back.
I train just as hard as the others, perhaps harder than some of them.
Every day, I trainedreally hard on this mat.
A lot of sweat dripped onto it, I think liters of it.
I think Wopke is strong technically.
He ends his punching combinations with a low kick.
That made the differencein his previous match.
People thought it would be funny, that it wouldn’t be serious.
In countries like China they’repitched against each other for fun.
They don’t train for itand people just laugh at it.
But this is deadly serious.
And the winner is, in the blue corner: Wopke! I won.
I want to thank everyonewho came to watch.
And for everyonewho laughed at me, now.
Quicker, quicker, quicker.
A bit quicker.
From the first day he came here, I said: Listen.
I’m not matching you with someone yourlength or with 13 or 14 year-olds.
You train with whoever you’re facing.
July 22, 2020
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