If you ever read about karate in the Netherlands, one name must have grabbed your attention. Guusje van Mourik is one of the best Dutch karatekas with four World, six European and 25 national titles in the category +60kg. Although Mourik’s era finished some 30 years ago, Netherland doesn’t have to worry – they have young blood that looks promising.
One of them surely is Samantha van Lokven, a 26 years old karateka, 3rd dan Inoue-ha Shito Ryu and a 10-time national champion. She has been included in the Dutch national team since the age of 12. Firstly, she was invited to the youth national team and competing under the Dutch flag in the senior category was a logical sequence.
“I started with karate when I was 6 years old. There was an open seminar in the club and I was there to watch. It was so interesting that I became a member of the local karate club. My first style was Dento Shito Ryu, later I changed to Inoue-ha Shito Ryu. From the beginning, I was fascinated by kata and it became my biggest passion.”
At the age of 18, she changed from Dento Shito Ryu to Inoue-ha Shito Ryu. Also, it meant she had to change the club and travel several times a week between her hometown of Tilburg (south) and the city of Leeuwarden (north), where she trained at the top level under the guidance of Raymond Snel.
“It was a three and a half hours journey by train either way. All of that just to be able to train. After these two years, I moved totally to Leeuwarden to train more and more for competitions. So I am living here for 6 years already.
Samantha is proof that discipline and hard work always pay off: “I worked really hard for my results. To achieve this goal and other results you need a lot of discipline and train hard every day. My training program consists of weight training, interval training and a lot of kata training – 6 days of the week.”
Not only she is a ten-time Dutch Champion in a row but she also ended as 7th at the last European Championships 2019 in Guadalajara Samantha and now she is looking forward to #karateporec2021: “I was so close to a medal last time so I hope this time it will be better and be on the top”, she said.
And are there some rituals we can expect before her performances? “My preparation for a competition consists of some rituals, but the most important is that hair is good and my karate gi has to fit properly.” Her schedule is full as she is qualifying for the Olympic Games at the Qualification tournament in Paris.
P.S. She’s never been to Croatia but is very curious to explore it and wishes the same for all athletes of #karateporec2021: I wish you lots of success and enjoy your time in Croatia!