Brodie’s rapid rise
FROM nervous novice to Australian representative, Brodie Stanton has come a long way in a short time.
The Lismore fighter has earned selection for the Australian Muay Thai team taking part in the forthcoming World Games in Malaysia.
Fifteen-year-old Brodie took up the combat sport only about eight months ago, but has already bagged a national title.
Now he is ready to don the green and gold against some of the sport's most promising young fighters from across the globe.
"It's crazy - I cannot really imagine it," Brodie said.
"I hope I don't come up against someone who has been training for this their whole life.
"I'm going to go all out."
The Lismore fighter qualified for the worlds after recently becoming the 51kg Australian Muay Thai champion.
Keen gymnast Brodie was introduced to the sport, which involves punching, kicking and other physical contact between fighters, by a family friend and was immediately hooked.
"It's actually a sport with a lot of traditions," he said. "There's heaps more to it than just two blokes fighting.
"Training is fun and you meet great people. After fights I've had opponents message me on Facebook saying, 'Good job'.
"At first I would be apologising immediately if I hit someone in training. Then you remember they are doing exactly the same thing to you.
"My first fight was terrifying. I lost it, but it gave me more confidence for going in the ring.
"Losing made me go harder and harder."
Brodie trains virtually every weekday and is coached by Rod Ramsay at Lismore's Martial Arts First gym.
He is among a group of talented young fighters at the gym, including Bryce Gibbs and Mars Waterman.
Brodie also said he had a novel way of firing himself up before fights.
"I think about all the school work I've got to do," he said with a smile.
"In the ring, it's a weird feeling.
"Everyone else disappears. It's just you and your opponent.
"You think about all the training with the bags and the pads.
"You don't think about getting hurt - you think about winning."
Brodie and his gym have now started fundraising for Malaysia.
Anyone who can offer sponsorship or assist should call 0432 546 493.