A small martial arts gym has proven it can hold its own against the larger gyms.
Three mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters from Highlands Martial Arts had podium finishes at the Grappling Industries competition.
The event was held at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence in Redfern on December 3.
Competitors included children, teenagers, adults, masters and seniors.
Bundanoon fighter Gabe Williams won gold in the no-gi grappling division.
This was the second time Williams stood in the coveted spot on the podium, as he also came first in the division last year.
Meanwhile two Moss Vale fighters, eight-year-old May Bradley and five-year-old Hugo Bradley, won silver medals in their respective children’s ju jitsu gi divisions.
This was the first major MMA competition both junior fighters had taken part in.
Highlands Martial Arts head coach Terry Riches said Williams had performed exceptionally well at the competition.
“Gabe was phenomenal. He’s won twice now,” he said.
“His competitors were good, and they were all from major MMA gyms in Sydney.
“I’m going to have to put him in the next category at the next competition.”
Riches said May and Hugo Bradley performed very well at their first competition.
“It’s a big step for kids when they go to their first major competition,” he said.
Riches said while Highlands Martial Arts was small compared to the other gyms at the competition, its class sizes made all the difference.
“We were the smallest gym but everyone we sent in got a medal,” he said.
“Because we don’t have so many members, the ones that stick with the sport get the one to one time and improve.”
Highlands Martial Arts offers classes for fun, fitness and self-defence as well as training for competitions.
Call 0408 297 531 or visit Highlands Martial Arts on Facebook for about the gym and its classes.