Hardest test yet
Thursday, 16th January, 2014
By Ethan James
When he took up martial arts three-and-a-half years ago, competing in the World Championships was the furthest thing from Brayden Dodd’s mind.
But for the former Broken Hill local what first started as a passing interest and part-time hobby has turned into an excuse to travel the word.
Dodd was a part of the Australian squad that went to South Africa to take part in the Goji Ryu World Championships last September.
He claimed a bronze medal in the point fighting in a team of five.
The 28-year-old, who grew up in the Silver City but now resides in Orange, said the whole experience was quite surreal.
“You’re coming up against some of the world’s best but we were prepared well even though some of the other teams had 12 months and we only had three,” he said.
“But it was definitely the hardest competition I’ve ever been in.”
Despite being a relative outsider at the tournament, Australia finished a more than respectable sixth out of 30 countries on the medal tally.
However, the journey which turned out to be the trip of a lifetime almost didn’t occur.
To be able to fund flights and accommodation for the championships the father of three needed to raise around $3000 dollars.
That was when his hometown stepped up to the plate.
“Everyone in Broken Hill was great and without them I honestly wouldn’t have been able to go,” Dodd said.
Businesses, sporting clubs and hotels held barbecues and raffles and donated generously towards his cause.
“I’d like to give special thanks to Kolinac’s Paint Store, Consolidated Plant and Quarry, the Rising Sun Hotel and the Central Football Club,” Dodd said.
“Plus my mum (Tracey James) was amazing. She baked all the cakes and everything that we raised made the difference.”
Dodd only began martial arts when he signed up his daughter Savannah in a bid to boost her self-esteem.
“But I just love it ... it’s a great way to keep in shape and also to know that you can protect yourself when you’re out and about,” he said.
Dodd - now a fulltime instructor at a dojo - has his sights set on the West National Championships held in five weeks in Bathurst.
He is then planning to head to Fiji in June and Brazil in October for international tournaments.
“I need to keep testing myself otherwise I might get fat and lazy,” he laughed.