A SEVEN YEAR-OLD was one of three fighters from a Yarrabilba mixed martial arts school to take to the ring at Rip it by the Beach on the weekend.
Max Moodie - who lost his fight by a narrow margin on Saturday - took up martial arts at the age of three, turning to Muay Thai at five.
Mother Kylie said he had gotten into the sport to improve his behaviour and focus.
"Previous siblings (also had) issues with bullying when they were younger so we decided to introduce Max to the sport," she said.
"He now loves it and trains 5 days a week. When he grows up he wants to be a professional fighter."
While he was the youngest Yarra MMA competitor, Max was the most experienced member to fight on the weekend, with a number of exhibition matches under his belt.
First-timers David Reiser and Rhys Llewellyn took out impressive wins over their opponents.
"Growing up in a large family, I have always had a passion for sport," Llewellyn said.
"I started training at Yarra MMA in March this year with the intention of trying something new. I wanted to learn new skills, practice and improve on my prior skills, and most importantly, improve my self-confidence It has also improved my mental and physical strength, particularly learning the concepts of discipline and respect towards myself and others.
"After eight weeks of hard-work and dedication with my diet and training along with the support from the Yarra MMA crew, my goal to compete became a reality and I had my first fight at Rip it by the Beach... and got the decision victory against a very tough opponent."
Reiser - who won by a total knock out in the second round - said he had his eye on his first Muay Thai fight in Hervey Bay.
"It has always been a dream of mine to get in the ring and at 37 the drive for me to get in there is my daughter's," he said.
"I was well over weight when I started training in February and wanted to do something to get fit but I needed a goal. I also wanted to show my girls that it doesn't matter how old you are, with hard work and determination you can achieve anything in life."