For most people a game of throwing punches and kicks sounds like a terrible idea, but for Port Macquarie's Sam Cobourn it is just another day in the office.
Sam is preparing to head to China to compete at the World Wushu Championships in October having recently been named the Under 70kg Australian Sanda champion.
At the world championships Sam will be competing against over 100 countries for the winning title.
When he is not in the ring he juggles a full time study load at university along with his competitions and training.
"I have been doing some form of martial arts for the last 10 or so years," Sam said.
"As a kid I played soccer but when I got injured and had to stop I found martial arts and haven't looked back since."
Sam holds a black belt in Karate but enjoys the more vigorous Sanda style of combat.
He was the first Australian to win a game at the World Wushu Championships two years ago and is excited to be representing Australia again at an elite level.
"Sanda is basically Chinese boxing with punches and kicks and throws," he said.
"There are three, two minute rounds and traditionally it is played on a small platform with the goal being to get your opponent off the ledge.
"It is a technically skilled game but more than that you have to fight smart.
"The objective of the game is to get the other person off the platform so sometimes a big push achieves that a lot quicker and easier rather than lots of kicks or punches.
"For me it is a lot more dynamic that other martial art disciplines and it has taken me all over the world to compete which is pretty cool."
Sam said martial arts has taught him a lot about focus and determination which he brings to study and life outside sport.
"Sanda is mentally challenging and that is probably what I love most about the sport.
"Through learning martial arts I have developed skills in discipline, ethics and focus which means when uni work gets tough I can work through it easier.
"Heading into the ring to get hit and kicked and facing the fear that comes with that means I can use those overcoming fear techniques in my other life of study and work."
After taking 2018 off sport due to injury Sam also said that he has a new appreciation for the journey to get to your goal.
"Sometime you become so focused on a goal or a dream that you lose track of what is important.
"For me I really had to take a step back after I got injured last year and evaluate what I want and the one thing that stood out was to enjoy the here and now.
"You can train or study for something but you never know what is around the corner so I think it is so important to enjoy and savour every moment of what you are doing."
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