Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Ben's Lifetime of Learning

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Ben's Lifetime of Learning

Article excerpt

REPORTER

JONNO COLFS

THERE'S a new MMA expert in town, but he's not quite what you might expect, for a fighting machine.

Polite, friendly, intelligent, quietly spoken, well-travelled, no visible tattoos and no missing teeth.

That last one is usually sign of skill.

Ben Pepper, the owner and trainer at Warwick's first MMA (mixed martial arts) gym, Grow Strong MMA, is excited about his future in Warwick.

"My partner Sara and I are expecting our first child in August," he said.

"I've only been living in Warwick full-time for about four months but I've been coming here for while to see Sara. We really like it.

"I set the gym up before I moved here, to see if it would take off, and it has."

The gym has 25 keen locals training over three nights a week, across various disciplines, including submission wrestling, kickboxing and MMA-specific skills.

Mr Pepper said he discovered martial arts when he was eight years old.

"I grew up in Lismore and started with tae kwon do and was very involved until about the age of 14 or 15, culminating with the title of Australasian Junior Champion in 2003," he said. …

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