The teenager you see in the middle is my little brother, next to him is my younger sister.
Once upon a time, he was overweight, unfit, and full of sadness.
He was the youngest of three siblings who bore the brunt of our parents separating at a young age, as well as a horrible accident that saw him get hit by a car at age 9 years old.
All confidence was lost.
Fear was high.
The world was the enemy.
The saddest memory I have of him was him refusing to see sunlight, instead choosing to video games and eat takeaway food for breakfast.
He was truly a mess.
The events of a troubled childhood would manifest into a teenage hood marred by pain and sorrow.
At seventeen he decided to flip the script. A young man who was eager to learn self-defense, better his appearance, and lead a healthier lifestyle, he started training Muay Thai.
He started following in the footsteps of myself, my father, and our step-father a six-time Muay Thai world champion… But more importantly, a journey of discovery for himself.
During this period he lost the fat around his belly, his muscles became more striated and I noticed a different kind of beast emerge.
The young little cry baby I once knew, was transforming into a strong, confident, and resilient man capable of handling himself.
He trained consistently for nearly a year, never missing a beat until it was time he was ready to have his first fight.
I trained him day in day out because I saw the fire that burned inside.
The image you see was taken moments before his first bout.
March 17, 2012. 72.5kg, trim, positive, and ready to take on the world.
He won that fight and is one of my most memorable moments as a coach but also as a brother.
He was not only my first ever fighter, to fight for Champions Gym Fight Team, but he went on to win three out of three bouts before moving on to doing and becoming better things.
Today, my brother is a bushranger and works in the Northern Territory wrangling crocodiles, wild buffalo, boars, bushfires protecting the remote communities and natural environment.
I am proudest of my brother because he became a better version of himself mentally and physically and he continues to dominate in everyday life.
My parents named my brother “Jakawan” gifted by Buddhist monks. In Thai it means “Universe”. The kid has always been destined for great things.