A RISING martial artist prepared for months to show off his strength and endurance when he recently represented the Eastern Cape at the South African National Sport Martial Arts Championship in Cape Town.Johannes Martin won three gold and two silver medals for an outstanding performance at the championship.Born and bred in Port Elizabeth, Martin started his martial arts career in 2017 when he joined the Fusion Martial Arts Academy and continues to climb the ladder.“I came this far through the help of so many people. It was not always easy and I face daily challenges to be able to make something of myself,” Martin said.Martin has qualified for his provincial colours and won gold and silver medals. He said hard work always rewards and with time, he remains hopeful to one day participate in tournaments across the world.“The championship was tough, but with my support system, anything is possible. I competed with many great martial artists and was truly grateful for the opportunity.” Struggling financially to provide for his family, Martin is currently employed at Save-A-Pet in Greenbushes, which contributes in keeping his martial arts dream alive. “Save-A-Pet has helped me so much throughout my journey and has truly shaped me as a martial artist. I would not have come this far without them.” According to Martin, martial arts take a lot of discipline and one has to be physically fit. “I try to work out everyday to be able to maintain my health and physical strength. Martial arts are not always easy, but when one is truly focused, they can be fun.” Martin was accepted to compete in a championship in America last year, but failed to attend due to financial reasons.“I was so disappointed when I could not attend the championships, but I did not give up on my dream. I’m still fighting to achieve my goals.” Martin is striving to give back to his community by training children some basic martial arts skills.“I want to help my community’s kids get off the streets and to be able to do something meaningful, which will teach them discipline, as well as how to defend themselves.” The dedicated martial artist has future plans to open his own training centre and to teach others the craft of martial arts. “It’s a never-ending learning process. There is so many things to learn in the martial arts. “There are so many different styles, and there are so many different people who give perspective to them. You never stop learning in the martial arts,” said Martin.