With high school baseball and softball reaching their seasonal climax, a lot of families will soon be heading out on various vacations. While there are various locations to go, many have and will continue to dream about one day gracing such stories world-wide cities like London, England, Athens, Greece and Rome, Italy. While many may be dreaming of it, one Dallas Center-Grimes High School student will be living the experience come August.

In an act of pure patriotism, Dallas Center-Grimes student-athlete Brayden Broderick will head to the historical city of Rome, Italy to represent the United State of America in the World Youth Pankration Championships, which will take place August 2 and run through August 4. Broderick, a mixed martial arts participant ever since he was eight, has grown up loving the such fighting sports like Jiu-Jitsu, kickboxing, and even MMA, a sport which he hopes to partake in at the highest level one day.

“My ultimate goal is to make it to the MMA scene and showcase my talents,” began Broderick. “I’ve really enjoyed watching guys take part in MMA fights and that’s where I want to be some day.”

On the ladder heading up to that goal, one of the early rungs is taking part in the organization that will take him to Rome, the World Youth Pankration Championships. A derivative of MMA itself, the Pankration form has a lot of similarities to the high level MMA fighting but simply curtailed to the younger generation. With adequate head gear and other protective equipment, individuals fight in a more controlled setting that does not allow for head shots and so forth, an aspect that has been a big selling point for parents, including Brayden’s father Colin Broderick.

“What I like about this whole thing is the fact that it can give kids a release in a safe manner,” began Colin. “Kids can take out their frustrations and more in a controlled setting yet strive for a higher goal in the same breath.”

That very same training that Broderick talks about has helped him far beyond the hunt for the World Youth Pankration Championship. Broderick has used that training and dedication to help him to wrestle for Team Iowa on the National Dual wrestling scene, capture a world Jiu-Jitsu NAGA World Championship, and an undefeated record in youth kickboxing. There’s a lot that goes into such training and preparation, and although speed, power, and agility are all important qualities to win in the mixed martial arts scene, there’s one thing that Brayden holds above all.

“One of the most important things I focus on is my endurance,” began Brayden. “It’s nice to have speed and power but if you wear yourself out too early, that speed and power is almost useless. I do a lot of endurance training pretty much all year. It’s really helped me out a lot so far in my fighting career.”

That sure helped out the young mixed martial arts fighter as he made his way up through qualifying. What was a dream so far out of reach came true due to all the work put in to capture a top three finish at the national qualifying event in California.

“It’s an amazing feeling just to be a part of it all and knowing that I’ll be representing my country makes it even more amazing,” said Brayden. “I haven’t had a whole lot of events where I’ve represented my country so there’s definitely another level of excitement to it.”

While most people would add nervousness into that conversation, while feeling some nerves, Brayden doesn’t seem to be letting the pressure get to him.

“Even though I haven’t represented the USA like this before, I’m not that nervous about it,” stated Brayden. “I know that if I just focus on my fighting and my style I will be alright. If I let myself get nervous then it can affect my fighting and I don’t want that to happen.”

Once again, Brayden will take on the World Youth Pankration Championships in Rome and while the main focus is on his fighting, there will be a slight emphasis put on the cuisine.

“I can’t wait to eat pizza and pasta there,” said Brayden. “Pasta is one of my favorite foods and I can’t wait to try it in Rome.”

Brayden will take on the World Youth Pankration Championship representing team USA August 2 through August 4 in the 703. kilos (155 pounds) weight class.