Georgia Verry likes pink. She prefers her mouth guard with sparkles, and walking out to the sugary tunes of Britney Spears’ “Hit Me Baby One More Time”. Georgia could also most likely knock you out with a single blow.

The 23 year old got her first glimpse into the world of combat sports at the tender age of 12 thanks to her mother and role model, who practiced karate religiously throughout her life. Fascinated and intrigued, Georgia chose to follow in her footsteps and try her hand at karate. Already very involved in calisthenics and dancing, she made a seamless transition and rapidly developed a passion for Kata, a technical form of karate that requires a great deal of precision and discipline. Even as a child, all Georgia wanted to do was train, train, and train some more.

From then on, there was no looking back for Georgia, as she rapidly progressed and excelled at a national level throughout her teens, obtaining her black belt in karate by the age of 21. Initially enrolled into law school, Georgia found it increasingly difficult to consolidate her studies and her burning desire to train full time. Following her heart, she made the decision to switch to an exercise science degree, which gave her the flexibility to work in a field she loved while she studied, as well as pursue her dream of training in martial arts.

Today, on top of working full time as an exercise physiologist in active rehabilitation for Kieser, she has found her calling in the discipline of Muay Thai in which she competes at a semi-professional level at just 23 years of age, recently winning her first major fight with Rebellion Muay Thai. She fell in love with the Thai combat sport after joining the Absolute MMA gym in Melbourne. “What I love most about Muay Thai is that it requires just as much physical skill as mental” explains Georgia, “I like to think of fights as a puzzle. You have to predict your opponent’s move before they make it in a split second, keep your composure, and prepare your own move all in one moment. Fighting isn’t about inflicting pain, or expressing anger. Angry people get knocked out. It’s all about controlled and deliberate moves, and having unwavering faith in your abilities.” Switching from karate to Muay Thai was a major adjustment for the young woman; karate is practiced bare knuckled but blows to the face are banned. “In Muay Thai, we wear gloves but knocks to the face are allowed, which can be a little more intimidating. But I quickly learned that you can’t win by staying on the defensive the whole time. That’s what I love about Muay Thai. You have to be confident enough to lean into the fight, and learn how to take a blow when you have to.”

For Georgia, fighting has shaped her to be who she is today. “With fighting,” she says, “you get out of it what you put in. If you go into the ring with a single sliver of doubt, you’ll go down and stay down. You have to put the work in every single day and trust that you’ve got what it takes to win.” It is with perseverance, faith and the fire in her gut that Georgia broaches each and every day, especially when the going gets tough. “ I find that I thrive in discomfort, it’s a place where I can grow. I tell myself that this is as hard as it gets, and it only means I’m getting closer to my goal.”

Something that Georgia is equally passionate about is helping women to build their confidence in fighting. “I often speak to women that are reluctant to try sparring (training with a partner) because they’re nervous about getting hurt. But sparring is an essential aspect of training, and the key is to trust your partner. There is a huge amount of respect between female fighters at the training gym, and once you can overcome that fear of being hit, you can learn to move into the fight. I want to provide women with an environment where they can fight, and leave behind any fear.”

Fighting photos courtesy of: W.L FIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY