Brandon Lewis is turning heads and impacting lives. He just turned 16 and already is on a career path. He's competed in Mixed Martial Arts since 10, winning national and world titles. For the last four years, he's been coaching others to follow.
"I love both of them," said Brandon Lewis. "Obviously I started off with training and competing. Which I loved from the very beginning. Then I got introduced to teaching. I'm like, wow I love this."
Competing on a national level and trying to teach kids to reach a national level when you're a teenager is a big enough challenge. Brandon has added a third title to his resume -- studio owner. He admits there have been some raised eyebrows when parents walk through the door.
"There are a lot of people that have a confused look on their face," said Brandon. "First they think it's my dad that owns it. Then my dad points to me, 'Oh, he's the instructor.'"
He's instructing athletes of all ages -- from 6 to 47 -- which presents different challenges.
"I'm not going to lie. At first I was a little bit hesitant," said 17-year-old Mike Fosdick. "Now I don't mind at all. I have a ton of respect for Brandon. I acknowledge everything he's teaching me. It's going to help me."
In just a few months he's turned beginners into winners. Brandon took six of his students to two national events in the last year; five came home champions. That includes 13-year-old Brittany Wey, who views Brandon's age as an advantage.
"I feel like I can talk to him better than an adult," said Brittany. "He's around our age."
"Some people, that are in the same business that I am, some don't like it because I'm young."
The strong bond with his students and their families outweighs doubters. While it's a hectic life, Brandon isn't wrestling with his business decision; this is a lifelong choice.
"In 20 years, hopefully I'll be fighting professionally in Mixed Martial Arts," he added. "Still having the school and basically competing and training like I'm doing now."
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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