Stawell's Travis Bywater was crowned third at the biggest national event on the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu calendar on Sunday.
Competing against the best across the country for the Australian Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Championships title, Bywater said he felt in "peak condition" leading into the event.
Moving through the draw towards the final, Bywater had three fights to claim the bronze medal.
"In preparation for this event I decided a few weeks out to compete at a higher weight than I have previously before," he said.
"I competed in the 91-kilogram division where I came fourth. I haven't competed at that weight for a little while.
"I moved up in weight for this competition for a couple of reasons. I've competed at 84-85kg before and that was a stretch. It's one thing to make a scale say a number - the challenge is to make it say that number but still be in a condition where you can be competitive at a high level."
The absolute division for the national title isn't restricted in weight range or age.
"It was a two-day event with certain divisions held at different times. The absolute or open division for the championships was on Sunday," Bywater said.
"My theory was to go into the competition hydrated, healthy, strong and whatever happens after then just happens.
"I thought carrying the few extra kilos would help me in the absolute division."
Bywater said without worrying about the scales he focused more on his technique before the event.
"I spend all year training but I really focus on each event about six weeks out," he said.
"I kept up the conditioning work and from them on just focused on training.
"My training is focused around the classes I run at Crush Fitness three days a week then what I do outside of the gym at home.
"My garage is set up with mats everywhere. I train about two to three hours a day. It varies between cardio and strength with a yoga session once or twice a week as well."
Bywater has won state division titles in the past, but never a national one.
"This win is probably the biggest highlight of my career," he said.
"I felt really honoured when I have won my division in the past, but this is amazing.
"From a small country town to be named as one of the top three nationally in a sport is a huge honour."
Bywater said while continuing to train he will look at opportunities to compete later in the year.
"The Pan Pacific Championships are in October and I would love to compete in them," he said.
"If I could find enough sponsorship I would love to go to the World Championships in America during December.
"That's a long shot but one day, hopefully, I'll get there."
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