LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville teen is preparing to compete on an international stage, traveling to Ireland for the World Karate and Kickboxing Championships.

Ben Mull's preparation for this huge honor started years ago, and he's determined to make it into an even bigger event.

"Just being on the mat, it brings me a sense of home kind of feeling," said 17-year-old Ben.

For most of his life, not a day's gone by that the Male High School student hasn't thought about karate. "I've been working at it since I was four years old," he said.

He's a second-degree black belt and spends five days a week training at the Olympic Karate Studio. His dad Jerry has been by his side from the beginning in the role of coach.

"On the changing table, I'd take my hands and make him kick my hands with his feet," said Jerry.

Those years of determination, dedication and discipline are finally paying off. 

"It's kind of been a big dream. It's kind of been way out ahead of me, but it's kind of nerve wracking to finally be here," said Ben.

Ben has been selected to represent team USA at the World Karate and Kickboxing World Championships in Ireland next month.

"It's kind of an honor to bring it home for my country and my karate school," said Ben.

He'll compete on the international stage in three different events. Each takes complete control and focus.

"It's going to be very exciting. I'm going to be nervous, but I'm going to go out there and give it my best," he said.

After years of competing locally and then nationally, this is his biggest fight yet. But he knows what it takes to win.

"Everybody else around me is kind of blocked out except for me and my coach," said Ben. "Really it's listen to my coach, do what he says and what's best for me."

Ben won't stop competing after Ireland. He also has his eye on the gold.

"In 2020, they're supposed to bring sport karate to the Olympics, so I might try out and see if I can make the team," he said.

It will take determination, dedication and discipline to get to Tokyo, which is nothing new for Ben. "Because I know I can keep myself under control and focused on what I'm doing."

Team members are responsible for paying all of their expenses to compete in Ireland. Ben's family is raising money.

Anyone who wishes to support Ben's trip to Ireland can click here.

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