Titles under his belt
NOT many people can say they are a dual Australian champion at the tender age of 10 - but Mitchell Bucher can.
Mitchell, who trains at the Success Martial Arts Black Belt Academy in South Lismore, won two divisions at the recent National All Styles Australian Martial Arts titles - the sparring and forms categories in the 10-11 years age division.
Academy coach Richard Marlin said his charge had kept his cool to taste success at the Melbourne tournament.
"I knew he had the potential to do well," Marlin said.
"You never know what to expect (though). He had some really hard opposition, especially in the sparring.
"There were a couple of fights where he had to come from behind and win.
"You never know how people will react when they are under pressure, but he did well."
Mitchell, a Clunes Public School pupil, represented Queensland at the titles as the academy is affiliated with that state.
In the sparring section fighters contest bouts against each other while in the forms section participants are marked for a pre-arranged display of fighting abilities and movement.
Marlin said his charge already had the hallmarks of success.
"Mitchell is a very adaptable fighter," he said.
"He is determined and aggressive.
"It was not easy for him at this tournament. Sparring is very popular in that age (division) and there were a few other good fighters there."
Fellow academy fighters Jake Noble and Brodie Flynn also achieved notable results.
Jake came second in his sparring division and impressed with his developing skills.
Fellow 15-year-old fighter Brodie had a successful debut hit-out at national level, winning his first bout in the individual and teams event.
The pair also teamed up with Jake Crimmins to take second place for Queensland in the Under-18 synchronised forms divisions.
Marlin also was successful in his first national event since winning a national title in 1996, finishing third in the men's black belt light weight sparring event.
He said he was happy his mentoring was paying off.
"It is great," he said, "that is why I do this - to see people be successful. I am really happy with them all."