From AIF graduate to Ninja Master

Jul 21, 2022 | by AIF

AIF graduate Mitchell Bird is a walking example of how a fitness qualification with the Australian Institute of Fitness (AIF) can take you in all sorts of directions. Today, Mitchell gets to design obstacle courses for a living – but he’s certainly been on a journey to get there!

With a childhood passion for Taekwondo from age seven, movement was always important to Mitchell. He had his blackbelt by age 12 and was the head instructor at the Tae-Kwon-Do centre where he trained by age 17.

“My time in Taekwondo allowed me to develop a passion for helping students grow and achieve their goals. Pair this with a love for movement and it was an easy transition into personal training,” said Mitch.

Mitch completed his Certificate 3 & 4 at the Australian Institute of Fitness, in 2011 and said it’s what kick-started his career in fitness formally, giving him the grounding he needed to follow his passions successfully.

“Studying with AIF was a great kick start into the industry. It gave me the chance to surround myself with likeminded people that shared similar goals to me. This allowed me to develop valuable relationships within the industry. The quality and dedication of the teachers was also important. I’ve worked with many similar organisations since, and this still stands out as a point of difference.

“Whilst the course is quite broad, studying my cert 3 and 4 with AIF gave me the opportunity to experience a wide variety of opportunities within the industry. This exposure was incredibly beneficial in helping me to decide what direction I wanted to head in.”

Upon graduating, Mitchell started as a Personal Trainer at Genesis Health + Fitness Warners Bay and worked his way up the ranks, securing a role as Fitness Division Coordinator three years later and then buying his own Genesis gym at Charlestown a few years after that.

His background in martial arts and love for skills-based training modalities, however, kept him searching for something more – and that’s when he found Ninja Parc in 2019.

“I’ve dabbled in everything from gymnastics and parkour to weightlifting and yoga. Taking the National Programs Manager role at Ninja Parc was a great chance for me to combine my passion for skill-based training with the business skills I had developed through my time as a franchisee with Genesis.”

Ninja Parc is a network of high-energy indoor obstacle courses across Australia that combine fun with physical challenges to inspire kids, families and adults to develop a love for movement. Mitchell is currently based at Ninja Parc Newcastle.

“From a high level, my role as the National Programs Manager means that I’m responsible for anything physical across all sites. This includes everything from course design to program creation, program implementation, staff training and customer feedback. In more recent times I’ve also taken on a lot of the operational responsibilities like managing financial targets, recruitment, auditing and more.”

His growing prominence in the Ninja space also saw him selected as an official course tester for this year’s Australian Ninja Warrior on Channel Nine.

“There are a couple of elements to course testing. The first is testing the actual obstacles before heats are filmed. This is done as if you are an actual competitor on the show. The second is film testing. This gives everyone from the lighting technicians to camera operators and even the hosts a chance to practice before they do the real thing. It’s a very professional and fast passed environment.”

With interest in ninja growing rapidly around Australia, Ninja Parc is on the hunt for more staff and franchisees to join their group. For more information about Ninja Parc head to:



The Australian Institute of Fitness
The Australian Institute of Fitness (AIF) is the largest and longest established fitness training organisation in Australia, with purpose-built campuses in and around every major Australian city and expert course coaches nationwide - spanning fitness, massage and nutrition. The AIF qualifies more Personal Trainers and fitness professionals than any other provider in Australia, as well as offering a broad range of continuing education courses (CEC), upskilling resources and partnership programs for existing industry.

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Disclaimer: Where Certificate III in Fitness or Cert III/cert 3 is mentioned, it refers to SIS30315 Certificate III in Fitness. Where Certificate IV in Fitness or Cert IV/Cert 4 is mentioned, it refers to SIS40215 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Certificate IV in Massage or Cert IV/Cert 4 is mentioned, it refers to HLT42015 Certificate IV in Massage Therapy. Where Diploma of Remedial Massage is mentioned, it refers to HLT52015 Diploma of Remedial Massage.

Important Information: As of 9th November 2021 SIS40215 Certificate IV in Fitness and SIS30315 Certificate III in Fitness have been replaced by SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness and SIS30321 Certificate III in Fitness. A transition period applies to enable currently enrolled students to fulfil their study goals and complete their qualification. The transition period concludes on 8th November 2022. If you have not completed all the requirements by this date you will be transitioned and enrolled into the replacement qualification SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness and SIS30321 Certificate III in Fitness. View the SIS40221 Master Trainer Program Flyer here. View the SIS30321 Certificate III – Fitness Coach Flyer here.