THERE is nothing quite like sleeping in your own bed.
It's what Port Macquarie youngster Brock Gow is looking forward to the most as he prepares to take on some of Australia's best martial artists this weekend.
Gow will fly the flag for the Hastings alongside Sascha Arnberger at the Australian Martial Arts Championships Australian titles at the Port Macquarie Indoor Stadium.
Gow is in good form, racking up the trophies after he claimed the 10-years division in both point sparring and freestyle sparring in New Zealand last month.
He said the experience he gained across the Tasman would help him on Saturday and Sunday.
"I learned over there that you need to control your emotions and understand what you need to do," he said.
"It helped me a lot to know what to expect this time."
The youngster will compete in up to four bouts should he progress all the way to the final on Sunday.
"Gold is the goal," he said.
Coach Kevin Blundell said both Gow and Arnberger were focused, sharp and "looking the goods" ahead of the tournament - the first to be held in Port Macquarie.
"(Brock) has been to eight tournaments this year so he's had a really good build-up plus he has the experience from NZ," he said.
"It's fantastic to have something like this here in Port Macquarie because the guys travel all over the world and all over Australia constantly."
"She's had a bit of a lay-off and played AFL through the winter so she's just back into training now," Blundell said.
"They're all wary of her, so she's got the slight mental edge over the rest of the girls in her divisions but there are some really top competitors who have all fought internationally as well."
And where was the bar going to be set for the locals?
"When we have the lead-up competitions we always say losing is learning, but these events are the pinnacle because it also means further international selection," Blundell said.
"We make sure the guys and girls are really primed and focused; if they medal that's fantastic, but gold is a bonus."
The championships start with a march in at 9am on Saturday and conclude on Sunday afternoon.
More than 200 competitors across all divisions will travel from Queensland, New South Wales, ACT, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and sometimes even New Zealand.
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