Meet our very own ninja warrior

HANGING ON: Clunes circus performer and puppeteer Neal Holmes tackles the tyre swing on his way through the challenging course in the semi-finals of Australian Ninja Warrior.

HANGING ON: Clunes circus performer and puppeteer Neal Holmes tackles the tyre swing on his way through the challenging course in the semi-finals of Australian Ninja Warrior.

Puppetry and circus skills are not attributes that immediately make you think of a ninja warrior.

But the fitness and strength required for these performance genres have set Neal Holmes up for a tilt at the extreme obstacle course of Channel Nine’s new show Australian Ninja Warrior.

Known on the show as Non Stop Neal, the 32-year-old Clunes performer beat about 6000 other applicants to be one of the warriors on the show, appearing in the semi finals on Tuesday.

NINJA LEAPS: Clunes circus performer and pupeteer Neal Holmes takes on the quintuple step of the Australian Ninja Warrior course.

NINJA LEAPS: Clunes circus performer and pupeteer Neal Holmes takes on the quintuple step of the Australian Ninja Warrior course.

“I found it a little stressful, because being a performer I put a lot of stress and pressure on myself to make sure I do well,” he said.

Mr Holmes has watched the Ninja Warrior phenomenon since it first began in Japan in 1997.

“I watched it because I like to play with that style of training with my acrobatics and the strength work I do. I adopt that style because it’s really fun to do and doesn’t feel like you’re in a gym pushing weights.”

Mr Holmes set up his own mini ninja course in the back yard of his Clunes home to prepare for challenge.