Parkour. Spartan Race. Obstacle Course Racing. Rock Climbing. Free Style. Gymnastics. All of these sports and many more all come together to create the sport of Ninja. Participants, i.e. Ninjas, take on individual obstacles that are combined into an obstacle course. Ninjas race from obstacle to obstacle trying to complete each one before moving to the next. Each obstacle may require a different physical and mental skill set.
The Ninja sport requires a wide variety of athleticism and skills. Grip strength, upper body strength, core strength, balance and swinging are key skills that a Ninja needs to develop to be successful. However, these skills are not used just in Ninja. Developing these skills are important for many other sports. Many athletes in sports like football, soccer, baseball, softball, and volleyball use Ninja training as their cross-training sport. They know that Ninja training can give them a competitive edge.
These are some of the obstacles that you can expect to see in a Ninja training gym.
Ninja started in Japan in 1997 as a TV game show called Sasuke. Competitors went through different stages of ever increasing difficult obstacles. The last stage was a giant tower that was called Mount Midoriyama. It was an instant success and continues on Japanese TV today, 22 seasons later.
In 2007, the cable network G4 hosted their first ever American Ninja Challenge. In this competition, athletes got their chance to win a spot on Sasuke. In 2009 NBC picked up the show and renamed it American Ninja Warrior. Now in its 11th season, it's popularity has increased every year. NBC recently created a kids version called American Ninja Warrior Jr. It is now in its 2nd season.
Over the last five years, the sport has progressed from being a reality-tv show to a sport with numerous leagues and competitions. Ninja competitions are held across the United States. Regional and national championships are held. Several ninja leagues have formed. These leagues have developed some structure to the competitions and are moving the sport forward. Some of the leagues include National Ninja League and Ultimate Ninja Athletic Association.
In Texas, we are fortunate to have our own Ninja league, the Texas Ninja League. A dozen gyms across Texas host Ninja competitions.
At USA Ninja Challenge Katy, we have a competition team called the Lonestar Ninjas. This team is for our Ninjas who have a desire to compete in the ninja competitions held in Texas. Give us a call if you would like more information on our Lonestar Ninja team.