You’ve probably seen it on TV “American Ninja Warrior”. Running up walls, swinging across thin wires, balancing on thin beams, basically the most intense obstacle course possible. Little did I know that there are actually these types of ninjas in our midst, training in local gyms.
Langley’s Ninja Sports Club is a parkour gym (I didn’t even know that was a thing) that specializes in balance, upper body and grip training. Earlier in October they hosted a qualifier as part of the Canadian Ninja League Competition and I was lucky enough to be invited by one of the competitors to watch for a bit.
I was amazed by the amount of strength the individuals competing had. These huge muscle-bound men would walk in confidently and end up falling off a rail because they were too top heavy, while slim guys who didn’t look intimidating at all would run up a huge warped wall with ease. In speaking with some club members while I was watching I found out it wasn’t just adult men who frequented the ninja course, but many families with young children would attend training and classes there. As the event went on, a mother and her elementary school aged kids began to race each other across a long bar in the back and challenge each other to chin up competitions. One older man told me he had injured himself a few years prior and was doing training on the obstacle course instead of cross fit.
No one while I was there was able to complete the course flawlessly, but that didn’t bring down the hype. Competitors were cheering each other on, walking along side and giving pointers as well as resetting the course after each participant. Yes, they were getting score for completing obstacles, but the fact that they were willing to try even if it was their first shot with was worthy of celebrating as well.
I have no idea who won. I was there for around three hours and when I left there were still people waiting to do the first round. But I left with a big smile on my face and my body second-hand hurting from all the crazy stunts I had seen. And hey, I need to get in better shape, I may just visit them for a class someday.