American Ninja Warrior is a sport originating from the Japanese television show ‘Sasuke’. Since its arrival here in the States, it’s grown from its humble entertainment roots into a thriving fitness and competition circuit. Ninja Warrior focuses on navigating unique obstacle courses using specialized skills, with the goal of improving both speed of completion and mastery of technique.
There’s often confusion regarding the difference between Parkour and Ninja Warrior. In their simplest forms, Ninja Warrior is a sport in which the athlete navigates a pre-designed course with specialized obstacles designed to be overcome with specific skills.
Parkour is an art and discipline in which an athlete adapts themselves and their movement to any given environment, be it urban, natural, or something like a Ninja obstacle course. In sum; Ninja is obstacle specific; Parkour is environmentally adaptive.
Ninja’s early history was tethered strongly to the culture of Parkour. Many of the initial competitors where Parkour Athletes, and to this day top Ninja Athletes typically share some level of Parkour influence on their training. As Ninja is evolving, it’s seeing the inclusion of more Parkour skill-specific obstacles & techniques such as Cat Leaps and Cat Backs.
There’s even a link between the language of Parkour and Ninja. Terms like ‘Lache’ are directly derived from Parkour. Lâché simply meaning ‘to let go of’ in French–France being the country from which Parkour’s earliest root originates.
Beyond the competition itself, Parkour & Parkour Athletes are heavily involved in the growth of Ninja. From working as Ninja course testers & designers, to the administrative oversight responsible for seeing the sport continue its upwards trajectory and continuous adaptation and growth.
However Ninja Warrior develops in the future, it’s certain Parkour will remain a closely linked companion of the sport.
Our classes focus on the fundamentals of Parkour and its exploratory process of assessing an environment and the ways it can be navigated. The vast array of foundations create a greater range of physical ability and awareness, allowing an athlete to swiftly adapt to new obstacles, environments, and physical challenges. By removing obstacle-specific limitations, athletes learn to approach challenges with a more creative and variable eye. At ROAM we break down the biomechanics of our movement, teaching the form and function of each, placing great emphasis on movement that allows an athlete to grow and maintain that growth with longevity in mind.
Beyond the skills, our gym mixes traditional Ninja obstacles and equipment with our Parkour-inspired architecture. As their skill-base grows, students are encouraged to envision their own lines (Parkour’s word for Courses) where the challenge becomes the creation, execution, and fluidity of skills they intend to use to complete it.