Tackling the American Ninja Warrior obstacles

Leslie Ackerson shows us the tough training behind the scenes of American Ninja Warrior.

CROSSVILLE, TENNESSEE - NBC's hit competition show American Ninja Warrior is back for Season 9.

New obstacles and challenges await this summer’s crop of competitors. The popular show has created a ninja craze that has spread to youngsters in East Tennessee.

Ninjafest is a camp held in Crossville, Tennessee for aspiring young warriors. Former Olympians John Macready and John Roethlisberger started FlipFest and then added Ninjafest two summers ago.

The 6 week camp helps kids refine their jumping, climbing and running skills. A full-size ninja course is built with modifications for kids.

Don’t let them fool you - they may be young, but they are strong and ready to conquer!

"I just like watching the show and it looks really fun,” said 8-year-old Dacey Rogers. "I like the ones with the rings and we hug the punching bag and go onto a platform, because it’s easier and fun because you get to swing on it.”

9-year-old Jai Haworth even broke his finger, but convinced his mom to let him stay because he wasn’t ready to go home.

“I convinced my mom to stay another week. Because it was really fun and I wanted to conquer the slack line,” said Haworth.

The kids learn what it means to be a “warrior.”

“It takes a lot of perseverance and training, and even if you fail,” said David Harner.

“You have to be confident in yourself and you have to believe in yourself that you can conquer any obstacle in your life or in the Ninjafest course,” said Hudson Macready.

"You have to have like courage, aggression, strength and endurance and stuff like that,” said 10-year-old Avery Baggs.

Baggs favorite is the "warped wall."

“You have to like run up a wall and grab the top handle and pull yourself up and have a lot of leg strength,” described Baggs. “Once you're at the top it’s exciting because you've accomplished something really big."

The one-week camp is taught by Luke Chambers and Spencer Johnson. Both of them have auditioned for Season 9.

You can learn more about Ninjafest here.

© 2017 WBIR.COM


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