'Ninja' training surging in popularity

NBC's "American Ninja Warrior" now has a huge following, and it's led the way for people all over the country wanting to become ninjas themselves.

In the tri-state area, there are dozens of places where anyone can go and train on ninja obstacles. 

News 12 caught up with three local ninjas at Brooklyn Zoo in East Williamsburg, one of the first local gyms to offer ninja training. 

Justin Conway, a local ninja event host, says, "The fact that it's getting so big, and so many people are interested in it is almost validating to me in a way."

Conway started training himself to become a ninja after seeing the Japanese version of "American Ninja Warrior," before it ever aired in the United States. 

Noel Reyes also considers himself one of the ninja originals. He says he's seen the culture change dramatically over the past 10 years. "From competitors and skill levels to the difficulty of the obstacles, the amount of gyms that are popping up, places to train, and the public getting into it, I've seen the whole evolution," Reyes says. 

While there are local competitions for ninja athletes, all the hard-core training culminates in competing on "American Ninja Warrior." Ryan Rattazzi, 22, from Long Island, made it to the Baltimore City Finals in this most recent season. 

Rattazzi says having so many local options to train and compete has made all the difference in the world for him and many others. "It's amazing having competitions, gyms, and gyms that do competitions pop up all around not only the Northeast, but all around the country and the world."

The ninja experts say anyone can learn how to conquer ninja obstacles with the right amount of practice and training.

  • 'Ninja' training surging in popularityMore>>

  • Staff Picks

    Staff Picks

    Check out the latest in movies, entertainment and technology from our staff!Check out the latest in movies, entertainment and technology from our staff!
    Check out the latest in movies, entertainment and technology from our staff!Check out the latest in movies, entertainment and technology from our staff!
  • Things To Do

    Things To Do

    Looking for something fun to do? Check our our guide of things to do in the tri-state area.Looking for something fun to do? Check our our guide of things to do in the tri-state area.
sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."