NinjaNation-gorakphoto35 NinjaNation gorakphoto35 at a Ninja Warrior gym in Melbourne, Australia.

Ninja Nation was very excited to host Ninja Challenge League’s Adult State Championships on Sunday 19th of December 2021. 

It was a chance to show the wider ninja community that Ninja Nation was an exceptional venue that could host adult’s as well as kid’s competitions and push even the top athletes of the sport to their limits.  

It was also a chance for our young junior and tween warriors to meet and greet some of the ninja heroes they had seen on TV in the flesh, bringing the community together in a spectator friendly event just as covid restrictions were easing. What a great way to celebrate! 

Post NCL Adults Competition NinjaNation gorakphoto77 at a Ninja Warrior gym in Melbourne, Australia.

There would be 2 stages made up of 8 obstacles each. Only those who completed the first stage would proceed to the second stage.  

Being a finals event, I really wanted to make it challenging, after all that is the name of the game! So once the courses were designed with the input of co-owner Ziad Zakharia, NCL commissioner Mark Ravi and myself, I brought in some male and female athletes who weren’t competing to test the obstacles (including Australian Ninja Warrior Season 5 Furthest Fastest Zak Attack Stolz, the barefoot ninja Daniel Mason and his equally amazing counterpart Madison Mason. The aim was to ensure that completion of the obstacles were all possible individually, but put together would make a seriously challenging course, just like the TV show. We determined a total victor (one who completes the whole of course 1 and 2) was absolutely possible. After a few runs of course 1 and discussion, a time limit of 3 minutes and 30 seconds was set.  

25 ninjas entered, would there be a total victor? 

Stage 1  

  1. Balance Tank 
  2. UFO, Unstable Bridges 
  3. Devil Door Knobs 
  4. Super Sonic Steps to Lache bars (2m + 1.9m) 
  5. Spider Wall to Cargo Net traverse 
  6. Wing Nuts to rope and bungees 
  7. Devil Steps 
  8. Warped Wall 

I wanted to give some unique challenges to contestants and I started with 2 Balance Tanks or Cable drums you might call them. Which is fairly normal obstacle now in competitions, except after balancing on the first tank to a small platform, I put a rope on the second tank and contestants had to pull the rope while balancing on a wall which caused the second tank to roll to them so they could step on and progress. The original setting made contestants balance on the tank while pulling the rope, but we decided to keep that challenge for next time! Melvin Solo and Steve Axis surprisingly lost their balance on these tanks. 

Unstable bridges, contestants had to start hanging with their full weight on the UFO then lache, hopping both hands evenly from UFO to bridge one then to bridge two and off on the exit platform. 

Classic the bridges are attached at 4 points for the first bridge which can allow some one hand at a time movement because it is more stable but only picked at 2 for the second bridge. Meaning the second bridge is usually the harder one because you cannot move all your weight to one side as the bridge would topple, you must hop both hands evenly which increases the difficulty. For the extra challenge I set both bridges with only 2 points. An ultimate test of body coordination, timing and upper body grip strength. 

Devil Door knobs were next. Contestants had to use their hands to traverse diagonally up a set of door knobs and then across a span behind them to another short row of door knobs before exiting on a rope swing. The obstacle was inspired by the Door Knob Drop from Aus Ninja Warrior season 4 and 5. 

Post NCL Adults Competition NinjaNation gorakphoto160 at a Ninja Warrior gym in Melbourne, Australia.

A particular component in the Super Sonic Step and Snake Run obstacles I wanted to give ninjas a challenge on was a wall tac. It is a step and push off a wall which redirects your momentum, just like the quintuple steps but off a wall. It is staple in the parkour world but not widely practiced in the ninja sport so I incorporated it into the course to surprise ninjas and surprise it did! Six out of nineteen ninjas to attempt this obstacle didn’t put their best foot forward on the wall tac such as Kadeem “5.2” Aarons, Leo the Lion Hermawan, Judith Carrol and Flippy Ninja. This move featured in obstacle 3 of stage 1 and obstacle 1 of stage 2. The wall tac in this obstacle went straight to a bar catch, then our adjustable lache bars which were set at 2 meters and 1.9 meters for Stage 1 then 3 meters and 0.9 meters for Stage 2. 

A jump from a mini tramp up to the Spider Wall through to the Cargo net traverse was conquered well by remaining ninjas but the next obstacle drowned 8 ninjas including Alex Izadi, Andrew Cobb, Kai Somers, Paul Reid, Ben Davies, Brittany Malloy, Daniel Vanderwert and Monkey Steve. It was the Wing nuts to a hanging alley of rope, 2 bungees and a cannon ball. A long 10 meters of obstacles to navigate through with a mix of technical catches and grabs.   

Post NCL Adults Competition NinjaNation gorakphoto83 at a Ninja Warrior gym in Melbourne, Australia.

Michael Mischefski the Trackie ninja did amazing to get this far but gassed out on the Devil steps.  

Up the Warped wall and onto Stage two were Fred Dorrington (Aus Ninja Warrior Season 1 furthest fastest and regular finalist who’d just recovered from a broken back!), Dungeon Master Jake Baker, Mat Hutchins-Read and last but certainly not least Ash Campbell, our youngest competitor who smashed the course with the fastest time of 1.58. Watch out for this guy on the Ninja Warrior stage! 

Stage 2 

  1. Snake Run to Lache Bars (3m) 
  2. Peg board to Swaying peg board with just 2 pegs 
  3. Ultimate Cliff hangar (swaying, to solid, lache, back 3), Logs, back on sea of Poles 
  4. 6m Spinning Log 
  5. Flying Salmon Ladder to Blue Ring 
  6. Ultimate Hanging Doors into blue rings, chalk permitted 
  7. Vertical Limit  
  8. Mega Wall 

Snake run’s tricky foot placement and wall tac ousted Mat Hutchins-Reed’s Stage 2 run early while Ash got halfway through the first pegboard before slipping off. Fred Dorrington showed his experience and didn’t rush the obstacle and managed to get one of the pegs into the swaying peg board, but  unfortunately couldn’t make the transfer over!      

Jake Baker ultimately made past the pegboard securing his win for the NCL competition, but could he claim the glory of total victory?  

Post NCL Adults Competition NinjaNation gorakphoto169 at a Ninja Warrior gym in Melbourne, Australia.

The next obstacle was a 3 part obstacle, combining all of Ninja Nation’s cliff hangars, with a ring swing over to swaying logs and then over to a sea of 6 poles without touching the ground at any time. The Dungeon Master ventured across the swaying cliff hangar, and flew across the gap between cliff hangars, but in a brain fart moment, tragically dismounted onto the platform from the cliff-hanger instead of swinging on from the ring to the swaying logs! He hadn’t even realised for a second what he had done, you see his expression was “woo! I got through the cliff hangars.. okay what’s next….. ….. “ and then the UH OH moment on his face was priceless! But that’s what can happen in ninja!

Post NCL Adults Competition NinjaNation gorakphoto135 at a Ninja Warrior gym in Melbourne, Australia.

As the course setter, I was hopeful someone would make it up the mega wall on the day but I was still happy that it was a great day. Contestants were pushed and spectators had a great time. The event ran smoothly with a sausage sizzle and our cafe buzzing. Thanks to Zac and Tim our MCs, Josh and Taryn our judges and many other vital contributors for the day and the days leading up to the event. Thank you to the support of our wonderful ninja community that came. Thank you to our sponsors who helped us get very comfortable sleeveless T-shirts for our contestants. These are also available for purchase at reception. Hurry while stocks last! 

Congratulations to all our contestants, you definitely gave the NCL 2021 season your best and to make it to the finals shows you are all amazing and should be proud of yourselves! 

Placings for the day. 


  1. Brittany Malloy 
  2. Michelle Callanan 
  3. Judith Carroll * 


  1. Jake Baker 
  2. Fred Dorrington 
  3. Ash Campbell 

*judges made a misjudgement on the day where Michelle touched the lache bar on obstacle 3 while Judith missed it. 

With the May 2021 ANG youth qualifier being our first competition ever which had almost 100 kids compete and this NCL finals seeing some amazing adult ninjas take flight on our obstacles, Ninja Nation looks forward to running future competitions. If you want to compete at our next ninja competition, come see us and subscribe to our mailing list and definitely, most certainly come and play, practice on our obstacle course! 

Written by Luke Ha – Ninja Nation Co-owner, ATS Ninja Warrior Course rigger and core tester.