Ninja Nation looking for “playground legends” to fill its first arena opening in Lafayette

Ninja Nation looking for “playground legends” to fill its first arena opening in Lafayette

LAFAYETTE — Ninja followers know Geoff Britten because the man who grew to become the primary American Ninja Warrior in 2015 by advantage of being the primary competitor in seven seasons to finish all 4 levels on the season finale. This summer time he may have a special focus within the Ninja world.

4 months in the past, he moved right here from Maryland together with his household to work because the artistic director for Ninja Nation, a Colorado firm that may open the primary of 100 deliberate gyms throughout the nation in Lafayette on June 30. Britten’s job is to supervise the design of all the “arenas,” together with layouts and obstacles.

“Opening these gyms is so thrilling,” Britten stated final week whereas main a tour of the Lafayette facility as a handful of mini Ninjas gave the shiny new obstacles just a few trial runs. “I nonetheless get little goosebumps after I stroll within the door and see it. You see we have now youngsters within the facility now. They’re all smiling, they’re laughing, they’re getting a exercise however they’re having fun with it. That simply warms my coronary heart, and I can’t wait to see this place stuffed with youngsters.”

Britten helped write the corporate’s operational playbook and curriculum for the arenas. One other well-known Ninja, “Captain NBC” Jamie Rahn, would be the head coach on the Lafayette location. Rahn is showing on season 10 of the sequence, which started Could 30.

The founder and chief govt of Ninja Nation, Colorado’s Wayne Cavanaugh, has three arenas at the moment in growth. After Lafayette, one other will open in Englewood towards the top of the summer time, together with one in Frisco, Texas. With expansions into Arizona, Las Vegas and California, the hope is to have 15 in operation by the top of 2019.

“This can be a class we wish to name ‘Sportainment,’ ” stated Cavanaugh, who lives in Fortress Pines. “The best way we see sports activities evolving is into one thing that’s acquired form of a ‘wow’ issue to it, which is why you see what you see on this facility with nice lighting, nice gear, a stupendous, protected, open, ethereal facility concentrating on youth and adults.

“And it’s acquired an awesome message to it,” he continued. “As a sport, you’ve acquired the emphasis of what you see on all obstacle-course racing exhibits, which is a concentrate on persistence, confidence, agility, power. It’s a extremely confidence-building kind of occasion and sport for youths.”

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Ninja Nation didn’t invent the idea of gyms for aspiring Ninjas, however Britten — who got here to the game after a background in mountaineering — sees it bringing Ninja coaching to the following degree.

“As a climber, I grew up seeing climbing gyms from the early to late ’90s and so they have been just a little bit darkish, just a little bit soiled, dingy; form of hole-in-the-walls,” Britten stated. “You actually simply had the purists coaching there. Ninja is form of the identical factor. Numerous the first-generation gyms are very darkish, soiled, there are cobwebs on the ceiling. Guys are doing it out of the spirit of their hearts, not in a enterprise sense.

“That is actually the primary degree of gyms which might be opening up the place you’ve gotten this skilled attraction. We offer this wonderful enviornment the place dad and mom really feel protected, the children are protected and it seems to be wonderful. You stroll in right here and also you wish to go play.”

The Lafayette enviornment has side-by-side programs with island hops, dueling zip-lines, swinging rings, tilting traverse packing containers, monkey bars, cliffhanger ledges, warp partitions, swoop sliders, spider jumps, a Tarzan swing right into a cargo internet and salmon ladders.

“I grew up in Hawaii, operating on the seaside, climbing via bushes, being old-school youngsters, simply go exterior and play all day,” Britten stated. “I feel Ninja is bringing that again, the place youngsters are playground legends. You’ve acquired these youngsters who’re the superstars of the playground; they’ll are available right here and actually excel.”

Britten stated they’ll be taught and acquire purposeful power in a protected, supervised setting, getting a exercise with out feeling like they’re working at it as a result of it’s enjoyable.

“One of many advantages of coaching as a Ninja, particularly for the youth, is that it actually (builds) your whole stabilizer muscle groups,” Britten stated. “Numerous instances should you’re in a fitness center understanding, you’re lifting straight up. On this you’re by no means doing that. You’re all the time transferring round, left and proper. If they’ll get via the primary six months with coach and a wholesome program, they arrive out of it so robust and so injury-proof. They learn to fall, they learn to shield themselves.”

It’s not nearly bodily coaching, although.

“Our slogan and our mission is, ‘One Million Heroes,’ ” Cavanaugh stated. “We are able to present entry to a enjoyable, terrific sport that actually offers folks the chance to seek out one of the best in themselves — overcoming challenges, overcoming obstacles and being a part of a neighborhood that helps them do this.”

The grand opening of the Lafayette enviornment is ready for June 30 with an open fitness center, a “Ninja Showcase” and a meet-and-greet with staffers who’ve been on the NBC present “American Ninja Warrior.” They’re providing decreased costs for “founder memberships” earlier than then. Along with drop-in visits, the sector might be obtainable for birthday events on weekends. For extra info, go to, the decision 720-603-9155 or e mail

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