Thursday, December 1

Train like a Ninja- In Your Very Own Backyard! Long Island Business Builds Home “Ninja Warrior” Training Courses


With the current stay-at-home order in effect for New York and much of the nation due to the coronavirus outbreak, one thing many Long Island residents are missing out on are visits to the gym. Experts are warning that the more calorie-laden and sedentary lifestyle people are leading due to the pandemic will cause many to put on unwanted pounds. However, one local entrepreneur is offering his clients a way to train like a genuine ninja warrior…right in the safety of their own backyards.

Justin Conway of Babylon, owner of World Ninja Sport, is currently offering custom backyard obstacle course installation for clients as a way to introduce people to the wonders of Ninja Warrior training, one of the hottest fitness activities going right now.

“One of the biggest things about Ninja Warrior training is using your upper body, so many of the obstacles are designed to make your arms stronger so that you can actually propel yourself forward, using just your upper body, just like we do on the show,” he said. “For example, most of our obstacle course builds have a monkey bar or lache rack, and you can adjust the bars to different distances. Other course staples are the ring toss, the cliffhanger, and rock-climbing holds. All of our courses provide a great workout and are completely customizable for any height and age range.”

World Ninja Sport owner Justin Conway on the starting block of Stage 1 of American Ninja Warrior in Las Vegas in 2018. Photo Credit: World Ninja Sport

Conway has been an avid fan of the intense training seen on the hit television show “American Ninja Warrior” for a number of years. A spin-off of a Japanese televised competition called Sasuke, American Ninja Warrior involves navigating grueling and varied obstacle courses that require cunning, guile, and above all else, strength.

“One night in 2011 I was watching TV with my son Jude and came across an episode of Sasuke on cable and I thought it was incredible,” he said. “Instantly I wanted to do it, but nobody had event really heard of it at the time…there was nowhere to train, so I had to get creative.”

Conway began looking for areas in which to try his hand at ninja-style training. He initially utilized local parks and buildings and dabbled with the French sport of parkour before eventually researching and constructing his own ninja training obstacles, which grew in sophistication and complexity as time went by. Soon, his skills grew – he’s even competed on American Ninja Warrior three times – and the passion he felt for the sport inspired him to turn it into an actual career.

“I started testing out my obstacles in gymnastic gyms, and everyone wanted to try them. One day, the owners of Five-Star Sports Academy in East Rockaway asked me to design them a course and train their staff,” Conway said. “I started doing this on the side, designing and building courses, and after business grew through word-of-mouth, I eventually decided to make this my full-time career.”

Conway founded World Ninja Sport, a company that builds, designs, and consults for obstacle courses in a variety of sizes and settings, both indoor and outdoor. His company has helped dozens of homeowners and gyms around Long Island including Obstacle Athletics, Five-Star, Brooklyn Zoo, Sky Zone Mt. Sanai, and Island Rock in Plainview where Justin also runs a ninja program. You can stop in during the week to take a class with him and learn how to ninja with one of the best! Justin also created the world’s first Ninja Coach Certification to ensure that those running ninja programs do so safely. “Ninja is a sport, and I want to make sure that anyone involved in ninja coaching knows how to run a safe and progressive program.” The ninja coach certification is named SPOTTED and it stands for Safe, Progressive, Obstacle, Training, Techniques, and the ED is for Education. “I have a team of master instructors including Thomas Stillings, Nick Fordney, Lorin Ball, and Olivia Vivian. I’m proud of our team because not only are they some of the best Ninja Warriors in the world, they are also terrific coaches,” Conway said.

Just a short time with Justin and it’s apparent that he lives and breathes ninja. With the slogan, “Everything Ninja,” it’s safe to say his company is modeled with the same passion and enthusiasm. World Ninja Sport provides Ninja Warrior-style courses for commercial gyms, fitness facilities, private clients, and even Ninja Day Camps. They have built full ninja courses at two day camps right here on Long Island; Pierce Country Day Camp in Roslyn and Camp Jacobson in Old Wesbury.

“We currently have a reach pretty much anywhere in the United States and we’re working on Europe and Australia,” he said. “Most of the work we do for backyards is here on Long Island, but I try to help anybody wherever they are. I can get contractors to do our builds almost anywhere in the country.”

With the coronavirus pandemic essentially shutting down all indoor gym operations until at least May 15 – at which time New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will re-evaluate his stay-at home order – Conway has shifted the focus of World Ninja Sport to virtual workouts and training for his clients via video conferencing and backyard/outdoor Ninja course installations, which are really taking off.

Conway noted that he offers a variety of obstacle course options for homeowners at numerous price points, starting at approximately $2,300 for a basic Ninja Warrior rig, delivered and installed, and working up from there. Typically, installations only take one day and great attention is paid to maintaining health and social distancing guidelines to keep both workers and clients completely safe.

“We plan it out together, and you get to pick the obstacles that you want for the rig…our basic rig has five obstacles that can be customized, but there are really infinite possibilities,” he said. “The question is, how big do you want it? Our rigs start at $2,300, but we have ones that go up to the $10-$15,000 range and include salmon ladders and other advanced obstacles. So far everybody has really been interested in our backyard courses and there’s a queue building for them.”

In the end, Conway said that getting to do something that you love for a living – and to share it with others – is the best feeling in the world.

“To have a passion like Ninja Warrior, and to be able to use the creative side to figure out ways to innovate, has been everything that I could ask for,” he said. “And also to be able to provide something that people love and they get to feel that same sense of enjoyment? It feels amazing.”

If you’re interested in finding out more about getting your own backyard Ninja Warrior training course, visit or call (347) 74-NINJA.


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