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The Next Generation of Ninjas

Posted at 8:24 PM, Jun 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-21 20:24:16-04

Have you ever seen something on TV and thought 'I can do that?'

Well, say hello to the next generation of "ninjas."

"Everyone thinks it's the easiest thing because they see the best in the world doing it on the show and do it with ease," 15-year-old Hunter Kelsey said.  "But, it's not."

Hunter will be competing for the first time this weekend against some of his idols -- members of the TV show American Ninja Warriors -- at the River Warrior event in downtown Buffalo at Riverworks July 22-25.

EVENT INFO: The River Warrior

"I'm pretty nervous," he added.  "But, I think I have a shot."

A sport that involves, strength, stamina and endurance to navigate a wide variety of obstacles - there's always something positive to take away from competing.

"In football and baseball it's a team sport and you might feel that if you don't win, you let your team down," 11-year-old Andrew Santiago said.  "But, with this, there is always something that you can say you did well. Maybe you didn't finish the whole rings --but you got to the second ring. That could be an individual success."

Some of the athletes, like Grace Santiago, who is ranked 4th in the country in the 6-8 year old group, and Sydney Caputo-Hall, who is 9th nationally for 9-12 year olds, compete in the National Ninja League.  

"The pride when you get success and beat an obstacle that you didn't know you could do," Sydney said.

"It's really fun and you get to do it with the people you love," Grace added.

And if the sport continues to grow?

"If it was in the Olympics, that would be so amazing," Andrew said. "It would be the sport that I grew up doing, representing the country I grew up in."

If you're interested in testing your skills as a ninja you can checkout the Hybrid Ninja Academy in downtown Buffalo or Lancaster.