We held our official Grand Opening Celebration for our Fuquay-Varina location on Labor Day 2019. It was a huge event with many of the nation’s top ninjas.
In 2020, we partnered with Nick’s Flippin Kids to open up Rock Solid Ninja Kids in Clayton, NC. Our coaches are there to train the sport of ninja inside Nick’s Flippin Kids!
We also had a Grand Opening for our South Apex location in the summer of 2022. It has a state of the art rigging system and is one of the only ninja gyms with a hydraulic warped wall.
Here’s a video from 2021 that tells you more about Rock Solid!
No, our prices are different at South Apex, Fuquay, and Clayton because of differences in overhead.
Waivers cover either location, but passes/plans don’t. We encourage regular customers to choose their “home gym” and visit another location occasionally.
Not in any official capacity.
American Ninja Warrior and American Ninja Warrior Junior are reality TV shows and are the property of NBC Universal. You have to apply to get on and train to succeed. Several members of our staff and competition participants have participated on these shows.
“American Ninja Warrior” is a trademark of Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, Inc. We assume NBC, Universal and others have worked out a deal with them to use it. We didn’t.
Though the show is a “Reality TV” show, it inspired a sport that has a life of its own, completely independent from the show.
Many of our obstacles are similar to those seen on the shows, but we have a lot more obstacles and we have soft blue pads instead of blue lighted pools if you fall.
Just like any sport these days, we will ask you to sign a waiver as there is always a risk of injury. However, this sport is statistically far safer than contact sports and most non- or semi-contact sports such as soccer and basketball.
We also have invested heavily in excellent padding starting from our thick carpeted foam which covers our entire activity area and most landing platforms. We add dedicated thicker padding in every expected potential fall area, and add more padding when athletes have a potential to fall from higher points. We have padding around our upright posts. We can’t guarantee that a tough fall won’t hurt, but we’ve taken precautions to make sure you avoid injuries.
Our coaches and attendants are trained in additional safety instructions provide fall training during our daycamps, classes, and first time open gyms. They will also offer safety instructions whenever we see anything that may cause a safety challenge.
We don’t think you will find a safer ninja warrior gym anywhere.
Absolutely. We’ve been offering Daycamps since we opened and this is a major part of our offerings. We offer full-week, full-day, and half-day sign ups, as well as packages of full-days and half-days for those who just need a place for their kids now and then. Age ranges are 5 to 12.
Warning: After attending, your kids may tell you that they want to live at our facility.
Since we opened, we’ve hosted a competition almost every month. Typically on the 2nd weekend, but that changes at times due to various factors. We generally will alternate months with a more competitive competition one month and more beginner friendly competitions the next. We hold competitions for kids, adults, and masters.
Some of the best ninjas in the country have come to and look forward to our professional events. We are known as one of the top ninja gyms in the country. Our Fuquay facility was chosen to host one of the qualifiers in the inaugural season (2021-22) of the Ninja Sport Championship. Our South Apex facility was chosen to host the finals of season 2.
We also host mini competitions as an option at our private events and end each week of Day Camp with a fun kids competition.
Though everyone agrees that there are different levels of ninja, there is no consensus at the national level about how to divide them up. It will probably be a few years before any accepted standard emerges.
Rock Solid Warrior has defined 4 levels at this point. Right now, the two largest national leagues have some way of separating some of the “beginners” from the more “advanced” at the adult level. In the regional Ninja Carolina League in which we participate, there are beginner and advanced levels of competition in all age groups. Our levels 1 and 2 map to beginners while level 3 and 4 are considered to be advanced. Our levels are based on skill not age, so if you’re new to ninja we encourage you to start with the basics in our level 1 kids class for 7+ year olds.
If you are a teen or adult we have a teen/adult beginner class, ninja fit strength class, and ninja nights for more advanced ninjas.
We expect this system to evolve as the sport continues to grow. This doesn’t seem to get in the way of people having fun and growing in their skills at their own pace.
While Ninja Sport (Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course Racing) is young, it’s rapidly growing in popularity. In fact, we’ve been told that it is currently the fastest growing individual sport in the country! Only time will tell how the sport evolves. We have a video linked here that explains this more in depth or you can keep reading for summary of it.
However NinjaUSA has recently become the national governing body for Ninja and events in the United States of America. It is a technical committee of USA Pentathlon Multisport (USAPM), which is a member of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC), and a member of World Obstacle, the Fédération Internationale de Sports d’Obstacles (FISO is the world governing body for obstacle sports) and a member of the Pan American Obstacle Sports Federation, the continental association of FISO member federations in the Americas.
Independent of this organization, there are a variety of leagues. The three largest are the Ultimate Ninja Athlete Association (UNAA), the Federation of International Ninja Athletics (FINA) and the National Ninja League (NNL). They operate differently and independently of one another. However, in addition to these leagues, regional leagues such as the Ninja Carolina League (in which we participate), and other regional leagues exist throughout the country. Each of these leagues provide offerings for all ages. Just about all of them – with the exception of the NNL – are members of NinjaUSA.
At the “professional” level, the Ninja Sport Network has recently come on the scene as the promoter of top competitions for the top athletes.
Gyms can apply to host competitions for any league, with the exception that the NNL has attempted to restrict participating gyms from affiliating with certain other leagues.
One exciting aspect about the sport is that no two courses or leagues are the same (with the exception of FINA events which have a stricter format for their events). Every competition is a test of skill and ability to perform under pressure. There is no real standardization and most ninjas love it that way! It allows for creativity and keeps the sport always advancing, though there can also be some disappointments along the way.
We’ve listed just a few of the leagues below with a brief description of each.
NINJA CAROLINA LEAGUE (NCL)
The Ninja Carolina League completed its seconds season in May of 2022. Its scoring system, adapted from the former Athlete Warrior Games, gives increasing number of points as an athlete progresses through each obstacle. So those who are capable of completing the entire obstacle will get more points than those who only partially complete an obstacle but all athletes receive credit for their progression. In each age category, there are “beginner” and “advanced” divisions making this league both friendly to beginners and challenging to the more seasoned athletes.
The Ultimate Ninja Athlete Association is in its 7th season and currently has the highest number of associated gyms. They award one or two points for completing an obstacle successfully or reaching the halfway point. You are able to complete as many obstacles as possible within a time limit, though your official score stops after completely failing 3 obstacles.
Founded by Bob Clark (with other partners) in New Mexico, there is a heavier concentration of these gyms in the south and the west part of the country, as well as internationally. The UNAA holds area qualifiers around the world and those who qualify (top 50%) can move on to the “regionals” where the top 3 or top 20% (whichever is greater) can move on to World Finals. But anyone who has qualified at any area qualifier can attempt to qualify at any regional event… it doesn’t really matter where you live. Their season typically starts in September and World finals are usually late July or early August. UNAA is the official Global League of World OCR for Ninja Competitions to get the sport into the Olympics.
NINJA SPORT NETWORK and NINJA SPORT CHAMPIONSHIP (NSN and NSC)
The goal of the NSN is to provide the highest quality coverage of professional ninja sporting events, highlights, and news. They are dedicated to growing the sport by making it more accessible to viewers everywhere.
Top competitions are streamed on Youtube, most of which have prize purses for top finishers. Some of those competitions include the Ninja Sport Championship (NSC) series.
NSC is a ninja competition series featuring the best athletes (ages 13+) on professional level courses. In their inaugural season (2021-22), they hosted 6 open qualifiers at hand-picked gyms around the country (including Rock Solid Warrior) based on the quality of the gym’s course designer and ability to host top events. The “open round” includes a challenging course (which allows up to 3 retries to complete each obstacle within a time limit) used to narrow down the field to 10 male and 10 female competitors to advance to the “final round” of three courses (speed, technical, and burnout). Only the top few athletes in each qualifier advance to the end of season championship.
In Season 2 (2022-23) they will host 8 qualifiers in select gyms around the country, with the finals hosted at Rock Solid Warrior’s new South Apex location.
World NINJA LEAGUE (WNL)
The National Ninja League finished its 7th season in April 2022. They strive to be “like the show”. If you fail on an obstacle, you are done. We find that this is not a very “beginner” friendly approach, especially when you can “fail” simply by a foot touching a mat in the wrong spot, or if the most difficult obstacles are at the beginning of the course. (On the show, there are several feet of space between you and the water, and ANW does extensive testing to verify a progressively difficult course).
Founded by Chris Wilczewski from NJ, they have a larger density of gyms in the New England and Northeast regions, but they are nationwide and have made some efforts to include participants from other countries. They hold single stage qualifiers. One can qualify for single stage regional competitions or skip regionals if you meet certain qualifications. Finals contains multiple stages of increasing difficulty. Their season typically starts late into the summer and wraps up with finals in early spring.
We are not associated with the WNL because of their exclusive and elusive practices.
Federation of International Ninja Athletics is in its 3rd season in 2022. They have separate “Speed” and “Endurance” competitions. The format of each is prescribed by the League no matter where the event is held. Although they are a national league, most of their participating gyms are in the northern states. So far no gym in our area has participated. We are open to participating in the future, but currently are occupied with the three associations we are devoted to (NCL, UNAA, and NSC) as well as independent and charity events.
When the first leagues were formed, there were less than 100 ninja warrior gyms in the country. Now there are well over 500 dedicated ninja gyms and many more that occupy space in another type of gym. In North Carolina, there are at least 10, and 5 within a 1.5 hour drive of Rock Solid Warrior. Rock Solid Warrior participates in the Ninja Carolina League which includes other gyms in North and South Carolina. We also participate in the Ultimate Ninja Athletes Association and also host independent events as do many others in the Carolinas. A few other gyms in the state are Warrior Tech OCR in Morrisville and Raleigh, Warrior Zone in Greenville, and Ultimate Backyard Warrior in Rocky Mount.
Once you reach the top level and are 13 or over, you may choose to participate in the Ninja Sport Championship series.
We provide lessons for people of all ages and levels, and we will be preparing the intermediate and advanced levels for readiness to compete in regional league events. We started a “competition team” in 2020 which requires an attaining of Level 4 and includes preparation and participation in approximately one competition per month. We’ll be announcing some new programs that will be starting in the fall for those who would like to learn to compete at higher levels.
There are some events that includes some sort of team competitions but basically we all cheer each other on. The sport is, generally speaking, ninjas against the obstacles.
We are committed to coaching people as far as they want to go.
We have “mini ninja” programs for 4-6 year olds. To compete in our Level 1 classes, we generally suggest age 6, but mini ninjas who excel may be nominated to advance. In 2018, Brandon Avila – when he was 6 years old – won the 9&under UNAA championship. Most leagues have age groups starting at age 6. There is no upper age limit. There have been participants at events we have been to in their 60s and 70s. Each of the leagues have Masters divisions starting at age 40.
We also offer more advanced levels through teen years and offer special instruction for adults.
Everyone is welcome to come to open gym but children under 6 must be accompanied by an adult on the floor (without special permission).
We’re not really a rock climbing gym, but provide a small rock climbing wall at South Apex and Fuquay-Varina as it complements the sport of Ninja.
The sport of Ninja Warrior is young and there is just beginning to get simple formal certification associated with the existing governing bodies. We have coaches certified by the leagues, however, these certifications are really about knowing the rules of the league. Our staff is regularly trained and certified in CPR and First Aid. You can click here to see more specific safety procedures we have trained our staff in.
We are led by experienced ninja athletes and coaches. We are also students of the sport and have developed our own training programs for our newer trainers and coaches. As part of our company culture, we are always striving to improve and we have procedures that reinforce that.
Our facility designer and Ninja Experience Director in South Apex, Caleb Auer, has been competing in the sport since 2017 and has been an experienced trainer. As a testimony to his success, he trained his brother, Joshua, who made it to the top 10 at NNL World finals in 2018 after less than a year of training which was somewhat unprecedented.
Jeshuah Lewis, our Ninja Experience Director in Clayton and Fuquay has also competed since 2016 and is a top ninja and coach. Joshua Auer, Michael Bellion, Brett Strong, Zane Kuchta and others have many years of competing and coaching experience training others.
We know our stuff.
Our coaches include not only ninjas who have been on the American Ninja Warrior the reality TV show but also those who have competed at the national level or who are good enough to compete there. In fact, we have a deeper coaching staff than just about any gym in the country.
We’d love to see a ninja gym every 20 minutes throughout Wake County and into neighboring counties so no one ever has to be more than 10 minutes away from a ninja gym. They don’t have to be “Rock Solid Warrior” gyms… our friends at Warrior Tech already have two locations in northern Wake County and the ninja community is very cooperative.
We would like to open others in due time. However, we’re focused on keeping the quality of our coaching and offerings high. We are leaders in the sport and our core values are all about providing excellent customer experiences. We don’t want to sacrifice quality for the sake of growth.
We have some ideas of where else we might expand in the future, but right now there are no solid plans for future locations. If/when we’re ready, we’ll let others know. In the meantime, we are all about supporting the ninja community and impacting our local community for good. If you think there is some way we can help you or others that are interested in continuing to grow the sport, please reach out.