Inspired by "American Ninja Warrior," Northwest Austin obstacle course gym helps build skills in kids

Jennifer Halla opened Austin Ninjas in January 2018 as a way for children to experience obstacles featured on the TV show u201cAmerican Ninja Warrior.u201d

Jennifer Halla opened Austin Ninjas in January 2018 as a way for children to experience obstacles featured on the TV show u201cAmerican Ninja Warrior.u201d

Image description
Austin Ninjas
Image description
Austin Ninjas
Image description
Austin Ninjas
Image description
Austin Ninjas
Image description
Austin Ninjas
Marie Young runs up a curved 14-foot-tall structure, scaling it with ease, before tapping the top of a wall.

The 14-year-old repeats the feat several times, seemingly without effort, but it is a skill she said took her six months to achieve at Austin Ninjas, an obstacle course gym geared toward children and based on the TV show “American Ninja Warrior.”

“I would just practice it over and over,” she said, adding she joined her school’s track team to help build strength and endurance.

It is achievements such as Marie’s that make owner Jennifer Halla glad she opened Austin Ninjas. Halla got the idea after visiting Chicago with her two sons, and they found a ninja gym. Noting that Austin did not have a ninja gym for children, she decided to open Austin Ninjas in January 2018.

“It has been above my expectations,” said Halla, a resident of Canyon Creek. “People have received it so well, which has been phenomenal. It’s amazing to see kids out there and adults having fun, … getting to see kids in competition [and] the small successes that kids have here and seeing that smile on their face.”

The ninja warrior sport has taken off in recent years because of the popularity of the TV show, and several organizations offer competitions for children. Halla said her gym is sending seven children to the national competition for the National Ninja League as well as hosting the regional competition for the United Ninja Athlete Association in April.

The Texas Ninja League, which Halla started, will have its first competition in Frisco in May.

“It’s amazing giving kids an opportunity to compete in something,” she said. “… It’s cool to see [in] the community how supportive everyone is of each other.”

Besides competitions, Austin Ninjas also has open gym for anyone to come and play on the obstacles as well as classes and camps. Classes not only help children improve their grip strength, balance and core strength but also improve their overall athletic skill, Halla said.

“Somehow the sport makes it OK to fail and keep trying,” she said.

Austin Ninjas
6001 W. Parmer Lane, Ste. 430, Austin
512-514-0555
www.austinninjas.com
Hours: visit website for open gym hours and class schedule
By Amy Denney
Amy has worked for Community Impact Newspaper since September 2010, serving as reporter and then senior editor for the Northwest Austin edition and covering transportation. She is now managing editor for the nine publications in the Central Texas area.


MOST RECENT

The Texas Legislature is responsible for drawing lines for new state and federal districts. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Redistricting process affecting every level of government gets underway in 2021

The state's process is largely a political one, while the city's process is left to an independent commission.

Photo of the Travis County sign
Travis County votes to accept application for Silicon Silver development incentives agreement

The company behind the project will be named once it submits an application and pays a $150,000 fee—the same as Tesla paid to apply for its hefty 2020 agreement.

Previous headliners included Cody Johnson, Turnpike Troubadours, Aaron Watson and Mark Chestnutt, among others. (Courtesy KOKEFest)
KOKEFest releases dates in Hutto; Marisol's Mexican Grill taking orders in Georgetown and more area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

Williamson County will add two new justice courts over the next two years. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Williamson County looks to add two new justice courts

The county will request state legislative approval to add a new district court and a new county court of law, officials said.

Austin ISD reported its highest number of COVID-19 cases the week of Jan. 4, but that number has decreased for two consecutive weeks, according to the district. (Courtesy Austin ISD)
Austin ISD sees 70% drop in on-campus students over past 2 weeks after district asks families to stay home

The district saw a 11,839-student decline in on-campus learning as AISD families opted for online learning from Jan. 12-22.

City officials are facing growing pressure to address the growing visibility of homelessness in Austin. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
Sanctioned homeless camp proposal gains attention from Austin leaders as pressure mounts

Mayor Steve Adler said the urgent need for shelter space and housing could overrule initial objections to sanctioned homeless encampments.

See how COVID-19 continues to impact Travis County. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Despite drop in hospital admissions, Travis County adds 4,039 new COVID-19 cases over past 7 days

Overall, Travis County has reported 65,507 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Following feedback received during town hall meetings and the board's Jan. 21 meeting, the PfISD board of trustees will discuss amended proposals more in-depth at the February workshop, scheduled for Feb. 4. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Amid Pflugerville ISD growth, residents weigh in on rezoning proposals

Following feedback received during town hall meetings and the board's Jan. 21 meeting, the PfISD board of trustees will discuss amended proposals more in depth at the workshop scheduled for Feb. 4.

Here are the latest coronavirus case count updates in Williamson County. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Williamson County nears 30,000 total confirmed COVID-19 cases

Here are the latest coronavirus case count updates in Williamson County.

Construction at Q2 Stadium is on schedule to be completed by late March or early April. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin FC will play at newly named Q2 Stadium starting this summer

Austin FC announced the naming partnership with Austin-based tech company Q2 Holdings Inc. at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Jan. 25.