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Go Ask Mom

New indoor ninja challenge course for kids opens in Durham; offers classes, parties, more

Posted August 30

Courtesy: Facebook

For kids who are looking for a different kind of physical challenge, Durham has a new one for them - USA Ninja Challenge.

With ninja warrior-style obstacles, the club is designed for kids ages 4 to 15 and offers afterschool programs, camps, birthday parties and other gatherings. The Durham location at 1810 Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway is a franchise that's part of a bigger company that began in New England.

It's now filling up a roster of classes, which begin in earnest on Sept. 5. USA Ninja Challenge isn't affiliated with the hit TV show American Ninja Warrior, but it's taking off thanks to the popularity of the show.

Some of the obstacles in the 8,000-square-foot facility might seem familiar to the show's fans. The Warped Wall, for instance, is a curved, 11-foot-tall ramp that kids try to get to the top of. The Hanging Ladder is sort of like floating monkey bars that go 20 feet in the air.

"It's the ninja-style equipment with the safety and size that's appropriate for kids," said owner David Gordon. "We've got all of the good stuff and lots of equipment that can be moved around. We're trying to build up kids' fitness levels."

Gordon, who has two kids of his own, said he got interested in his business when his daughter started looking for an alternative to competitive gymnastics. Classes focus on six different disciplines such as balance, conditioning and climbing. Instructors track kids' progress as they move through the program, which is designed for all fitness levels.

Gordon said the programs are built for athletic kids who might want to build up their fitness during an off season and for kids, who aren't interested in competitive sports, but want to get fit. Classes are small - eight kids work with an instructor..

"Kids are really into it right now," Gordon said. "And it’s really a cool program. It’s fun. It’s safe. It’s challenging and kids can work together or individually and challenge themselves."

This isn't the first ninja warrior-style facility in the region. The town of Apex opened an outdoor ninja warrior fitness park in July. There's also Warrior Tech OCR in Cary, which has programs for kids and adults.

USA Ninja Challenge opened in late July. Gordon said they'll begin to offer more camps and classes going forward. He's considering holding some classes specifically for kids with special needs. He'd also like to work with and support community groups.

USA Ninja Challenge's website has the details.

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