Eight ninjas to compete in North Carolina on Saturday

DE PERE, Wis. (WBAY) - Eight local athletes will travel to Greensboro, North Carolina to compete in the National Ninja League World Championships on Saturday, Feb. 22.

Lincoln Volkman, 9, practices at the Warrior Jungle Gym in De Pere on Tuesday.

The participants are a group of "ninjas" from ages 6-12 from Warrior Jungle Gym in De Pere.

The gym is run by Drew Knapp, who is known for his run on the popular television competition show, American Ninja Warrior.

"For me, coaching felt like something that I really wanted to do in life. It was a passion of mine. I figured I could bring that coaching passion to Ninja Warrior and ended up seeming like this would be my direction in life," Knapp said.

Many of the ninjas were inspired by Knapp and American Ninja Warriors and have been going to Warrior Jungle Gym for more than a year.

"He inspired me because I really wanted to learn fro him because he seemed really good. And he is. He inspires me to do better," 12-year-old ninja Jacob Fiedorowicz said.

"Since I watch American Ninja Warrior and my mom found out that they had classes here. That inspired me to do it," Lincoln Volkman, 9, said.

"I was in my house and I usually climbed walls, monkey cllimbed my walls and then my parents just signed me up," Lucas Houle, 10, said.

Saturday's course and skills events start at 9 AM with ages 5 through 8 competing from 9-11 AM and then ages 9-12 starting at 11:30 AM-1:30 PM.

"A lot of the kids that qualified for this Ninja National League Championship in North Carolina they are in our advanced classes. They really enjoy doing this and want to take it a step further and competing at these competitions," Knapp said.

The competition will be a 3-stage event with the ninja's scores being "combined with scores from their individual skills events to provide an overall score" according to NinjaGuide.com.

Knapp said some of the age groups could have as many as 300 participants in the 62,000 sq. foot Special Events Center in Greensboro.

"It's like 10 times bigger than Warrior Jungle and you can see all around how big it is, so it's going to be seriously big," Volkman said. "So on the plane ride there, I'm gonna try to not thrown up."

The event will also have a meet and greet with the nation's top ninjas available for autographs and photo opportunities.

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