Long before there was Australian Ninja Warrior, two brothers from Perth, Mark and David Ravi, wanted to run a competition in the style of their favourite Japanese TV show, Sasuke.

So, in November 2015, they held the first Ninja Challenge at Ninja Academy, an open competition which consisted of a three stage gauntlet for a small field of competitors who tried their hand at being ninjas in Australia’s first Ninja Warrior-style competition.



Ultimately, not a single competitor was able to achieve Total Victory – although Perth carpenter Josh McMurray sure did come close!

In 2016, they raised the stakes by requiring people to qualify at events throughout the year and the result was a massive field of competitors, mostly from WA but with a few from throughout the country and even American Ninja Warrior veteran Travis Brewer.

Again, the course won out, with no competitor even making it to the third stage and car detailer Adam Chatfield earning the title of Last Ninja Standing.



Shortly afterwards, Australian Ninja Warrior was launched and after competing in the first season, the brothers realised they needed more competition experience if they were going to conquer Midoriyama, so they created the Ninja Challenge League in 2017.

Unlike previous incarnations of the Ninja Challenge, the Ninja Challenge League was a regular event, with competitions up to four times a month on a constantly changing rotation of obstacles at Ninja Academy.

The aim was to give ninjas of all ability levels an opportunity to hone their skills, test their abilities and take control of their own ninja destiny in a fun, supportive space, characterised by the generosity of spirit and camaraderie that is the trademark of the ninja community the world over.

The new format proved popular, with that year’s Finals boasting the strongest field of competitors to date, including heroes of the first season of Australian Ninja Warrior.

Despite a record number of Stage One finishers, the dreaded Stage Two defeated all comers once again, with Perth arborist Donny Byrne claiming the title of Last Ninja Standing in 2017.

Re-live the NCL Finals 2017 with highlights, competitor interviews and some words from the founders, Mark and David Ravi.

In 2018, more competitors than ever made the trip to Perth for the Ninja Challenge League Finals 2018, with 50 interstate competitors, 11 international competitors and 34 Western Australians.

The stronger field resulted in a record 11 competitors making it to the third stage after no competitor proved capable in the two previous years, but a Total Victory still eluded the nearly 100-strong cohort.

The locals were outnumbered for the first time in NCL history and were ultimately unable to defend home court, with both Mat Redho from Malaysia and Jake Murray from America taking out the top two places, respectively.

However, Ninja Academy Perth can take solace in providing the top-ranked Australian competitor in Cameron D’Silva and the top three female athletes all being Perth locals.

The 2018 and 2019 events were livestreamed from start-to-finish on our YouTube Channel, so check them out here.

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