Ninja Academy for Beginners (The Gauntlet)

The Gauntlet is the most basic of classes in Manila’s first indoor parkour facility. Here I’ll tell you about how ours went. I already posted everything you have to know if you are curious like I was. By all means, check out Ninja Academy! Anyway, we started off with some conditioning exercises.

7 stations: 25-second run and 10-second rest

  • jackhammer & pushups
  • assisted single-leg squats left & right
  • ankle weights (take turns with partner)
  • wheelbarrow (take turns with partner)
  • pushup high fives with your partner
  • Russian twists
  • suicides (shuttle run) (take turns with partner)

We did three sets and the last was modified to push us further. We changed jackhammer into jump squats, did wider pushups, did Russian twists with a heavier medicine ball, did faster pushup high fives and doubled the run for suicides. I told the instructors that it was far too difficult for beginners like us but we were told that the exercises are adjusted depending on your fitness level. If they see that the set’s too hard on you, they’d make it easier.

IMG_5348Next it was all fun! First we were shown a few tricks on how to get over vaults in one fluid sweep. It was simple yet so effective. Raven or Coach Cruz (because there are two Ravens there) arranged an obstacle for us based on how we handled the conditioning exercises. He did a quick demo, gave us more tips and common mistakes in taking on the obstacle.

Then it was our turn. First we had a feel of the obstacle. The second run was a timed one (I got a 1m13s while Phil finished in 41s). The third run was the stealth mode. It’s cool I told you! Every time you make a noise you are to do pushups. It adds up until you finish the obstacle. Phil and I shared the run which was a relief because there were parts I can’t manage without a spotter. After the runs, we had a short cool down which was undeniably relaxing.

But anyway, don’t stop here. You should forget everything you’ve read and just live it. It’s just like your nursery playground. Maybe you won’t be as agile but I think it takes time to remember what it was like to be a kid. I assure you that it will all come back.

Aloha!

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