Updated: Jul 22, 2018

DETROIT, July 17, 2018 -- For a limited time, Ganbaru Detroit Ninja Gym, a unique fitness program specializing in obstacle navigation training is making its debut in Detroit from August 6 through October 27, 2018. The courage building youth program will be temporarily housed in the Mack Athletic Complex, (4300 Marseilles St., Detroit, MI 48224) on the Grosse Pointe-Detroit border, until a permanent home is secured.

“After working in the health and fitness industry for over 15 years and competing on American Ninja Warrior, I’m excited to partner with East Side Youth Sports Foundation, the Mack Athletic Complex, MACC Development, Sterling Homes’ owner Dan Banura (3-time American Ninja Warrior finalist), and others to offer this program. Ganbaru Detroit Ninja Gym will be the first space in the city of Detroit where thrill seekers can perfect ninja warrior, parkour, rock climbing and obstacle course racing for fun, fitness or to train for events,” said co-founder and head coach, Elija Kamal Sansom.

During the 11-week pilot, visitors will discover rock climbing walls, a parkour training arena, and an obstacle course featuring 10 ft and 14½ ft warped walls, quintuple steps and a salmon ladder, among other obstacles inspired by NBC’s hit TV show American Ninja Warrior. Classes for kids will be the primary focus of the 11-week pilot. Ganbaru students will learn how to strengthen their bodies and characters through developmental programing that inspires courage, fuels dignity, and promotes responsibility. Youth ages 5 to 17 from the region will be trained in the philosophy of ganbaru (gàńbáꜜrù) - to commit oneself fully to a task and endure adversity without surrendering.

Ganbaru Detroit Ninja Gym aims to break down barriers of age, fitness levels and socioeconomic differences by offering scholarships to underserved youth. “We want youth to know that they are more than the who the world says they are. Whether you face restrictions in your physical abilities or access to resources, we invite students of all backgrounds to challenge their limitations. At Ganbaru Detroit Ninja Gym, our philosophy is rooted in the notion that grit and determination can help you overcome to become your best,” said co-founder Scott Munekawa.

Students can begin registering for a 4-week session or an 8-week session at Drop-In Class passes, Open Gym hours, and birthday party packages are also available. Recruitment for trainers and open gym monitors is already underway and expected to create several new jobs in the area.

Ganbaru Detroit Ninja Gym LLC is a startup company that seeks to become the premier ninja gym in the city of Detroit. Its unique physical training programs offer classes in a variety of obstacle navigation disciplines similar to American Ninja Warrior but also including parkour and rock climbing. Through proper instructional training and injury prevention techniques, people young and old can come to Ganbaru to exercise in a fun, safe, and challenging environment. Ganbaru Detroit's courses are more than fitness programs — they are unique training opportunities to build courage, grit, and inner strength.


For more information contact Shanna Sansom at 313.626.0788 or

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