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The American Ninja Challenge was the preliminary trials hosted by G4 logo to determine the representatives for SASUKE. The trials started in the Summer of 2007 for SASUKE 19 and continue to this day. The fifth American Ninja Challenge has been renamed American Ninja Warrior and has subsequently taken over as the primary format for the American Ninja qualifiers.

ANC 1

The first American Ninja Challenge was held in the Summer of 2007 for SASUKE 19. Potential competitors were asked to submit videos to [1] which would then be selected by G4. G4 then selected the ten videos and let the viewers choose the top three. The top three selections were then flown to Los Angeles to compete in a series of trials to test the contestants speed, strength, and endurance. The winner would be flown to Japan to compete in SASUKE 19. The finalists were Brett Sims, Colin Bell, and Bryant Powers.

Speed Challenge

The first test had competitors go through a course in the LA School of Gymnastics in order to test speed.

Results

Name (Age) Location Profile Time
Bryant Powers (23) Oahu, Hawaii Personal Trainer 36.2 seconds
Colin Bell (22) Ann Arbor, Michigan Student 34.2 seconds
Brett Sims (21) Greenville, South Carolina Musician 35.0 seconds

Endurance Challenge

The second test had competitors go through a course in the Angelo Academy in Downtown LA in order to test upper body endurance. During this challenge, the competitors' times were not shown, so it is unknown if this was a timed challenge.

Strength Challenge

The final test had competitors go through a course at Santa Monica Beach in order to test strength. Obstacles included obstacles similar to the Jumping Bars, Pipe Slider, and Shoulder Walk. During the event, Bryant Powers failed both the Jumping Bars and the Ring of Death and was eliminated.

Winner

The three finalists were brought to the G4 show, Attack of the Show!. There, the winner was announced. Colin Bell was announced the winner of ANC1 and was flown to Japan. Brett Sims also went as Colin's alternate, although was not scheduled to compete. When he was in Shiratori Bunpei's house, he got a call saying he was invited to compete.

Competition Results

Qualifier # in Tournament Name Result
1 87 Colin Bell (22) Failed Jumping Spider (First Stage)
2 51 Brett Sims (21) Failed Jumping Spider (First Stage)


ANC 2

The second American Ninja Challenge was held in conjunction with SASUKE 20 in the spring of 2008 shown in daily segments over a week on G4's Attack of the Show. As with last time, potential competitors were asked to submit videos to [2] which would then be selected by G4. Viewers were then asked to vote for their top six, who were then collectively flown out to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in Southern California to compete on a marine training obstacle course in three 1v1 intervals aired daily while G4 correspondent Zach Selwyn narrated the action. The winners of those intervals were later taken to a SASUKE-inspired obstacle course, dubbed the Ninja Killer. The two top times were then flown to Japan to compete in SASUKE 20. Notable SASUKE American contestant Paul Terek was on hand during the competition to give input on the finalists along with Selwyn while Master SGT. Christopher Marano oversaw the training course in the "first round". Day 1 of airing was used to hype up the challenge along with providing information on the details, many of which were later repeated with day 2 and onward actually progressing through the competiton. The six finalists were Brian Orosco, Rick Seedman, Mark Witmer, Joe Simonsen, Levi Meeuwenberg, and Ruselis Perry.

Day 1

The second day, considered day 1 of the competition, pitted Wushu Martial Artist/Gymnast Joe Simonsen against Ruselis Perry. Both raced through the course in a mostly even race, with occasional slips by both competitors, however Ruselis' rope-climbing skills were better than Joe's, thus giving Ruselis the win with 54.9 seconds and eliminating Joe.

Day 2

The third day of airing, known as day 2 of the competition, showed Shaolin Martial Artist Rick Seedman against freerunner Brian Orosco. Brian's speed due to freerunning helped him greatly, as Rick stumbled throughout most of the course and despite slowing down on the rope climb, Brian soundly won with a time of 58.7, eliminating Rick.

Day 3

The fourth day of airing, known as day 3 of the competition, showed the last remaining, Levi Meeuwenberg and Mark Witmer race through the course. This race was the closest with Levi and Mark trading 1st place with each other, although a slight slowdown and slip from Mark was all it took for Levi to edge out the win with 52.9 seconds, moving along to the finals with Brian and Ruselis, while eliminating Mark, who went on to compete in ANC3 and participate on SASUKE 21, although a hand injury prior caused him to fail the Log Grip.

Ninja Killer

The fifth, and final day of airing, also day 4 of the competition, showcased Ruselis, Brian, and Levi competing on the Ninja Killer, an obstacle course inspired by actual SASUKE obstacles such as the Great Wall, Jumping Spider (labeled the Spider Jump), Cliffhanger, and the rungs of the Salmon Ladder called the Barracuda Teeth. Levi had the top time of 46 seconds which gained him a spot automatically while Brian and Ruselis had slip-ups which made their attempt for the second spot close, with Brian having 1 minute, 12 seconds, 4 seconds faster than Ruselis with 1 minute, 16 seconds. As such, Levi and Brian went on to compete in SASUKE 20.

Results

Name (Age) Location Profile Time
Levi Meeuwenburg (21) Ann Arbor, Michigan Freerunner 46.0 seconds
Brian Orosco (25) San Francisco, California Freerunner 72.0. seconds (1:12)
Ruselis Perry (30) Colorado Springs, Colorado Kempo Karate Master 76.0 seconds (1:16)

Competition Results

Qualifier # in Tournament Name Result
1 1989 Levi Meeuwenberg (21) Failed Shin-Cliffhanger (Third Stage)
2 1945 Brian Orosco (25) Failed Flying Chute (First Stage)
-- 1957 Brett Sims (21) Failed Soritatsu Kabe (First Stage)
  • It should be noted that Brett Sims was given an automatic bid and joined the two in Japan, timing out at the Soritatsu Kabe.
  • Meeuwenberg was the only third stage participant and thus was the last man standing.


ANC 3

American Ninja Challenge returned in the summer of 2008. This time the competitors were not flown out to LA, but instead were announced during an episode of Attack of the Show. From the finalists, viewers were asked to vote and the top three would join Levi Meeuwenberg and Attack of the Show! hosts, Olivia Munn and Kevin Pereira. Past winners like Brian Orosco, Colin Bell entered videos. Brian Orosco and Mark Witmer won two of the three spots, as they both competed on the ANC 2 course. Joining them was the only female winner to date, Luci Romberg.

Competition Results

# in Tournament Name Result
35 Luci Romberg (25) Failed Half-Pipe Attack (First Stage)
50 Mark Witmer (22) Failed Log Grip (First Stage)
75 Brian Orosco (25) Failed Salmon Ladder (Second Stage)
27 Olivia Munn (26) Failed Rokudantobi (First Stage)
40 Kevin Pereira (25) Failed Log Grip (First Stage)
99 Levi Meeuwenberg (22) Failed Salmon Ladder (Second Stage)


ANC 4

American Ninja Challenge returned for a fourth time in the winter of 2008 and the early parts of 2009. Like ANC3, the competitors were not flown out to LA. Potential contestants were asked to send in videos and the winner would be "selected" by Olivia Munn. The winner was David Campbell, who had been trying to compete since ANC2. He was joined by returning competitors Olivia Munn, Luci Romberg, and Levi Meeuwenberg.

Competition Results

Qualifier # in Tournament Name Result
1 50 David Campbell (31) Failed Rope Ladder (First Stage)
-- 40 Olivia Munn Failed Circle Hammer (First Stage)
-- 63 Luci Romberg Failed Jumping Spider (First Stage)
-- 91 Levi Meeuwenberg (22) Failed Slider Jump (First Stage)


American Ninja Warrior

The popularity of the American Ninja Challenge has led G4 to create an licensed version of SASUKE, from series distributor Tokyo Broadcasting System titled American Ninja Warrior, with all contestants from the United States and all play-by-play commentary in English. The first American Ninja Warrior took place in August 2009, for SASUKE 23. The second American Ninja Warrior took place in August 2010, for SASUKE 26.

External Links

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