Similar to SASUKE one hundred competitors are given the chance to attempt the First Stage, a course that primarily test's one's speed, balance, and dexterity.
The goal is to reach the finish buzzer at the end of the course in order to move onto the Second Stage. If a competitor ever comes in contact with the water under each obstacle, or goes off of the course, she is disqualified.
While KUNOICHI is normally an exact mold of SASUKE but for women, the 8th competition changed the way the show ran. The rules were drastically altered, becoming a race between four women to capture the two flags at the end of the course. If a competitor did not claim a flag within the allotted time, they were disqualified, unless their whole group failed, sending them to the Repechange.
Around eight participants clear stage one in each tournament, a number slightly lower than SASUKE's success rate; however in the 1st KUNOICHI tournament, only two people cleared the first stage, a feat only seen otherwise in SASUKE 19. Unlike SASUKE the producers were trying to make the course relatively easy. Despite the poor results of the first two KUNOICHI tournaments, it eventually got on it's feet, seeing fourteen people clear stage one in the 3rd competition. The KUNOICHI first stage continued to have a steady amount of clears until KUNOICHI 7. While it was very similar to SASUKE 19 with many high profile competitors and All-Stars failing stage one, four women managed to clear it.
For KUNOICHI 9 and onward, the First Stage has been renamed the RED Stage, adopting a color-based naming scheme for every stage with the exception of the Final Stage. Also, the number of competitors attempting the stage have been lowered to fifty.
TBS Obstacle Names
^ In this competition, four competitors run the first stage at once, with the first two to complete advancing to stage two. If only one competitor completes the stage the other three are eliminated. If no one completes the stage all competitors compete in an extra stage where the first person to capture the flag moves on.
G4 Obstacle Names
|Comp #||First Stage Obstacles||Time Limit|
|1||Dancing Stones||Windmill Cross||Barrel Roll||Tornado Run||Triple Hurdle||Escape Ladder||80.0|
|2||Dancing Stones||Windmill Cross||Barrel Roll||Gateway Bridge||Triple Hurdle||Escape Pole||90.0|
|3||Dancing Stones||Windmill Cross||Double Hurdle||Barrel Roll||Balance Bridge||Hop Rocket||Angle Run||Escape Ladder||85.0|
|4||Dancing Stones||Windmill Cross||Balance Bridge||Barrel Roll||Angle Run||Hop Rocket||Vertical Limit||Slippery Slide||Escape Ladder||105.0|
|5||Dancing Stones||Windmill Cross||Balance Bridge||Barrel Roll||Angle Run||Hop Rocket||Conviction Hill||Slippery Slide||Escape Ladder||100.0|
|6||Float Run||Prism Tilt||Flying Pillar||Balance Bridge||Barrel Roll||Angle Run||Falling Pole||Escape Ladder||95.0|
|7||Stepping Stones||Log Jam||Flying Pillar||Balance Bridge||Barrel Roll||Yellow-Posted Hop Rocket||Angle Run||Escape Ladder||90.0|
|8||Floating Hurdle||Log Bridge||Swinging Logs||
|Swing Jump||Raft Transfer||Exhausting Wall||120.0|