In 2009, American Ninja Warrior began as a spin off show to the popular Japanese TV series Sasuke. The format for the show included hundreds of competitors attempting to complete a series of obstacle courses that increase in difficulty at each stage.
Since then numerous shows with a similar format have sprung up across the world. These shows have featured many notable Parkour athletes testing their skills across the various Ninja Warrior obstacle courses around the globe. The presence of notable Parkour athletes on such TV shows has gained favourable attention and recognition towards the sport.
An example of this is one of the founding members of the WFPF movement Tim Sheiff, who was the ‘Last Man Standing’ in the UK version of the TV Show in 2015:
It has also helped encourage a generation to try and overcome obstacles in a way that incorporate a lot of Parkour fundamental movements. Furthermore, the setting for Ninja Warrior includes many obstacles that would not naturally exist in the urban environment and would more typically be seen in an indoor training environment such as gymnastic or parkour movement training gyms. This in part explains the spark that has ignited the desire for a greater demand in Parkour classes in an indoor environment in recent years.
The success of movement gyms in Los Angeles such as ‘Joining All Movement – JAM’ and Tempest typifies this. Furthermore, with athletes attending such gyms with large social media followings, posting a lot of content from these indoor training environments this also helps make people aware of the existence of environments in which training Parkour indoors has become possible.