Adventure Hijinks: I Went To Ninja Academy

Some articles just don't need witty titles anymore.:)

So yeah, I went to Ninja, bleeping, Academy. But unfortunately, no, there was no ninja killing that happened, but hey, that's not all there is to being ninjas! They jump in and out of places in swift, stealthy fashion. And that's what we covered in Ninja Academy - the first fully equipped indoor parkour training gym in the Manila!

Ninja Jumping Skillz!

What is Parkour?

Parkour, or freerunning, is traversing from one point to another using the fastest, most efficient way possible. This usually involves a lot of jumping, hanging, flipping and a even a dash of style. To get an idea, here's a video featuring Spiderman's alter-ego, Peter Parkour:

Hehe, Peter Parkour. Witty.

Parkour in the Philippines

Parkour is a relatively young sport here in the Philippines but there are already a lot of practitioners. Philippine Parkour Freerunning Association is one of the most prominent parkour groups in the country and they've already been around for just 6 years. 

Parkour's new home.

They used to practice in parks, primarily in the QC circle, but last March 15, 2014, Ninja Academy, Manila's First Indoor Parkour Facility, opened. Coach Ben, Robbie and Raven, founding members of the PPFA, opened Ninja Academy as a gift to their growing community. They wanted to give seasoned parkour artists a base of operations to enhance their craft and meet other artists. It's also a place to safely teach anyone who's interested in learning the art.

Coach Cruz and Coach Ejay have been doing parkour for years!

And just a fun tidbit, the coaches at Ninja Academy are also teaching parkour to prison guards and a branch of the special armed forces should they ever find themselves in a high speed foot chase. Goes to show that parkour isn't only for leisure, it's highly practical too!

Training Session!

But enough backstory! Let's get to some action! I was so psyched to finally try it! ('Coz I've always wanted to be a ninja/vigilante. Who doesn't??) I joined Ninja Academy's Gauntlet class - it's parkour-inspired circuit training. (P350/class, 3pm-5pm and 7pm-9pm, Mondays-Saturdays)

Coach Cruz started us off with a warm up freestyle jog around the gym. We jogged and jumped over stuff and rolled under stuff and it was seriously fun!!! It was like being a kid again!

The snake road (as inspired by Dragon Ball Z) and...

...the jungle made "jogging" more complicated and fun.

Next was a circuit workout aimed at conditioning the necessary muscles for parkour. We did drills - push ups, pull ups, crunches, and a few other workouts in rapid succession. After 3 sets, I was already drenched with sweat!

IMG_3702 IMG_3666
All you need for the circuit training is on the red mat and jungle.

And then finally, the part I've waited for. Coach Robbie (one of the owners) gave us some parkour 101. We learned and practiced basic kinds of vaults (going over obstacles).

The Vault boxes came in different sizes. I think one was twice my height!

After learning the basic vaults, Coach Ejay made us go through an obstacle course where we got to apply those skills (and then some). The obstacle course was like a game of hot lava - you have to get from point A to point B without touching the floor. You'll need to be really focused and quick. I went through the course 3 times, and I beat my course time on every go!

The course utilizes most of the gym's different stations.

IMG_3721 IMG_3785 Beginners course - nothing too dangerous, but still pretty tough.

The last part of the session was the stealth run. It's basically the same course except you have to do it without making a sound. It's a team effort. If any of you make a sound through the course, ALL of you will get a punishment - extra push ups, squats, etc. It's a fun way to meet fellow aspiring parkour artists! You can get punished from landing too hard, from the squeaking of my hands, hell, even from breathing too hard! So good luck!

The session was a really fun and cool experience. It also doesn't hurt that the coaches there were very accommodating and encouraging. They sincerely want you to learn the art! Coach Cruz, Robbie and Ejay, you guys are awesome!

Ninja Hideout

The gauntlet class is condition training and it's what beginners usually do but Ninja Academy also offers workshops if you want to learn more advanced techniques. (P600 to get a coach, but P550/each if there are 2 of you, and P250 if you're a member.) There are different sections in the gym to train the different skills of parkour:

They have their own Wall (left) and Finger Bouldering (right) for grip practice.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Coach Jaymark showing off mad ninja skills at the Pride Rock and the Salmon Ladder!

From the top of Pride Rock, you have to conquer your fear of heights and jump down the Foam Pit.
(Seriously, there's no other way down.)

And this is the Well for...water, I think.

Special Training

Ninja Academy offers other special classes (P500/session, P300 if member.) The 2 hour sessions are focused on 3 different forms of martial arts. This is the ninja killing part.

Kenjutsu - The art of Japanese swords.

Tricking - An aesthetic blend of kicks, flips and twists.

Self-Defense/Pekiti Tirsia Kali - A Filipino combat art that uses bare hands, knives or sticks.

French instructor teaching the Filipino martial art, Pekiti, on the red mat.

Recommended, but not required, footwear - OLLO.

Finally learned some parkour! I'm one step closer to my dream of scouring the rooftops of Manila as a dark ninja vigilante ridding the streets of crime! Once I learn archery, I'll practically be Green Arrow! For anyone sharing the same dream, or if you just want to learn a cool new art then drop by Ninja Academy! They'll teach you the proper and safe way to jump, swing, roll and flip like a high-flyin, ass-kickin, urban ninja would!

Learning ninja moves...

IMG_3822 (2) small step at a time.


Ninja Academy
is open from 1pm - 9pm from Monday - Saturday
and 1pm - 7pm on Sundays.
You can contact them at 624-2872

They're located at 155 Dr Sixto Antonio Ave Brgy Rosario, 1609 Pasig
(It's very near C5 and Ortigas Ave. intersection)
 For more info, follow them on Facebook or visit their website,


  1. Thanks for including my butt in this post. :))

  2. cool article ! i just started with parkour and it is quite tough ....
    here is a very inspiring article though about another parkour enthusiast: