Get To Know Our Ninja Warrior Coaches
Also known as Sensei, Nate is the leader of the ninja warrior coaches.
Tell us a little about yourself.
“I’m 33 years old, married, and have 3 kids. I enjoy reading, rough-housing, gardening, goofing off with my kids, taking family trips and training.
I’ve been in business since 2009, and have been coaching Ninjas since 2012. I’ve done a lot in my short time here so far, and still have a lot more to do. I was a standout wrestler in high school, served in the Marine Corps for 4 years, after that, I jumped face first into the world of MMA, which I trained for very seriously for 4 years. Ultimately, I made the decision to leave that sport and have been filling the competitive void with multiple athletic endeavors, the most recent being Ninja Warrior. I was fortunate enough to be a competitor on American Ninja Warrior 4 times, making it to the Las Vegas finals in Season 4. I’m always learning new things, and always trying to be better at everything and set a good example to my kids, coaches, and students.”
What is on your wish list for Chicago Ninja Academy in the next 5-10 years?
“I can see things going a number of different ways. We are in a very exciting time, and Ninja is growing fast, both as an entertainment program and as a sport/”lifestyle”. I hope to expand my influence by training the next generation of coaches, and growing the next generation of Ninjas through our unique style of training.”
What is your proudest moment at Chicago Ninja Academy?
“That’s a tough one! I’m super proud of everyone here. Seeing people get the call and step on the “big stage” is amazing! However, it’s the day-to-day events that really pump me up. I get super pumped when people overcome the obstacles in their minds. Trying and trying, failing repeatedly, and then after many, (sometimes MANY) attempts, achieving something that was impossible before.”
If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you?
“Sylvester Stallone in his prime, or Keanu Reeves.”
If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?
“I have two: I would want to see the United States prior to colonization, and I would like to watch the Ancient Olympics.”
What places have you lived in?
“I grew up in West Chicago, I lived in Southern California for a few years, as well as spent a couple of years (combined) overseas.”
What advice do you give to new ninja warrior coaches?
“Being a Ninja Warrior coach can be one of the most rewarding jobs, but it takes a lot of practice and a lot of patience and empathy. It’s a blend of art and science.”
[COMING SOON!] Drew Marinelli
How did you learn about Chicago Ninja Academy?
If you could interview one person (dead or alive) who would it be?
What did you want to be when growing up?
Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us?
You’re happiest when?
What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
What are three words you can use to describe Chicago Ninja Academy?
“Fun, Awesome and Cool!”
Top 3 life highlights?
“Making the varsity wrestling team as a freshman. Never got eliminated from any sports related tournament. Coaching the next generation of Ninja Warriors!”
What do you like to do in your spare time?
“Playing sports or working out!”
If your house was burning down, what’s the one non-living thing you would save?
“My wrestling shoes.”
What is an ability you wish you had?
“Change my height at any time.”
What’s your favorite thing to do in the wonderful city of Chicago?
“See all the tourist attractions, starting with ‘The Bean.'”
[COMING SOON] KYLE SCHULZE
If you could be anyone from any time period who would it be and why?
If you were stuck on an island what three things would you bring?
What do you like to do on your days off?
What is your favorite number and why?
When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
What do you like most about Chicago Ninja Academy?
“First of all, I love that the Chicago Ninja Academy is a family. We hold each other accountable, and push
oneanother to become better. Second, I am always being challenged both mentally and physically. The confidence you have within yourself to complete an obstacle successfully is all up to whether you believe in yourself or not. The physical training is second nature.”
Any favorite line from a movie?
“I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready! – Spongebob Square Pants“
If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
“Vegetable stir-fry. Mushrooms and onions are crucial, my favorite.”
Where would you like to travel to?
“As many places as possible. I want to explore, and climb as many trees as I can around the world (as long as I can make it to the first branch).”
What is your biggest pet peeve?
“My biggest pet peeve is dramatic yawning. Ask yourself if it’s really that necessary to add dramatization to your yawn. Another one is when the steering wheel of a car is not straightened out when I wasn’t the one driving last.”
What is the most important thing you have learned in the last five years?
“The most important thing that I have learned is that I am going to fail. I want to fail, this way I know I am putting forth effort. It’s those who choose to put in the work that will persevere.”
“More confidence in speaking in front of a large audience and gained more knowledge of how to do each obstacle correctly and more efficiently.”
Describe what you were like at age 10.
“Energetic and athletic, always going out and doing something active.”
If given a chance, who would you like to be for a day?
“Dwayne Johnson because of his work ethic and his desire to become better.”
People would be surprised if they knew:
“I’m 17 Years Old.”
What tv show/movie are you ashamed to admit you love?
What is your favorite sport?