There’s no way around it, the cancellation of the ANW Experience events is a huge disappointment for us all. Fans and Ninjas alike were looking forward to the event.
If you’re looking for information on refunds, visit the ANW Experience website.
But, if there’s one thing Ninjas are known for, it’s figuring out how to navigate an obstacle. Many Ninjas who had intended to travel to the event in Phoenix are sticking to their plans and hoping to take care of the fans and families that planned to see them.
AZ on the Rocks, a climbing and Ninja gym in Scottsdale, AZ, is holding a Ninja-style competition on Saturday, February 10, from 12pm - 6pm. (Time has been updated)
The free event will allow fans who travelled to the area to have the chance to watch some of their favorite Ninjas compete in person. Additionally, registered participants can run a speed course for free.
The event came about when the Ninja community realized how deeply disappointed the fans would be after the cancellation. Adam Rayl, a local to the Scottsdale area, felt compelled to try to pull something together. He reached out to AZ on the Rocks, a gym where he trains, and started calling all his Ninja friends.
Adam shared, “Having worked with kids alongside other Ninjas at both Wolfpack Ninja Tours and other events around the country, I figured the Ninjas may want to rally for the fans. Plus, this is my home town and it felt more personal. Like I ought to try if I thought there was any chance of gathering the Ninjas for some kind of event.
The immediate response was overwhelmingly positive. No surprise there. If it was something to give back to the families and fans, they were ‘in’, if even on their own dime.”
@anwexperience event is cancelled, but the ninjas are still coming. Those of us who are able, are flying ourselves out to meet you (with or without an official venue!) Saturday afternoon/evening @azontherocks Climbing Gym is having a ninja competition. Remember this is NOT the official event. It's just us ninjas, hanging out. More details to come tomorrow.
Jessie Graff reflected on the importance of making sure the fans knew they weren’t forgotten. “Ninja is not just a sport, it’s a community and a feeling. We grow and learn together. We take care of each other. It’s so important to us that the fans feel included in that.”
Ethan Swanson said, “By the way, if we’re doing good for families in Phoenix, I’m still in.”
Over a dozen Ninjas plan to attend the event. While it won’t be a stadium experience, it will be an afternoon of Ninja competition and community in a snug environment. Steve Kimpton, the gym’s “Ninjaneer” is working furiously on obstacles to make this event a possibility. Steve, Kevin Berk (the gym’s owner) and the entire staff are hard at work creating an event that they hope will be great for all who can attend.
Here are some of the Ninjas who’ll be at AZ on the Rocks this weekend:
- Jessie Graff
- Drew Drechsel
- Flip Rodriguez
- Adam Rayl
- Jake Murray
- Gabe Hurtado
- Andrew Lowes
- Sean Bryan
- Ethan Swanson
- Noah Kaufman
- Tiana Webberley
- Nicholas Coolridge
- Thomas Stillings
- Maggi Thorne
- Jeri D’Aurelio
- Travis Brewer
- Rebekah Bonilla
- April Steiner Bennett
- Barclay Stockett
For more information on the event, or to register in advance to run the speed course, visit AZ on the Rock’s website.