Motivational speaker wants to be an American Ninja Warrior, of course

By Jason Cruz
Northwest Asian Weekly

Hoan Do is seriously training to be a Ninja Warrior. (Photo courtesy of Ross Coyle Media)

After completing a workout in the gym one night, a local man decided that he wanted to be a ninja — but not just any ninja. Hoan Do hopes to make it on the next season of the NBC reality TV series “American Ninja Warrior.”

Starting its sixth season, the series is a sports entertainment event in which contestants compete in “the world’s most difficult obstacle course.” Former military, athletic, and fitness enthusiasts have competed on the show. While these individuals are in peak physical shape, they find the course challenging and many are unable to complete it.

Do, a 28-year-old motivational speaker, has begun his training to make it on the show. He created a YouTube audition video in which he goes through the various workouts needed to compete in the physically challenging obstacle course, including intensive climbing, jumping, and overall strength.

Do shot the three-minute video with a friend, sent it out via Twitter, and received rave reviews. More than 1,700 people have seen it, including the show’s hosts, who replied with supportive messages to Do.

Do has competed and participated in many athletic events, and says he is up to the challenge of making it onto the reality show. “This has encouraged me to exercise in fun and new ways,” he said. His rigorous schedule involves morning workouts on his agility, grip strength, and motion, followed by evening CrossFit training sessions.

Do says his biggest obstacle in preparing for the show is his motivational speaking travel schedule to high schools and colleges all over North America.

“I’d trade in my frequent flier miles for more time at home,” Do said. He traveled 116 days last year and will likely travel the same, if not more, this year. This has forced him to get creative with his workouts when a gym is not available, such as finding playgrounds in various cities.

Do attended Pepperdine University and majored in economics. He went to Decatur High School in Federal Way, where, as a freshman, he befriended senior Benson Henderson. They were both on the wrestling team. “He was a super calm guy, nice and relaxed,” recalled Do. Henderson went on to become a mixed martial arts fighter and Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight champion. The two were able to catch up when Henderson came back to Seattle for a UFC event a couple years ago.

Do has also written a book, “How to succeed in the Real World: What Schools Won’t Teach You.” The book aims to teach young people how to succeed in life.

The process for making it onto American Ninja Warrior is nearly as difficult as the obstacle course itself. For Do to get on the show, the producers would have to choose his audition video from the thousands they receive. If chosen, he would compete at a regional site. If selected as a finalist, Do would then go on to compete in the national finals at Las Vegas.

Do should know by mid-March whether he will be in the running to be the next American Ninja Warrior. (end)

Jason Cruz can be reached at

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