Displaying items by tag: Eric Huss

Thursday, 25 January 2018 13:11

Saratoga Ninja Garage Kids Head to Nationals

[Photos provided by Eric Huss]

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Saratoga Ninja Garage (SNG) has caused quite the stir this last year, between their summer camps with American Ninja Warrior stars Jamie Rahn and Brian Arnold, among other special ninja guests, and the attention that the ninja sport has brought to the area. SNG curator Eric Huss started converting his garage so his kids, Johnno, 10, Oliver, 8, and Scarlett, 5, could have a play space for themselves and their friends. After a few open gym sessions, the SNG was packed frequently with kids looking to improve their ninja skills and have a great time. Huss decided to start a competition team, resulting in 14 kids, ages 6-15, competing at the Pinnacle Parkour Academy gym, owned by ninja warrior Jamie Rahn, in Cherry Hill, NJ. The third annual Cherry Hill PPK National Ninja League Qualifier competition took place on Jan. 20 and 21.

Team SNG had seven National qualifiers from the Saratoga Springs area: Zach Germain, Kaitlyn Wells, Andrew Wells, Oliver Huss, Nick Freeman, Molly Kaatz, Molly Ford, and coached by Randi Cowper.

Published in Sports
Thursday, 24 August 2017 13:02

Saratoga Ninja Garage: Camp

[Photos courtesy of Eric Huss and Lori Mahan]

SARATOGA SPRINGS – This past week Eric Huss flew three American Ninja Warriors, Jamie Rahn, Brian Arnold, and Jake Murray to his home in Saratoga Springs to host a week of camps for kids in the area. Selling out immediately and a wait-list of over 300 kids, Huss knew that his mission, to create a space “where kids could just be kids” was about to get even more fun.

Huss turned his prohibition era garage into a ninja gym because he was just trying to be a great dad. His kids love the show and compete in ninja type style competitions for fun. While in Colorado last year, Huss was able to meet and speak with these American ninjas and pick their brains about the obstacle courses. From there, he created his own.

Saratoga was taken by surprise to see the Warriors waiting in line for breakfast the other day, whispering excitedly to each other as they realized what was going on. They were in the area for only a week and in that short amount of time they threw a fundraiser and helped local kids dream of being a ninja come true.

“This camp is basically just 12 kids playing. There are only three rules; Have fun, no parents, no arguing,” Huss explained.

“There are plans to open a bigger space. An actual business,” Huss revealed.

On Monday night the ninjas and Huss threw a fundraiser for the Franklin Community Center where about 100 kids showed up with their families. For two and a half hours, the guys sat and signed things for kids, met with them, and about $300 was raised for the center.

“We wanted to do something for the kids that were unable to meet the guys and were on the wait lists,” Huss said.

Five free entries were given to kids who were the first to answer specific questions on the Ninja Garage Facebook page and they were then able to participate in the camp.

Safety and fun are Huss’ number one goals as a father and as the operator of his gym. The camp itself is structured with the ninjas showing the kids how to successfully use specific obstacles such as the quintuple steps and variations of that, plus different techniques to successfully complete those. They also help them with balance and precision work, upper body strength, and the warp wall, which is a huge obstacle on the show that Huss has recreated in his own garage. Huss receives no money for his gym. Instead, all of the entry fees went toward the ninjas who flew in to run the camps.

Open gym is held weekly, for more information check out www.facebook.com/SaratogaNinjaGarage/.  

Published in Sports
Friday, 28 July 2017 10:44

Saratoga Ninja Garage Warriors Camp

[Photos by Jake Murray and Eric Huss.]

SARATOGA SPRINGS –  American Ninja Warrior is a very popular show entering its’ sixth season on NBC about a group of talented athletic competitors who tackle a series of obstacle courses and other insane physical challenges. The show goes from region to region showcasing different athletes in their fight to the finish. Regional winners then move on to the finals in Las Vegas. That winner will take home one million dollars.

Local Saratoga resident Eric Huss has decided to take his prohibition era garage and turn it into a ninja gym. Saratoga Ninja Garage (SNG) is a free open gym for kids to come and do similar physical obstacle courses reminiscent of the show. Huss created all obstacles himself with materials found on Craigslist and other similar sites, with help from his father. He created a Facebook page and did a soft opening with his friends to test the waters and gauge the level of interest. He wanted kids to have a place to hang out and have open gyms for anyone to enjoy. At the soft opening alone, 35 kids showed up from as far as Albany. Over the last six months, he has held open gyms on Mondays that proved to be very popular.

“I was out in Colorado a couple weeks ago and my kids and I got together with Jake Murray from the show and I asked him if he would be interested in coming out and doing some clinics.”

Huss does not profit from these events and paid out of the camp registration fee fund to fly the athletes in to do the programs at the gym. Registration is $50 per kid which includes a two hour clinic. Only 12 to 14 kids participate per two hours, providing them a lot of quality time with the athletes. Parents will be signing an insurance waiver at the start of the clinic. Saratoga Ninja Warrior Kids Camp will be taking place on August 21 through August 25 with three camps per day, rotating every two hours. Each participant walks away with a custom SNG item and will have the option to purchase gear from each Celebrity Ninja. Groups will be split up by age and ability. Kids do have the option to participate in several camps, but are required to pay the registration fee each time. Parents are invited to watch, though viewing space is very limited.

Jake Murray and Jaime Rahn signed on immediately. After creating the event page on his gyms’ Facebook, Huss was overwhelmed with the response. The event was made public last Thursday at midnight and by Friday morning all clinics were filled with an additional wait list of 30 kids. With the wait list and interest growing, Huss reached out to the guys and asked them if they would mind adding more classes.

“I had people begging me to add more spots, telling me this was their kids dream! I had to do more.”

He decided to add two more classes per day and another full day. By the time he expanded, the wait list was up to 145 more people. These extra clinics were filled within the hour. Now, 315 kids are registered. Huss asked Jake Murray to reach out to other American Ninja Warrior competitors to see if they may want to participate. Brian Arnold agreed to join the team, he will be doing two days of camp with Murray.

People are driving from as far as New York City and Boston, Massachusetts so that their children can enjoy something that many have said “is their dream.”

Unfortunately, all spots have been filled. Open gyms do take place every Monday from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. For more information and to stay informed, please visit www.facebook.com/SaratogaNinjaGarage.

Published in Sports