- For some, a difficult challenge
is just an opportunity to dig deep.
- That's what I'm talking about!
If you fall, get up!
- And rise to the occasion.
She's gonna do it as well!
- This is amazing.
- Today, those challenges continue,
and though it may not always be easy,
this isn't about winning...
- This is about something bigger.
- These ninjas will never quit.
They will rise...
And they will win.
Do you feel like you belong?
- I belong now.
- On "American Ninja Warrior Junior"!
Hello, and welcome back to the heart of Los Angeles
and another pulse-pounding qualifying round
of "American Ninja Warrior Junior,"
right here on Universal Kids.
Thanks again for joining us. I'm Matt Iseman.
- And I'm Akbar Gbajabiamila, and, Matt, you nailed it
because this competition has been all about heart.
You know, these kids are laying it all on the line.
- Well, we thought we knew what to expect
out of these kids, but their performances
have been nothing short of inspirational.
And the competition last time was no different.
Last week, nine-year-old Kaden from Colorado proved
that perseverance pays off.
- That's what I'm talking about!
If you fall, get up!
- 11-year-old Hans showed
that even if you lose once, you can come back
and win it all.
- What a performance by the Ginger Ninja.
- And 14-year-old Analise
flew through the course in style.
- It's the shades. It's the shades!
- As they all moved on to the semifinals.
And today, four more junior ninjas from each
age bracket have converged to battle it out
on our dual obstacle course.
- Here's how the bracket works.
Those four competitors will meet for the first time
in the Seeding Round. Then the two fastest ninjas
will face off against the two slowest
in the Knockout Round.
And that'll set up one last Final Showdown
to determine who moves on to the semifinals.
- As always, starting it off will be the junior ninjas
from the nine-and-ten-year-old age group.
For a closer look at their course,
let's go down to the third member of our team,
- Thanks guys, as always,
the nine-and-ten-year-old ninjas
will begin their side-by-side race
right here at the Sonic Swing.
Then they'll need all the momentum
they can muster to move the Tic Toc.
After that, they'll put their upper-body strength
to work on the I-Beam.
That's followed by a quick run over the Floating Tiles.
Then it's time to test their lache skills
on the Spin Cycle.
And lastly, the ninjas will have to scale
the 13-foot Warped Wall with handholds
at 10 and 11 1/2 feet.
First ninja to hit their buzzer wins the race.
Matt. - Thanks, Laurie.
Well, it's time to kick things off
on "America Ninja Warrior Junior."
Leading off with our nine- and-ten-year-old warriors.
First up, we have Jordan Watson
out of Box Springs, Georgia,
who calls herself the Ninja Lion.
And she'll be facing off against Sean Arms,
who, back home in Clinton, Connecticut,
is a disciple of one
of the greatest ninja legends of all time.
- Sean, are you ready?
- My ninja coach is Drew Drechsel.
- And I'm part of a ninja team
called The Ninja Squad.
- There you go. Good.
- I eat ninja, I sleep ninja, and I dream ninja.
- When I see him now doing all the stuff
that he can do, I'm amazed.
- Yes! - Nice.
- He can get to the top
of a 14-foot warped wall.
I just wish he would be able to pick up after himself.
- Ready? - [speaks indistinctly]
- I love ninjas so much, but I love my family
even more than I love ninja.
Topher, come over here.
I like being a big brother
because I get to play with Topher.
You got this, Topher. You can do it.
- Topher definitely looks up to his big brother.
Wherever Sean wants to go, Christopher
wants to be right there next to him.
- I love you, bro. - I love you, bro, too.
- I love you too. You the best.
- I hope Topher is a ninja when he grows up, like me.
- And there's Sean's parents and little brother Topher.
- Oh, boy, Matt, we are in for an exciting race,
because Sean has his own ninja cave at home
and practices at least two hours a day,
but that doesn't intimidate Jordan
because she her own backyard course too.
And she calls herself the Ninja Lion
because she plans to roar.
- And Jordan and Sean off to a great start.
- Sean Arms taking an early lead,
but Jordan's hot on his heels.
[cheers and applause]
- Well, Matt, you can see Sean's
got the separation here.
Ooh! Look at him glide through I-Beam.
- He looks very comfortable.
Wow! Effortless out of Sean Arms.
- Sean's widening the lead on Jordan,
who's still on the I-Beam!
- Oh, my goodness, you can see
why Drew said this kid may be the future.
Look at that! Perfect.
- This is so fast, Matt.
Ooh! - Oh, my goodness.
Skips the 10-foot. - Go right for it.
- I see you!
- Sean Arms just got the fastest time
we've seen, period!
- And he just did a walk-off.
He just did a walk-off. - He just walked off.
- All right, finish it up! Let's go!
- Jordan Watson still putting together a phenomenal run.
She just ran into a buzz saw with Sean Arms.
Jordan Watson, what a great race.
- And look at that, Sean ran right down
to hug his brother.
- Great job. Deep breaths, all right?
- Now, throughout this tournament,
we've enlisted the aid
of some very special mentors
to encourage, guide, and inspire our junior ninjas.
For today's races, Barclay Stockett
will help the nine-and-ten-year-olds.
Najee Richardson, the 11-and-12-year-olds,
and Kevin Bull, the 13-and-14-year-olds.
- And there's Barclay Stockett with our next competitors.
- All right, you guys, give it all you got.
Be confident. You're gonna have so much fun out here.
Let's go. Let's go.
- Up next, out of Albuquerque, New Mexico,
we have ten-year-old Ryan Richardson.
Here's his family on the sidelines
sporting the New Mexico flag.
And facing off against Ryan is nine-year-old Sydney Smith
from Edwardsville, Illinois.
Sydney is a ninja on and off the course.
- When I'm not on the obstacle course,
I'm studying to be a real-life ninja.
Bujinkan ninjutsu is the technique
that the ninjas use in Japan.
Currently, I'm on my brown belt,
but I'm halfway to my junior black belt.
In Bujinkan ninjutsu, there is a lot of sword play
and also rolls, kicks, and throws.
It helps me with my balance,
with my footwork,
with my awareness...
- Good, keep going.
- Most importantly, it helps me focus
on the obstacles and finish.
I'm excited to compete against the kid ninjas
just to see how good they are and see if I can do better.
- Well, looks like Ryan has his work cut out for him.
- Yeah, you better believe that, Matt,
because in addition to martial arts training,