High Flier and “American Ninja Warrior” Jonah Bonner

Irvine’s Jonah Bonner previously appeared on Seasons 11 and 13 of the reality TV competition show “American Ninja Warrior.” The 25-year-old contestant is back this season to conquer the nation’s most notorious obstacle course.
Photograph by Emily J. Davis

What was your reaction to being called back this season?

It’s obviously exciting, but it’s also rewarding. With it being quite a popular show, they have to have new characters all the time, so they’re constantly changing the competitor list. I feel appreciated because I haven’t been replaced by a new person.

How did you train for the competition?

There’s a ninja training gym in San Dimas called Movement Lab that I go to every week. (It has) legitimate ninja obstacles that are very similar to the ones on the show. I do a lot of rock climbing (which) helps with grip strength and overall body awareness. I also do mountain biking and BMX, which helps with cardio, and other activities that I enjoy and keep me fit like surfing and running.

You also have a background in trampoline, right?

Yeah! I represented the U.S. for trampoline in 2015 at the World Age Group Championships in Denmark. My trampoline training also helped immensely with air awareness and reflexes when it comes to controlling my body in the air and grabbing hold of the next obstacle.

What are your goals going into this competition?

I just want to have fun. The obstacles are intimidating, but you learn to conquer them. In a sense, it feels like taming a dragon. I’d also love to make it to the national finals, which are in Vegas. In 2019, I was three people short of making it. In 2021, I had an early fall on the course. I’m hoping that I can do better than I’ve ever done before and make it all the way this time.

See Him!

Catch “American Ninja Warrior” on NBC.

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