Courses vs. Skills

Earlier in this training we defined an Obstacle Course as multiple obstacles attempted in succession. Today we are going to define what skills are and how we differentiate them from obstacles courses.


A skill in ninja features one or more obstacles of the same type or similar theme being attempted together in succession.


It is possible for a course designer to introduce a skill outside of this definition. However, our vision for skills is to purposefully design each skill to test a very specific ninja technique or theme. Let’s take a lot at some skills of the flagship skills we run at our Tier 1 Championship to understand this topic a little better:

Obstacle Dash

Our obstacle dash skill is a short series of obstacles that tests the athletes speed, efficiency and obstacle technique.

This speed skill is typically completed in under 1 min and could be mistaken for a short course. However, we identify it as a skill because the obstacles are all designed to test one very specific aspect of ninja, the athletes speed.

Obstacle Endurance

Our obstacle Endurance skill is a series of obstacles that tests the grip strength and endurance.

This endurance skill typically burns out all of the athletes strength and energy. This skill is designed to test one very specific aspect of ninja, the athletes endurance.

Obstacle Tech

Our Obstacle Tech skill is a series of obstacles that challenge the athletes technical ability.

This technique based skill encourages athletes to be mindful of the approach the athlete takes on the skills.

For those familiar with climbing, our Obstacle Tech skill will feel similar to a climbing route or project.

Again, this skill tests very specific aspect of ninja, the athletes technical ability.

Skills vs. Course

Each of our flagship skills are purposefully designed to test a single aspect of ninja. A single skill should focus on a single obstacle type or theme. This is a key difference from courses. Obstacle Courses typically have a hybrid focus that combines many different obstacle types or themes. This multi-focused approach on obstacle courses tests the athletes ability across multiple aspects of ninja.

Skills Competitions

At skills competitions, athletes will typically compete in multiple skills events. Since athletes will compete in multiple events, skills competitions use our multi-event competition scoring. The winner at skills competition is the athlete who performed best across all skills in the competition. This is calculated using the skills overall scoring and offers a more complete picture of the athlete’s overall ability. In some cases, skills will also use the individual scoring found at multi-event competitions and recognize the best athlete on each skill.

We will dive deeper into the different skills types, categories and rules later in this section.


That concludes our analysis of Skills vs Courses. At this point you should be familiar with the differences between a course and skill.