IF HISTORY is anything to go by, when the finale of Australian Ninja Warrior airs next week, no one will be crowned the winner.

During the 31 series of Ninja Warrior broadcast globally, only six people have managed to successfully complete the course and achieve "Total Victory" - four in Japan and two in the US.

Ninja Warrior started off as a Japanese sports show called Sasuke in 1997 and has since spawned spin-off series in 18 other countries.

The grand final course is especially tough thanks to the infamous Mount Midoriyama - a 22m rope hanging from the ceiling. The contestants must scale up the rope and press the buzzer within 30 seconds to claim the title.

Let us introduce you to the six amazing contestants who have successfully completed the course over the past 20 years.


YUUJI URUSHIHARA

Japanese Ninja Warrior's Yuuji Urushihara.
Japanese Ninja Warrior's Yuuji Urushihara.


Urushihara, a shoe salesman, spent five years trying to qualify for Sasuke, the original Japanese version of Ninja Warrior. He's the only person to have ever finished the course twice.

He's attempted the course 13 times and on his fourth go in 2010 he managed to complete it for the first time, smashing it again the following year in 2011.

He struggled on some obstacles because of a fear of water, which he developing after he almost drowned at sea as a child. Despite training hard during high school, he still considers himself a bad swimmer.

ISAAC CALDIERO

It took the Americans seven seasons before a contestant actually finished the course - two managed to do it during Season 7 in 2015.

But 33-year-old Caldiero was the fastest, scaling Mount Midoriyama in a record-setting 26.14 seconds, winning the $US1 million prize money.


Caldiero is a professional rock climber with seriously good hair - you can follow him on Instagram here.

"Being a professional climber isn't glamorous. There's not a lot of money in it, and you have to make a ton of sacrifices. At one point I was just eating cereal with water every day and sleeping in the back seat of my car to save money," he told Forbes after his win in 2015.

Isaac Caldiero assesses Mount Midoriyama during Season 7 of American Ninja Warrior.Source:Supplied
Isaac Caldiero assesses Mount Midoriyama during Season 7 of American Ninja Warrior.Source:Supplied

 

"It's just a passion I've developed. I've been rock climbing for over 18 years. There's really nothing else like it," he said.

"I just want to show people that whatever they're struggling with isn't impossible. There is a strategy, there is a solution, and you can apply it to any situation. Somebody saying 'you can't do this' drives me crazy.

"So I'm just excited to keep climbing and putting good vibes out into the world. That's living the dream for me," he said.

GEOFF BRITTEN

This was the other guy who finished the course during the 2015 US season. He's a professional cameraman who has been rock climbing in his spare time for decades.

Britten completed the courses first, but his time wasn't as good as Caldiero's. He missed out on the title and that caused a bit of controversy in the US at the time, dubbed #NinjaGate.

"My take on it is, I don't know how to say this diplomatically, I feel like it's pretty clear cut. I feel like I'm the first American Ninja Warrior. I'm the first person to do it, and all I care about is that that's recognised," he told The Washington Times.

"Feel like I should get a title or something. Seems like it's kind of gone to him, all the titles and all the glory, and he's come out and said that he feels he deserves that.

 

Geoff Britten completing the American Ninja Warrior course.
Geoff Britten completing the American Ninja Warrior course.

 

"To me, that feels a little unfair. He won, there's nobody saying he didn't win.

"He won clear as day, and he was an amazing competitor that night, but I was the first person to finish it all. I had a perfect season, the only one ever to do that."

Still, Britten boldly claims the title of "First American Ninja Warrior" on his Instagram account.

KAZUHIKO AKIYAMA

Akiyama, a crab fisherman and massage therapist, was the first man to climb Mount Kanzenseiha. He weighed 56kg and at 161cm tall, had only 5.8 per cent body fat.

He has a degenerative eye condition which forced him to retire after his win.

Crab fisherman Kazuhiko Akiyama managed to complete the course, even with his eye condition.
Crab fisherman Kazuhiko Akiyama managed to complete the course, even with his eye condition.

 

 

MAKOTO NAGANO

Makoto Nagano, aka the World’s Strongest Fisherman.
Makoto Nagano, aka the World’s Strongest Fisherman.

This guy is a commercial fisherman and is often referred to as the World's Strongest Fisherman. He weighs 64kg and is 162cm tall.

Nagano spent 300 days a year training on his fishing ship for the Sasuke competitions - he has competed in 26 of them - but this year announced his retirement.

He was also a contestant on the famous SASUKE All-Stars show, featuring favourite competitors who were thought to have the greatest chance at completing the course.


YUSUKE MORIMOTO

Sasuke winner Yusuke Morimoto after completing the course.
Sasuke winner Yusuke Morimoto after completing the course.


Morimoto, a software engineer, starting competing in Sasuke at age 15 and is the youngest Sasuke winner, achieving victory at age 23.

Australian Ninja Warrior airs on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesday at 7.30pm on Channel Nine.

 

News Corp Australia


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