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Our Team

The Warrior Playground staff is always ready to be of service. Whether you are a first timer with no prior experience or a seasoned veteran who wants to find new ways to become a better ninja. Our classes and private lessons are led by an experienced group of ninjas with a passion for teaching every aspect of the sport of Ninja Obstacle Competition & how to just have fun on any Playground.


"The World is your Playground"


Joseph Mendoza

Performance Director, Fitness & Nutrition Coach

Joseph believes that all must “Create their own reality” in order to achieve anything in life. He guides individuals to believe they can always reach the next level by never giving up or giving in to the easy road. Joseph loves to inspire people to become stronger physically, mentally and emotionally for life. He educates his client’s about the importance of setting realistic goals, the benefits of holistic nutrition and other wellness strategies that support a truly healthy lifestyle.

Joseph has been in the fitness industry for 10 years and counting. He received his undergraduate degree from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2012 in the field of Human Sports Performance with a focus on Adult Exercise and Science. One of Joseph’s top selected achievements was his experience in his internship with Steadman Hawkins Clinic (Human Sports Performance) where he was mentored by Loren Landow.

Chris Hopper Parkour Instructor

Chris Hopper was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado. Chris is a ParkourEDU certified instructor who has over 8 years of experience coaching parkour, seven of which were with Apex Movement (yes, team APEX from World Chase Tag!). Chris has always had a love for movement having grown up as a gymnast and freestyle skier. He began coaching gymnastics as a young adult and continued with that into his early twenties, which eventually led him to discover a new up and coming sport – parkour! All his gymnastics experience translated easily to parkour, and he fell in love with the sense of empowerment and liberation that comes from using the body to overcome obstacles with creativity, fluidity, strength, and style. He also has a passion for teaching, and although he loves working with all ages, he is especially gifted at teaching and inspiring the youth. He has worked at various schools and summer programs teaching parkour, movement, music, and circus skills. He is currently an educator and mentor at The Kiva Center, a nature based homeschool that emphasizes socio-emotional wellness and connection with the natural world for kids ages 5-16. In his words, “I am beyond excited to be working with Warrior Playground to bring parkour to Longmont and the extended Front Range!”


Glenn Albright
Ninja Instructor

My name is Glenn Albright, I graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a Bachelors in Sports and Exercise Science. I was a division 1 track and field athlete where I mainly ran the 400 and 400 meter hurdles. After College I did 2 years of volunteer work as a track coach. Around that time I really started to get into ninja and attempted to try out for the show. I walked onto season 9 for Denver but missed my chance to run the course by 2 spots. However I continued to train and for the next two seasons of the show (10 Minneapolis and 11 Seattle/Tacoma) I got to compete. I really find passion in the sport of ninja and have determination at becoming better everyday. I love speed obstacles because it reminds me of my roots in the sport of Track and Field. What I hope to accomplish is giving others the excitement and thrill of doing ninja as well as making sure they’re learning and becoming better for themselves.

Ninja Status:

ANW Season 10 Minneapolis

ANW Season 11 Tacoma City Finalist

ANW Season 12 St Louis

Sam Banola

Owner/ Ninja Instructor/ Personal Trainer

Health and fitness has been a part of Sam's life – for nearly all of his life. His passion for athletic competition has personally led him to training for and competing in a wide variety of sports including boxing, football, mountain biking, snowboarding, soccer, Xterra triathlons, Wrestling, and of course -Ninja Warrior.

For the past 20 years Sam has been both a student and practitioner of health and fitness, helping clients to get leaner, stronger, and more flexible. As such, he has been learning how to improve upon the process with each successive client.

Sam's extensive experience in exercise science and training for sport - allows him to identify specific movement skills that need to be improved and how to strengthen the muscle groups that will enhance that particular skill. Whether for Ninja Obstacle Course work or endurance based obstacle training, Sam can create a program to make you a better competitor. Sam has a B.S. in Exercise Science an M.S. in Cardiac Rehab, and has been a certified strength and conditioning coach through the NSCA since 1996.

Ninja Status:

2021 UNAA World Ninja Challenge 5th Place (40+ age group)

2019 CNL Season 2 Champion (40+ age group)

2018 UNAA World Championships 3rd Place (40 + age group)

ANW Minneapolis Season 10 Competitor 

ANW Denver Season 9 Course Tester

4X UNAA National Qualifier (2016, 2017, 2018,2019)

2018 UNAA Regional Champion (40+ age group)

2017 UNAA Regional 3rd Place

2017 Wolfpack Ninja Tour 2nd place (40+ age group)

2016 UNAA Regional Champion

2016 WolfPack Ninja Smackdown Finalist

2016 Warrior Playground Skills Challenge Champion

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