David Campbell (Ninja Warrior)

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David Campbell
Born (1977-06-23) 23 June 1977 (age 41)
Scotts Valley, California
Nickname(s)The Godfather
ResidenceLos Angeles, California
OccupationAthlete, musician

David Campbell (born June 23, 1977) is an American athlete and musician known for performances on the Japanese program, Sasuke and its USA equivalent, American Ninja Warrior.


Campbell (デイヴィッド・キャンベル) started his Ninja Warrior career winning the fourth American preliminary competition, the American Ninja Challenge, and earning a place in Sasuke 22. In Japan, he failed the first stage, making it to 'the rope ladder' (the final obstacle,) before timing out. That year, Campbell made it farther than all other American competitors and Japanese All-Stars.

Campbell tried out in the first American Ninja Warrior, clearing the first two stages with one of the top times. During boot camp, he committed a rules infraction on one of the beach obstacles, and while it was noted that several other competitors got away with the same infraction, he was forced to redo the obstacle and lost a qualifying spot for Sasuke as a result. His nephew, Travis Furlanic, did qualify, ultimately failing at 'the jumping spider' in Japan.

In order to practice for future competitions, Campbell built a replica of the entire first stage as well as several second and third stage obstacles in his backyard. Campbell's course was featured on G4's Attack of the Show, Men's Health, and on TruTV.[1]

In American Ninja Warrior 2, Campbell made it out of Boot Camp with a qualifying spot. In Sasuke 26, cleared the First Stage with the fastest time (21.51 seconds). He then went on to clear Stage 2 with 23.4 seconds. In Stage 3, he slipped while transferring to the fourth ledge of 'the ultimate cliffhanger'. Again, he performed better than all other Americans in the competition.

In American Ninja Warrior 3, Campbell qualified for Sasuke 27. In the First Stage, he had the fastest time, finishing with over 44 seconds left on the clock (setting a SASUKE speed record). Campbell made it to the third stage, where he slipped on the sixth and final ledge of 'the ultimate cliffhanger'.[2] Although it is often stated on the program that this is the farthest any American had ever gone on the Sasuke course, it is not accurate. Actor/martial artist Kane Kosugi reached the final stage in Sasuke 8.

In 2012, Campbell competed in the fourth American Ninja Warrior tournament. He qualified with the fastest run during the Northwest qualifiers, with a time of 58.55 seconds.[1] Both he and Furlanic earned spots in the ANW finals in Las Vegas, Nevada; however Furlanic did not compete at the Finals. Campbell failed on the "Spinning Bridge" in Stage 1 of the Finals.

In 2013, Campbell competed in the fifth "American Ninja Warrior" in the Venice Qualifiers, and got 3rd place. In the Regional Qualifiers, he was one of four competitors to complete the whole course.

In 2014, he competed in the sixth season and got the fastest times in the Venice Qualifiers and in the Venice Finals, and also he was one of four people that completed Cannonball Alley one of the most toughest city finals obstacles in history of American Ninja Warrior. In the Vegas Finals he failed stage 1 for the third time in a row where he failed the silk slider.

In 2015, he led a Team USA All-Star team into an all-star game versus Team China on X Warrior (Chinese: 极限勇士; pinyin: Jíxiàn Yǒngshì; lit. Ultimate Warrior), a Chinese gameshow like American Ninja Warrior.[3]

In 2016, Campbell completed all four stages of Mount Midoriyama in Sasuke Việt Nam,[4] unofficially becoming the third American to achieve what is known as "Total Victory" after Geoff Britten and Isaac Caldiero completed the course on the seventh season of American Ninja Warrior.[5][6] However, he had less success in America, finishing 17th in the Oklahoma City Finals and failing to make it to the National Finals in Las Vegas for the first time in his Ninja Warrior career.[7]

In 2017, Campbell competed in Los Angeles and barely qualified for the City Finals, finishing in 27th out of 30 qualifying competitors.[8] Later, in the City Finals, Campbell advanced to the Vegas Finals, barely making the cut in 15th out of 15, after Grant McCartney failed to qualify.[9] At the National Finals, Campbell completed Stage 1 for the first time in five seasons.[10][11] He later fell on the fifth obstacle on Stage 2, "Wingnut Alley."[12]

In 2018 on American Ninja Warrior 10, he returned in Los Angeles and where he completed both the Qualifying and Finals Coarse. In Vegas he once again failed Stage 1 on the Double Dipper.

In 2019 on American Ninja Warrior 11, he returned stronger than ever in Los Angeles, placing 2nd in Qualifying.


Campbell resides currently in Los Angeles, California. He is a vegetarian.[13]


  1. ^ a b Israeli, Dan (2012-06-12). "Build Your Own American Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course". Men's Health.
  2. ^ Hale, Mike (2011). "A 'Ninja Warrior' Upgrade Into Network Prime Time". New York Times. Retrieved August 21, 2011.
  3. ^ 江苏卫视官方频道 China JiangsuTV Official Channel (3 November 2015). 极限勇士 2015收官战中美勇士顶级对决 五国勇士决战紫金之巅 151103 (in Chinese).
  4. ^ Lee, Nikki (September 30, 2016). "American Ninja Warrior David Campbell scores total victory in Sasuke Vietnam". SB Nation. Retrieved June 28, 2017.
  5. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (September 14, 2015). "American Ninja Warrior Crowns First Winner — With a Twist". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 28, 2017.
  6. ^ Prudom, Laura (September 14, 2015). "American Ninja Warrior Crowns First Ever Winner After 7 Seasons". Variety. Retrieved June 28, 2017. Only four competitors have ever completed the course and achieved “total victory” in the Japanese version of the show.
  7. ^ American Ninja Warrior. Season 8. Episode 9. August 1, 2016. NBC.
  8. ^ American Ninja Warrior. Season 9. Episode 1. June 12, 2017. NBC.
  9. ^ American Ninja Warrior. Season 9. Episode 7. July 24, 2017. NBC.
  10. ^ Lee, Nikki (September 12, 2017). "David Campbell is finally back where he belongs". SB Nation. Retrieved September 24, 2017.
  11. ^ Lee, Nikki (September 18, 2017). "American Ninja Warrior National Finals recap: Was there a winner this season? You'll need to tell us". SB Nation. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
  12. ^ American Ninja Warrior. Season 9. Episode 15. September 18, 2017. NBC.
  13. ^ David Campbell - The American Shiratori

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