Learn to Become a Ninja at New Fargo Business


FARGO, N.D. — Four Star Ninja Academy is officially open, but the mission of this gym isn’t like many others in Fargo.

“We started designing this to bring a new way to do fitness without them thinking they’re doing a workout,” said co-owner Dustin Hjelmstad.

The idea came from the co–owners’ own struggles with working out, as well as their love for American Ninja Warrior.

“I was 35 pounds heavier than I am now. I was unhappy, I was tired, and he was 40 pounds heavier, he’s lost 40 pounds. And then it was like hey, I’ve really been watching this Ninja Warrior show, I really love it. And he’s got 4 kids, so he was talking about ‘I wish when I was growing up I had something like a ninja gym,” said Hjelmstad.

They even brought a real life ninja to the grand opening.

“It’s okay to be overwhelmed; it’s okay to fail on obstacles. We have mats and padded things for a reason: because we plan on falling. It’s not meant to be perfect every time,” said Island Ninja Grant McCartney of American Ninja Warrior.

The facility has obstacles for all age groups, ranging from kids to adults.

“Oh, I’m coming here a lot because I’ve wanted one here for many years,” said 14-year-old Ethan Bruley.

The academy’s goal is to be an inclusive space where people from all backgrounds and skill levels, including those with special needs.

“As a mother of a son with autism, and my husband has autism as well, it is so heartwarming to have a place where my son came in just to check out where mommy ninja trains. And the colors, the openness, the temperature control and the lights, he felt so good coming in,” said personal trainer Arelle Kaufman.

They say this was the goal from the beginning.

“You know, creating a stimulating environment that helps people forget about, you know, any troubles that they have, and in a supportive environment, where the ninja community is a community of people. We’re all here to support each other,” said Hjelmstad.

The facility is open Monday through Saturday from 10 to 9 and Sundays from 12 to 6.

Categories: Business, Local News, North Dakota News