Texas Tech University

Law Student to be Featured on 'American Ninja Warrior'

George Watson

June 16, 2016


Brian Burkhardt’s episode on the NBC show is scheduled to air June 20.


Someday, maybe, Brian Burkhardt will have a television commercial touting him as “The Law Ninja.”

As for now, however, the second-year student in the Texas Tech University School of Law hasn't quite figured out how his upcoming appearance on the NBC television show “American Ninja Warrior” will fit into his law career. It was a struggle just to fit the training for the show into his class schedule.


“At the beginning of the school year it was very difficult to train with how swamped I was with my studies,” said Burkhardt, a native of San Antonio. “After a month or so I figured out how to manage my time better. I work out every other day for about three hours rock climbing, swinging from the weight racks in the Crossfit area and doing pull-ups.”

Brian Burkhardt
Brian Burkhardt

The episode of the show featuring Burkhardt is scheduled to air on June 20, and he did share that he will appear on more than one episode but could not provide any further details due to contractual limitations.

Burkhardt, who played football and ran track in high school, got hooked on the show as a teenager. He tried out for season seven of the show and was not selected, but he was chosen for season eight.

He submitted the video application in January and competed on the show in Oklahoma City mid-May and in the days leading up to the airing of his episode. His application was chosen from more than 50,000. He has been in “ninja training” for two years, utilizing mostly obstacle-course gymnasiums in his hometown.

“The type of muscle groups that are needed for the show are very different than football, so the transition took a few months,” Burkhardt said.


Burkhardt, who earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Texas-San Antonio, said training for the show has done more than just keep him in shape.

“The experience was incredible, but the most valuable thing I learned during this past year was not the discipline of having to train consistently,” Burkhardt said. “It was how important physical activity is to alleviate stress and to just have fun. I haven't figured out how to combine Ninja Warrior and the law, so at the moment it's just a fun hobby.”