About Us

Welcome to Flip Side Ninja Park ™, where you’ll find the perfect gym to test your ninja skills, enjoy a fun alternative workout, or provide some safe entertainment and fitness for the kids! Have you ever found yourself sitting on the couch watching American Ninja Warrior and thinking, “Man, I’d love to try that!”? Well, now you can! You’ll find many of the familiar obstacles (like the infamous Warped Wall) plus a vast array of never-before-seen and ever-changing obstacles to challenge yourself in new ways with every visit. Not really an athlete? No Problem! We have something for every skill set – from total beginners to full-blown ninjas - and all of our coaches cannot wait to help you have a blast while challenging yourself and reaching new goals. Flip Side is truly a place for every age, every shape and size. We can’t wait to see you!
We're a veteran-owned family business, and we want you to be a part of our adventure. You’ll be treated like family here, not just another number.



All of our coaches have undergone thorough background checks, drug screening, and are SAFESPORT trained. Our Shift Leads are all first aid/cpr/aed certified.

Our staff

Caleb Benson is a 10 year veteran of the USCG and now the owner/operator of Flip Side Ninja Park. He's ready to share his passion for loving life and fitness with you! Caleb was a Semi-Finalist in his rookie season on American Ninja Warrior Season 13. He has also been an extreme athlete for many years with experience base jumping, sky diving, mountain biking, OCR running, and blasting through ninja warrior competitions.  Caleb currently holds certifications as a USA Gymnastics instructor, and a level 1 & 2 instructor with the World Freerunning and Parkour Federation (WFPF).

Coach Emily Benson is small but mighty and will take on any challenge or competition you throw at her. She has a passion for all things ‘fun and functional fitness’ including ninja, obstacle course racing, aerial arts, trail and road running, and mountain biking. She’s a full-time mom to two girls, a photographer on the side, and an avid coffee shop visitor. She started Flip Side with Coach Caleb and more than anything, is so proud of the culture and community that has been created at the gym by the staff and students alike. You can join her for an OCR Fitness class or chat her up at the front desk!

Coach Aaron Easterling has been a thrill seeker for most of his life. Starting at a young age he joined boy scouts and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout by age 14. Next, he started Taekwondo and worked diligently to achieve his black belt. Aaron now implements his knowledge of the sport by instructing younger students. After 5 years of soccer and competitive swimming, Aaron decided to broaden his horizons and take up rock climbing and ninja training. Aaron joined the Flip Side team and ninja training and coaching is now his passion that pushes himself and helps him push others to be better than they think they can be.

Coach Shawn Wheeler is a highly accomplished ninja with over eight years of experience in the sport. His passion for ninja warrior was ignited in Minnesota at the age of 12 when he became captivated with the TV show. After relocating to Arkansas in 2017, Shawn joined Flip Side as one of their first students and quickly became a respected coach by 2018. With five years of coaching expertise, he now leads Flip Side's competitive team, and is dedicated to helping his students grow into future elite ninjas.

Coach Ashton Joffrion is a dynamic and versatile individual with experience in basketball, cheerleading, and gymnastics and is well-versed in discipline and teamwork. Additionally, Ashton has a natural talent for art and a deep love for reading. Her adventurous spirit and passion for exploring new cultures have driven her to pursue a career teaching English abroad, making her a valuable and inspiring asset to the team at Flip Side. Prepare to be awed by Ashton's ambition and contagious energy!

Coach Derek Brandon joined Flip Side Ninja park to explore new avenues for promoting physical fitness. His background in Kinesiology, combines his passion for sports and fitness with his understanding of the human body. With his expertise, he analyzes obstacles and provides valuable insights to his students. Derek's love for sports and adrenaline has led him to the exciting world of Ninja. His competitive spirit and desire for improvement come from his experience in various sports. He encourages people to embrace a well-rounded approach to fitness, discover their potential, and enjoy movement. Derek strives to empower individuals, build resilience, and foster a love for physical activity and Ninja sports.

Coach Max Varner is thrilled to bring his ninja coaching skills to the students of Flip Side. Since 2019, Max has been dedicated to training at Flip Side, swiftly ascending through the ranks to become an integral part of our undefeated ninja team. When he's not in the gym honing his skills, you can find him immersed in drawing, gaming, or perfecting his archery. Max's journey as a student has not only shaped his expertise but also prepared him to be a valuable coach and a remarkable mentor to our students. In his coaching role, Max derives the greatest joy from witnessing his students conquer challenging obstacles and advance through the stages, reflecting his friendly and welcoming spirit.

Coach Adele Lett is a fun-loving coach whose journey embodies the heart of ninja. She has been training at Flip Side since the gym opened in January 2018 and has made quite an impression with her incredible ninja skills and helpful demeanor. When she's not climbing trees or strumming her ukulele, Adele can be found with a good book or jotting down ideas for writing her own. She aspires to open her own ninja gym in Joplin and pursue a career as an author. Adele's favorite obstacle is the skyhooks- a tribute to her love for a challenge. Her favorite quote is, "With my God, I can climb over a wall."-Psalm 18:29. As a coach, she finds joy in watching her students' triumphs and empowering them to believe in themselves.

Coach Caden Fischer has been ninja training at Flip Side for just under two years. With a history of basketball, cross country, track, soccer, lacrosse, parkour, and football, Caden is no stranger to competition and teamwork. Aside from his own growth within the sport, Caden loves training with other ninjas and helping our younger ninja learn and grow to their full potential. Caden is taking NJROTC classes where he is learning leadership and life skills that he puts into practice at Flip Side during every shift he works. Caden has already won 1st place in a local ninja competition and has dreams of being on American Ninja Warrior. He is a valuable and dedicated member of our team!

Coach Owen Dyer is all about family, faith, and fun. Owen brings to the table a ton of Ninja experience – both coaching and competing. He is a three-time National Ninja League finalist, a 2021 Ultimate Ninja Athlete Association finalist, and one of the youngest American Ninja Warrior national finalists in 2021 (look for the flamingo hat!). Owen has been perfecting his ninja skills for over three years now, first as a student at Flip Side, and now as a coach. When he’s not winning competitions, he’s training with his younger brother, Hayes, playing around at Flip Side, or designing new obstacles like the ones sold by Monstro Ninja Holds. Owen eats, breathes, and sleeps Ninja, and brings so much skill, kindness, and happiness to our team!

Coach Shaylee Ford-Wutzke has been a student at Flip Side since 2019, and brings a wealth of exciting experiences to her coaching role. When she's not coaching, she enjoys flying plane, showing off her Yoshi impression, playing the viola, and crafting origami animals. Shaylee aspires to be a race car driver but is also committed to majoring in chemistry and minor in music. She has an extensive background in sports outside of ninja that includes tennis, cheerleading, swimming, dancing, softball, soccer, and archery. Coach Shaylee is excited to share her enthusiasm for sports with the students and Flip Side and is truly a unique and valuable member of the team.

Coach Xander Ford-Wutzke has been a student at Flip Side since 2018 and is now a dedicated coach! Xander is an ardent learner, enjoys Minecraft, and loves conquering any rope climb put in his way. He aspires to be a mechanical engineer and has a background in Track and Field, swimming, and marching band. Xander's coaching philosophy is centered on making the ninja journey enjoyable and inclusive for everyone. As a result, he's become an indispensable and enjoyable team member here at Flip Side.

Coach Josh

Coach Josh Williams brings a blend of athleticism and tech creativity to the team and is currently developing a video game while diving into ninja athletics. His athletic background includes triathlon training, over 6 years in track and cross-country as an athlete, and 2 years as a coach. Outside of athletics, Josh enjoys a wide range of hobbies, from tech-related activities such as programming and gaming to more hands-on crafts like welding, painting, and drawing. Inspired by Bruce Lee's philosophy of adaptability, Josh is exploring a future where his passions for athleticism and technology converge, potentially within the computer science field. His favorite thing about coaching is helping athletes accomplish what they claim to be impossible.

Coach Zach Taylor is our enthusiastic team member who loves coding, ninja training, and reading. He spent six years training as a student and competitive ninja team member before joining our staff as a coach. His favorite obstacles are Cliffhangers and the Flying Bar. Zach's goal is to become a web designer and developer while coaching ninja athletes. He believes in the motto: "People don’t care if you do bad, people care if you don’t try." He loves helping others improve through ninja training and is always eager to share his passion.