American Ninja (really!)
University of Bridgeport alumnus Chris O’Neill ’10 has become the first foreigner to be a paid ninja warrior in Japan.
O’Neill, 29, was among 235 applicants who auditioned to become a paid warrior after the central Aichi prefecture tourist board posted a want-ad for six full-time ninjas.
“He will be Japan’s first salaried, full-time ninja paid by a local municipality.” Satoshi Adachi, from Aichi’s tourism unit, told international media outlets.
O’Neill earned his bachelor’s in martial arts at UB, and was an omnipresent source of enthusiasm on campus. When not leading yoga sessions outside of Wheeler Recreation, he served as a student ambassador. After graduating, he was hired by UB’s International Admissions Office.
In the summer of 2013, he decided to travel around the world for pleasure and has since visited Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Guyana, Surname, Japan, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Cambodia, Bolivia, the Galapagos, Paraguay, Cambodia, Ecuador, India, Uruguay, Mexico, France, China, Chile, and Egypt, Peru, Indonesia, Turkey, South Korea, among other countries.
In Japan, O’Neill made such a positive impression on judges with his acrobatic back flips that they created an extra spot just for him. He will now be part of a team of six Japanese colleagues that includes five men and a woman ninjas.