If you’re into martial arts, leaps, jumps and tricks you’re in for a real treat now, we’re really pleased to bring you an interview with Aaron “Ginger Ninja Trickster” Gassor!
Here is an exciting, energetic performer with an amazing repertoire of moves which he can naturally and effortlessly pull out anytime, anywhere. Check out some of the eye-opening moves he has – the elevation he can get is phenomenal!
Now 25, he possesses a 2nd and 3rd dan in Taekwondo and Kickboxing respectively and since starting his ‘Ginger Ninja Trickster’ YouTube tutorial channel in 2012, now has over 113,000 aspiring ninja subscribers. He’s a committed, down to Earth teacher with a really welcoming, friendly and no-nonsense approach that gets results guiding you to achieve your training goals as well as make the most of your physical potential.
He’s worked with the likes of Scott Adkins, the Bruce Sistaz and has also featured in the first Welsh action movie “Kamikaze” which is out soon. We think there are some big things on the horizon for this special talent, so let’s meet the ‘Ginger Ninja’ himself!
Hi Aaron, great to have you with us! Let’s kick off with our usual questions:
Hi Raj, it’s my pleasure and fire away!
So, when were you born and where do you come from?
I was born on 8th May 1989 in Newport, Wales.
What is your height and weight?
I’m 5’10” (1.78m) tall and weigh 78kgs (172lbs).
How did you first get into the martial arts? How old were you?
After rebelling to follow in the footsteps of my father at a young age, I was eventually drawn to it to keep fit and started at the age of 15. It turned out that I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would as I haven’t stopped since!
What was the first main style you trained in and how long have you been training? What is your level dan/rank?
I started Kickboxing first, then Taekwondo slightly afterwards and have been doing them both for close to 10 years now. I’ve a 3rd degree in Kickboxing and a 2nd Dan in ITF (International Taekwondo Federation) Taekwondo.
Who would you credit as having most influenced or inspired you in the martial arts, who is your master/teacher?
My biggest influence is my father and teacher (Master Gary Gassor) who is a perfect role model and a fount of knowledge. He’s almost 55 years young now, he can still do splits, cool kicks and he trains more than I do. (laughs) I hope that I can be half the instructor my father is and be able to do the things that he can do when I’m his age. He’s always been the biggest inspiration for me and has moulded me into the man that I am today.
When did you first begin making videos on YouTube? How did they first come about?
I began making videos on my “Ginger Ninja Trickster” channel in July 2012 and I made them to showcase my talents and gauge my own progression. People started to ask for help on moves that I performed in the videos so I started making tutorials to help.
Sampler with Scott Adkins:
You’re well known for your outstanding “tricking” ability, who are a couple of the best trickers in the world in your opinion?
Am I? (laughs) Well thank you! My favourite trickers are Tim Man and Jeremy Marinas who have awesome style with clean martial arts technique -a combination that can’t be beaten in my opinion.
Your videos often feature tutorials of flashy techniques, but also more basic techniques for example developing flexibility, what moves or drills get the most attention from your viewers?
Yes, there are popular videos within each area that I try to help people with but overall, it’s either stretching or advanced kicking tutorials that seem to be the most popular.
You also often feature videos where you portray Spider-Man, what was the idea behind that?
My friend mentioned he had a Spider-Man morphsuit so I thought why not borrow it and make a sampler for a bit of fun. I enjoyed emulating one of my favourite characters and I’m glad I did as that’s the one that made my channel viral giving me opportunities I never thought I would have.
Are you involved in action movies or movie stunts?
Yes. I was involved in a short fight scene in BBC 3 hit show ‘Being Human’ and have starred in the first Welsh action movie called “Kamikaze” which will be released this year.
You’ve had numerous guests appear in your videos such as the Bruce Sistaz and the incredible Scott Adkins. How did their appearances come about, what was it like working with them?
Well the Bruce Sistaz were doing a seminar in Newport so I thought why not contact them and see if they were up for doing a collaboration. They got back in touch and we arranged to meet up before their seminar to make a video. They were really nice and it was a shame we had limited time so hopefully, we’ll meet up again in the future.
Scott Adkins was a little bit different and unexpected. I’ve idolised Scott for years and he has been the main influence in my style so, when I heard he was at Birmingham Comic Con, I snapped up some tickets to meet him. He is such a genuinely nice, humble man and gave me a lot of his time. I was on cloud nine meeting him but when I got home there was even more. He messaged me, shared the photos of me kicking and flipping with him and asked if I’d be up for training some time! We now keep in touch and train together on a regular basis. We’ve become good friends.
One of your more recent videos is a fight scene between you and another well known YouTube martial artist, “Kwonkicker”, how did that come about?
I went to Miami to attend a cruise for the ‘Kickin’ Cancer in the Face Campaign’ and asked Kwon if he’d be up for meeting and making some videos together for the few spare days we had after the cruise. He agreed so we hung out and made some videos. He was a really cool guy and we got on really well.
How difficult is it to learn the kinds of tricking techniques you display in the videos? In your view, are smaller people better suited to it, or can any body type adapt to them?
At first they are difficult as you are pushing your body to learn something it is not used to doing, but now most of the moves I demonstrate are consistent and that’s down to a lot of drilling and hard work. Anyone with any body type is capable of doing flips and kicks if they work hard but it is easier for smaller and lighter people than myself to do so in my opinion.
Martial Arts Tricking Sampler
What sorts of videos, fight scenes, or tutorials can fans expect in the near future from Ginger Ninja?
A big mixture of all different types! The only issue I have is when I’m busy travelling and doing other things, the production of tutorials take a bit longer to plan, film and edit. However, I will make more of them when I have more free time.
Which movie martial artists do you most admire?
It has to be Bruce Lee at the top, his movie charisma and the number of people he has inspired to take up martial arts is phenomenal. My other favourites are Scott Adkins, Tony Jaa, Donnie Yen and Jackie Chan. They all have amazing style and moves which I try to emulate and put into my style. Yuen Biao is another guy that doesn’t get enough credit in my opinion. He’s an amazing martial artist.
Which martial artists/actors would you be interested to work with in future?
Well I hope that one day, I can work with my buddy Scott [Adkins], that would probably be the ultimate one for me but to be honest if any of the many martial artists I respect asked me to be a part of their movie, I doubt I’d say no! (laughs).
What are your top 10 kung-fu/martial arts movies?
I’ll just reel some off in no particular order:
- Enter the Dragon
- Undisputed 2
- Undisputed 3
- Ninja II: Shadow of a Tear
- Flash Point
- Fist of Legend
- Ip Man
- Wheels on Meals
- Dragons Forever
there are a lot more I wish I could add but that’s over 10 already! (laughs)
Let’s move on to your training now, what is a typical workout for you? Is it mostly martial arts or, do you include weights or other types of exercises?
I have a few set routines covering all different aspects through the week but I go through phases where I will focus more on certain ones for videos, events, etc. I do a lot of body weight exercises and have just recently started to do weight training to increase muscle mass.
What are your favourite exercises and what specific or special training techniques bring out the best in you? (For example, to achieve your highest leaps and jumps – which look like a lot of fun! – what do you do?)
I like plyometrics, so doing tuck jumps or jump-split kicks, springing straight into each other for 10 reps are exercises I do frequently. I also enjoy stretching and have loads of different exercises that I do to maintain or increase flexibility. A lot of my exercises and routines for a range of different things can be found on my YouTube channel so if you’re interested in seeing how I train, check them out!
What move/s you’re working on right now really challenge you to your physical maximum? What is the most difficult manoeuvre you’ve ever done?
A 900 degree hook kick (cheat 1080) which I have landed only a few times the way I want it. The most difficult moves I’ve done are probably a double backflip, double corkscrew and the 900 degree hook.
Do you practice much gymnastics and acrobatics in your training?
Not as much as I used to, but yes it is still a part of my training.
Amazing Spider-Man Fights Crime | Flips & Kicks
What’s the most daring stunt you’ve ever done?
I think some of the parkour moves I have done in videos are the most daring as there is a much higher risk of getting injured.
What was your most serious injury, how did you work around it?
I dislocated and fractured my ankle in three places playing football about a year or two into my training. They said I would struggle to walk properly again, let alone still be able to train. I was mentally crushed by that news but when the pins and cast were removed, I saw their statement as a challenge to prove them wrong. I strengthened my ankle and gradually increased the difficulty of what it could take. As you can see today, it is stronger than before and I am thankful for the way it has worked out.
What do you like to do to recover from a particularly strenuous period of physical activity? What do you suggest for those leading an especially physical and demanding lifestyle?
A nice hot bath makes me feel so much better and I also see my osteopath, Erjan, to fix me up once a month. So, look after your body and (the tip we all struggle to follow) rest when you need to!
What kind of diet do you follow?
I have no set diet and it’s not the best by any stretch, but I have started to understand the benefits of eating healthily and following certain diets to improve performance so it’s something I hope to change really soon!
Which foods do you find work for you to remain at your most energetic, best fuel for your workouts?
Eggs, nuts, blueberries and bananas are usually the snacks I prefer when working out. It is also very important to drink water to stay hydrated.
Do you take supplements, what do you recommend?
I have started taking “Maximuscle Cyclone” and can see the benefits already, so would recommend that.
What’s one geeky thing that people don’t really know about you?
I’m a big collector of DVD’s and organize them into different categories all in alphabetical order.
If you could be a superhero, who would you be and what superpower would you most like to possess?
I would like to be myself and have the power to stop time or teleport.
What do you like to do to relax, what are your hobbies?
I enjoy spending time with my family, watching movies, going out exploring new places and anything sport related really.
What do you think you would be doing if not martial arts?
I would probably be an accountant or a police officer.
What in life do you really: a) like? b) dislike?
a) I like spending time with my daughter and girlfriend, training and teaching.
b) I dislike negativity and jealously.
What would you say is your proudest accomplishment so far?
My father saying that he is proud of the man that I’ve become.
What are you really keen to accomplish in the next 5 years?
I would like to further progress in training and go for my next rank. I also hope that I will be involved in more films in the future.
What advice would you give to a beginner who is considering taking-up a martial art?
Start with the basics and make sure you stay on them until you feel you are at a good standard with them. Afterall, they will be the most common techniques you use and are the foundation for the more advanced techniques you do in the future. The most common mistake I see, is rushing to the advanced techniques but not having a good foundation with the basics first, which usually means poor form and a higher risk of injury.
What special message would you like to share with Kung-fu Kingdom readers and your fans around the world?
Thank you for all your support, I appreciate it greatly. I will always keep giving back no matter where I end up.
What warrior-wisdom quote or phrase gets you all fired up and motivated?
“You will never know your limits until you push yourself to them”
If people would like to find out more about you, where’s the best place to go?
Check out my website, YouTube channel or you can support me further, make contact and keep up to date with all my latest photos and videos through the social sites below.
Official Website- https://www.GingerNinjaTrickster.com
Facebook Page- https://www.facebook.com/GingerNinjaTrickster
Check out some of Ginger Ninja’s own cool video links below!
Comicon meeting Scott Adkins
Sampler with Bruce Sistaz
Kwonkicker Fight Scene
Thank you Aaron for your kind participation in this stimulating interview. We hope it gives our readers a glimpse into the life of the real Ginger Ninja! We wish you all the very best for your upcoming, enthralling videos and projects. Keep in touch!
No problem Raj, I hope they find it interesting and don’t fall asleep! (laughs). I appreciate you saying that and definitely will do. Thank you for this opportunity, all the best to you too.