Iketani Naoki (池谷 直樹) is a former competitive gymnast, sports talent, former leader of the now defunct Muscle Musical show, current producer of the Samurai Orchestra show, and holder of the World Record in the Monster Box at 23 boxes. He is from Yodogawa District, Osaka. He married the day before he competed in SASUKE 8.
He made his debut in SASUKE 2, but he shocked many failing the second obstacle of the First Stage, the Burasagari Maruta. He also competed in SASUKE 3, he was all cut, but the announcer said he timed upon the first stage on his last appearance. This can be shown in SASUKE 4 Stage 1 run of his.
In SASUKE 4, he passed the First Stage easily, with 14.2 seconds left on the clock. Then he defeated the Second Stage, with a narrow window of 2.8 seconds left remaining. On the Third Stage, he was able to make it all the way to the final obstacle, the Pipe Slider, but he could not hold the bar in order to make a jump and eventually his grip gave way and he fell into the water.
In SASUKE 10, he was one of the only five competitors to clear the First Stage, doing so with just 2.7 seconds left. Then he took his revenge on the Second Stage by passing it with 7.8 seconds left. In the Third Stage, he cleared the first three obstacles with little trouble, but he ultimately failed the Cliffhanger, when his grip gave way on the transition on the second ledge.
In SASUKE 11 he demolished the First Stage with an incredible 19.4 seconds left, the fastest time on the First Stage. In the Second Stage, he lost the balance on the Balance Tank, but he was incredibly able to hold on and to clear the Stage, with 10.8 seconds remaining. On the Third Stage, history repeated itself when he failed again on the Cliffhanger, slipping off near the end of the first ledge.
In SASUKE 12 he started off strong, however he was held up at the Soritatsu Kabe, taking three attempts to clear it. With time running low he attempted to hurry, but ended up timing out on the Rope Climb.
In SASUKE 14 he passed the first two stages without any problem but he fell on the Body Prop again, in a similar fashion of the previous tournament.
In SASUKE 15 he timed out on the Soritatsu Kabe, after struggling on it because of the extreme heat that characterized that day.
After a three competition absence, he returned in SASUKE 20, competing for the first time with the brother, Iketani Yukio. However, he struggled on the Spider Walk portion of the Jumping Spider and he ultimately failed there.
In SASUKE 22, despite he wore his highest number ever, #97, he timed out on the Soritatsu Kabe.
He once again returned in SASUKE 26 and while he had to take an extra swing on the Half-Pipe Attack he cleared the First Stage for the first time since SASUKE 16, doing so with only 4.3 seconds left, being one of only four Japanese competitors to do so. But on the Second Stage he fell early on the Double Salmon Ladder, on the transition between the two ladders when the bar landed lopsided and became uneven, making him unable to transition properly.
In SASUKE 27 he cleared the First Stage again but he failed the Double Salmon Ladder for a second straight time. Only making it about half way up the first ladder.
- Iketani has been one of the most consistent competitors in SASUKE history, making it to the Third Stage 6 times.
- Besides SASUKE, Iketani is most prominent in Monster 9's Pro Sportsman No. 1 series, which pits athletes from different sports against each other to decide who is, "Sportsman No. 1". He has won Genojin (celebrity) tournament 3 times and Pro Sportsman No. 1 once, in 2005. He specializes in the Monster Box event and broadcasts often feature Iketani attempting to break the world record for highest jump in it.
- His older brother, former Olympian Iketani Yukio, has entered four tournaments. Ninja Warrior sometimes says that Naoki is a former Olympian, but this is false.
- Iketani holds the record for a second best non-All-Star or Shin Sedai clearing the First Stage with 9 times, only beaten by Takahashi Kenji with 10 clears, surpassed by Yamada Katsumi (10 times), Urushihara Yuuji (10 times), Nagasaki Shunsuke (11 times) Nagano Makoto (14 times), Yamamoto Shingo (16 times), Takeda Toshihiro (19 times). His record of being the Non-All-Star to clear the Second Stage the most was tied with Okuyama Yoshiyuki in SASUKE 27, beaten by Takahashi Kenji in SASUKE 29 who has in total cleared the Second Stage 8 times, and beaten by all-star Nagano Makoto (11 times), Yamamoto Shingo (11 times), and Takeda Toshihiro (13 times).
|2||90||Failed Burasagari Maruta (First Stage)|
|3||?||Failed Rope Climb (First Stage)||All Cut Time Out.|
|4||81||Failed Pipe Slider (Third Stage)|
|5||81||Failed Soritatsu Kabe (First Stage)||Time Out.|
|8||61||Failed Rolling Maruta (First Stage)|
|9||81||Failed Wall Lifting (Second Stage)||Time Out. First Wall. His time ran out when he finished the Gyakuso Conveyor.|
|10||961||Failed Cliff Hanger (Third Stage)|
|11||61||Failed Cliff Hanger (Third Stage)|
|12||81||Failed Rope Climb (First Stage)||Time Out.|
|13||90||Failed Body Prop (Third Stage)|
|14||81||Failed Body Prop (Third Stage)|
|15||90||Failed Soritatsu Kabe (First Stage)||Time Out.|
|16||90||Failed Body Prop (Third Stage)|
|20||1983||Failed Jumping Spider (First Stage)|
|21||93||Failed Flying Chute (First Stage)|
|22||97||Failed Soritatsu Kabe (First Stage)||Time Out.|
|24||90||Failed Soritatsu Kabe (First Stage)||Time Out.|
|26||87||Failed Double Salmon Ladder (Second Stage)|
|27||93||Failed Double Salmon Ladder (Second Stage)||Both runs digested.|
|28||76||Failed Rolling Escargot (First Stage)|
|33||41||Failed Rolling Hill (First Stage)||Shown on Navi.|
|37||61||Failed Wing Slider (First Stage)||Digest.|