Sean Bryan is a Catholic church worker from Berkeley, California. Bryan is known by many as the Papal Ninja, for his involvement in religious affairs.

American Ninja Warrior 8

He first competed in American Ninja Warrior 8 Los Angeles and cleared the qualifiers with the 4th fastest time of 2:30.11. Despite placing in the top 5 in qualifying, Bryan shockingly failed just the third obstacle, the Escalator, in city finals. He placed 26th overall and did not advance to the national finals.

Team Ninja Warrior 2

Bryan was a replacement for Team Ninja Warrior 2 for the David Campbell's team, the NorCal Ninjas. Sean Bryan had filled in for Brian Kretsch after an injury forced him to withdraw from competing in further heats. Despite being a replacement, Sean Bryan performed exceptionally, blazing through the courses and winning all of his heats. His team won the wildcard round, but was eventually knocked out in the finals by Drew Drechsel's team, the Real Life Beasts.

American Ninja Warrior 9

Bryan came back in American Ninja Warrior 9 stronger than last year. In the Los Angeles qualifiers, Bryan placed 5th overall with a finish of 1:37.47. In the city finals, Bryan put up a memorable run by becoming one of the four finishers of that region as well as getting the fastest time out of all finishers, completing the course in 5:07.22. Moreover, he beat Adam Rayl's time by .70 of a second for first place. Overall, Sean is one of just nine athletes to have completed a city finals course this season.

In Vegas, Sean cleared Stage One with 19.80 seconds left. Later, he became one of only three people to clear Stage Two, finishing with 15.06 seconds remaining. He was also one of just two people of Season 9 to complete four buzzers (meaning he finished qualifying, city finals, and the first/second stages of Las Vegas), with the other being Joe Moravsky.

In the third stage, he was able to clear the first three obstacles. However, his arms were fatigued upon reaching the Ultimate Cliffhanger resulting in him failing to make the transition to the fourth ledge.

American Ninja Warrior 10

He returned to Los Angeles in American Ninja Warrior 10. In the qualifiers, he was one of only ten competitors who cleared the Doorknob Drop, and all though he failed to get up the Mega Warped Wall, he still cleared the course for the third straight year, placing 7th.
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In the city finals, he was the last competitor of the night. Because of this, Bryan's run knocked Grant McCartney out of the top 15. Sean barely finished the fastest out of the nine finishers on the course, beating Nicholas Coolridge's time by .93 of a second. Miraculously, this was the second year in a row in which he achieved the first place spot in a city finals course by less than a second on the clock.

On Stage 1, his run was digested. He stumbled on the Propeller Bar but ended up clearing with 18.95 seconds to spare. He later rose to the occasion on stage 2, in which he became the first competitor to clear stage 2, doing so with 21.70 seconds remaining. (Sean originally failed the Water Walls during his first run due to a malfunction. He was given a second chance and eventually finished on his second run).

On Stage 3, he failed the Ultimate Cliffhanger for the second year in a row. He missed out on serving as the Last Man Standing and winning US $100,000, having his time being beat by Drew Drechsel. Though he placed second out of the entire competition, he once again hit four buzzers, in which Dreschel did not do (since he fell on the Stair Hopper in the Miami finals). Because of this, Sean Bryan hit the most buzzers out of any competitor in the tournament.

American Ninja Warrior 11

Sean returned to compete in American Ninja Warrior 11. He was originally going to compete in Los Angeles, but due to a broken ankle, he waited for 3 more weeks to compete in Tacoma. Although his ankle was still in the midst of recovering, he still managed to dominate the qualifying course with the 2nd fastest time, only behind Leif Sundberg. However, he managed to clear the Power Tower with a time faster than Sundberg and advanced to Vegas immediately.

In the city finals, he went for broke, making risky moves such as entirely skipping a cradle on the Lightning Bolts and jumping up two rungs on the Salmon Ladder. However, he failed the Floating Monkey Bars. While he was guaranteed a spot in Vegas, he did not get to attempt the Power Tower again.

Stage 1 was the most devastating run Bryan has ever had in his Ninja career. Bryan passed Spin Your Wheels and the Double Dipper, but as he took on the Jumping Spider obstacle, Bryan dislocated his right shoulder and had to withdraw from the rest of his run (with his speed pass). Sean attempted to push through the pain and finish the obstacle with one arm, but had to quit the obstacle part way. Thus ended Bryan's fourth season. He was the first Speed Pass winner to be eliminated early. He was still seen supporting fellow competitors in the later stages, with his arm in a sling.


  • Although Najee Richardson failed the Water Walls and was eliminated from the competition becoming the first in American Ninja Warrior history to fail on the final obstacle on Stage 2, Bryan technically failed the Water Walls as well but received a re-run, due to an obstacle malfunction.
Tournament Result Notes
ANW9 Failed Ultimate Cliffhanger (Third Stage)
ANW10 Failed Ultimate Cliffhanger (Third Stage) 2nd Transfer.
ANW11 Failed Jumping Spider (First Stage) Forced to withdraw due to dislocated shoulder.
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