Ninjutsu has always been this mysterious and bigger than life subject – part myth, part fantasy. It’s been greatly misrepresented in movies, anime and the media and has become an integral part of pop-culture. My first exposure to it was watching Japanese TV shows (in Japan) and in the James Bond movie “You Only Live Twice.”
My personal experience with ninjutsu was during one of my many visits to Japan, when (as a teen) I met Yumio Nawa, an author and historian, he taught Manrikigusari, and Masaki-Ryu, and an assortment ninja weapons.
A few organizations in Japan claim they teach ninjutsu. One of the biggest is Bujinkan. At one point I was going to join them until I read an article in the Japan Times that reported their students had been repeatedly arrested sneaking onto military bases – playing ninja. Over the years I have met more than a few of their students and realized they had no martial skills whatsoever.
Through my website www.defensescience.com I am often asked about ninja, their origins, what they do, and where to train – I hesitate to answer because it’s not my area of expertise. Fortunately I recently met Antony Cummins who is an historian, researcher, writer and expert on ninjutsu and the samurai. I spoke with Mr. Cummins recently and asked him several key questions about the ninja and he was kind enough to include them in a short video here. He also features a large list of related articles on Youtube.com