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 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

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WR Mann
WR is a speaker, author and coach / instructor for the Reality-Based-Program "Defense Science" [] (formerly: He was an early advocate of RBT (Reality-Based-Training) from the late 1990's and has taught seminars in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas to law enforcement, military personnel, government agencies, martial artists and civilians. WR has written articles for Black Belt Magazine, Budo magazine as well as the book, "Martial Arts of the World, An Encyclopedia of History and Innovation.” He was also featured in a NAT GEO special “The Use of the Bowie Knife in the Second Seminole War.” His background includes extensive experience in traditional martial arts and sports fighting, and his influences come from: James Keating, Raymond Floro, Romeo Macapagal, Geof Gleeson, John Danaher, Kelly McCann, Charles Nelson, Jim Wagner, Jon Bluming, and Donn Draeger. Defense Science is headquartered in NYC and teaches semi-private classes in RBT. He can be contacted at: