Ninjutsu – in the shadows for self-protection

YouTube has a lot to answer for as I have said in some of my older blogs (please read them! lol)

People think that Ninjutsu is a weird art that is so detached from real life that it is out of date with modern self-protection. I am here today to put a stop to all that nonsense.

Jumping out of trees in the dead of night might be someone’s idea of fun, but learning an art to get you home safely is what ninjutsu is all about, or should be.

The YouTube culture of today fills the site with less than perfect self-protection and advice to dazzle the viewers making them believe in the footage being taught will happen as planned in a real-life fight.

I would hate to rain on anyone’s parade but no they won’t wait in line to give you a kicking, and no they will not be happy to jump to the floor and stay there while you wrap you gi around their neck ( they wear a gi at all times so they remember to use it during every fight!).

Self-protection should use any method that you deem appropriate to save you or someone else’s life.
I have had the pleasure of being hit, kicked, choked out, locked, thrown and out and out beaten up by some of the best Martial Artists in the world; the main culprits being Geoff Thompson (BCA) and Keith Porter (Ninjutsu). They both have different views of the Martial Arts but they do have the same outlook on self-protection.

 Train it, test it, make it work and survive!

Over the past few years I have used my Ninjutsu training and my BCA training together to get my Ninjutsu class to feel the pressure of a real fight or argument with the pre fight, in fight and post fight effects of adrenaline using basic Ninjutsu to protect themselves (i.e. no smoke bombs or shurikens). It is amazing to watch mild–mannered training partners turn into a survival machine, hell bent on using things that they said they would not use (biting, nipping and calling each other bad names!LOL) just because adrenaline has been introduced.

Adrenaline has a strange effect on the body so introducing it into an art form might not seem the thing to do but most sport arts have it in the shape of sparring or rolling; I know it is not fighting for your life and the ref is there to save you when you are in danger, but it is still present.
Keith Porter has always stressed to me that the art of NInjutsu is the art of Surviving! And even when you are training in the art you still have to keep the idea that you should be able to use it now and at anytime for your self-protection (no I am not saying go clubbing with a bo staff and tell them I said it was a good thing to do!) but do not get into the fantasy of fighting because it won’t work how you pictured it in your mind and then you will blame the art for not looking after you when it is not the art that has let you down; it is the way you train in the art.

I always tell my ninjutsu class it a lazy mans art (and after watching YouTube it is out of shape, out of their minds and some of them all round into one!). You need to be fit to fight so get fit; you need to be conditioned to fight (please watch rocky IV training montage) and you have to train your mind to be ready to defend yourself or those you love. The only death touch I know is don’t touch my food ( I will kill you ) so please please please stop picking up tips off YouTube , then ring me to learn to jump out of trees. I love Ninjutsu as an art of self-protection as long as people use it as an art of surviving!

If I have offended any YouTube ninja my door is always open to you (please do not use the window)…

…for me to explain the methods we use

Have fun and survive

John Atkin

To find out more about The Advanced Fighting Centre visit: or e-mail John Atkin at

2 thoughts on “Ninjutsu – in the shadows for self-protection

  1. Well said John…
    when I was trainng with Keith he always emphasised the reality not the "tree jumping" stuff.
    That's why when people ask me who they should train with when they want to do Ninjutsu I always say you and Keith…
    Keep up the good work – I haven't been around to see you for a while, but when I do I promise to use the door not the window!

  2. Hi John, Totally agree with everything you have talked about in this blog…throughout my time training in Ninjutsu I have found all the elements taught by you, Keith and Geoff to be not just useful…but essential and applicable to my overall outlook not just for training but also for my ability to protect myself and my family. During my training I have discovered the true meaning of conditioning…not just making the physical body strong but making the mind strong also.

    I'd just like to thank you for your patience and help throughout all my years training with you.

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