Not everyone who calls himself a ninja is a ninja
Before he became the UFC bantamweight champion, Dominick Cruz accepted a gym fight challenge from a self proclaimed ‘real ninja’. Cruz took him down and pounded him in the first round, then caught him on the feet in the second. It was a beatdown. Surprised?
A ninja was a covert agent or mercenary in feudal Japan. The functions of the ninja included: espionage, sabotage, infiltration, assassination and guerrilla warfare. Their covert methods of waging irregular warfare were deemed “dishonorable” and “beneath” the samurai-caste, who observed strict rules about honor and combat. Why this ninja thought those skills would translate to an MMA fight is anyone’s guess. While there are several styles of modern ninjutsu, the historical lineage of these styles is disputed.
Some schools claim to be the only legitimate heir of the art, but ninjutsu is not centralized like modernized martial arts such as judo or karate. Just like the ninja of old, we can’t control our environment, but we can control ourselves. Remember to keep breathing, smile and never lose your 360 degrees of awareness.