Ninjutsu — The Prepper’s Martial Art?

Today we have something of a guest post here. I have a good friend named Jon Merz. In addition to being an outstanding author of several great books such as the Lawson series, he’s been a student of ninjutsu for twenty years. I recently asked him to write a short article for me for inclusion in my upcoming book, Prepper’s Home Defense. I thought I’d share the article with you here as well.


As a student of authentic Ninjutsu for over twenty years, I can tell you that the art is extremely well-suited to preppers. Ninjutsu is based on natural body movement and practicality over flashy movements. Anyone can do it. You don’t need to be in Olympian shape and the moves rely on simple actions that produce devastating results. Think minimum effort maximum results. Developed as it was on the battlefields and during covert action in feudal Japan, Ninjutsu remains as applicable today as it was when Japan was embroiled in civil war.

Ninjutsu encompasses every aspect of combat – from unarmed striking, grappling, joint locks, and throws to improvised and unorthodox weapons, weapons retention skills, and up to and including strategic application and mind sciences. As legendary as the myth of Ninjutsu invisibility is, for example, it is based on pragmatic practices that work on many levels. Obviously everyone knows about how to conceal themselves using the seven Ss of Shape, Shine, Shadow, Silhouette, Sound, Speed, Surroundings, but what about the concept of “friction” with your environment?

Traditional Ninja used “traveling disguises” when on missions that enabled them to blend in with their environments. Disguised as entertainers, monks, merchants, fortune tellers, and masterless samurai, they were able to ensure they did not stand out in a hostile territory. Modern Ninjutsu practitioners employ similar concepts to reduce their own “friction” within an environment. Do you know how to order wine and sample it? Do you speak a smattering of other languages? Even a simple greeting can help ensure you blend in. Modern ninja try develop themselves to the point where they can seamlessly move through everyday life without causing any friction – and by friction, I mean knowing what to do and how to act and how to appear such that you never stand out unless you want to. The highest level of this development is to become the “gray man,” the person you see on the street or in a hotel or anywhere…and then five seconds later, you can’t remember them.

The practicality of Ninjutsu, combined with its higher teachings, makes it a fantastic method of self-protection for anyone interested in preparing for what might be coming.

-Jon F. Merz has trained with Mark Davis, Chief Instructor of the Boston Martial Arts Center in Boston, MA ( for over 20 years and is a 5th degree black belt in the art. Jon’s personal website is located at

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Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb has been a student of survivalism and emergency preparedness for almost thirty years. As a young child, he drove his parents nuts with stockpiling supplies in the basement every time he heard there was a tornado watch in his area. Of course, being a child, those supplies consisted of his teddy bear, a few blankets and pillows, and random canned goods he grabbed from the kitchen cabinets. Later, he was the first (and likely only) child in his fifth grade class to have bought his very own copy of Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton. Today, he is a freelance writer whose work has been published in national magazines such as Boy’s Life and Complete Survivalist Magazine. He is a voracious reader with a keen interest in all stories with post-apocalyptic settings. He maintains the Library at the End of the World blog and is also the Content Director for He currently resides in a fortified bunker in the upper Midwest, accompanied by his lovely wife and their three adolescent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Jim's first book, Prepper's Home Defense, was published late 2012 and his second book, tentatively titled The Prepper's Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness, will be out in mid-2013, both coming from Ulysses Press.

12 thoughts on “Ninjutsu — The Prepper’s Martial Art?”

  1. Awesome, its kinda funny that this was my exact response to the question of what is the best martial art for preppers.

    1. Chance, I had to chuckle actually when I read your original response on FB suggesting ninjutsu as an ideal martial art. I had already written about that art in my manuscript, knowing more than a little about it. Being that I was a child who came of age in the 1980s, I naturally was inundated with movies, TV shows, and books about the ninja and eventually sought out the “real story” about it.

    1. Used to read Stephen K. Hayes books when I was in school. Can see the practical prepper aspects of the art and its philosophy. Have to check that out.

    2. Probably the most important thing that I learned from martial arts (Judo, Tae Kwon Do, wrestling, others) is the mental discipline to NOT get in fights. The second most important thing I learned is not to talk about the training because people will want to test you out.

    3. I’ve read a few of Jon’s books and recommend them highly. I’ve been a fan of Gold Eagle’s Rogue Angel series since it started and Jon has written several of those books. Among other things, he’s working on bringing out a TV adaptation of his successful Lawson series of novels. He’s a great writer as well as a cool guy.

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