Why Ninja Don’t Have To Be Younger, Stronger or Faster

By February 12, 2015 featured
Family of ninjas

We live in a society obsessed with youth and speed. Many martial arts schools also stress speed and overwhelming force. Which makes many people feel like self defense, or even Martial Arts are not for them. They’re “too old”, “too small” or “too slow.”

As Ninja, we completely disagree.

The art of Ninjutsu isn’t about being the strongest or fastest in any given setting. It’s about being the smartest. And absolutely anyone can learn the techniques to defeat opponents who are younger, faster and even stronger.


1. Ninja Kamae. “Kamae” literally means the outward expression of our inner state. But in this case, it specifically means the way we hold and position our bodies. Ninja use their bone alignment and muscle structure to our advantage – working with our bodies instead of relying on brute force.

2. Ninja Kuzushi. “Kuzushi” means to unbalance your opponent. Often this is done by using their own force and momentum against them – which can allow a much smaller Ninja to throw a large opponent with much less effort than you’d think.

3. Ninja Ma-ai. “Ma-ai” is timing. By disrupting the timing of an opponent, Ninja can trip them up and create opportunities for victory.

When put together, these concepts allow the Ninja to fight smarter, not harder.

Who Does This Benefit?

In reality, the Ninja way of fighting smarter instead of harder benefits everyone who studies the art. After all, no one will ever always be the strongest, fastest or best trained in EVERY situation.

But these principles make the Ninja Martial Arts especially valuable for women, children, and older practitioners. People who are most likely to face opponents who are bigger, stronger, and faster.

If you haven’t already, visit us at Elevo Dynamics to find out how you can learn to fight smarter, too!

Thanks to An-shu Stephen K. Hayes for inspiring this article. It’s based on concepts from his site, NinjaSelfDefense.com.