A common problem that many students face when first learning self-defense techniques is how to deal with an attacker who suddenly appears out of nowhere. This is a very common and very real scenario, but there is an easier way.
In an experiment conducted by the creator of the Ninja's martial art of Ninjitsu (or "Ninjutsu" which is the correct pronunciation), it was found that when a victim witnessed and was passively aware of an attack coming, their natural instinct was to seek to avoid the danger. In other words, instead of reacting to danger by changing into a defensive stance, their instinct was to seek cover.
This is obviously a common response for most people, however, the creator of the Ninja's art of Ninjitsu found a way to overcome this. In his experiment, the subject was required to seek out the assailant and begin a dialogue.
Entering a place where they were faced with the same situation, instead of them simply demonstrating fear, they were given the instruction to say something along the lines of, "Please put that on the ground". The message here is this: Don't be afraid, you are in danger. Don't be afraid. Turn back and face your attacker.
This is the same tactic that the Ninja's art of Ninjitsu uses when dealing with an assault. Instead of running from the attacker, the teacher says, "Stop!" to the assailant as they are rushing towards you.
The physical element of Ninjitsu which is commonly taught today focuses more on Ju-Jitsu. The fighting discipline is based on locks, weapons, striking and self defense. The mental side of being a Ninja isn’t seen as relevant in society as it once was. Most of the physical attributes of Ninjutsu are still relevant, but thankfully many dojo's do still teach the mental side of Ninjitsu, even the spiritual aspects of student development.
Learning what hat it means to be a Ninja has influenced many styles, the TV shows and films that reignite peoples interest (and lead to spikes of popularity for the art), to not to just run away from a situation, but to actually use the moment to move, before the fight even gets underway. This is what the Ninja art is all about.