Ninjas Among Us

I was so impressed with The Dark Knight (2008) that I went back and watched Batman Begins (2005) a bunch of times, wanting to see some batman/ninja action without paying $9 a show. Plus, I watch movies in my garage when I’m working on stuff.

I particularly enjoy the first part where Bruce Wayne is becoming a Ninja. That was something I always thought was cool from Batman: The Animated Series. Just for curiosity’s sake, I checked around to see if there are places to train to become a Ninja. I had read some time ago that the true art was not widely known because Ninjas were Japan’s equivalent to our CIA. You can see something of this in You Only Live Twice (1967), a James Bond film.

So I was pretty surprised to find there is a ninja training school right in my own back yard. Shadow Warriors Association of Ninjitsu operates a ninja camp in the Rocky Mountains about 1 1/2 hours from my house. As far as I can tell, they teach mixed martial arts with an emphasis on “being sneaky.” For a nominal fee of $2995, I can get in a 30 day ninjitsu immersion program.

It sounds cool, but I can’t help wondering who goes to a ninja training camp. Are they 9:00-5:00 accountants and computer programers who want to become dangerous? Are they UFC types who want to broaden their skillset?

Also, I can’t help wondering if this dojo was inspired by the one in Batman Begins. Consider the parallels: mountain fortresses, ninja training for rich guys, shadow warriors/league of shadows. Did the film create a desire in rich white guys to become ninjas and these Shadow Warriors are harvesting the new market? Why not? I have to say, it seems hard to find a place to train in martial arts where your sparring partners aren’t pre-teens.  If you, a grown man/woman, are looking for a place to learn to fight, why not do it somewhere that you’re called a ninja at the end?

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