Why You Need to be a Ninja Sneak in the Martial Arts

How to Sneak Up on Anybody!

There are different kinds of sneaks.

When I was a kid
I used to sneak up on lizards,
grab ‘em by the tail,
and…you know.

in school,
it was how could you sneak through school,
past the principles office,
duck down,
walk on tip toe,
you know.

Then it was
how do I sneak out of the house at night.
Which floorboard squeaks,
which hinge needs oil during the day,
and how do I sneak back in
when the parents have heard me
and locked the door!

Then I learned about Ninjitsu,
which word means…‘stealers in.’
Which means,
let’s face it,
‘sneakers in.’
Climbing stairs by climbing up underneath them.
Walking fences.
Walking on gravel without making sound.
Which leads to walking
without leaving footprints.
And all that sort of thing.

this is all the physical side,
and you need to practice the physical side,
and with the physical side
there comes a certain mental discipline.
Controlling your body,
shifting the weight,
keeping the weight balanced,
placing the foot on the earth so smoothly
that you don’t stomp,
but rather match your foot
to the trajectory of the planet.

Then there’s the mental side,
the mental discipline it takes to do the physical side.

I could sneak up on lizards
when I was young,
I couldn’t.
I had grown up,
and I had lost something.
So how do I get it back?

I didn’t try,
I was too into the martial arts to go back,
I wanted to go forward.
I was into sticking a key into a keyhole
at speed
and yet not making any noise,
not fumbling the action.

Move at speed,
don’t fumble,
is the heart of good martial arts technique.
I took the same mental attitude of inserting keys
and tried to insert that attitude,
that smoothness,
that lack of muscular effort
into my techniques.

Very interesting.

Guy punches,
can I cross block
turn it into an aikido throw
with no sound,
and no fumbles,
without the other guy feeling me,
resisting me,
causing an inadvertent

Interesting stuff.
Very mind expanding,
sometimes mind blowing.

to get back to sneaking up,
now that you know where it leads
and how it fits together
with martial arts techniques,
one of the most interesting problems
I have posed myself
is where do I put my attention
in odd situations.

You see,
as I got better,
delved deeper
and looked harder,
I realized something.
You can feel somebody’s awareness.
If they look at you,
you can feel it.
If they notice you,
you can feel it.
here’s the kicker,
for something to be true the opposite must also be true,
that means they could feel me.

the ultimate sneaker upper technique
(so far),
is how do I move so that people can’t feel me.
here is the simplicity and the stupidity
all at once,
who do I practice on?

I picked strangers at random and followed them,
got funny here,
felt like a stalker,
so I learned how to undo my thoughts.
After a while of not being noticed,
I began sneaking up behind somebody,
and turning on flashes of awareness
to see if I could move them,
guide them,
turn them one way or the other.

The problem here was interesting,
when you shine a flashlight
does a person look at the flashlight,
or the spot that the light illuminates?

Except that we are not talking flashlights,
we are talking about the light of awareness,
an actual phenomena that happens
as you get deep into the martial arts.

I have to tell you,
it is useful,
if only for the mental discipline
and becoming a bigger and better person.

there were results to my sneaking up,
some good,
some bad,
but all predictable in the end.

running out of strangers,
I started asking myself
who do I practice on now?

Family is attuned to me,
they feel me,
in a crowd,
they will invariably be the ones
who turn at my presence.
So I began losing myself in crowds,
then seeing if I could sneak up.

I had to merge with the motion of the crowd,
keep people between me and the family member,
the nifty one,
get close,
and see if I could sneak up
just by staying behind the turn of their heads,
once there,
within striking distance,
could I stand behind them,
move with them,
adjust to the turns of their head,
duck when they turned too far,
and stay there.
How long could I stay there?
here comes the fun.

Could I shine my awareness on the back of their head,
make them turn this way and that,
could I ‘unshine’ the light of my awareness,
could I suddenly dampen it,
turn it way down,
make myself as invisible to all their senses.

This last is where I am at right now.
nothing is more fun
than sneaking up behind somebody
from a 100 feet away
through a semi crowded mall,
using people for shields
until I am behind the wife,
who is most attuned to me,
and the hardest to sneak up on,
most important
through all of the mechanical things…
turning my awareness this way and that,
misleading her,
making her look to where I am not
long enough to switch shields,
or to step across a gap of no people,
to the shadow behind her head,
behind her awareness.

I give you this problem.
here is the deal.
If you do the martial arts
it may take 20 or 30 years,
but you will come to this place,
this place of heightened awareness,
of the flashlight of your look
that makes people do things.

you could get there in a couple of years
using matrixing,
same thing,
same problems.
you know
it is not too early to start,
the next time you go to the mall,
see if you can sneak up on your kids,
the wife,
the friends you are meeting.

It is fun,
at heart,
it is very advanced martial arts.

that all said,
I haven’t tied it in to any courses.
I’m supposed to write these things,
so I can put in an advertisement.
Messed up,
didn’t I?

Oh, well.
Let me just shine the light of awareness on


Go there, check it out, and have fun.

Now, have a great work out!


zen martial arts

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