Ninja . . . that single word conjures up images of mystery and power. The ability to move swiftly and silently, to mesmerize one's victim, to strike infallibly, and then to disappear into the night--this is the legend of the ninja. These nearly sorcerous aspects of the ninja, as well as the exotic weapons they use, are the focus of The Mystic Arts of the Ninja. Its author, Shidoshi Stephen K. Hayes, is the sole American to be granted teaching credentials by the 34th grandmaster of the Togokure School of Ninjutsu in Japan. Going beyond the basic conditioning and training techniques of his best-selling Ninjutsu: The Art of the Invisible Warrior, Hayes explains the most sought after secrets of his ninja training:
Hypnotism: Saiminjutsu, the ninja's hypnotic powers are described and explained. Sample exercises are provided to help develop your hypnotic powers.
Invisibility: Stealth walking and camouflage are discussed. Hayes provides examples of how to move silently across various kinds of terrain and how to blend into your surroundings to become invisible.
Weaponry: The Hanbo cane, the sword, and the infamous shuriken throwing stars are ninja trademarks. Hayes fully describes their use in grappling as well as in attacking.
More than 400 black-and-white photos are used to illustrate the secrets and techniques that have been used by the ninja to surprise and outwit their foes over the past 800 years. The authenticity of Shidoshi Haye's instruction is perhaps the most important aspect of this book: no other book represents the true ninja tradition.
The book was very good. However it requires a great deal of context. Therefore I would recommend buying the book and reading it, then reading it again when you are older - age 25 or more. Mystic Arts Of The Ninja is well written, and it will send you on a quest, what with Mr. Hayes referencing Masaaki Hatsumi to Patanjali. Success in ninjutsu should not be differentiated from a good life.