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Way of the Scout Part 2: Way of the Mink and Real Ninjas

Updated: Sep 4, 2023

Alright, so are ninjas real?

Well, first of all, let me say that I think the best ninjas, scouts, rangers, and survival masters we are likely to encounter are the wild animals of the forest themselves. This was imminently displayed to me and my family thislast weekend.

It was a smoky and increasingly hot afternoon, and so we agreed to meet some friends down by the river to cool off before the wildfire smoke became unbearable. Karen, Orion, and I met our friends down at a little secret sandbar on the Tolt river with just enough shade to protect us from the sun, deep pools to play in, and at least the illusion of somewhat fresh air.

While the kids played in the water and adults cooled their feet, I got lucky enough to catch movement out of the corner of my eye. Karen was facing me, our friend Dane was facing the water, and I just managed to see a little brown torpedo emerge from the water and then dash behind Karen and into the bushes.

"Mink! Mink! I saw a mink! Did you guys see it?", I shouted enthusiastically.

Everybody looked at me puzzled and then followed me to go look into a tangle of blackberry, snowberry, and cottonwood roots. The mink had totally disappeared...a true ninja indeed. I couldn't believe how fast it had moved, how fast it faded from sight, and how it had evaded being seen.

The mink had naturally utilized our blindspots and had also rapidly vanished into just medium cover. We left the spot reluctantly and went back to playing. A few minutes later, the mink emerged again, this time spotted by Karen, but it still went right behind Dane and managed to get back in the water.

It was a huge gift and surprise for us all as later the kids spotted the mink swimming in the water upstream.

Okay, so back to ninjas...are they real?

Well, besides animal ninja masters, I have got to say the answer is both yes and no, but mostly yes. Wait...what?

I have met a handful of individuals, real people that have truly studied the arts of ninjitsu, ninpo, and what is often called Bunjinkan. They were all students in the lineage of Masaaki Hatsumi (see more about Hatsumi-sensei HERE ). All of them displayed unusual martial skills, were adept at hiding and sneaking, and they had specifically sought out survival skills schools to deepen their study of these ancient arts.

They were also all more than willing to share their own ninja tips, tricks, and more with me as we all dove deep into the archetype of the forest ninja, the scout, the ranger.

So, what did they share?

Well, that's exactly the kind of thing I will be revealing in my upcoming Scoutcraft book. I can't wait to share their stories and more when my Kickstarter launches next month! Details to come, and I'll be sure to keep you posted.

Let me know if you think ninjas are real. And, tell me about your own animal ninja-master encounters down below in the comments!

Also, feel free to hit me up with questions down below as well.

With awareness,



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