“Walking on Water” (Ninja myths)

Can Ninjas walk on water?

Adam tries to reproduce Ninja accessories to let them walk on water, while Jamie watches and laughs.


Walking on water is very unlikely, but look at the “Jesus Lizard” for an example of whats necessary: High initial speed and large, light feet.

My Verdict:

Analysis Confirmed. This is so unlikely that even they can’t mess up the analysis.

Can Ninjas catch an arrow in flight?

Adam and Jamie build a rig to try to catch an arrow in flight.


The key variable that they didn’t talk about here is how far the archer is from the catcher. Given enough lead time, I’m fairly certain that people can anticipate something like an arrow in flight.

There should have been some analysis of how quickly a ‘Ninja’ can move their arm to match the speed of an arrow. How fast are arrows in flight? How fast can a ‘Ninja’ move his arm?

They assume this myth is about grip strength of a static fist catching a moving arrow. Thats just not true. The issue here is can a moving hand catch a moving arrow, at normal arrow speeds and weights. Because arrows are light, this is a test of reaction time and speed only, not strength.

My Verdict:

Analysis Busted. I think people can anticipate the speed and location of an arrow, as long as they’re far enough away from the archer to have enough time to “set up” the catch.

What they should have done:

They should have either built a moving arm rig, and tried to catch an arrow in flight with that rig, or just tried to do it themselves with armored gloves. Arrows should have been shot at a reasonable range, somewhere between 100 and 300 feet.

Can Ninjas stop a sword with their bare hands?

Grant, Tori and Keri build a rig to try to catch a sword.


They used their own grip strength and sword swinging speeds instead of those of a trained ‘Ninja’. I suspect the factor of error here could be nearly 2 times for both of these parameters.

What was the static grip strength of their clapping rig? Did it actually match human strength? In other words, people have muscles in their fingers that aren’t present in their rig.

You can clearly see in the high speed footage that the artificial hands are much more flaccid than real hands would be. This is a serious problem with their simulation.

My Verdict:

Analysis Confirmed. They should have said “If you try to catch a sword, you’ll cut your hands off” which is what would really happen, just like they did to their rig.

What they should have done:

Measured the grip strength and sword speed of a real ‘Ninja’. Made sure that their rig properly modeled hand grip strength.


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