Learning to see the Grey Man

gray manWithin ninjutsu’s information gathering skills is the art of Hensojutsu, the art of disguise. To make oneself invisible to the enemy is the highest skill a ninjutsu practitioner can achieve, being able to blend in with his surroundings wherever he may be at he at this point has become the Grey Man!

But what is the Grey man? A Grey Man is that person or person’s whom you may see when you scan a crowd but they blend into the crowd so well, your perception of them becomes that they just belong there, and your eyes just pass them by. This Grey man-ness is difficult to cultivate and you need to work at first being able to SEE the Grey Man around you, and then to mimic them. Just the other night I was watching World War Z with the family and the key for the Zombies to pass you over was to become Grey, or invisible to their senses, not unlike the topic we are covering here. In order to learn more about this subject you should read the following links to previous posts:





Alright now that you have gained a bit of knowledge on the Grey Man concept, your first lesson for the Month of October is multifaceted so pay attention

1)      Read the above links

2)      Observe the crowd drill: find a crowded area ( I like a mall or food court), watch people as they enter your visual sense and see who stands out to you, who tends to blend into the background, but most importantly why do they(either stand out or blend in)

3)      Blending in drill: Find a partner or class mates that will work with you on this one, once you have gained knowledge as to what makes a person stand out or blend in, try it out by letting your training partners know you are going to be somewhere and see how long it actually takes them to locate you as you put your skill in real world practice. I have done this several times, even so much as exchanging articles of clothing to appear to be someone completely different as I passed through their zone several times.

Part two to the Observation drill:

                If you have attempted the observation practice drill, go back and now focus on these topics: Size of the person, dress (what are they wearing), mannerisms(what do they say by what they do), gait or route of the individual, hair or head covering, color schemes, pace or rout or gait, any abnormality that catches your eye. Now that you have gone through the basic observation drill and a glorified Hide and Seek now you have a better feel for how to become a Grey Man.


                Some people may call you crazy but  a ninja in the ancient times did not stick out like a nail waiting to be hammered down. Instead he blended into his environment both in a rural or urban manner. Becoming a grey Man in the modern world is becoming more difficult each day, but stay tuned here for additional information on how to continue to develop your Grey Man skills!


Bufu Ikkan

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