Episode 109: Return of the Ninja

Air Date: October 15, 2008

A ninja can catch an arrow in mid flight.


The Mythbusters first tested the speed of an arrow and showed that an arrow maintains its speed as far as 70 feet because of its aerodynamic design. Then they brought “The Arrowcatcher” Anthony Kelly onto the show and had him perform various tests. Anthony proved that he could catch tennis balls traveling at 85 miles per hour (breaking a world record in the process). They then had him try and catch an actual arrow, and Anthony succeeded in catching an arrow. However, at Anthony’s request, the arrow had been fired below full strength and directly in front of Anthony. The Mythbusters decided to redo the test by firing arrows at full strength from multiple directions. This time, Anthony had much more trouble and could only catch the arrows when he knew which direction they were coming from. Since Anthony was unable to catch the arrows in full combat conditions, the Mythbusters considered the myth busted.

(This myth was originally tested on Episode 78: Walking on Water. It was revisited due to fan complaints that the bow was too close to the arrow catching rig, so the arrow was traveling faster than it would at a farther distance. Fans also pointed out many people who could catch an arrow on camera and wanted the Mythbusters to bring one on the show.)

While charging their target, a ninja can use their sword to deflect an arrow and kill the archer before he can reload.


Anthony declared that it was unlikely a ninja would be cornered by three archers and proposed a one-on-one battle. During the demonstrating, Adam fired an arrow at Anthony. Anthony deflected the arrow with his sword and was able to close the distance and “kill” Adam before he had time to fire his second shot.

A ninja hiding underwater can hit a target with a blowgun and use it as a breathing apparatus.


The Build Team first tested to see how long a ninja could last underwater before succumbing to hypothermia. Tory submerged himself in a cold water tank and managed to stay in the tank for an hour. Kari, being the most accurate shooter, tried firing her blowgun from underwater. Though she initially had problems due to refraction, Kari was able to hit the target with her third try. The Build Team then combined all of the elements of the myth. Unfortunately, when loading their darts, water entered the blowguns and weakened the shooting force. When they tried it with the darts pre-loaded and breathing with clenched teeth, they succeeded in “assassinating” their target. With all parts of the myth possible, the Build Team declared the myth plausible.

A ninja can knock out a person with a punch from one inch away.


The first had Jamie test a full force conventional punch and measure the force. Anthony, who was trained in the use of the one inch punch, performed it. The one inch punch had half the force of Jamie’s punch, and the three inch punch had two thirds the force. Anthony further demonstrated the power of the punch by using it to break only the last of three wooden boards, a feat that Jamie was unable to match. The Mythbusters concluded that with the right training, a person can use the one inch punch with enough power and expertise to knock down a person.


  1. Richard Landgraff says:

    Catching an arrow in mid-flight. And how did David Carradine do it in his TV series “Kung Fu”? Most combat arrows are made for long range concentration of pointy things against enemy formations. Therefore they have large fletching and though they fley further, they are slower. In the stunt shows, “Foo Arrows” are used that have extra large fletching to slow down for the stunt man to catch them.

    Of course, short range, high speed arrows for deer hunting is something else.

  2. Nick Hoffman says:

    “A ninja can catch an arrow in mid flight.

    Anthony caught the arrows in broad daylight in thin air and on film but yet this myth was somehow busted. Myth busters reworded the myth at the end of the show and then busted it.

    “Since Anthony was unable to catch the arrows in full combat conditions, the Mythbusters considered the myth busted.”


    The Mythbusters lost a lot of credibility on this myth.

    • Ash says:

      Also in the videos I’ve seen he’s using a modern recurve with composite limbs (Polaris manufacture – cheap and cheerful) and modern arrows. If they really wanted to prove or disprove the ‘myth’, they should be using reproduction arms.

      • Joe says:

        Believe it or not, bows above 25 lbs draw weight have existed for a long time, a historical Japanese bow for combat would fire even faster and make it even harder to catch.

        Nick Hoffman is wrong (and also kind of annoying), being able to catch an arrow not fired from full strength on an already low powered bow is not equivalent of catching an arrow someone would actually fire at you. By your logic I could say I can catch arrows by catching one as it falls from a bow what was drawn 1/10th of the way.

  3. David V. says:

    Nick, they busted it ’cause anthony knew the arrow’s direction when he caught it. But when the arrows were randomly shot, he didn’t caught an arrow. Which means ninja’s can only catch arrow IF they know its direction.

    • Ken says:

      also the archers wern’t using the full pull of the bow either

    • Eric says:

      The truth of this “busted myth”, is that a true ninja, who is meticulously trained in multiple methods of combat, as well as concealment and evasion, would not be caught in a situation where catching an arrow would be required.

    • Ash says:

      If someone’s gonna shoot me with an arrow, I’m betting I know its trajectory… right at me! ;)

      • Qermaq says:

        That’s the target. The trajectory is the path. From where us the arrow coming!

  4. Hungarian Fan says:

    In the DPRK, the axis of evil commie country and whatnot commonly know as North Korea in the so called free world, there are spec-ops troops who are truly heir to the japanese ninja traditions.

    Korea peninsula was under japanese colonial occupation for decades in the first half of the 20th century and they learned a lot.

    Anyhow, these folks can put holes in one-inch planks with the five fingers of their bare hands, throw ordinary dinner forks into people or door from ten steps, stay underwater 5 minutes no euqipment, all on a cup of rice for the whole day.

    Of course you cannot show them on Mythbusters, because the DPRK is a totally closed country, but they were on tour among the soviet bloc militaries in the mid-1980s, training WARPAC spec-ops troops and they were amazing!

    • Eric says:

      You are referring to practitioners of Eushinbop, an art of espoinage, very similar to ninjutsu.

  5. Scott says:

    It’s worse than David V. says. Anthony specified exactly how he wanted the arrow shot, including the distance from him that he wanted it shot and how he wanted the bow drawn. As Jamie put it “exactly the conditions he would catch it.” Sure it’s cool, but it doesn’t prove anything.

  6. caleb says:

    I think Scott is right.

  7. Cesar says:

    Also, Anthony was never able to catch the arrow on the first try, even when he specified the conditions.

    It’s unlikely you would have a second chance in real combat conditions.

  8. Dallin says:

    I still think that the ninja catching the arrow is plausible… you have to take into consideration that the ninja warriors back in the day would literally train for a LIFETIME… and once achieving a certain physical state were they then able to perform such seemingly “godlike” tasks. They perfected every technique they ever used BEFORE they would use it in a combat situation. They would train in ways that would heighten ALL of their senses beyond what we would consider normal… and I strongly believe that with good enough hearing one could hear the direction an arrow is coming from and either (a) dodge it… or (b) catch it if necessary. Just as as a blind person has heightened hearing and smell, i believe they had similar traits. I propose myth busters test the theory that an arrow can be heard and acted upon before reaching the ninja. If it is impossible to be accurately heard and acted upon then i will accept the myth busted.

    • someguy says:

      In today’s society, everyone thinks of ninjas as seemingly godlike…

      But my ass they could hear an arrow flying at them and then grab it, or even dodge it.

      The ninjas specialty was stealth, and tricks. If a small group of average crummy soldiers cornered one where he couldn’t use his bags of tricks, he was a dead man.

      Yes they were very skilled and all that, but they were still just people, not superhumans.

      They didn’t care about honor, or rules, or anything ‘knightly’ like that, they just cared about getting their tasks done by any means necessary. They’d use tricks, ruses, come in the night and kill you in your sleep, use your kids to get to you, ambush, poisons, etc. etc. etc. and of course, had no qualms with running away and such. But as shameless as they were, it did definitely work, and that’s why they were so feared.

      • Chris says:

        I totally agree with someguy. The myth and mystique of the ninja far out-qualifies the actual person. These were warriors that, when their position was compromised in battle, would use diversionary tactics and smoke, as well as other “tricks” as he put it, to evade and gain the upper hand again through stealth and superior tactics.

        A ninja would not stand in one spot and catch arrows. It simply would not be a good tactic. More than likely, they would not be caught in a situation where they would have to do so.

  9. Icon says:

    I would have to agree with Dallin in that having some common, non lifetime trained people try to imitate a true ninja is not gonna fly for “busting” a myth. Skip the catching arrows and lets say to just dodge a punch from a professional boxer. Most people are gonna get caught with a solid punch to the face. Those people who have trained in boxing/self defense rigorously are gonna have a natural ability above the common joe.
    Not that they ever would but if mythbusters brought on the show a true ninja, not some actor/stuntman but a real deal ninja and he could catch the arrows…I’d buy that it was busted.

  10. Alex says:

    Mythbusters Rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Dave says:

    I’m not one to buy into the whole idea of ninjas as godlike, superhuman machines, but even so, the idea of testing “ninja myths” on this show is silly. I mean, with a lack of battle-hardened & experienced ninjas these days, it’s really difficult to ascertain what one could or couldn’t do. At best, the mythbusters have demonstrated that Jaime, Adam, and Anthony are unable to catch an arrow. As dedicated to his training as he might be, I don’t buy the idea that Anthony’s skills are a dead match for those of a “real” ninja. There are so many differences in terms of experience, training, and environment that, regardless of the effort one put in, it would likely be impossible to attain the exact same skill set as a ninja whose life depended on his abilities. Neither Anthony nor any other modern ninjitsu practitioner will ever be in such a situation, and as a result their skills are unlikely to be the same. Besides, how do we really even know when/if a person has equaled those skills. Moreover, there is a big difference between claiming that ALL ninjas could catch arrows and claiming that A NINJA could. The chances that all could are minute, but it seems well within the realm of possibility that some who were among the very best could. It’s entirely possible that NO “real” ninjas were able to catch arrows, but without a reasonable stand-in for one we can’t claim to know definitively.

  12. Yoshy says:

    It’s just a bad myth to test because ninjas didn’t get snuck up on. They see you and you don’t see them.

  13. pokute says:

    For example, I was right here behind you all this time, and you never noticed me! CONFIRMED!

  14. Hanzou says:

    look at Hattori Hanzou for instance, he is probably teh most famous Shinobi of all time. writings from that time said that Hanzou could do certain things that no normal person could. but he spent his entire life learning these traits. In todays society no one can spend theer lifetime to learn ninjitsu like you could in those days. So i say its with in teh realm of possibility but i dont think thers a snowballs chance in hell that they can prove it. Unless they find someone you doesnt have a job and literaly spent theer entire life practicing Ninjitsu

  15. Franklin Chun says:

    My Sifu Grandmaster Chris Chan of Wing Chun kung-fu style will KNOCK YOU OUT with his 1 inch punch. Punch, or open hand, Sifu Chris strike is DEVASTATING not plausible.

  16. The Claw says:


    Historical documents, especially ones this old, are notoriously unreliable. For instance, medieval bestiaries contain dragons and phoenixes in adition to bears and lions, and during the 19th century, there were woodcuts and such leading potential settlers to believe that fruit in America literally grew to man-size.
    Point is, fact-checking isn’t (and, particularly, wasn’t) always very rigorous. I’ll bet the story of Hattory Hanzou went something likethis;
    Hanzou beats some guy up->somebody saw, and tells their friend (“Hattory Hanzou totally messed that guy up!”)->that firend tells another friend (Hattori Hanzou totally messed that huge guy up!”)->that friend tells another friend (“Hattori Hanzou totally messed that huge guy up! He was like a mountain man!”)
    Until, finally, the story goes “Hattory Hanzou once destroyed an entire mountain with his bare hands.”

  17. Chris says:

    The one-inch punch is kind of a misnomer, since its measuring only the distance traveled by the fist to the target. People who are really skilled at short power actually cover a lot of distance internally to generate power. There is lot of muscle/tissue movement going, there’s really nothing mystical about it. Look at the hip-knee-groin, spine, rib cage movement. Many martial arts specialize in these kind of movements; coiling, expanding, contracting, extending tissues to generate a lot of power.

  18. Dean says:

    It depends on where you hit and the intention. then about the arrow, I’ll just say it may have happened by chance. But it’s probably not a technique that you learn and can rely on all the time. It’s more like a way of saving your butt when you don’t have a choice. It’s best to move and try to avoid being touched. The video of the guy catching a speeding arrow is cool but first off, the arrow wouldn’t even touch him, so he could just stand where he is, the arrow would end up in the target in back of him.
    Then when he catches it, the arrow keeps moving would go through his body if he was facing it.
    Sure it’s not easy, and he can’t mess up but it’s useless on a battlefield. He would either get hurt, miss the arrow, or the arrow wouldn’t even touch him. And we’re talking about AN arrow. There are many warriors on a battlefield so it may be arrowS. Try stopping 5 speeding arrows with your hands… You’d better get the hell out of there.

    You CAN catch a sword with your bare hands…. when it’s already been stopped (by another movement). But it’s not the main action. In other words, you won’t stop it like this. Unless you’re using shuko. And then again, it’s mostly a “uh-oh” solution to save your butt.

  19. Gover says:

    Yeah I don’t like how hard they made it.

    First off, napkin math says: fast reactions can be like 0.15s and 200 m/s arrow fired from 25m takes 0.4s to reach the target. Plenty of time to react. Also, if the arrow is being fired at you there’s no need to wonder where it’s going, and if the guy misses you who cares about catching an arrow?

    Also, I don’t think adrenaline was given any consideration. If you were in an actual battle with real, deadly arrows being fired by trained archers at you I’m guessing your adrenaline gland would be running on wide open. They should have injected this guy with some to simulate the effects of mortal combat. That’s got to help the reaction times.

    Who knows the legend could have started from a ninja getting shot right through the hand and just snapping it and pulling it out during combat and to the distant archer it looked like a catch.

  20. loic says:

    Hey there mythbusters if your going to myth bust the one inch punch then you should think of televising some one who can properly domenstrate the aplication of fa jin. I think then your myth will be shown to be more than plausible.
    Ps a ninja is japanese the only martial arts that is internal in japan is aikido and not a striking martial arts…for a real source of short distance as well as no distance power look up masters of tai chi xing yi and ba gua…

  21. Ernest says:

    About the arrow catching, I agree with Nick that the Mythbusters suddenly reworded the myth to include sensing the direction of the arrow in order to bust it. That was obviously not a condition the first time they tested the myth with a mechanical hand. I agree with 2 of their 3 battlefield conditions, that the arrow should aim directly at the target, and that it should be drawn full strength. But not knowing the direction changes the myth from “Can a ninja catch an arrow” to “Can you catch a ninja by surprise”.

    I also agree that as good as Anthony might be, he is probably not representative of a true ninja or lifelong martial artist at his prime. I think many true masters don’t bother entering competitions, so despite all his world records, I’m not convinced he’s really the world’s greatest.

  22. jaggerdss says:

    Again mythbusters fail to take everything in account. On “A ninja can catch an arrow in mid flight.” so A ninja can quote: “While charging their target, a ninja can use their sword to deflect an arrow and kill the archer before he can reload.” but cannot use the same hands to deflect and catch a arrow? The mechanical hand had no arm swing to factor in this equation (Just a grip). I believe it would be a different outcome if this was part of the equation as it should have been.

  23. jaggerdss says:

    One other thing. I wonder if Bruce Lee’s one inch punch (Chinese not Japanese ninja stuff) would knock out a guy if it was his face or jaw instead of the torso that they hit?(Betcha I could!) Assumption is another mythbuster mistake.

  24. FromJPN says:

    Now watching this episode. Some comments on Ninjas from a Japanese:

    1. They were NOT super-warriors. They specialized in spying (disguising as a traveling sales-man, a simple merchant), assassinations, sabotage and reconnaissance. In fact many ninjas got caught/died during their missions. Stealth was their biggest asset, not fighting skills (that were left to Samurais).

    2. Once they were spotted, typically they ran. Their mission was to bring back intelligence to their lords, to keep confusing enemies, or to killing their targets, not to fight against samurais. Fighting often times jeopardized their missions.

    3. Catching an arrow was not important. What is the purpose of doing that in a real situation? Deflecting it was enough. Having said that, samurais could do that, too. So that was not ninja’s specialty. If you tell the Japanese that Ninjas were really good at catching in-coming arrows, they would be quite amused.

    4. As far as I can tell, 1-inch or 3 inches punches were not used by ninjas. It is a Chinese skill. Somebody from Wing Chung would do a better job.

    5.waiting under the water to use a blow gun (poisoned)for assassination is closer to what actually they did.

    • hamusuta says:

      I agree what JPN said

  25. Quiet War says:

    This is ridiculous. These guys spend an afternoon practicing a skill which takes years of disciplined training and precision execution, and based on their findings declare it possible or not possible? And people consider it credible? Its one thing to see if a bullet flying past glass will shatter it, its another thing to watch a kung fu flick, imitate the moves five or six times, and declare themselves on a par with frickin’ ninjas.

  26. ObservantGuest says:

    I think FromJPN hits on a strong point here,

    Ninja were not battlefield soldiers They were closer to secret agents the Idea of “Battlefield Conditions” would never come into play with a Ninja.

    The whole expirement was wrong in my opinion because the scenario would never happen.
    A group of Archers would not be able to get that close to a Ninja in Ninjutsu great emphasis is given on stealth training they would not know he was there until he killed them.

    They tested a “Modern Ninja” and his reflexes were good enough to catch an arrow under certain conditions so the Myth should be Confirmed or Plausable.

    How about testing the Archers to see if they could even detect the presence of a Ninja and fire an arrow at him.

  27. steve m says:

    real masters dont participate for publicity stunts like mythbusters.
    Mythbusters must have been undereducated, testing a “ninja” with a kung fu style.

    How long has Mythbusters been on TV?
    how long have the martial arts been in practice….?

    nothing we see on TV today, could ever represent a time when people studied their entire life, every day, things we could not this day comprehend.

    Mythbusters should stick to fiz sticks and yawns…
    this show would nrver gain the time of the true masters the remain on this earth.

  28. CaseLogic says:

    @ Franklin Chun

    We need to replace “Dale” with Chris Chan
    [or anyone who has trained Wing Chun]

    -Walking on Water……NO

    -Catching an Arrow…..Possible
    :Stopping it to a dead stop is not necesarry, only to deflect (so as to not get killed) and stop. With an archer far enough away from you, it is possible to “catch” an arrow.

    -Catching a Sword…..Possible (with PAIN)
    :This may slice much of your hand or some/all of your fingers but enough to survive and defeat the swordsman. That about covers the important stuff: Survival and VIctory.

  29. Bryan says:

    the myth: ninja can catch an arrow.
    they called someone claim he is a ninja to prove it and he did.
    in the end of the show adam suddenly change the myth to.. “ninja could pluck an arrow, he has no idea where it is coming from”.

    BIAS! booooooooooooooooo!!!!

  30. Alejandro says:

    En el mito atrapar una flecha no usaron un ninja de verdad… para ese caso debieron contactar a la escuela de BudoTaijutsu lo equivalente al ninjutsu actual

  31. Carlos says:

    the myth actually reffers to the skilled shinobi who were spotted on top of Palaces before or after a Hit, so the archers would probably shot at them and missed, cause the trayectory of the arrow wouldn’y be straight and the “so called ninja” could easily catch or block them with their shinobigatana. And when the time passed, this average jutsu became a myth of an unbelivable prowess.
    So if any of you could try and catch an arrow in this conditions, i think even your “expert ninja” could have nailed it.

  32. Mr. R says:

    About the “ninja arrow catch”

    One point to note is that ancient/old Japanese’s bow is crap, very crap. The draw weigh is about 30~40lbs and shoots arrow up to 30~40m only.

    It’s hard to compare with the comp.bow used in the test. Watch this video, a Japanese grab an flying arrow by hand : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yib9Mbf-aDI

    They used a real old Jap bow, the time when there’s still ninja around.

    Busted ? I can only say ninja can’t catch an arrow from modern bow.

  33. xekken says:

    the one inch punch is not about the power behind it, its a precision strike to the celiac plexus, striking the nerve on the diaphram causes it to spasm resulting in “being winded” this easily knocks an opponent off balance alowing the push following the punch to knock the opponent over

  34. felixnoir says:

    I’ve also read somewhere else of this myth being tested in Britain. Perhaps in New Scientist, as I do read that a lot. They used several catchers and some proved they could catch arrows. With ref to the bows: Japanese books refer to some very long-distance shooting, which suggests more power than 30 lb. I was also interested to see some tests done on bows recovered from the Mary Rose. A lot of these bows drew 350-400 pounds, which amazed everybody. The thing was that those archers had trained since the age of eight or so, and they had completely distorted bodies with one huge arm – also the English technique of leaving into the bow and drawing it with your whole bodyweight.

  35. russtea says:

    Adam, a ninja can walk on water! there was a kids(teens) show on WGBH Boston about 25-30 yrs ago. You had the right idea, you just didn’t go far enough. The foot gear can’t be seperated. Keep them close enough to each other and shuffle along. On the bottom use the vanes from window blinds

  36. Enrico Martinez says:

    If you don’t believe one-inch & three-inch punches; then don’t believe Bruce Lee’s capabilities.

  37. strider says:

    On the one inch punch. That wasn’t a test of a ninja skill (they should’ve noted that). Anthony (the “ninja”) claimed he was a student of someone who was trained in the one inch punch by Bruce Lee.
    While i agree with what others said about a ninja not getting caught in the situation to need to catch an arrow. It’s still apart of the ninja mythology (meaning the fables, either through lore or movies) so it’s fair game as it is still a myth. That said, the myth was whether a ninja could catch an arrow to save his life (as per the myths). So applying battle conditions is applicable to the spirit of the myth. Anybody could catch an arrow if enough are shot at you, that doesn’t prove or disprove anything. So in that case you have to apply the spirit of the myth.
    Finally, the “ninja” had to take a lot of hits under parameters that put the favor heavily in his advantage to catch even A arrow. So in order to see if it was the parameters that allowed it or if it was actually his skill they had to apply a second test.
    Anthony should’ve never specified anything outside what would keep him safe. With the mythbusters rubber tipping the arrows, he was in no danger and didn’t need those parameters. He did it so he could get a few minutes of fame on tv.
    Further in the second test he didn’t catch any arrows, the one he “caught” you can clearly see hit his shoulder. Therefore doesn’t count because it would’ve critically injured him if it wasn’t tipped. Plus it could be debated that it hitting him is what allowed the catch as it hitting him gave him a bit longer to react.

  38. philip says:

    I thought should have been myth confirmed or at least plausible since he could catch it. The myth did not call for the ninja to be shot at close range but just shot at.

    Perhaps what hapened was that in ancient times, during a battle many arrows were flying and one ninja managed to catch one in mid flight and then the legend started.

  39. havoc says:

    The way that Adam handled the arrow catching myth, by mocking some viewers points, was somehow weird. Further in the episode it was clear that they would do anything to bust this myth. The changing of conditions to this so called battle conditions (that was really an a execution), was changing the rules in game. Using a modern bow was also a joke. Logically it’s plausible that a person can catch an arrow. In best circumstances, but that’s why it’s plausible not confirmed. The busted verdict seems like the Adam’s whim.

  40. Guy says:

    Surely mythbusters shouldn’t have claimed to have ‘busted’ the arrow catching ‘myth’. The experiment showed that a ninja can catch an arrow. The question didn’t seem to ask “can a ninja catch every single arrow shot at him, from varying directions and difficulty levels”?

  41. David says:

    In reality a ninja wouldn’t get cornered by an archer leaving his life on the line, a ninja takes out his targets quietly in assassin-like style. The only time you see a ninja is when he can see you with a knife inches from your throat.

  42. Xanatos says:

    I’m calling shenanigans on the ninja’s alleged training in the one-inch punch. Anyone who has seen Bruce Lee’s video (popularizing the one-inch punch) demonstration can see how it is properly performed; using a snapping motion like a ball and chain, with his hand returning to its original position after striking his opponent. The Mythbusters’ ninja simply shoved forward like a straight pole, precisely how Bruce Lee taught NOT to strike.

    And honestly guys, the “best ninja in the world”?! I’m just going to try to ignore the sheer absurdity of that claim.

  43. Fiona says:

    I love the Mythbusters! I wish I were like them!

  44. Jimbob says:

    Last I checked weren’t ninja’s a chinese pehonomenon and shinobi japanese?

  45. Matt says:

    Again these guys are either oblivious on how to conduct tests or don’t care.
    If I throw a ball at you from 5 feet away compared to 25 feet, its easier to catch not cause of speed or accuracy, but because I have longer times to react. So them tests were they said it didn’t matter how far away it is, is completely absurd.
    Most people use arrows from 25 feet plus. So I walk by and you shoot an arrow on top of a hill around 25+ feet away, and miss. I see you shoot again and catch it.

  46. ZGMF1017 says:

    As an archer i’m going to bust mythbusters here… Quite a lot…

    Firstly the bow. Modern recurve… Nuh uh first mistake. I believe they did it in a previous episode with a compound firing a wooden arrow… Even bigger nuh uh!

    I shot 36lbs at the fingers with carbon arrows and im only achieving 125 or so mph (184fps). I know people pulling 60lbs long bows firing wooden arrows. I can shoot after them and still reach a target before their arrow hits. Thus the speed of the arrows they were firing are incredibly in-accurate.

    Now consider that the bows in question are actually Japanese bows made from bamboo. The arrows are made from bamboo and have large fletchings. Their speed will not be much different from an english longbow or american flat bow. The real thing here is the arrows. Wooden arrows with feathered fletchings simply wouldnt fire that quickly from a wooden bow. Shooting them from a modern bow is not good for the arrows either it’s simply not designed for it. The more poundage a wooden bow has, the fatter the wooden arrows would have to be in order to have the correct spine.

    Having just busted mythbusters, i think they should do the experiment again, using the correct equipment… I still think they’ll bust it based upon the same reason they gave on this one. But at least they’ll have more of a reason to bust it if they use the correct method of testing it…

  47. M R Stotts says:

    The point about the distance is correct, but not because of slowing arrows. Even if the arrow didn’t loose one little bit of speed, it still takes 7 times as long to cover 70 feet as it does 10 feet, giving the arrow catcher more time to react. Ripley’s BioN had the archer standing 75 feet away from the live arrow catcher.

  48. JP says:

    Ninjas are the Paul Bunyan of Asian warcraft.

  49. Ben Calhoun says:

    NONE of You must have ever spent even a day in a martial arts class! Jeezzz! I have seen this done M-U-L-T-I-P-L-E times in Class by more than one student using a 45 pound bow at full draw. “CONFIRMED” Not only CAN be done but MANY people can do it!

  50. Ben Calhoun says:

    DOES put blisters on the palm of the hand!

    • Ben Calhoun says:

      P.S. in the TV show Cain could Clearly see the men as they were firing the arrows.

  51. PJ says:

    A ninja catching an arrow aimed at him could be plausible (although he mostly likely wouldn’t get another chance at it).

    At close to mid range combat (say in the woods or a group of ninjas ambushing a caravan), an archer wouldn’t be able to comfortably go for a full draw, especially with a trained ninja rushing at you.

    Also, a typical archer would most likely be trained to at the heart, so a ninja could assume the trajectory is aimed directly at his chest.

    More likely still, a ninja would most likely deflect the arrow with something or sidestep it and throw a blade. Trying to catch an arrow is more likely to be done in desperation, and a ninja will be most likely trained to not put themselves in such a vulnerable situation in the first place.

  52. Nicky Hansard says:

    Some of you guys on here make me laugh. You talk about the older olden day ninja’s obviously being better because of the conditions or training… Are you kidding me? People are more skilled, faster, stronger than anytime in history (look up Olympic records or strength speed contests, our modern best are far better or Youtube for the amazing things people can do with their body e.g. Parkour). That is not debatable, sure you can definitely argue that the average person is less skilled, faster, stronger than the average person of those times but we have a much, much, much higher population with access to virtually unlimited knowledge and information about their fitness/training, technique, biology etc…

    There very well might have been one among the ninja’s who really was that skilled BUT there, statistically and historically speaking, would almost certainly be one – likely more – with similar skills alive now. So if this expert they had in, is as good as they say, I would definitely say it’s busted.

    By the way, just because they tested a mechanical hand and it couldn’t catch the arrow, doesn’t mean that it changes any of the perimeters of the myth. They were simply deconstructing the myth and testing to see if the most basic component of the myth was possible aka can a person even close there hand fast enough, it had nothing to do with direction, location etc. If they had found it possible, they would have gone on to test a persons reflexes to different directions, speeds distances etc.

    So if the expert still couldn’t catch an arrow going at common shooting speeds and had to know the exact location of the shot then I would say it’s still busted, the mythbusters would have tested for that anyway if the mechanihand was fast enough but it wasn’t so they figured why bother going any further.

    I think the myth definitely includes the ninja not requiring a certain speed of the arrow and not requiring an exact location for it to be shot at.

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