Ninjitsu was a competitor robot from Orange, California, which fought in the second season of Robot Wars: Extreme Warriors and Nickelodeon Robot Wars. In Extreme Warriors, it fought exclusively in the Robot Rebellion, reaching the second round before losing to Snookums on a close Judges' decision. In the Nickelodeon series, it finished third in the US Championship after initially losing its eliminator to Tyranabot, and won the Battle of the Spinners against Destructive Criticism.

Team Katana had previously competed in Season 1 of Extreme Warriors with the similarly-themed Shuriken and the loanerbot The Green Mouse.

Design[edit | edit source]

Rear view of Ninjitsu

Ninjitsu was an invertible, two-wheel drive robot powered by wheelchair motors and armed with an unusual 24-inch, 3,000rpm square-shaped spinning disk as its weapon. The robot also featured a pair of movable rear flaps which formed what Evan White described as a 'floating wedge', which was intended to prevent Ninjitsu from being lifted or flipped from the back as well as to get underneath opponents while being driven in reverse. While Ninjitsu's spinning square proved reasonably powerful and damaging, it was susceptible to having its drive belt damaged or dislodged after taking a certain amount of hits. Furthermore, the robot's chassis was partially exposed, which left Ninjitsu particularly vulnerable to getting hooked by certain flipping or lifting weapons, as its first battle with Buzz demonstrated.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The robot was named after 'ninjutsu', (also known as 'ninpō'), a Japanese collection of disciplines for martial arts, strategies and espionage, often known for its association with ninjas. Throughout Ninjitsu's appearances, Team Katana wore Bandanas and Kimonos similar to those worn by Samurai Warriors, further reinforcing its Japanese theme.

Robot History[edit | edit source]

US Season 2[edit | edit source]

In Extreme Warriors, Ninjitsu competed exclusively in the Robot Rebellion competition, and faced Buzz in the first round.

Buzz hooks Ninjitsu by the chassis

It hesitated in the middle of the arena as Buzz pressed the pit release button, before slamming into its front wedge, causing debris to fly across the arena. Ninjitsu was pushed by Buzz before being lifted, the latter's side flipper getting caught through its exposed chassis. Buzz carried Ninjitsu towards the pit, but both robots fell in at the same time, which resulted in the Judges immediately ordering a rematch.

"Oh, was that bad driving or good driving? Well I guess the judges are gonna have to pull them apart…"
Stefan Frank after both robots fall into the pit together

On the second attempt, Ninjitsu immediately drove into Buzz's wedge, its spinning square deflecting off it as it chased Buzz and hit it again. Another head-on slam caused Buzz to immediately stop moving, and Ninjitsu repeatedly hit Buzz's wedge and sides with the square as Sir Killalot nudged it to check for signs of mobility. Refbot eventually counted Buzz out before it was attacked by the House Robots and thrown by the Floor Flipper, allowing Ninjitsu through to the second round.

There, it faced Snookums, for the right to earn a battle against the House Robots.

Ninjitsu hits the wheel of Snookums

Ninjitsu is lifted, but cuts into Snookums' face

Ninjitsu slammed into Snookums in the opening moments, causing damage to its front and tail, before hitting one of its wheels and pushing it around with the rear flap. The two robots charged head-on into each other, with Ninjitsu's square ripping one of Snookums’ front spikes off before Ninjitsu continued hitting the latter's wheels and tail. Snookums responded by pushing Ninjitsu over the Disc of Doom, where Ninjitsu got stuck and was unable to drive away until the Disc started spinning and threw it off. Once freed, Ninjitsu hit Snookums' front again, and tore part of its head off as Snookums lifted it with its sword.

"Wow, that spinning square on the front of Ninjitsu, when it gets up to speed, is definitely going to do some damage, as you can see!"
Stefan Frank as Ninjitsu’s spinning square rips off – and gets caught in – part of Snookums’ head

Ninjitsu is assisted by Sgt. Bash

Ninjitsu is broadsided by Snookums

Seconds later, Ninjitsu's square caught the piece of Snookums' head that it ripped off, instantly disabling it as it bumped into and pushed Snookums in circles with the rear flaps. Snookums got under Ninjitsu again, but spun itself round as it tried to push, before Ninjitsu backed away and the two robots pushed each other over the Floor Flipper. In the process, Snookums had its tail torched by Sgt. Bash, before pushing Ninjitsu towards his CPZ. Ninjitsu escaped as Sgt. Bash attacked Snookums and grabbed it by the tail, before pushing the flaming Snookums around in circles. In turn, it was pushed into another CPZ by Snookums, losing the drive belt for its spinning square in the process. The two robots rammed each other in the middle of the arena until 'cease' was called, and the battle went to a Judges' decision.

Despite the damage it inflicted to Snookums, the split decision went against Ninjitsu, much to the disappointment of the audience and Team Katana. As a result, Ninjitsu was eliminated from the Robot Rebellion.

"We'll be going home in a box, he'll be going home in a bag!"
— Evan White's warring words after Ninjitsu's loss to Snookums

Nickelodeon[edit | edit source]

Driven by Evan White, Ninjitsu first appeared in the US Championship, facing Tyranabot in its eliminator.

Ninjitsu strikes Tyranabot with its spinner

Dead Metal rams Ninjitsu into the pit

It lunged straight for Tyranabot in the opening seconds, hitting its front panel several times with the spinning square. Both robots bumped into each other again in the middle of the arena, with Ninjitsu hitting Tyranabot's side as the latter began losing its top 'skin' and pressed the pit release button. Ninjitsu struggled to cause any more damage to Tyranabot, before suddenly becoming immobilized after pushing it over the CO2 pit. Sir K briefly nudged Ninjitsu with his jaws of life as Refbot counted it out, before Dead Metal pushed it onto the Floor Flipper. Ninjitsu was thrown across the arena, small pieces flying from it as it flew, before being violently rammed into the pit by Dead Metal.

While Ninjitsu was eliminated from the US Championship, it later fought Phantasm in the Bonus Battle, a playoff held to determine third and fourth places in the championship.

Ninjitsu tears into Phantasm

Both robots charged into each other straight away, with Ninjitsu tearing part of Phantasm's armor off before being pushed sideways around the arena. Another series of slams from Ninjitsu's blade caused more damage to Phantasm, tearing one of its rear panels loose, before Phantasm again pushed Ninjitsu and attempted to get under it with its front spikes. Ninjitsu hit Phantasm several more times in rapid succession, tearing into its armor, chassis and wheels while immobilizing it in the process. It drove itself over the Disc of Doom before causing more damage to Phantasm, at one point splitting its back panel in half as Refbot counted it out. Sir K pushed Phantasm onto the Floor Flipper and the Drop Zone, where it was thrown a great distance across the arena and had an assortment of sporting equipment dropped onto it. Ninjitsu won the Bonus Battle, and secured third place in the Nickelodeon US Championship in doing so.

Ninjitsu also fought in the Battle of the Spinners, a grudge match held against Destructive Criticism to determine which robot had the better spinning weapon.

Ninjitsu breaks the drive belt for Destructive Criticism's disk...

...only to lose the drive belt for its own weapon

It immediately hit Destructive Criticism's sides with the square, sending a shard of metal flying as Destructive Criticism struggled to get its own disk into position. Ninjitsu's blade deflected off of Destructive Criticism and Refbot's front plough in rapid succession, before Ninjitsu used its rear flaps to get underneath and push Destructive Criticism towards the CO2 pit. More pieces of Destructive Criticism fell off as Ninjitsu once again struck it with the spinning square, before another series of slams sent sparks flying and left gashes in the front part of Destructive Criticism's chassis.

Destructive Criticism presses Ninjitsu against the Disc of Doom button in the closing moments

Ninjitsu eventually caused damage to Destructive Criticism's wheels and destroyed the drive belt for its disk, leaving Destructive Criticism hobbling across the arena and without its weapon. However, Ninjitsu lost the drive belt to its own spinning square after another hit, and the two robots proceeded to drive around and nudge each other as Shunt pressed the pit release button. Destructive Criticism then pushed Ninjitsu against an angle grinder and the Disc of Doom activation button, with the battle going to a Judges' decision after both robots remained mobile towards the end. The decision went in favor of Ninjitsu, which was declared victorious in the Battle of the Spinners.

Results[edit | edit source]

Season 2
Robot Rebellion
Round 2
Round 1 vs. Buzz Won
Round 2 vs. Snookums Lost
US Championship
Third Place
Eliminator vs. Tyranabot Lost
Playoff vs. Phantasm Won
Battle of the Spinners
Battle of the Spinners vs. Destructive Criticism Won

Wins/Losses[edit | edit source]

  • Wins: 3
  • Losses: 2

Series Record[edit | edit source]

US Series Ninjitsu Series Record
Season 1 Entered with Shuriken
Robot Rebellion with The Green Mouse
Season 2 Robot Rebellion
Nickelodeon Third Place

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Ninjitsu is one of only two robots to be immobilised in a battle where the Judges declared a rematch, and then proceed to win the subsequent fight, alongside Chaos 2.
  • According to Ed Robinson, Ninjitsu didn't compete in the Extreme Warriors U.S. Championship because Evan White had school exams.
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