HE LOOKED like an easy target: a medical student sitting alone on a late-night train to Kingswood in Sydney's west.

The three men sidled up to the German student and demanded he hand over his wallet. When he refused, they followed him off the train and past a hotel and pizza shop. And when the student turned down a dimly lit alley, his pursuers thought their moment had come.

It had, but not in the way they expected.

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The men tripped the student, 27, kicking him as he lay on the ground and grabbing his mobile phone and iPod. But they did not realise they were standing outside Ninja Senshi Ryu, western Sydney's ninja warrior school. They also failed to notice ninja Nathan Smith, standing in the shadows outside the dojo, who alerted his sensei, or teacher.

''Sensei, someone is getting mugged,'' Mr Smith yelled to his class.

Kaylan Soto, a sensei with 30 years' ninjutsu training, and three of his students raced out of the dojo towards the startled attackers. All five crusaders were clad in the ninja's all-black uniform.

''We would have been just a silhouette,'' said one of the ninjas, Steve Ashley. ''It was probably the worst place in Sydney where they could have taken him. Logistically, they probably had it right, because it's a dark street and there are only houses on one side. But they should have done a bit more research.''

Mr Soto said it took the assailants a few moments to realise what was going on. When they did, they shot off.

''You should have seen their faces when they saw us in ninja gear coming towards them,'' he said.

The ninjas gave chase but the assailants got away. Police yesterday said they had made arrests in relation to the attack.

The medical student, who has been in Sydney for eight weeks on an exchange program, was left shaken with minor injuries. He is due to return to Stuttgart on Saturday. As for the ninjas, they were back in training last night, ready for action if called on again.


How terrified would you be to see a bunch of ninjas jumping out and running at you pissed off?