Magicians and ninjas have a lot of similar concepts. The art of deception lies deeply rooted in fudal Japan, and also in modern day sleights.
I have been studying To-Shin Do for about four years now. It is classical ninjutsu applied to modern day problems. It is not a sport, but it is taught as self defense. I have found many physical and mental similarities between ninjutsu and sleight of hand, but I will share a tid-bit for now.
Make them think that what they are doing, was their choice, even though you made them think that. Inception level is over 9000.
Chris Ramsay has a trick "Voodoo" in which the spectator decides to tear and burn a "voodoo doll" of their selected card. You are giving them the tools, and providing the opportunity so that it is "their" idea. They find that their selection in the deck, and it is burnt and torn, just like the "voodoo doll", mind blown.
See Voodoo by Chris Ramsay
In ninjutsu, there are so many opportunities to apply this when fighting. Quick note, fighting is not for fun, it is when running away, or giving the attacker what they want (i.e. your wallet,) is not an option. So there you are, squaring up with someone who wants to punch you in the face, they do not know you have skills, so it is time to use them. In my classes, we have been exploring baiting the attacker, waiting for them to take the bait, and sinking the hook. They are a little cagey, this isn't their first fight, they are patient. We throw what seems like a shot leaving us open, so they take that opportunity, and that is what we want; don't get hit, enter their space, and take them out. We made them think that it was their idea to attack then, and it was our idea the whole time.
Another great example in deception, is "fumbling" a trick or move, so a spectator thinks that they caught you, but you have created that moment for them, and they have no idea. There are many small subtleties involved, the look on your face, the way you move your hands, the words that you say. All of these factors make up a false sense of what is going on. In that moment, you are creating a reality that is different than your own, because you are in charge and control, and no one is the wiser.
See To-Shin Do by founder Stephen K. Hayes
To-Shin Do has so many examples of psychological "warfare" and subtle ques that it would take a lifetime to learn them all, and be proficient at them. Same with magic, to learn every everything, it would take many lifetimes. There are many ways to fool a spectator or an aggressor; do not fool yourself into thinking that it will work 100% of the time, or that everyone is fooled in the same way. Read the situation, and act appropriately. Be pro-active, and try to stay ten steps ahead of everyone around you.