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About Ninjutsu (Ninja)
Ninjutsu has many aspects of martial arts and non-martial arts to learn which can be a reward in its self. Meditation has traditionally been the cornerstone to any good martial art.
Ninjutsu is a Japanese martial art based on secrecy and the feudal system of clans. Ninjutsu is modeled on Bushido: espionage, commando tactics, mind manipulation techniques, hypnotic speech and powers of the occult (psycho-mushrooms) whilst incorporating different aspects of all martial arts (mostly jujitsu). The ninjutsu were the Japanese spy come SAS, Navy Seal, secret service (Mi6) and Mi5 of its day.
Opposite in beliefs to the Samurai the ninja developed and mastered ninjutsu skills, perfecting traditional weapon techniques as well a non-traditional weapons such as the shurikan, daggers, brass knuckles, rope ladders, caltops, grappling hooks, smoke bombs and an arsenal of many poisons (poisonous plants & mushrooms). Ninjas learned to convincingly pretend to be dead, be completely aware of their environment, could stay submerged in water for several minutes and scale a wall very quickly, a good ninja was also trained to withstand torture (SAS interrogation resistance) and would prefer death rather than reveal their identity or what their mission was.
Some ninjas were recruited from the lower classes if they showed promise to the ninja scouts (if they existed), but the focus talked about here will be loosely concentrated on the myths of the Iga and Koga ninja motivated clans.
Ninja's training started in childhood, and because of this constant conditioning from an early age the trained ninja could walk further, run faster, jump higher and swim faster, and to a longer distance than most ordinary men.
Ninja's learned escapology and was trained to wriggle their way out of most knots, to become invisible the ninja hid under floors, in ceilings, underwater in trees and down wells, voice changer and a master of disguise the ninja also learned to be a competent liar, body language, interrogation techniques and to be an actor as part of his/her training and could disappear or appear at will.
Ninja's training even stretched to learning to be a good cook, carrying homemade concentrate foods on long campaigns, but at the same time being able to recognize and cook most edible food growing in any location, he or she was a trained survivalist which meant he could locate medicinal and cooking herbs to heal and make food with, fully trained to have an understanding of useful mineral deposits leading to the manufacture of a homemade explosive device should the situation call for explosives to get the job done.
The ninjas job was to uncover any information about the enemy, disrupt the enemy, assassinate opposing leaders and win at all costs.
Ninja Sanity: The ninja was under extreme emotional and physical stress from an early age, how did the ninja deal with emotional and mental pressures? The answer is through meditation, not just tai chi chuan (meditation in motion) and breathing meditations but body awareness meditations (such as Zhan Zhuang: pronounced jam jong and Vipassana or clear seeing/insight) and empty mind meditational techniques.
Most Japanese clans practiced prayer (praying is a form of meditation no-matter what god you believe in) of some sort either by visiting the shrine of their ancestors or meditating on the shrine that was usually in the dojo where they practiced their skills. For the ninja to let go of what they had just done and wipe their conscious clean, and as a way to access their reality (let go of the things they had done and put aside many personalities they may have been on the last job), to access their true selves, meditation was taught and used as a ninja tool to take control over the emotions for deep cognitive stress relief and a way to control or subdue physical pain that was causing mental difficulties (physical pain is sent from the damaged part of the body to the brain, the brain reads the pain signals and decides the level of discomfort the damage deserves, learning to control pain through deep meditative relaxation can to some degree be achieve through constant meditation technique practice).
In the 13th century to the 17th century during Japans feudal wars where clans were always fighting over one thing or another ninjutsu was developed. It was probably around the 15th century that the first secret groups became known, which emerged to introduce trained spies into Japanese society. The spies (later known as ninjas) started to show themselves as espionage specialists to gather evidence and disrupt for money, whoever paid enough employed their skills to find out information, kill or sabotage.
Children born into the Iga and Koga clans lived in a remote part of Japan and were part of a system of devoted ninja organizations which trained their children in undercover-spy techniques from an early age, teaching the fine arts of espionage, stealth and if all else fails how to be a killer (unless assassination was the job).
In the 17th century the Tokugawa clan unified Japan with the ninja becoming an outlaw and the practice of Ninjutsu banned, with the penalty of death to whomever practiced it. Ninjutsu went underground and a type of Ninjutsu (because it is openly known it cannot be classed as true ninjutsu simply because true ninjutsu is mostly about stealth or being hidden) has only really surfaced again in the 20th century. A true ninja would be an unknown quantity that could be or become anyone at anytime, being a puppet master to the prey.
Note: Please be aware that ninja fighting skills was only a small part of ninja training, combat was usually only used as a last resort because it drew attention to the ninja, killing or getting the job done without anyone knowing anything was untoward, ex .creating a situation to look like an accident, was far more efficient and rewarding because there were no suspects and no one would be looking to blame anyone for what had happened.
- training & weapons of the ninjutsu
- ninja training
- ninjutsu weapons
Ninjutsu training started from birth, developing fitness, stamina and to encourage thinking successful innovative ways (such as picking locks, climbing through a roof and breathing underwater) to get the job done, that no-one else would think of.
The ninja was taught to master many weapons including poisons and ways to pass an infection onto a victim and to improvise turning most any object into a weapon to kill, maim or slow down anyone or anything that stood in their way. The following tabs are a catalogue of some of the strategies, skills, tools and weapons the ninja used as part of the vast, versatile cataclysmic armory that the ninja clans developed over the centuries
Ba Jutsu - Horsemanship, this art had to be mastered by the ninja, once mastered the ninja had to next learn how fire a bow, use a sword, deliver open hand fighting techniques whilst riding
Bo Jutsu - Staff and stick fighting. The staff and stick could be any length or size and proficiency had to be learned, some staffs and sticks being hollow would be concealing chains, ropes, darts etc, all had to be mastered
Bo Ryaku - The art of strategy, leaning the skills of deceit (such as suggestion, disguise, being a liar etc), tried and tested techniques about how to manipulate a situation to best advantage
Chi Mon - Geography, understanding of the terrain and the surrounding areas, how to use and develop locations such as caves, mountains, rivers etc, to aid any campaign
Cho Ho - Study of espionage and how to recruit assets, to learn vital mission information from assets and to use an asset to aid any mission through bribery, blackmail, love and threats - basically anything that worked to get people to do what the ninja wanted
Hensho Jutsu - Learning acting, how to create a disguise and become proficient at impersonating anyone of any rank no matter how high or low through convincing body language, local speech accent and phases, and understanding all the rules of the ranked position being played at the time, learning the skill to change from one persona to another at a moments notice
Inton Jutsu - Ways to become invisible and free from any bondage
Escapology: learning to wriggle out of any bonds, pick locks, get in and out of a prison or locked house/room
Concealment: being able to recognize and find a place or way to hide almost anywhere at anytime
Awareness: becoming aware of anyone else who is trying to hide and is not what they seem
Kayaku Jutsu - Study of explosives and setting fires for maximum damage effect
Ninginata Jutsu - Mastering of halbend (Naginata - curved blade is mounted on a long pole) fighting methods
Shinobi Iri - Methods of how to enter an enemy camp using skills such as climbing impenetrable walls, special ways of walking, disguise, false documentation, and any kind of free running technique to get inside un-noticed
Shuriken Jutsu - Learning how to accurately and effectively throw different types shiruken using various techniques
Sui Ren - Water training, how to use devices to cross water, breathe underwater and develop powerful swimming techniques for on top and under the water
Tai Jutsu - Unarmed fighting techniques, learning to control a fight and beat one person or groups of people using jujitsu ninja combat skills
Ten Mon - Mastering to recognize weather patterns (meteorology) and learning to predict how the weather was going to behave, using this understanding as an advantage
Yari Jutsu - Mastering how to use a spear or lance for combat and as a general versatile asset
Fukiya - Blow gun that fires poison tipped darts usually disguised as a flute, cane or umbrella
Fukumi Bari - Small darts kept hidden in the mouth and spat out at an attacker
Hito Washi - A small glider made from cloth and bamboo to fly the ninja across rooftops and from the tops of walls
Hyakurai Ju - A group of gun powdered weapons placed inside a barrel to make a huge noise to confuse the enemy
Igadama - Objects thrown randomly on the ground to stop a chasing enemy, but can also be thrown in the enemies face to cause damage and confusion
Jirai - A fused land mine explosive device that is buried under the ground to explode to confuse or harm the enemy
Kama Ikada - Portable fold-away one-man raft for completing water attacks and escapes
Kito Gan - A pill that is believed to hold off thirstiness for a few days
Kumade - Collapsible climbing device made from about 10 pieces of bamboo with a hook on the top. The hook would catch onto the top of a wall etc and the rope is pulled tight making the bamboo pieces rigid enough to climb up
Kusarifudo - Short chain with weights on each end that was used to entangle a weapon, bring down an enemy, choke or strike
Kyoketsu Shoge - Small hand sickle with an extra blade extruding from the main blade, the shaft had a length of cord attached with a ring device on the end which was thrown at an opponent to entangle the neck, arm or leg, and next pull the opponent close via the cord finishing them off with the blade. This versatile weapon was also used to bind an enemy, an aid to climbing and for dragging heavy, bulky objects
Metsubushi - A powder for throwing in the face to blind and confuse an opponent allowing time to escape or cause havoc
Mizugumo - Device used for walking on water, so as to complete a water crossing standing up
Mizugumo - Ninja flippers to increase speed when swimming in the water
Mizu Taimatsu - Torch that when lit will stay alight even when it is raining
Mizuzutsu - Breathing tube to use for breathing under-water, usually disguised as a smoking pipe, umbrella or flute
Nago Teppo - Homemade hand grenade to kill with and create confusion
Nekode - Claw like device worn on the hands that was used for killing and climbing
Neru Kawaito - Leather laminated shield to hide behind when being shot at by an assailant
Ninja To or Shinobigatana - Ninja sword, the blade shorter than a Samurai sword to allow for close combat sword fighting. The scabbard of the sword was normal samurai sword length making it longer than the blade, allowing extra room in the scabbard to hide ninja items un-noticed (such as poisons, explosive devices, blinding powder etc), the scabbard was also designed to be used as a club, snorkeling tube, blow gun, hearing tube and as a lever. The head guard was large enough to allow the sword to be lent against a wall and used as a step-up, with the scabbard cord in the ninjas hand to pull the scabbard up once on top of the wall, the scabbard cord could be used for binding prisoners and to choke an opponent to death
Origin of the Ninja Sword
Shikoro - A multi-purpose saw blade that has a sharp point to cut through or gouge out wood and metal
Shinobi Kai - 3 pieces of bamboo held together by a chain that was used as weapon to damage or trap/tangle up an assailant a close range
Shinobi Kumade - Collapsible climbing device made from bamboo with a grappling hook on the top. The hook would catch onto the top of a wall etc and the rope would be pulled tight making the bamboo pieces rigid enough to climb up
Shuko (aka Ashiko) - A spiked band that wraps round the hands to use as a climbing aid, a gouging weapon or to control an attack
Shuriken - Small throwing weapons that have from 3 to 10 sharp points protruding from the edge, used to slow, damage or confuse attackers
Hira Shuriken: Flat object made up of 3 to 10 sharp points extruding from the edge
Bo Shiruken: A straight bladed shape tipped throwing weapon with 1 or 2 points
To Ki - Collection of versatile climbing equipment, making no climb impossible
Torinoko - Small egg shaped loud explosive device to create confusion
Ukidaru - Used for walking across water, these floating pots would allow the ninja to cross streams and rivers in an upright position
Yami Doko - Large kite to fly on/hang from to spy what the enemy was doing, plus to hang explosives from for dropping the kite with ignited explosives into an enemy camp or over a wall into an enemy enclave
Yoko Aruki - Sideways walking to confuse any trackers on which direction the ninja had taken
Yumi - Bow, this bow would be smaller than the usual conventional Japanese bow. Ninjas would have specialist arrows (ya) with explosive heads, fire heads etc to create damage, havoc and confusion
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