Ninjutsu

Ninjutsu Soke Hatsumi, the creator of Bujinkan, known for bringing the art of Ninjutsu to those outside of Japan. / Photo Source: Knoxville Bujinkan Shibu

Summary

Ninjutsu is a martial art which germinated in Japan, and though its traces have blurred in history, its shine hasn’t, and it is still practiced in different schools with reverence, and dedication. The art is more than about kicks, punches, and defensive Taijustu manoeuvres, it is a wakeup call to the mental and spiritual senses of human beings. The horizon of this dynamic martial art is limitless, and so were the deadly effects of the Ninjas, who practiced it to grind axe with the ruling Japanese Samurai class.

 

History / Origins

ETYMOLOGY

For academic sake break the word Ninjutsu in two:

Nin’, is a Japanese word which denotes endurance, forbearance, or perseverance, both physically and mentally.

It is also used to define stealth, undercover, secretiveness, or concealment.

Then there is ‘blade’ and ‘heart’ attached to it, and it means that if a person sets out to do things from heart, the results will have the effectiveness of the blade. In Layman’s term, the concept is to gain control over your body and mind, and to differentiate the right, from wrong.

jutsu’ just means school.

BEGINNINGS

Cometh the hour, cometh the man, that is what led to the creation of Ninjutsu. With espionage infringing the Japanese society in the early ages, the shadowy image of Ninjutsu became all the more prominent. The credit for the development of this unique art style goes to the groups of people mostly from Iga Province, and Koka. It is said that in a military expedition, Minomoto no Kuro handpicked warriors to make them ‘shinobi’, who were deployed in the Gempei War which spanned through 1180 to 1185. Historically a shinobi has been looked upon as assassin, spy, and scout, who is notoriously deceptive, and stealthy, and who was hired by territorial lords, ‘Daimyo’. Though many versions of Ninjutsu have been practiced throughout history, Ninjutsu was developed as a defense mechanism for survival in the volatile feudal Japan.

PRESENT DAY

Ninjutsu for some reason is not centralized as some other martial arts. There are many training centers or dojos across the globe, with Bujinkan Brian Dojo (BBD) being the biggest and most revered Ninjutsu organization in Europe. SWAN is another organization which has taken up the work of modernizing Ninjutsu and adds sporting colors to it. It sponsors fighters to compete in local MMA shows in their states. Kumite is another tournament which allows all styles of combative martial arts, though it is for the experts, and to compete in it a person has to be a black belt with verifiable training proof.

FOLKLORE

Ninjutsu has been shrouded with mysteries and myths, thanks to the ninjas who chose to stay underground due to the heretic character they adopted to counter the ruling Samurais. The art remained secret for centuries before it was acknowledged as an independent stream of martial art.

It is said that in 637 AD, En no Gyoja, a warrior monk set up Shugendo Dojo for martial arts at Togakure Mountains. Then many centuries later in 1165, Diasuke Nishina was born in the same sect, but in 1181 Shugendo warriors were defeated by the Heike Troops, which forced Diasuke Nishina to flee to the Iga Province. There he got introduced to a warrior priest, Kain Doshi, under whom he studied the mystic art which later he blended it with the Shugendo learning, and the result was Togakure Ninjutsu Ryu. It was construed as an underground assassin technique, meant to be kept in a hush.

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COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Japan
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ALSO KNOWN AS: Ninjitsu, Ninpō, Shinobi-jutsu
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COUNTRY: Japan
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Practices

PHILOSOPHY

Ninjutsu has an in-depth philosophy, and acknowledges five elements

  • Earth, represents a solid state, and a natural pose
  • Water, represents a liquid state, and a defensive posture
  • Fire, detonates source of energy, or an offensive posture
  • Wind, is a gaseous state, or a receiving posture
  • Void, means a subatomic energy from which substances take forms

Then Ninjutsu describes five weaknesses

  • Lethargy
  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Vanity
  • Sympathy

The cunning art of Ninjutsu further highlights the five needs of humans, and which can be exploited by the ninjas

  • Security
  • Wealth
  • Pride
  • Sex
  • Pleasure

TECHNIQUES

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TRAINING

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RANKS & GRADING

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WEIGHT CLASSES

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Rules / Rulesets

RULES / RULESETS

Ninjutsu is a martial art which does well without any rules to limit it. The whole concept of Ninjutsu is to develop and to incorporate any technique or rule set, to take down your opponent. The rule is simple, and that is to win. For the ninjas it is war out there, and everything is fair in war. It is a spy game, and deceit, stealth, and unlimited combative skills lie in the core of this art.

Competitions cannot judge the skills of Ninjutsu, for competitions impose limitations on the competitors, but the horizons of Ninjutsu are infinite where there are ‘all do’s and no don’ts in their rulebook.

The backbone of this ancient mystic martial art, are the eighteen principles ‘Ninja Juhakkei’, which form the fiber for all the Ninjutsu schools. Along with them the ‘Bugei Juhappan’, or the eighteen samurai fighting art skills, are also often incorporated in the training curriculum. The eighteen principles includes, spiritual refinement, unarmed combat, sword techniques, stick and staff techniques, spear techniques, Naginata techniques, Kusarigama techniques, weapons throwing techniques, pyrotechnics, disguise and impersonation, stealth, horsemanship, water training, tactics, espionage, escaping and concealment, meteorology, and geography.

Organisations & Historical Places

ORGANISATIONS

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HISTORICAL PLACES

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Popular Culture

POPULAR CULTURE

Ninjutsu has been showcased in countless movies and television shows. Though, for most people their Ninja knowledge is limited to what the cinemas have given them, even if sometimes far-fetched, they still have made their contribution in making ninja a household name.

Useful Links

USEFUL LINKS

Links coming soon

References

REFERENCES

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninjutsu
  2. http://www.Ninjutsu.co.uk/principles/philosophy.html
  3. http://www.Ninjutsu.org.uk/Ninjutsu.htm

COLLABORATORS

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Contact

CONTACT

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