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 The Art Of Ninjitsu

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PostSubject: The Art Of Ninjitsu   Thu Apr 08, 2010 5:08 am


Ninjutsu (忍術?) sometimes used interchangeably with the term ninpō (忍法?) is the martial art, strategy, and tactics of unconventional warfare and guerrilla warfare as well as the art of espionage purportedly practiced by the shinobi (commonly known outside of Japan as ninja).

While there are several styles of "modern ninjutsu," the historicity and lineage of these styles is disputed.

Etymology

The main character nin (忍?) is a phono-semantic compound composed of two greater characters. The upper character ha or toh (刃?) is the phonetic indicator; its meaning of "edge of the sword" is therefore irrelevant here. The lower character kokoro or shin (心?) means "heart" or "soul". The compound means "stealth", "secrecy", "endurance", "perseverance", and "patience".[3] Jutsu (術?) means "art" or "technique". Pō (法?) meaning "knowledge", "principle", "law" or "system" when found with the prefix "nin" carries the meaning of ninja arts, higher order of ninjutsu.

History

Ninjutsu was developed by groups of people mainly from the Iga Province and Kōka, Shiga of Japan. Throughout history the shinobi have been seen as assassins, scouts and spies. They are mainly noted for their use of stealth and deception. They have been associated in the public imagination with activities that are considered criminal by modern standards. Throughout history many different schools (ryū) have taught their unique versions of ninjutsu. An example of these is the Togakure-ryū. This ryū was developed after a defeated samurai warrior called Daisuke Togakure escaped to the region of Iga. Later he came in contact with the warrior-monk Kain Doshi who taught him a new way of viewing life and the means of survival (ninjutsu).

Ninjutsu was developed as a collection of fundamental survivalist techniques in the warring state of feudal Japan. The ninja used their art to ensure their survival in a time of violent political turmoil. Ninjutsu included methods of gathering information, and techniques of non-detection, avoidance, and misdirection. Ninjutsu can also involve training in disguise, escape, concealment, archery, medicine, explosives, and poisons.

Skills relating to espionage and assassination were highly useful to warring factions in feudal Japan. Because these activities were seen as dishonorable, Japanese warriors hired people who existed below Japan's social classes to perform these tasks. These persons were literally called "non-humans" (非人, hinin?). At some point the skills of espionage became known collectively as ninjutsu, and the people who specialized in these tasks were called shinobi no mono.

18 Skills

Masaaki Hatsumi demonstrating his techniques on Mind, Body & Kick Ass MovesAccording to Bujinkan members Ninja Jūhakkei, the eighteen disciplines (jūhakkei < jūhachi-kei) were first stated in the scrolls of Togakure-ryū. Subsequently they became definitive for all ninjutsu schools by providing total training of the warrior in various fighting arts and agarter.

Ninja jūhakkei was often studied along with Bugei Jūhappan (the "18 samurai fighting art skills"). Though some are used in the same way by both samurai and ninja, other techniques were used differently by the two groups.

The 18 disciplines are:

Seishinteki kyōyō (spiritual refinement)
Taijutsu (body skills)
Kenjutsu (sword techniques)
Bōjutsu (stick and staff techniques)
Sōjutsu (spear techniques)
Naginatajutsu (naginata techniques)
Kusarigamajutsu (kusarigama techniques)
Shurikenjutsu (throwing weapons techniques)
Kayakujutsu (pyrotechnics and explosives)
Hensōjutsu (disguise and impersonation)
Shinobi-iri (stealth and entering methods)
Bajutsu (horsemanship)
Sui-ren (water training)
Bōryaku (tactics)
Chōhō (espionage)
Intonjutsu (escaping and concealment)
Tenmon (meteorology)
Chi-mon (geography)

Modern schools

Main article: Schools of Ninjutsu
There are a number of modern schools of martial arts self-identifying as practicing ninjutsu. Neo-ninja is a term that refers to modern martial arts schools which claim to teach elements of the historic ninja of Japan, or base their school's philosophy upon traits attributed to the historic ninja of Japan.

Weapons & Equipment

The following tools may not be exclusive to the Ninja, but they are commonly associated with the practice of Ninjutsu.

Kaginawa, or Grappling hook (facilitates stealth entry and Hojojutsu)
Hanbo (small staff)
Kama (weaponised farming blade)
Kunai (multi-purpose tool)
Kusarigama and Kyoketsu shoge (composite blade weapons)
Manriki, Manriki-gusari and Kusarifundo (chain weapons)
Ninjato (disguised short sword)
Shuriken ("throwing stars" or darts)
Tekagi-shuko and Neko-te ("claw" weapons)

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"It is not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart."-Jesus Christ, Mark 7:15
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