When I was at school (in the 80’s) Ninjutsu was all the rage. Everyone thought Ninja’s were real, and they were deadly and later we loved the idea, even more, when the world’s best Ninjas were giant mutant turtles.
Perhaps it waa the massive film influence of the 80’s action films that we watched on Betamax video players, or perhaps it was the mystery of the Ninja. Either way, the world went Ninja mad.
However, while the movie world loved Ninjas, the martial arts started to distance themselves from the art of Ninjutsu. It was almost a case of: ‘hey, check those idiots that are all dressed up, nah that stuff is bat shit crazy, nothing to do with us’.
However, this should never have been the case, and you cannot judge a book by its cover. Ninjitsu is actually an incredibly practical art, and in this article, we look at why!
1. It Is The Art Of Winning
Ninjutsu is often described as the art of winning. Yes, we all know about the whole ‘assassin’ thing going on in the films, but in actual truth, it is believed that the Ninja were more likely to be a group who practised activities that went against the samurai code at a time when they ruled.
Using activities such as free running, fighting techniques, archery, deception, medicine, water fighting, sword techniques, stealth training and more. It is fair to say Ninjas were bad ass! A bit like an ancient version of the SAS.
These strategies are what underpins the martial art even today. It is a mental approach that requires a tactical mind, for that reason Ninjutsu is not a ‘head on’ fighting system which enhances its beauty and ability.
You will never see them coming at you!
2. The Ninja Way Of Fighting Makes Sense
If you haven’t guessed it by now, Ninjutsu is all about winning, and the fighting tactics are actually pretty much ‘do what it takes to win’.
In fact, the fighting style is called Taijutsu, and this means ‘body techniques’.
While there is clearly a large gap in the way people teach Taijutsu, the art itself does not fix to one realm; it covers the full spectrum of fighting techniques albeit in a more tactical way.
For example, during our research, we saw that a Ninjutsu exponent would be every bit as comfortable punching a person in the throat and then follow it up with a devastating hip throw.
But the techniques go far deeper, imagine being tied up, well, a schooled Ninja would be able to escape the ropes but lure their attacker to them using subterfuge and then use the ropes as a weapon.
With knowledge of throws, strikes, evasion, weapons and far more, the modern day ninja would use their environment to their advantage rather than just think about techniques, but Ninjutsu is a complete method of fighting.
The great thing about this is that the Ninja thinks about the best way to win, not how to be the best fighter.
3. Free Running (Is That What The Kids Call It)
OK, free running is huge right now, and guess what the Ninja were the folk who made that stuff their own.
Ninjutsu is heavily based on evasion. That is the evasion of punches/ attacks and evasion of people.
From the ability to walk quietly to being able to roll, climb and not be seen. All sounds like Mission Impossible stuff to me, but check out the video below to see that training taking place in class
4. It Is The Punch That You Don’t See Coming That Knocks You Out
We all know the saying that about the punch you don’t see coming, well that is pretty much the Ninjas secret weapon.
You will not find a student of Ninjutsu trying to play guard, go chest to chest in a street brawl or even threaten you. Nope, that is not the Ninja way.
Instead, the Ninja would wait until that split second you looked away to see if your ‘mates’ were with you and then ‘boom’ they would strike.
Or they might only be waiting for you to throw your haymaker punch which they will evade and then use your energy to throw you and hit you when you can neither defend or see it coming.
5. You Never Know Who Is A Ninja
Our last reason you need to take Ninjutsu seriously is that you will never know who they are. Sure we see a few YouTube videos here and there but other than that your modern day Ninja will blend into their surroundings.
This doesn’t mean they walk around in camouflage. Instead, they are dressed exactly like you and me. This is the way a Ninja fits in.
They are not going to be walking around in their ‘Ninja suit ‘ (known as a shinobi shozoku)
Like a Judo or Karate student wears their Gi in training a Ninja also has a training uniform but other than that, the guy sitting next to you in the pub might be the equivalent of Jason Bourne!
Rather than be a farcical art from the movies Ninjutsu is a practical fighting art. It is an art of strategy, deception and evasion.
The person who does Ninjutsu is not to be trifled with because they will not attack you head on, they will wait until the moment is right and it is this strategy (the goal of winning) is what makes the modern Ninja a bad ass.
So what do you think?
Let us know
The WoMA.TV Team