Ninjutsu is the martial art practiced by the ninja. It originally combined tactics and strategy of unconventional and guerrilla warfare with the art of espionage. The ninja typically carried the reputation as assassins, spies, and scouts, being highly noted for their stealth and deception tactics. Interestingly, Japanese warriors typically tired people below the country’s social classes to do the tasks of espionage, since it was considered highly dishonorable. In terms of training, ninjutsu has been taught in many different versions, and has not been totally centralized like other modern martial arts such as Taekwondo or Judo.
Ninjutsu was basically developed through a collection of the basic survivalist techniques in the warring state of Japan in its feudal years. Eventually, it included eighteen disciplines that include spiritual refinement, unarmed combat, armed combat techniques using weapons such as the sword, staff and stick, spear, and throwing weapons, stealth and entering methods, horsemanship, water training, escaping and concealment, among other survivalist needs.
The modern-day ninjutsu is considered a warrior art aiming to resolve conflict. Interestingly, former guardians of the art form understand that fighting does not necessarily mean meeting force-on-force. In a sense, ninjutsu is known to build self-reliance and self-appraisal, and emphasizes utilizing strengths and avoiding exposure of weaknesses. As such it is also used as a form of self-defense, while utilizing strategies of deception and stealth. It also heavily relies on the wisdom needed of stepping up in strength and pulling back if necessary, a strategy considered timeless and true, still effective when used today.
John James Michaels