The truth of Ninja -Ninja Encyclopedia-

The Martial Arts of Ninjas

The difference between ninjas and samurais

Ninjas (”EŽÒ) were spies, they had lots of opportunities to come across their various enemies and fight with them. So, of course ninjas acquired many martial arts. Ninjas were generally after one thing, information. The mission of a ninja was to steal information from their enemies. If there were cases where ninjas fought with their enemies, the ninja's purpose for fighting was almost always to escape from enemy's land or to kill important people. This was the biggest difference between ninjas and samurais (Ž˜) .
Samurai basically fought in one-to-one duels to establish whose swordsmanship was superior even though they risked their lives. In the case ninjas, if they got into trouble, their priority instantly became to escape from the situation as their death in fighting for honour would be meaningless. If a ninja were to carry out the assassination of a lord of his enemy, he would carry it out secretly without being seen. In such a situation, the ninja wouldnft even have to use martial arts.

The eight skills of ninjas

Here, I am going to introduce the eight martial arts and techniques which a ninja acquires as the basics to be an espionage agent.


1. The Koppo-Jutsu (œ–@p)
This is the martial arts for struggling with enemies with free-hands. There is a theory that this art shares its origins with that of "sumo (‘Š–o) " because many common points can be found with "Classical Jujitsu (ŒÃ—¬_p) ".


2. The Kiai-Jutsu (‹C‡p)
This was a technique used to intimidate enemies by "shouting". It is said that the master of this skill could knock out his distant opponents without even touching them.


3. The Ken-jutsu (Œ•p)
This was the martial art for using "Japanese Swords (“ú–{“) " and "Ninja Swords (”EŽÒ“) ". Many Japanese swordsmanship skills were developed from the skills of real battles, they became only " sports " in later peaceful ages. Ninja's Kenjutsu was something only used to kill opponents.


4. The So-Jutsu (‘„p)
This was the martial art with a "spear". Of course, spears have a longer range than that of a sword, so they were favorable in real battles. It is commonly said that to beat a spearman, a swordsman needed to have the workmanship three times that of a spearman.


5. The Shuriken-Jutsu (Žè— Œ•p)
"Shuriken (Žè— Œ•) " means a small knife. The use of shuriken was hurling them at enemies and or hurt them. Basically, shurikens were used to thrown at people.


6. The Ka-Jutsu (‰Îp)
This is the art of utilizing "fire". Ninjas were trained in utilizing fire. Ninjas disturbed their enemies with it, they escaped from their foes by using fire and they set fire to castles of their targets with it.


7. Yugei (—VŒ|)
"Yugei" means accomplishments. In Japan, there are various kind of yugei, for instance, there are dances, "Kabuki (‰Ì•‘Šê) " and "Shamisen (ŽO–¡ü a Japanese guitar) ". Ninjas acquired the base of standing, walking or acrobatic moves like somersaults by learning Yugei.


8. Kyomon (‹³–å)
"Kyomon" means liberal learnings as a citizen. As ninjas had to pretend to be samurais (Ž˜), farmers or artists, ninjas needed to use the knowledge which they had. On other occasions, kyomon indicates tactics.No matter what the situation, ninjas were required to make judgements at all times and they needed to learn tactics to be able to do that.

The combat power of ninjas

Shuriken and other Ninja weapons

Shuriken and otheir Ninja weapons

As mentioned above, a ninjas mastered many of the martial arts and specific techniques so actually, how strong were they?
For instance, if a ninja fought in a duel with a samurai, who would win? Imagine the situation of a ninja and a samurai fighting. The weapon of the ninja is only a Japanese sword and there is no refuge. If a ninja fought with a samurai, could the ninja defeat the samurai ?
No, he couldn't. A ninja would be unable to compete with a samurai at all. Ninjas were professionals of espionage, destruction, assassination, and so on. The essence of ninjas tactics was in disturbing their enemies, they were not suitable for the one-on-one fights.
So,how about a free hands struggle ?
For example, if I brought a ninja to the contemporary period and made him fight with a karate-practitioner or a jujutsu-karate practitioner, like Oyama, Masutatsu (‘åŽR ”{’B) or Rickson Gracie in a ring, could a ninja beat them ?
Unfortunately, in this occasion, the ninja would not win because in a match of martial arts, there are rules, and the battles ninjas wanted to have had no rules. In today's mixed martial arts, sneak attacks are considered as fouls and fighters must settle the result in the real time and in one place. In such conditions, ninjas couldnft take advantage of their strengths so did it mean ninjas were weak? No, certainly not!
The ninja's free-hands martial arts like Koppo (œ–@) or Jujitsu (_p) are composed of techniques to take the imagination of an enemy and to suppress the opponent. A ninja throws his enemy and takes the inverse of the joint of his opponent by jumping and hopping. These ninja martial arts can be useful even today as arts of self-defense if you mastered them. For ninjas to do well, they needed to use weapons like swords, poles, sickles, and shurikens (Žè— Œ•).
In the present world, it might be a crime if you were to carry such arms on yourself and walk on the street.