The truth of Ninja -Ninja Encyclopedia-

Hijutsu - Ninja's amazing Jump -

Ninja's real jumping ability

Due to the activities that ninjas had to be engaged in, it was naturally true that ninjas had incredible agility. You may wonder exactly how far they could jump. Well, based on the records that have survived, a standard ninja was able to jump about 5 m and 40 cm in long jump, about 2 m 70 cm in high jump and further to this, it is said that ninjas could jump down 15m from a high point. To give a contrast of these skills with todayfs Olympic athletes, the world record of long jump is 8 m 90 cm and for high jump itfs 2 m 39 cm . The skill of ninja's jumping was called " Hijutsu (p) " in Japanese.
Comparing to Olympic sportsmen, a ninja's jumping ability was quite comparable and certainly in high jump, they were far better. A ninja's ability was better than that of an Olympic stars. So, is it possible that if ninjas took part in an Olympic games that they would win gold medals? Perhaps this may have been hard for them. For ninjas, every jump was not a perfect jump. For instance, in high jump, Olympic players are disqualified if the bar drops down. For ninjas, when they jump over a wall with a height of 3 m, they used any means possible. For example it was OK for ninjas to jump up and cling to the top of a wall, and after that clamber over the wall .It meant that ninjas succeeded in jumping over 3 m. It was the same with long jump, ninjas did not have to achieve it without making use of something as aid as they may have grabbed something on the way.
But even so, it can be said that they possessed an outstanding jumping ability. How did ninjas train for that usually? Read on and find out!

A Ninjafs jumping training

In terms of a ninjafs jumping, we can find lots of episodes in old documents. For instance, from the position of sitting cross]legged, they jumped up and clang to the ceiling. Another example is that a ninja could jump over the head of someone standing face to face with them without an approach run. In the article of " How ninjas trained themselves ", the training of jumping over hemp was introduced, letfs learn about another exercise called " jumping over the hole ".
At first, the ninja would dig a round hole with a size a little wider than his width in the ground. To begin with, the depth of the hole was about 3 cm. He would try to get out of there by only jumping. Of course the hole was too narrow for him to use both an approach run and gain momentum. If he was able to jump over the hole,the depth would get bigger and bigger. At last the hole became a depth of about 50 cm. In accordance with the progress of his skills, he would wear some weights on him such as armor. This training did not demand a ninjafs outstanding ability, anyone can learn this method. The important point of this discipline is that a ninja had to focus on only using his toes and try not to use his knees and ankles as much as possible thus strengthening his insteps. To describe this all concisely, for a start they tried to stand on their toes using a cane. Secondly, they would attempt to stand only using their insteps without use of a cane. Finally, they tried to walk, run, hop, step, and jump using only their insteps.
Part of this practice included easing the impact when landing. Next,we are going to look at a ninja's landing.

A ninja's jumping and landing

As described before, ninjas were able to jump from a point 15m high. This height corresponds to about the 5th floor of an ordinary building. Needless to say, if it were a regular person, they would most probably die because of the shock of the landing. Ninjas however used some techniques for landing that made it possible. Letfs have a look at them.
Before any challenge, the most important thing is the readiness of the mind. Fear becomes a terrible enemy. Through fear, they lose stability of both body and mind. In order to avoid such a situation, they would firstly lower their point of view whenever they jumped. They would squat down right there and as soon as they understood their position, they would jump down. What they had to keep in mind in the air was not collapsing and keeping the balance of their posture. They had to keep the posture of a four]footed animal like a cat or a dog. When hitting the ground, they would make contact with both arms and legs on the ground simultaneously. Doing so would allow them to distribute the impact of landing to several points. If they had a sword around their waist, it helped as their contact surface become five points.


" Musasabi-no-Jutsu "

You may have seen such a scene where a ninja is grabbing the four corners of a big cloth wrapper by his hands and feet and soaring in the sky. You may think it was only a fantasy situation like in anime or manga but it was not so. Actually, ninjas had such a technique called " musasabi-no-Jutsu " (TTȑp). In Japanese, " musasabi " means a giant flying squirrel. It was named so because the form of the ninja flying looked like that of a musasabi.
According to flight dynamics, it is possible to increase the time in flight before landing when a ninja is flying using musasabi-no-jutsu. In accordance with the theory of physics, if a man jumped off from 58m high point, the time from his jump to landing would be about 3 seconds. If using " musasabi-no-Jutsu ", a ninja can have 7 to 8 seconds of flight duration. If man hopes to succeed in " musasabi-no-Jutsu ", he needs to fulfill some conditions. Firstly, the cloth must be fixed well with solid bars, secondly, the inside of the cloth must be filled with enough air. It may be easier to compare and picture musasabi-no-Jutsu like hang gliding.
In actual fact, it is thought that ninjas benefited from the strength of mind that was achieved from doing this more so than the actual practical benefits. The key to it was " to control fear " .
Neither daredevils nor cowards can be ninjas. What is demanded from ninjas is the courage to overcome fear and the brain for good judgement. At any rate, ninjas were able to perform such jumps because they were well trained in body and mind, please never try this!