Hello everyone, my name is Hal. A lifelong sports participant and fan, the spiritual aspects of martial arts have always intrigued me.
Why Study Modern Ninjutsu?
A popular style of martial arts, Ninjutsu was originally created to help combat the samurai warriors that were predominant in feudalistic Japan.
It was mainly used by peasants who had little to no formal training, and weapons were fashioned from whatever materials were available.
With so many different kinds of martial arts a person can currently choose from to study, you might ask why Ninjutsu?
Studying this dynamic art form can be a long-term commitment, demanding a respect and knowledge of both the physical and spiritual aspects by those who choose to follow its teachings.
Where Can I Study Ninjutsu?
There are Ninjutsu schools across the United States, however, most are in larger cities and sometimes trained and qualified instructors are hard to find. Occasionally you can find free exhibitions or trial lessons locally, but there may be instances where you have to travel to get to a dojo.
That is why a lot of people are drawn towards online training. Many of these web-based courses can impart a lot of knowledge, but some can run into the thousands of dollars when all is said and done. As with anything else done online, you must use due diligence.
The Bujinkan Ninjutsu schools are usually regarded as having the best training for those interested in a modern form of Ninjutsu training.
In particular, Colorado Springs hosts the Ninjutsu School at the Kashiwa Bujinkan Ninjutsu Dojo. A highly respected dojo, they have exhibitions featuring many of their most promising students. If you are ever in the area, be sure to check out the school's scheduled demonstrations.
There are other several other dojos around that teach Ninjutsu, so if you are determined to find a qualified instructor, there may be one in your area.
The Training Weapons of Ninjutsu
Ninjutsu is a popular interest for many prospective martial arts students. From video games to cartoons, many young boys and girls are enticed by the idea of being a ninja.
Many want to grow up and learn Ninjutsu to bring excitement or mystique into their own lives.
Remember how Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Batman had the deadliest weapons..... I mean COOLEST toys, ever.
Historical Ninjutsu is about more than the weapons, but modern students do tend to gravitate towards mastery of these tools. Many tales are filled with ninjas showing special powers and wielding powerful weapons. Often these weapons and tools are just as legendary as the ninja themselves.
What are some of these weapons? Take a look below.
Ninjas Love Their Fans
I guess you could say they are big fans...
Below are 3 of the most popular fans used by Ninjas:
- One of the more interesting weapons of Ninjutsu, the Tessen is an iron fan with outer spokes made of heavy plates of iron. Made to be used in combat, it could be used offensively to attack an opponent, defensively to deflect swords, and used to block against poison darts, shuriken, or throwing knives. Samurai could take these where swords or other overt weapons were not allowed. While they may look weak, many high-quality tessen can be deadly.
- Gunsen were folding fans used by the average warriors to cool themselves off. Made of wood, bronze, brass or a similar metal for the inner spokes, and often used thin iron or other metals for the outer spokes or cover, making them lightweight but strong. Samurai warriors would hang their fans most typically from the belt or the breastplate, though the latter sometimes got in the way of using a sword or a bow.
- Gunpai were large solid open fans that could be solid iron, metal with a wooden core, or solid wood. They were carried by high-ranking officers and were used to ward off arrows, as a sunshade, and to signal to troops.
Ninjas Love Tossing Stars Around
The shuriken is the most well-known weapon in the ninja arsenal. Meaning "sword hidden in the hand", shuriken are easy to conceal and very versatile.
It can be used by throwing at, stabbing, or slashing opponents.
While you will not be able to find a true shuriken set online, there are plenty of practice sets that you can buy to use in your training.
To get real shurikens, you must visit a licensed weapons dealer that carries battle-ready items.
Ninjas Love Wooden Swords
The bokken is the most popular practice weapon in Ninjutsu. It is a wooden sword used to mimic the movements and fighting styles of live weapons.
Most often, students will train with a bokken before moving on to weapons like the katana or wakizashi.
Many weapon masters will still use their bokken for general practice, and some are decorated and carved into elaborate works.
Types and sizes of Bokken swords:
- Daito or tachi (katana size), long sword.
- Shoto or kodachi or wakizashi bo, short sword, (wakizashi size).
- Tanto bo (tanto size).
- Suburito (also in daito and shoto sizes).
- Tachi: Total length, approx. 102 cm.
- Kodachi: Total length, approx. 55 cm.
Recommended Bujinkan Links
- South Australian Bujinkan Ninjutsu Dojo - Martial Art School
Specialized Martial Art School for teaching martial arts skills, including hand to hand combat, weapons training & Ninjutsu secret techniques from Grand Master Masaaki Hatsumi.
- Atlanta Bujinkan Dojo
The Atlanta Bujinkan Dojo is the original school for Ninjutsu / Ninpo Budo Taijutsu in the Western Hemisphere. The Bujinkan system is comprised of the last surviving Ryu, or schools, teaching the warrior art of the ninja.
- Kashiwa Bujinkan Ninjutsu
The Kashiwa Bujinkan Ninjutsu Dojo is dedicated to the preservation and practice of martial knowledge passed on to us by Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi of Noda Japan: 34th Grandmaster of Togakure Ryu Ninjutsu and founder of the Bujinkan Dojo.
Let's Get Social!
© 2012 Hal Gall
Loly on February 24, 2015:
This was my first year at the New England Warrior Camp, but man was it amazing. I am totlaly new to all this, but I learned a lot. Not just techniques, but broader theories. Even though I am slow to learn, after a whole weekend of being told that we should be small and try to hide from and not confront attacks I started to get the idea. I got a lot from one of the drills where we were told not to struggle against the attacker, but rather give them nothing to feel or hold onto. I even got to use it the Monday after camp!I work for a TV station, and so I am on the street talking to people all the time. This weeks Red Sox game ended and I and a female reporter were out interviewing drunken fans. Two of these drunks grabbed my reporters microphone and pulled. She did not let go, and so was dragged a short distance. I quickly caught up to them, grabbed onto the mike and told my reporter to just let go. She didn't want to, but I convinced her that I would handle it. Once she let go, I took a step forward, giving the drunks nothing to pull on. They both immediately fell into a heap together, and we walked away. The whole principle of not fighting, and just letting them knock themselves over worked beautifully. I didn't really think about what I was doing. It just came to me how to react, after this weekend's training.I think Warrior Camp has made me see what we are doing in a whole new way, and I am more excited and energized than ever.My thanks go out to all the instructors for their patience and insight, and to my fellow students on the path. Everyone, and I mean everyone, I met there was friendly, gracious, and helped me to understand the many lessons we were shown. Thank you all.
TanoCalvenoa on June 16, 2014:
Very informative, thanks for this excellent guide to ninjutsu.
williamslaw on April 17, 2014:
Awesome. I love martial arts.