The History of Ninja, Aikido, and Ninjutsu
History of the Ninja and Ninjutsu
Ninjutsu is known by many as the art of stealth or the art of the shadow.
Much of the training in the ninjutsu school centers around close range
combat and the art of invisibility and espionage. Some of the special skills
learned by ninjutsu practitioners have historically given the ninja a
reputation of possessing magical powers. Climbing walls and swimming while
clad in armor are two skills that have earned this reputation. Other skills
taught to the ninja included map making, disguise, silent entry and escape,
leaping, high endurance, sabotage, and the use of available surroundings as
history of the ninja is shrouded in secrecy. Ninja often hold the incorrect
reputation of having all been assassins. This was not the case. Though no
single origin can be proven, most common beliefs surrounding the origins of
ninjutsu attribute it as a fighting method taught within mountain families
as a means for self defense during feudal Japan against territory
claimants. In order to defend themselves against powerful foes such as the
samurai class of warriors who had strength in numbers, the ninja developed
stealth capabilities and unorthodox combat techniques. The fighting tactics
employed by the ninja were often seen as cowardly by the samurai. However,
they were often very effective.
In many ways, the tactics employed by the
ninja were very similar to techniques adopted by the early American
colonists during the war for independence from England. Traditional British
battle strategy was to line up in open fields and fire weapons in a
sequential pattern. After many brutal defeats, the heavily under-manned
colonists learned to compensate for numbers and power by using ambush and
disguise tactics. This strategy was considered to be cowardly by the
British armies but, like the similar strategies employed by the ninja, it
also proved to be very effective.
Ninjutsu was banned in the 17th century but continued to be passed down in
underground circles. The art is still practiced today though not at widely
as in the days of feudal Japan.
Like the farmers of the past who fought to defend their lands, Ninja Billy
and his friends use their skills to protect others and stand for what is
right in the world.