On this page, you will find more information on the background and history of Ninjutsu. Moreover, you'll find information on Ninjutsu training here, as well as what Bujinkan Dojo's are and how training in Ninjutsu can increase the self-confidence of children.
What is Ninjutsu?
The origins of Ninjutsu lie in Japan, where it was introduced over 800 years ago among the Ninja people of Japan. Japanese society at that time was ruled by the warrior class, the Samurai, who ruled the entire country – both the land and the people were under their control. The Samurai would swear loyalty to only one person: their Lord, the Shogun. The Ninja, however, did not serve the Samurai and fled to the harsh, cold mountain regions of Koga and Iga. There, they trained in the Art of War. It has been said that their arts have been based one of the greatest Chinese military works, written by one Sun Tzu. Through the centuries, the Ninja (one translation being: “he who avoids being seen“) would train in every known Martial Art. They specialized in espionage and assassination, using all means possible. However, their training taught them to reach spiritual heights as well, by being able to bring both body and mind beyond normal human ability. A Ninja's training would commence almost as soon as he or she was able to walk. As time passed, Ninja warriors were feared throughout the whole of Japan. Even the mightiest Samurai would be cautious if there was a rumor of a Ninja operating in the nearby area. The Ninja would learn to fight to survive: should he fail, he would face a certain death. Through the centuries Ninjutsu was practiced in secret; no-one knew about the art, except the Ninja themselves.
Ninjutsu training contains eight methods of combat:
The principles used are always the same – agile footwork, power and speed are essential, whether someone uses kicks, stick fighting or sword techniques. The Ninja's fighting style is a series of fluent, simple movements as opposed to a system of elaborate and complex techniques. The essence of Ninjutsu is simplicity. The Ninja's ideals were personal freedom and loyalty to their family; loyalty to the government authority would come last. This as opposed to the Samurai, with whom loyalty to the government was their main ideal. Ninjutsu is a Martial Art developed through thousands of years of combat experience.
Training involves both armed as well as unarmed techniques. The movements within Ninjutsu are characteristic. Using your entire body, stepping out in the correct angles and breaking your opponent's balance are of great importance in defeating your opponent. Additionally, the basic Katas are of great importance since all techniques originate from these Katas. Your actions come forth from natural movements combined with techniques and automation. Weapons are also used when training. A large portion of these weapons are traditional weapons like the Katana (sword) and the Yari (spear), but other weapons, which can be obtained from everyday situations like the Bo (long stick “broom stick”) or Hanbo (short stick “umbrella”) are used in training. Furthermore, the Tanto (knife) and Pistol will be used, but in an efficient way, emphasizing on the danger of these weapons.
Within Ninjutsu there are no competitions, since competitions are based on rules to ensure a safe ending of a match. Ninjutsu will not teach you limitations, but will focus on adaptation, as to face every possible situation in a natural way.
Everyone has his or her reason to choose for Ninjutsu. Of course, you learn to defend yourself, but there is much more to Ninjutsu. Ninjutsu develops your senses, your motorics, will teach you to be flexible, increase your ability to adapt to situations, help you gain self-confidence and increase your stamina.
Bujinkan dojos can be found all over the world, and in The Netherlands, this is no different. This results in many training opportunities. Organized Bujinkan events can be found every month and within the Dojo itself, guest teachers from both The Netherlands and abroad frequently appear.
For children, in the beginning can be a great fantasy. In their imaginations, kids play the Ninjas they see in cartoons and martial arts movies. Meanwhile, from the beginning on, a learning process is set in motion during training. The self-confidence of the child is increased by expanding its borders, and respecting and accepting the child as an individual. Children learn how to deal with violence in a responsible way. They learn to defend themselves by using techniques, but will simultaneously be taught that these techniques can only be used in the face of danger. Learning to build self-confidence and learning how to deal with several problems in a peaceful manner is ultimately more important than simply beating away at someone. Children are thus taught to avoid a fight as well.