||This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2010)|
|The kanji for "ninja".|
|Also known as||Ninjitsu, Ninpō, Shinobijutsu|
|Country of origin||Japan|
|Parenthood||jiu jutsu fighting methods|
Ninjutsu (忍術) sometimes used interchangeably with the term ninpō (忍法) is the martial art, strategy, and tactics of unconventional warfare and guerrilla warfare as well as the art of espionage purportedly practiced by the shinobi (commonly known outside of Japan as ninja).
While there are several styles of modern ninjutsu, the historical lineage of these styles is disputed. Some schools and masters claim to be the only legitimate heir of the art, but ninjutsu is not centralized like modernized martial arts such as judo or karate. Togakure-ryū claims to be the oldest recorded form of ninjutsu, and claims to date past the 1500s.
Spying in Japan dates as far back as Prince Shōtoku (572–622), although the origins of the Ninja date much earlier. Ninjutsu was developed by groups of people mainly from the Iga Province and Kōka, Shiga of Japan. Throughout history the shinobi have been seen as assassins, scouts and spies. They are mainly noted for their use of stealth and deception. Throughout history many different schools (ryū) have taught their unique versions of ninjutsu. An example of these is the Togakure-ryū. This ryū was developed after a defeated samurai warrior called Daisuke Togakure escaped to the region of Iga. Later he came in contact with the warrior-monk Kain Doshi who taught him a new way of viewing life and the means of survival (ninjutsu).
Ninjutsu was developed as a collection of fundamental survivalist techniques in the warring state of feudal Japan. The ninja used their art to ensure their survival in a time of violent political turmoil. Ninjutsu included methods of gathering information, and techniques of non-detection, avoidance, and misdirection. Ninjutsu can also involve training in free running, disguise, escape, concealment, archery, and medicine.
Skills relating to espionage and assassination were highly useful to warring factions in feudal Japan. These persons were literally called "non-humans" (非人 hinin ). At some point the skills of espionage became known collectively as ninjutsu, and the people who specialized in these tasks were called shinobi no mono.
The eighteen skills 
According to Bujinkan members, Ninja Jūhakkei ("the eighteen disciplines") were first stated in the scrolls of Togakure-ryū. They became definitive for all ninjutsu schools.
Ninja jūhakkei was often studied along with Bugei Jūhappan (the "eighteen samurai fighting art skills"). Though some are used in the same way by both samurai and ninja, other techniques were used differently by the two groups.
The 18 disciplines are:
- Seishinteki kyōyō – spiritual refinement
- Taijutsu – unarmed combat
- Kenjutsu – sword techniques
- Bōjutsu – stick and staff techniques
- Sōjutsu – spear techniques
- Naginatajutsu – naginata techniques
- Kusarigamajutsu – kusarigama techniques
- Shurikenjutsu – throwing weapons techniques
- Kayakujutsu – pyrotechnics
- Hensōjutsu – disguise and impersonation
- Shinobi-iri – stealth and entering methods
- Bajutsu – horsemanship
- Sui-ren – water training
- Bōryaku – tactics
- Chōhō – espionage
- Intonjutsu – escaping and concealment
- Tenmon – meteorology
- Chi-mon – geography
The name of the discipline of taijutsu (体術), literally means "body skill" or "body art". Historically, the word taijutsu is often (in Japan) used interchangeably with jujutsu (as well as many other terms) to refer to a range of grappling skills. The term is also used in the martial art of aikido to distinguish the unarmed fighting techniques from other (e.g. stick fighting) techniques. In ninjutsu, especially since the emergence of the ninja movie genre in the 80s, it is also used to avoid the undesired bravado of explicitly referring to ninja combat techniques.
Weapons and equipment 
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (January 2011)|
The following tools may not be exclusive to the ninja, but they are commonly associated with the practice of ninjutsu.
Composite and articulated weapons
- Kusarigama - kama linked to a weight, either by a long rope or chain
- Kyoketsu shoge - hooked rope-dart, featuring a metal ring on the opposite end
- Kusari-fundo, also known as manriki or manriki-gusari - a chain and weight weapon.
- Kakute - rings resembling modern wedding bands with concealed, often poison-tipped spines, typically worn by kunoichi and enabling ninja to quietly strangle enemies with the pointed ends against the neck or throat
- Shobo - a jabbing or piercing weapon, similar in shape to kubotan and yawara, but often featuring a center grip ring
- Shuriken - various small hand held weapons including "throwing stars" that could be used to stab, slash or they could be thrown
- Tekko - an earlier version of brass knuckles
- Tessen - a folding fan with an iron frame. it could be used to club, or cut and slash the enemy
- Jutte - A weapon similar to the Sai
Modified tool weapons
- Kunai - multi-purpose tool
- Shikoro - used as a tool for opening doors and stabbing or slashing
- Fukiya - Japanese blowgun, typically firing poison darts
- Makibishi/tetsubishi - the Japanese type of caltrop
- Shuriken - various small hand held weapons including throwing stars and throwing darts that could be used to stab, slash or they could be thrown
- Yumi and Ya - traditional Japanese bow and arrow
- Bo-hiya (Japanese fire arrow) - fire arrow
- Tekagi-shuko and Neko-te - hand "claw" weapons
Staffs and polearms
- Hanbo, bō, jō, and tambo - various sized staff weapons
- Yari - traditional Japanese spear that's similar to the naginata
- Nagamaki - pole arm with roughly equal length blade and handle
- Naginata - traditional Japanese pole-arm used by women and samurai (example: women might protect their home with a naginata)
- Katana - a long curved and single-edged sword, more commonly used by samurai (or ninja disguised as samurai)
- Wakizashi - short sword that can be hidden on the ninja's body, also a backup weapon
- Ninjato - short-bladed straight sword, fictional ninja sword
- Tantō - dagger
- Kaiken (dagger)- Similar to the tantō
- Bokken - traditional wooden sword use in Japanese martial arts
- Shinai - bamboo sword used in kendo
- Kaginawa or grappling hook - climbing and Hojojutsu composite tool that also functioned as a makeshift gaff hook weapon
- Shinobi shōzoku - the reputed ninja clothing.
- Ono (weapon) - Japanese axe and hatchet
See also 
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (March 2012)|
- Hayes, Stephen. The Ninja and Their Secret Fighting Art. ISBN 0-8048-1656-5, Tuttle Publishing, 1990
- Szczepanski, Kallie. "History of the Ninja", About.com, accessed June 2, 2011.
- Hayes, Stephen. “The Ninja and Their Secret Fighting Art.” 1981: 18-21
- Hatsumi, Masaaki. “Ninjutsu: History and Tradition.” June 1981
- Draeger, Donn F. (1973, 2007). Classical Bujutsu: The Martial Arts and Ways of Japani. Boston, Massachusetts: Weatherhill. pp. 84–85. ISBN 978-0-8348-0233-9.
Further reading 
- Hatsumi, Masaaki. Essence of Ninjutsu, 1988. ISBN 0-8092-4724-0
- Callos, Tom. "Notable American Martial Artists", Black Belt Magazine, May 2007, pp. 72–73.
- Hatsumi, Masaaki. Ninjutsu: History and Tradition, 1981. ISBN 0-86568-027-2
- Hatsumi, Masaaki. Ninpo: Wisdom for Life, 1998. ISBN 1-58776-206-4, ISBN 0-9727738-0-0
- Hayes, Stephen K. The Ninja and their Secret Fighting Art, 1990. ISBN 0-8048-1656-5
- Dillon, Thomas. Wingspan: Culture-Society-People in Japan, Where Have All the Ninja Gone?, September 2007, No.459.
- Hiroshi, Kuroi. Historical group image editorial staff compilation, 2007. ISBN 978-4-05-604814-8
- Toshitora, Yamashiro. Secret Guide to Making Ninja Weapons, Butokukai Press, 1986. ISBN 978-99942-913-1-1
- DiMarzio, Daniel. A Story of Life, Fate, and Finding the Lost Art of Koka Ninjutsu in Japan, 2008. ISBN 978-1-4357-1208-9
- Bertrand, John. "Techniques that made ninjas feared in 15th-century Japan still set the standard for covert ops", Military History 23(1), March 2006, pp. 12–19. Retrieved on July 11, 2008 from Academic Search Premier database.
- Hayes, Stephen K. and Masaaki Hatsumi. Secrets from the Ninja Grandmaster (Rev. Ed.), 2003. Boulder, Colorado; Paladin Press.
- Zoughari, Kacem. The Ninja: Ancient Shadow Warriors of Japan, Tuttle Publishing, 2010. ISBN 0-8048-3927-1
- Naruto is a Japanese Ninja anime
- Ninjutsu techniques Ninjutsu kata and techniques in the AKBAN wiki
Ninjutsu techniques Ninjutsu kata and techniques in the AKBAN wiki
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Ninjutsu|