Ninjutsu Techniques – The Three Sub-Sets of The Ninja’s Ninpo–Taijutsu Hand-To-Hand Combat Method
Contrary to popular belief, the ninjutsu techniques that make up ninpo-taijutsu, the self-defense and hand-to-hand combat method of the ninja are not merely a mixture of conventional martial arts styles and systems. Ninjutsu training is not like modern mma or mixed martial arts, in that there is a common philosophy and set of principles and concepts which underlie all ninjutsu techniques. This article outlines the three sub-sets, or classifications within ninpo-taijutsu – the ninja’s armed and unarmed self-defense and personal protection method.
As I said, “contrary to popular belief,” because most people familiar with martial arts training believe that ninjutsu training is simply a mixture of many different martial arts that you can find being practiced today. You know, take some karate kicking and throw in some judo throws, add some aikido locks and take-downs, and then toss in some cool weapons and voila!
You have a martial art “style” that we can call “Ninjutsu!”
Sorry folks, just ain’t so!
But, if you’re not careful, you could find yourself following some karate or jujitsu guy on YouTube simply because he says that what he’s doing is ninjutsu training. And, as we know from other areas of our lives, just because we call something by a certain name… doesn’t make it “that” thing!
So, what are the three sub-classifications of ninjutsu techniques – specifically the ninja’s ninpo-taijutsu, unarmed, hand-to-hand combat skills? Well, first it would be helpful to outline exactly what this thing called “Ninpo-Taijutsu” actually is.
Ninpo-taijutsu, sometimes called budo-taijutsu, is the Ninja warrior‘s “body art” or skills with the body. This system of self-protection relies on natural laws and using the body in a relaxed, natural way – rather than trying to imitate an animal or move in a step-by-step, robotic fashion.
In that light, there are many things that can be done to, and by, the human body in a self-defense encounter. And ninjutsu techniques rely on the understanding that there are an infinite number of scenarios that could happen, and that we never know exactly what kind of situation, or attacker, we will be forced to deal with.
This is very different from the stylized or sport forms where the environment and system is set and rigidly controlled. The student involved in authentic ninjutsu training works to make sure that his or her body is ready, willing, and able to not only handle many different scenarios, but also to be able to fit into, and execute the right kind of techniques, tactics, and strategies that are best suited for handling precisely that kind of situation.
To be best prepared for handling the greatest number and types of attack situations, the ninja studies to perfect skills which fall into 3 general sub-classifications of ninpo-taijutsu. From these base-level skill classifications then arise all of the advanced level ninjutsu techniques that allow the shinobi warrior to have just the right technique for any particular situation that he or she might be forced to face.
The three sub-sets of ninjutsu techniques and skills are:
Dakentaijutsu – These are the ninja warrior’s “body striking skills” and, as such, include methods for striking the opponent’s skeletal structure, stabbing and striking muscles and pressure points, and using unorthodox parts of the body as striking implements to totally throw the attacker off guard during a fight.
Jutaijutsu – Often mistranslated as “grappling skills,” the ninja’s jutaijutsu methods use a “soft” approach take the assailant off-balance before executing locks, holds, throws, and the like. But, even though this list still appears to include what most would term “grappling” techniques, the ninja’s taijutsu self defense method does not include techniques that “man-handle” someone, as much as positioning them where they can no longer stand up!
Taihenjutsu – These are the skills that makes the art of the ninja stand out. This area of study allows the ninjutsu practitioner to maneuver his or her body into and out of situations through the use of leaping, climbing, rolling, and body-dropping skills. Also included in the ninja’s taihenjutsu methods is the concept of hodoki or “escaping” from the locks, holds, and throws of others.
A thorough understanding of, and ability with, these skill areas allows the ninja to be able to handle striking attacks, grabbing and wrestling attacks, as well as to be able to handle attacks and dangers that require that they go to the ground or handle a much more skilled assailant who takes the advantage early in the confrontation.
Are you serious about mastering the art of ninjutsu, and understanding what gives ninjutsu techniques there power? Do you want to know what it takes to progress through the levels of self-defense mastery in this powerful martial art?
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