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The History of Ninjutsu

Aug 18, 2007
It is certainly no surprise that Ninjutsu does not have a clear lineage or history, especially given its dealings with extreme amounts of secrecy, stealth and escapism. More than likely, the early founders of Ninjutsu did not necessarily want many people knowing where this art came from, considering they were trying to remain concealed and as unobtrusive as possible. We do know, however, that Ninjutsu originated in the country of Japan when early mountaineers needed to devise complex methods of survival.

As time went on, however, Ninjutsu became more popular of an art and many schools were set up in its name in order to teach Ninjutsu and pass on this extremely rare and unique knowledge. During the early stages of Ninjutsu, a man by the name of Juhakkei (who was a ninja) studied alongside a man by the name of Juhappan (a Samurai warrior) and together, they each developed two very different and yet similar standards for their respective martial arts. In Ninjutsu, these became known as 18 Disciplines and formed a standard to which all Ninjutsu schools should adhere.

Another important figurehead in the development of Ninjutsu was a man by the name of Masaaki Hatsumi. Masaaki Hatsumi is the head of the Bujinkan Dojo and is one of the few original Bujinkan teachers left, however, Masaaki Hatsumi was required to modernize traditional Ninjutsu to suit the changing and developing needs of the Japanese people. However, Masaaki Hatsumi is now considered to be the head figure of Ninjutsu itself, and he is said to actually have possession of the Densho (ancient scrolls) on which the original 18 Disciplines were written. Masaaki Hatsumi's ancestry can be drawn back 34 generations which may give Ninjutsu authorities and experts some clues about who might have originally founded Ninjutsu, however, it is not likely that a definitive conclusion will be reached in that respect.

Ninjutsu has reached a peak in popularity with several movies and television shows that are showcasing ninjas and the art of Ninjutsu, such as the comedy Beverly Hills Ninja and Kill Bill I and II. Unfortunately, neither of these moves, although well known, paints Ninjutsu in the best light. True ninjas may find the entertainment industry's take on the art form somewhat infuriating or embarrassing, but because of the ninja's secrecy, Hollywood is left to draw its own conclusions. It is quite possible that Ninjutsu's somewhat unsavory reputation can be contributed to the entertainment industry as well however, true followers and Ninjutsu enthusiasts understand Ninjutsu's true meaning.

Ninjutsu is not necessarily as practical a martial art as it once was, however, many people still believe it has applications in modern society today. Some people also believe that the only true way to study Ninjutsu is to study under a ninja master who was schooled by a ninja master and so on until an original Bujinkan teacher is traced. Either way, Ninjutsu has taken its place among history and society and will not soon be forgotten.
About the Author
James Dunn owns and opperates Martial Arts Tutor
Visit Ninjutsu Lessons for more information about Ninjutsu or Muay Thai Lessons to learn about Muay Thai.
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