THE THIRTY SIX LEVELS OF THE NINJA FIGHTING ARTS “NINPO SANJUROKKEI”
The study of Ninjutsu is made up of several skills. Initially the ninja studies the eighteen categories of Martial arts expertise, advancing from basic weapon skills to a more advance realm of mental and psychic abilities known as “BUGEI JUHAPPAN”, they in fact consists of several Samurai martial arts skills. But in order to become a true specialist, and proficiency in Ninjutsu a Ninja must undergo training not only in the basic eighteen levels called “ Bugei Juhappan”, but he also has to learn and train exclusively in the other eighteen categories of secret techniques called “NINJA JUHAKKEI”. The combined results produce the thirty six essentials known as “NINPO SANJUROKKEI”.
The epitome of Ninjutsu is physical fitness, thus a Ninja had to train diligently his body in all the minor as well as major Combative Arts and his training is geared to cover the complete range of skills and tactics needed to survive this concrete jungle. Each step has a part to play in enabling a student to cover all aspects of a fighting confrontation to arrive what is called as “NINJUTSU” as the “WINNERS EDGE” over his opponent. Total capability is the goal of NINPO martial arts practioners. One begins to learn the use of his body to its best advantage, not just part of his body, like arms or legs, but the whole body.
THE THIRTY SIX LEVELS ARE AS UNDER.-
1) SEISHIN TEKI KYOYO or SESHIN TOITSU-HO __ Spiritual Refinement. a) MESO (Meditation) b) SHINPI (Concepts of Mysticism) and c) NINPO MIKKYO (Esoteric Buddhism). Learn the Ninja Secret knowledge of the Universal Laws of Nature. Ninja worked at developing a deep and getting accurate knowledge of himself, his strength, his personal power, weaknesses, intention, commitment and personal motivation. Personality traits could often mean the difference between life and death in his line of work. Along with the physical skills he was taught mental skills & endurance, ways of looking things and proper ways of looking at things, and proper way of evaluating things with mystical understanding of the Universal process by becoming a philosophical warrior. His engagement in combat was motivated by love or reverence and not by mere thrill of violent danger need for more money. Thus he learned and practiced Universal Law of Nature.
2) NINPO TAIJUTSU or NINJA –NO- TAIJUTSU- Ninja Unarmed Combat ( Taijutsu ) skills involves the following skills:
- TAIHENJUTSU – The art of Body Movements consisting of break falls, leaping, rolling, jumping, tumbling and Taisabaki moving the body away with silent movements and evasion skills.
- DAKENTAI JUTSU – The art of striking, punching, kicking and blocking.
- KOPPO JUTSU – The Art of Bone Breaking methods.
- KOSSHI JUTSU – The Art of Muscle tearing & attacking tactics.
- JUTAI JUTSU – The Art of Grappling, trapping and escaping methods with NAGEWAZA- Throwing methods, GYAKUWAZA – Joint locking and controlling methods, SHIMEWAZA – Choking and Strangulating methods & techniques, HAJUTSU- With escape and counter techniques and methods in life threatening situations. JUJITSU & KEMPO- Yielding body unarmed defense methods or Fist Defenses ,SUMO – (SUMAI) Basic form of Unclad grappling.
3) BOJUTSU- The Stick and Staff Fighting Arts practiced by Samurai and peasants alike was also one of the strong skills of Ninjas.
- a) ROKUSHAKU BOJUTSU – The Ninjas were taught the use of six feet log staff, or Full staff techniques.
- b) JO JUTSU – The art of fighting with a four feet stick known as the three quarter staff or Jo.
- c) HANBO JUTSU or SANJAKU BOJUTSU – The art of fighting with a three feet stick or Half Bo or staff.
- d) Short stick or police Baton, the art of fighting with A 24” Stick and clubs of various lengths.
- e) YAWARA JUTSU or YUBI BO – The art of fighting with a six to ten inch stick in various shapes and sizes.
4) BIKEN JUTSU or NINJA KENJUTSU or NINJA – NO- KENPO or GEKKAN JUTSU _
It is the Ninja study of swords and bladed arts of various sizes and lengths and their techniques and fencing skills.
- KENJUTSU – The art of fighting with the Live blade Katana and sparring techniques with the wooden sword known as BOKKEN JUTSU.
- IAI JUTSU – The art of Fast draw and cutting techniques.
- BATTO JUTSU – Another aspect of Ninjutsu sword fencing skills and techniques.
- ITTO JUTSU – Another special type of sword techniques.
- NITTO RYU JUTSU – The art of fighting with two swords at one time, one short & one long in each hand.
- NINJA KEN – The Art of fighting with a Ninja straight Sword slightly short and single edged blade, considered to be his primary fighting tool.
- TANTO JUTSU – The art of fighting with knives, dirks and short swords.
- JUKEN JUTSU – The technique of fighting with bayonets.
The Ninja utilized his blade for combat fighting and throwing in offense and defensive methods utilizing fast draw cutting and sheathing methods attacking with the Samurai Katana long blade sword ( ODACHI and NO Dachi ) , Medium blades ( KO DACHI , & WAKIZASHI ), Short blades such as ( KO WAKIZASHI ) AND USING ninja ken with short single edged blades of 22 “ to 28 “ length was his primary tool along Japanese knife and daggers such as Tanto, Yorodoishi, Aiuchi etc. He picked up whatever available on the battle field and made use of it.
5. SHURIKEN & SHAKEN JUTSU / NAGE KEN JUTSU / SENBAN NAGE JUTSU.
This Art of throwing Blades. It involves using blades in various shapes and sizes using for throwing accurately from various distances for maiming, killing, or harassing and even used for close quarter combat techniques. These blades were carried in concealed pockets and/ or tied together and hanged on belt for use. Usually they a re four pointed in Moon or star shaped called Senban Shuriken, constructed from thin steel plate. The blade is thrown flat in a spinning motion into vital targets of human body… Also 6 “to 8 “dirks and spikes known as Bo- Shuriken are also used in similar fashion for throwing, maiming and killing.
- YARI JUTSU / SO JUTSU –
Spear Arts, or The Art of fighting with Spears or Spear Fighting Techniques. The Ninjas used spears or lances as middle range fighting weapons, either used for stabbing and piercing attacks and sometimes even thrown in Combat but rarely. The spear s came n various shapes such as Eki, Geki, So etc. One of the unique spears was Kama Yari or sickle lance consisting of a spear blade with a hook at its base. The total length of the weapon was about 9 ft. The point of length could be used for stabbing, lunging and pulling the enemy or his weapon. Other spears such as Saburi Yari, and Nage Yari were also utilized.
7) NAGINATA JUTSU/ CHOTO JUTSU – Halberd Fighting or the Art of fighting with a sword shaped spear. Short blades were mounted on Long Handle staffs used for cutting and slashing attacks against adversaries at a medium range or against enemy wearing amour and on horse back. They were used for cutting legs of the horses and bringing the Samurai Warriors down to the ground. A large Halberd was known as OHNAGINATA and small halberd was known as KONAGINATA. Ninjas were also proficient in another version of the naginata Halberd known as BISENTO JUTSU consisting of a huge heavy broad blade of Chinese origin heavy enough to knock a Samurai Warrior heavily clad in amour smashing him to the ground when mounted on horse backs.
- KUSARIGAMA JUTSU / KUSARI JUTSU – Chain and Sickle Weapon Techniques. The Ninja chain arts involves combat and Fighting techniques using chains, cords, sickle and other similar chain type weapons ranging from 2 to 9 ft. in length with weights attached to either one or both ends and having multiple uses & applications besides using for combat & self defense.
- MANRIKIGUSARI / KUSARI FUNDO. Chain of approx. 2 ft. in length or more with equal weights attached at both ends of the chain.
- KYOKETSU SHOGE – Two bladed knives with a 15 ft. long rope, chain, or women or horses hair attached at one end and the other a circular metal or rubber ring called TEKKEN-ZU. One of the favorite Ninja weapons consisting of one straight blade while the other lower one is a curved hook type blade coming out of a common hilt or handle.
- KAGINAWA – Hook climbing rope.
- CHIGIRIKI – Weight attached to a 4 ft. chain at one end and the other end of the chain is attached to a stick 2 to 4 ft. in length.
- KORANJO – A staff and chain techniques.
- GEKIGAN JUTSU – A technique using a ball and chain.
- g) SODEGARAMI JUTSU –A technique involving a barbed pole to ensnare the victim.
- SASUMATA JUTSU – A Technique employing a forked staff to hold a man
i)BAKAHATSU K AMA- A kama or sickle at one end of the stick is attached a curved blade while the other end of the stick a chain with suitable weight is attached used effectively in cutting, ensnaring and trapping the enemy.
A Ninja attached chains to various weapons in their arsenal.
8) KAYAKA JUTSU – (KAJUTSU / SUI JUTSU) – The Art of using Fire and Explosives. Ninjas were experts in rigging, placing, timing, and firing in the use of various explosives. They had a keen knowledge of explosives for distraction, destruction and demolition and supplemented the use of black powders for explosives and use of Firearms for strategic applications.
9) OSHINJUTSU & HENSO JUTSU / YONSHAKU SHIKOMI HENSO JUTSU / NINJA NO UGEI/ SHICHI-HO DE SANPO GATA. – Invisibility, Disguise, Impersonation, Deception, Camouflage, Imitation skills. The Art of Invisibility & Concealment using all means to disguise, conceal, and move undetected, carrying out their espionage and subterfulage activities assuming a false identity and move around undetected and still carrying out their mission . They devised and honed costumes to disguise themselves and often adopted a character thoroughly impersonating like an actor performing a character role. All areas of knowledge, their personality trait and body dynamics was assumed to the appropriate identity or character they had chosen for themselves and assumed the new personality whether taken the role of a carpenter, actor, craftsman, wandering monk or an entertainer etc.
Seven ways of disguises – SHICHI-HO-DE 1) SARUGAKU – A traveling actor,
2) KOMUSO – An itinerant priest, 3) YAMABUSHI – A Mountain Priest. 4) SUKKE – A Buddhist priest, 5) HOKASHI – A traveling entertainer, 6) TSUNEGATA – A farmer type, 7) AKINDO –A Merchant.
10) SHINOBI IRI / SHINOBI YORI / PA-PU/ HOKO JUTSU. The art of stealth, Entering, & Walking methods. The Art of Stalking, Sensitivity and Perception Techniques. The Ninja were legendary famous for their techniques in silent movement, breaking, entering and gaining access to inaccessible areas. They learnt special ways of walking, running, & moving silently and cover long distances, remained in shadows in order to facilitate entry and escape.
- SHINOBI JUTSU (NINJUTSU) A technique by which camouflage and deception are practiced for espionage.
- HAYAGAGE JUTSU – A technique used to increase and improve speed in walking and running.
- KARAMI JUTSU- A technique by which to lighten oneself for jumping.
11) BAJUTSU /UMANORI – Horsemanship. The Art of riding a horse. Ninja became experts in horse riding for at times they had to remain on horseback for a long time, so they learnt to mount and ride the horse while in Combat. They were able to ride for long distances,
climbed hills and were able to combat at the same time. They learned to fight with the sword and fire arrows with their Bows while still remaining o horseback.
12) SUIREN / Water Training, / SUIEI –SWIMMING / SUIBA – SWIM WITH HORSE. Ninja practiced silent swimming techniques; they learn to move silently above and under water. They had special devices for floating to cross rivers and waters. They could remain underwater for a long time and even practiced Combat techniques fighting under water.
- SUIEI JUTSU – A technique of swimming and fighting in water. Even when clad in amour.
- SUIJOHOKO JUTSU – A technique by which to cross river water.
13) BO-RYAHU /HEIHO / GUNRYAKU –HEIHO / CHIKUJO GUNRYAKU HYOHO.
The Ninja Art of Strategy & Military Battlefield Strategy Techniques. Military Tactics & fortress fortification strategy, design & tactics for penetration fore planning skills & Combat Strategy. The Ninja used conventional as well as unconventional tactics of deception and strategy, they also planned strategy on the Battlefield, made plots for political environment with correct timing usage to their advantage, influenced and employed seemingly outside forces to bring about the enemy into doing what they wanted them to do without drawing undue attention towards themselves. They planned out strategy and tactics of various modes of attack, to fulfill their goals of mission and win at all cost.
- SENJO JUTSU – A tactic of Deployment of Warriors.
- CHIKUJO JUTSU – a Technique of Fortification.
14) CHO HO – Techniques of Espionage. The Ninjas perfected and carried out several espionage successful activities, which included uses of employing spies or putting them into location serving as agents of information, for their covert activities.
15) INTON JUTSU/ INPO JUTSU /TONPO JUTSU / GOTN PO. The Art of Escape and Concealment techniques from Danger. Ninjas were experts and masters in the use of nature to cover their exits and concealment allowing them to become invisible, and disappear at will. The Goton-Po, the five ways of Natural Elements for escape using, earth, water, fire, metal & wood and all aspects of nature and environment were utilized. TONPO – The Art of Escape & Disappearing. OSHIN TONGYO –NO-JUTSU – To Hide the body as it seems to be gone or to get out of the line of sight. Tonpo has OMOTE GOTON, URA GOTON, & TEN CHIN JIN.
16) GOTON –NO- JUTSU –FIVE ESCAPES TECHNQUES: 1) MOKUTON – Using trees and grass.2) KATON _ Using Fire. 3) DOTON – Using ground, walls, & stones for hiding. 4) KATON- Using metal objects for distraction. 5) SUITON – Water escaping techniques.
17) TENMON –METEOROLOGY – The Art of Heaven, Astronomy & Astrology. Ninja could predict, forecast weather &climates. They took advantage of the weather & seasonal phenomena which was an important part for consideration in battle plotting and surprise attacks in Combat. They would observe even the subtlest signals from the environment in order to predict Observed weather conditions. And use it to their advantage.
18) CHIMON – GEOGRAPHY / The art of Earth. Knowledge of topography and uses of features of terrain were important part and crucial for their success in their Ninjutsu
activities & mission. The study involved use of various terrains and features, drawing and reading maps and applying Combat strategy. Also for their HICHO JUTSU techniques
involving studying of leaping and climbing skills over trees, mountains, rocks, fortresses and jungle environment etc.
19) BISENTO JUTSU – The Art of Fighting with the Broad Sword Blade- Battlefield Halberd – TSU – Battle
20) JUTTE JUTSU – The Art of Fighting with the Iron Truncheon, or Sword Trapper, Anti sword Truncheon, Sai, Manji Sai and Tokutso Keibo ( Collapsible and Manual Baton.)
21)KYO JITSU TENKAN HO – IN/YO (YING/YANG) A Philosophy or the learning of the concepts of Falsehood and actuality. A strategy for winning that relies on the presentation of truth and falsehood in ways that permit the antagonist to be deceived, Kyo Jitsu Tenkan forms the basic approach for all Ninjutsu activities and thinking. As the Ninja is dealing freely with the concepts of truth and falsehood, fluidly bending one into the other, he must be well grounded in his own concept of reality. To prevent becoming lost, misguided, or swallowed up by his own deception or awareness altering, the Ninja maintains SEISHIN, the purity of Heart. The word Pure means complete or total. The Ninja carries the truth in his heart, though he may appear in many psychological guises to others. His intention remains resolute though others may have no Idea what those comments entail. Because he is totally honest with him at all levels of introspection, he can venture into the realms of falsehood and untruth without defiling himself or his spirit. He can willingly plunge into the world of Total darkness, knowing full well that he has the power to create his own light from the brightness he carries in his heart.
22)TESSON JUTSU- The Art of Fighting with the Iron Fan, Rod, Flute, Kongo, Yawara, KON (Ceremonial Fan) etc.
23) KAKUSHI BUKI JUTSU / GO / HO/ NINKI. The art of using various secret weapons.
- SHUKO – Iron Claw Hand & Foot techniques
- c) SHOBO
- d) NEKODE
- e) FUKIYAKA- Blow Gun & Darts.
- f) BEN – Whip
- g) HATO – Sleeve Catcher
- h) TETSUBO JUTSU – A technique using a long Iron Bar.
- UKI BARI – A technique of blowing small needles by mouth.
24)YOROI KUMIUCHI / YOROI GUMI
The art of Fighting with Amour and against people wearing amour. A form of Amour Fighting.
25)HANKYU JUTSU / KYUDO JUTSU / KYU JUTSU.
The Ninja Art of Archery. The Samurai Art of Archery (KYU) – The Ninja Cross Bow (DO). Wooden Bow (KIYUMI), Giant Bow (OYUMI), Half Bow (KUJIRA HANKYU).
- a) UCHI_NE – Throwing the arrow by hand.
26)HO JUTSU /TEPPO (Gun) /TAIHO (CANNON).
The art of using Firearms- Cannon Techniques- ISHIBAYA 9 Small Cannon). HIYA (Flaming Arrows). Techniques of gunnery .
27) HOJO JUTSU / HOBAKU JUTSU / TORINAWA JUTSU / KINJOTO BOTSU.
The art of Tying and binding, catching and restraining prisoners using ropes, chains, swords etc. TORITE (Restraining Techniques). A technique by which to bind the enemy.
28)KIAI JUTSU / AIKI JUTSU / SAKKI JUTSU / NINJA- NO- KIAI.
The Art of the Spiritual Shout. – The Four Kiai sounds reflecting the four elements. Involves & explosive expression of spirit and energy to others and oneself.
29)KUJI KIRI / JUJI / KUJI- IN ( Energy channeling )
The Art of directing and channeling Internal Energy. Balancing of Electro Magnetic power fields. JUMON & KETSUIN – Incantation & Finger Entwining, GOFU – Talisman.
30) HICHO JUTSU. The Flying Bird.
The Body changing arts, comprising of leaping and jumping, gymnastic movements to develop agility in Combat.
31) NINYAKU JUTSU (NINJA MEDICINES) & KATSUSATSU JUTSU (Resuscitation & Survival)
Use of special medicines, drugs, poisons, cures & effects. NIN-YAKU – Ninja Food.
32) NINJA –N-KYOMON
The study of Religion, philosophy, meditation, history, mathematics, chemistry, physics and psychologlogy for correct judgment and self understanding. (That is provided by modern school & college education). SENJUTSU – Religious practices for super human capabilities. Also must further study all religions such as BUDDHISM, Taoism, Shintoism, Zen, Christianity (Bible), Islamism (Koran), Hinduism (Bhagwat Gita, Ramayana & Mahabharata, Sikhism & study of Vedas & Vedanta) and lastly Zoroastrianism (The most Ancient and mother of all Religions).
33) AIZU & ANGO JUTSU – Signaling and Secret Communicating Techniques.
34) GENJUTSU & YOJUTSU
The Ninja Deceptive Art of Magic, Illusions, tricks, and supernatural phenomena. GENJUTSU – Magician, Illusionist, YOJUTSU – Performance of material tricks borrowed from Supernatural powers and spirits.
35) GENKOTSU – Kyusho – The Art of striking Vital Points or assaulting Vital Points.
36) JINSHIN KANPA JUTSU
(An appeal to all who all read this article) – The author Grand Master Cyrus Rustomji Sensei 9th. Degree Black Belt Ninjutsu who has been studying Martial arts for nearly 50 years and Ninjutsu since last 20 years has been writing and compiling notes on these 36 Different arts of Ninjutsu, the different levels of the Ninja Fighting Arts & skills, is looking for more matter or help in any kind on any of these above 36 topics, by way of any notes, books, manuscripts, magazines, articles, scrolls etc. would be greatly obliged and appreciated if you could send it across to him in order to complete his encyclopedia on Ninjutsu which he has been writing since last 3 years. The book is nearly 3/4th. Completed and Hoping to print the book by end of 2014.