Ninja Training By James Peterson
By Bob Hubbard - Sun, 11 Mar 2007 20:56:23 GMT


Ninja Training
By James Peterson

What are the secrets of ninja's super abilities? Everybody is aware that ninja were skillful warriors, mastered their ninja swords to perfection, and could fulfill any even impossible mission. Their success lay in the peculiarities of their training.

General Aspects of Ninja Training

The ninja training was based upon being subjected to unfavorable conditions and aggressive environment. It allowed ninja to get used to being in any stressful situation and react to it in more flexible and balanced way. Training in the atmosphere of real action prepared ninja for being able to work out instant and spontaneous reaction to the changes in the environment, stir up spare capacities of one's body, use creative thinking and make up quick non-standard decisions in extreme conditions.

The study-process based upon actively-dynamic methods of psychophysical training implied paying special attention to creating the conditions of real battle. The ninja were taught how to fight using ninja swords and other weapons in the most accelerated way and intense rhythm and at the same time keep inner calmness, adequate perception, and efficient coordination of movements. The ninja had to work out their skill with the help of special "exercise machines" as used in the well-known Shaolin monastery - from death-corridors to automatic mannequins.

Zen-buddhism teaching greatly influenced the ninja's approach to training, especially the idea of giving preference to intuitive way of perception. The ninja had to set free their mind from superficial knowledge, formal logic, and offspring of conventional way of thinking.

The Main Principles

Zen-buddhism worked out the principles of natural regulation that allow the person to use one's intuition for choosing the optimal way of acting.

1. Graduality - The intensification of training assignments, speed and strength of blowing should be gradual and consequent. Ninja had to avoid rushing and untimely turning to more difficult and back-breaking forms of training.

2. Continuity - this principle was the key to ninja's successful training. It implied regular, systematic training with no prolonged breaks. If a ninja started training one day, he had to continue this practice every day with no exception and keep to the certain training schedule.

3. Moderateness - ninja believed that in order to gain success in training, they required moderateness in everything, especially relative to eating and other sensual pleasures. Eating meat, drinking alcohol and sexual relationships were strictly prohibited not to diminish the effectiveness of training. If a man could not change his habits, he was recommended to change the course of his life - to become a peasant, an official, or somebody else - but not a spy-warrior. The exception was only the case when fulfilling the task, a ninja had to break the rules and do the things prohibited during his tarini9ng process.

4. Self-Control and Self-Restraint - Even under the most extreme conditions, a ninja trained to stay calm and self-possessed. He did not give way to his emotions - fear, aggressiveness, egocentrism and so on. In critical situations ninja were to be determined, belief in their strength and skills of martial arts.

5. Courtesy - a ninja student had to behave in the most organized, disciplined, respectful and industrious way. The code of ethics of Confucianism not by accident became the significant part of any martial arts - it first of all celebrated filial respect.

Some Specific Examples of Ninja Training

To provide the complete psychophysical training of ninja students, they passed not only through the complex of gymnastic exercises and respiratory gymnastics but also psychological exercises aimed at developing intuition, instant reaction, combined way of thinking, etc. it helped ninja better feel their opponents in fighting, guess his maneuvers and react in a trice.

For example, a teacher held a piece of paper with his thumb and index finger and then suddenly let it fall down. The ninja student had to catch the paper with his two fingers. The same was done with a stick or metal plate, and with the student's eyes covered.

Two students stayed facing each other and with their eyes closed delivered a blow in turns, stopping their arm or leg a few millimeters from the target. The one who received the blow had to guess its direction and react correspondingly by blocking and eluding the blows. The same exercise was performed while using ninja swords. Gradually, the task was becoming more complicated - the teacher increased the number of attacking opponents up to the eight of them( corresponding to the number of cardinal directions) , as well as the speed and strength of blows. The increasing complication was also characteristic to training in "the dark room." The training also took place in the night time, in the twilight or complete darkness.

Extremely complicated exercises and critical conditions taught a ninja student to realize his individual abilities and use the acquired skills in the most creative and extemporaneous way. As a result, the ninja developed their personal manner of fighting and "animal style" that corresponded to their natural abilities and temperament. A ninja warrior had to learn how to use not just effective fighting techniques but also different types of cold still, especially fighting with a ninja sword and throwing poisoned darts or stars. Moreover, a skillful ninja could use as a dangerous weapon any object that got into his hands.

James Peterson is a true swords lover. To read more articles about swords and swords history visit the Swords blog - Also you can find a great number of japanease swords at the amazing Swords Shop

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