Combat Rules

I have just come to a realization! This scroll by Broken Sword contains no secrets of his swordsmanship. What this reveals is his highest ideal.

In the first state, man and sword become one and each other. Here, even a blade of grass can be used as a lethal weapon.

In the next stage, the sword resides not in the hand but in the heart. Even without a weapon, the warrior can slay his enemy from a hundred paces.

But the ultimate ideal is when the sword disappears altogether. The warrior embraces all around him. The desire to kill no longer exists. Only peace remains.

Qin Shi Huang Di (Chen Daoming), Hero (2002)

First Rule

Life is meant to be so constructed that the enemy never thinks to appear in front of you. This goal can be attained through mental training.

It can happen that your own spiritual charisma is not sufficient to prevent a dangerous situation from arising. But then there is still the possibility of successfully overlooking the danger. In concrete terms, this means that you can suppress your own feelings so that a threatening situation can be taken up without sympathy. That way you’re clear-headed and can really think about your reactions.

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

Muahdib (Frank Herbert), The Desert Planet

Normally one feels a strong sense of uneasiness until a dangerous situation has passed them by. However, if you stand up and put a quick end to the threat, you can quickly return to a relaxed, calm position.

Learning and enduring situations where one must accept defeat, fear, or humiliation in order to achieve what one wants are ingrained in Ninjutsu. The syllable nin means endurance, endure, endure, get along with. This is one of the hardest exercises because it takes a lot to persevere in the face of death.

Second Rule

It’s important to get over your feelings so that you don’t automatically defend yourself when a defense isn’t necessary at all. This goal is achieved through mental training. If one fails to nip the threat in the bud, or at least let the threat pass without negative repercussions, then active defenses are considered.

The principle protect your opponent counts here. Seriously wounding an opponent is often easier than just letting them run into nothing, or letting multiple opponents run into each other. If we try to protect the opponent, i. H. before his own deeds, we will not be able to be portrayed as evildoers if the opponent injures himself. If he hurts himself, we’ve got a clean slate.

Many people think of physical fighting techniques first when they consider Ninjutsu. But in reality, they only come in third place. The struggle is the least suitable method for living a harmonious and natural life. By the time the battle starts, you’ve already suffered defeat. And he who lives by violence will die by violence.

Nevertheless, training in Ninjutsu usually begins with physical training, since a solid knowledge of the physical conditions is a necessary prerequisite for mental growth. Hand-to-hand combat training can be used to get to know and understand one’s own feelings and moods in arguments.

Nevertheless, it would be desirable if many fighters would devote themselves to the spiritual aspects of their art earlier.

Third Rule

Perfecting one’s own physical abilities in such a way that any conflict can be successfully overcome is an important goal in one’s own development. This goal is achieved through physical training.

Ninjutsu includes numerous elements of self-defense and a whole range of the body’s own weapons, which in combination with weapon techniques, dynamics, energy generation, and other aspects are fused into a unique combat system. It’s the same feeling when you perform a half-circle foot kick as when you perform a sword slash. Ninjutsu is therefore more a series of feelings than a collection of techniques.

Because every human being is unique, both in stature and mental state, Ninjutsu does not force its students to imitate rigid series of movements. Rather, guidelines are given to develop natural emotional and physical responses.

Hints for a Fight

If a fight is unavoidable, one should always keep the following points in mind:

  • It is important to always be one hundred percent. Consciousness is to be held as if nothing else existed in the world. Only the goal on which all concentration is directed is important. The mind must not wander.
  • The center of gravity should always be kept as low as possible, but the fluidity of the movements should not be impaired. The strength must not be concentrated in the shoulders or upper body.
  • The movements should be fluid and relaxed, the power is only released at the last moment. The techniques must not be performed with muscle tension from the start, otherwise, cramps will occur.
  • Full body weight should be placed behind each punch. Don’t try to counter with single limbs.
  • Never remain in a rigid position. The footwork should therefore be quick and appropriate.
  • It is important to breathe at the right rhythm to conserve and regain strength. Exhale while performing a technique, inhale during a retreat or preparation techniques.
  • Always pay attention to the line of sight and keep an eye on the opponent. It is important not to focus on your own technique so that you notice the changes in the opponent’s attack style.
  • Never lose sight of the meaning of the techniques used, never stick to a technique that has long since ceased to be appropriate.
  • Use every moment to increase personal knowledge and power. Don’t practice for the sake of practicing or to discipline yourself.

Text: Stefan Imhoff