Body Training

Taijutsu literally means body art. The aim of this training, which is the most important basis in Ninjutsu, is to develop a natural fighting style that is completely adapted to the fighting person. A timeless understanding of human behavior and physique is of paramount importance. In Ninjutsu, the goal was never to win belts, collect trophies, or acquire titles. This effective way of fighting was designed to survive, to end a fight quickly and effectively, and without self-imposed rules.

Scheme of Taijutsu
Scheme of Taijutsu

Taijutsu also includes techniques that allow weaker people to successfully assert themselves against stronger, faster, or larger opponents.

No Sport or Competition

In the minds of most people, there is still a sense of fairness and competitive ethics. For this reason, the combat system of taijutsu is looked down upon by many. Above all, Zen-like martial arts systems such as Karate or Jūdō, which have become widespread today, adhere to competition rules and fairness. It should only be noted that these systems lose their ability to serve as self-defense. There is no second place in street fighting. The second could be carried away in a metal coffin. Ninjutsu aims for victory, using any means that can be used to achieve it.

That’s why the focus of the training isn’t on dull learning of techniques, but rather on becoming aware of the feelings that arise during a fight. The combat system of Ninjutsu is not limited to a fixed number of techniques but consists of countless variations. Unarmed combat is mixed with stick techniques, sword blows, and other weapons. Thus the student slowly gains a sense of an all-encompassing combat system. Many other combat systems force their students to react according to fixed technical sequences. The taijutsu works in exactly the opposite way. The student learns to let go of all the superfluous techniques and body movements that he has acquired unnoticed over the years.

Natural Body Movements

The student is not forced to imitate animals or to distort or deform the natural body position. He learns how small changes in position or lowering the center of gravity enable a secure, superior stance. The effective combat system of Ninjutsu is based on the Ninja’s faith in harmony with nature. The basic fighting positions and techniques have also been developed according to the elements of our environment. The five elemental manifestations symbolize solid, liquid, energetic, gaseous, and sub-atomic forces. These are chi (earth), sui (water), ka (fire), fu (wind), and (emptiness).

  • Earth symbolizes stability, one withstands any onslaught, one is insurmountable. The movements come from the hips.
  • Water symbolizes evasive movements and sudden unexpected movements. The movements come from the abdomen.
  • Fire represents determination, quick, dynamic movements that come from the solar plexus.
  • Wind represents defensive, non-tangible combat. The movements come from the heart area.
  • The Void itself is not included in the combat system, because Void represents thoughts, words, and actions that prevent combat.

Text: Stefan Imhoff