Category Archives: Ninja Blog | Zenformation for the Modern Shinobi 忍術

Ninjutsu is an ancient Japanese martial art practiced by Shinobi 忍び or what some in America call Ninja 忍者. Of all personas in the martial arts world, I’ve always identified most with Shinobi. They didn’t dress or fight like anyone else and the fact that they would assume any role in society to complete a mission made them invisible. Enlightenment was not the goal of the Shinobi as it was in other arts.

The Ninja’s greatest asset was his own body and mind, seemingly impervious in any atmosphere. These warriors practice a style called Ninjutsu or Ninpo. The singular goal of the Shinobi was to complete the mission by any means necessary. The image of the mysterious figure dressed in all black came from the Genroku era (1688-1704), where military chronicles called gunki-mono were painted, including the shinobi, though Ninjutsu was around long before this first depiction.

In this blog I will share the information that I’ve found through training in this style after absorbing many other arts over the years then beginning anew with Ninjutsu.

Tengu: Trick or Treat

karasu tengu

Tengu are legendary kami (gods) in Japanese mythology with deep roots in the folklore surrounding the mysticism of Ninjutsu’s inception. The actual translation of the word tengu means “heavenly dog,” though they are never depicted with any dog-like characteristics in Japanese culture. Their name is based on a Chinese mountain god called the Tien Kou or Tiangou 天狗, […]

Junan Taiso: The Yoga of Ninjutsu

junan taiso

When you think of Ninjutsu, Yoga may not be the first term that pops in to your head. Martial arts, as we know them in the Western world, were born out of yoga, which was born out of meditation. Although martial disciplines have diversified drastically since the time of Price Bodhidharma, they all share a common core of […]

The Complete Katana

japanese katana

The forging and shaping of the katana is a delicate process, instrumental to the functionality of the weapon. Still, this Japanese sword is far from complete and may pass through a number of hands before it is deemed battle-worthy. Polishing the Katana Blade After the forging process, the swordsmith polishes the blade or passes it […]

Are the TMNT Real Ninjas?


The ninja has a long history of being romanticized by the film industry, but no pop culture representation has proved more prominent than in the case of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or TMNT. These four reptiles and their rodent instructor have been consistently criticized since their inception in the 1980’s, for misrepresentation of their […]

Japanese Katana: Beauty and the Blade

japanese katana

The hamon is the visual, patterned effect created on the blade of a Japanese katana by the hardening process. It is a symbol of the swordsmith’s craftsmanship and adds significant aesthetic value to the weapon. “The swordsmith was not a mere artisan but an inspired artist and his workshop a sanctuary. Daily he commenced his […]

Shaping Steel: Formation of the Katana

japanese katana

The formation of the Japanese katana is a true form of art, beautifully constructed to withstand the chaos of battle. It has been used by warrior classes across ages to protect the warrior to its highest potential in the heat of combat. The process from sand to shape is complex and requires an experienced swordsmith to forge […]

Tamahagane: The Steel of the Katana


“The sword is the soul of the samurai.” – Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu Shinobi are known for their use of a wide variety of weapons. Arguably one of the most recognizable is the traditional katana. The katana is the long bladed sword that was popularized by the samurai warrior in feudal Japan as early as the 15th […]

Brainpower: The Secret to the Survival of Our Species


Have you ever wondered how some human beings experience incredible physical traumas only to emerge completely unscathed? Or how an individual can be lost at sea or trapped in some compromising situation for months or years, and turn up, not just alive, but relatively healthy? Pushing The Limits The groundbreaking 2008 series special called “Human […]

Japan: Noda City


Tucked away in the far northwestern Chiba Prefecture in Japan is the City of Noda. This is home to the Bujinkan Hombu Dojo and the birth place of Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi, or as his students call him ‘Soke’. This journey to “the source” is a right of passage for Bujinkan members worldwide. The estimated population […]

Strength Through Meditation

meditation ninjutsu

Martial artists are often recognized for their bodily strength, but although this is a crucial element to any competitor’s arsenal, the power of the mind should not be taken for granted. One of the best methods of strengthening a shinobi’s mental state may be relaxation. Warrior classes across cultures and eras have used meditation to […]

Tabi or not Tabi

ninja gear

Even the sturdiest building can crumble if it is built on a weak foundation. Following this same principal, the human body can accomplish unimaginable feats, but not without a stable base. In Ninjustu, the foundation of the art starts with proper kamae. For this concept, the goal is to match balance and movement. The base […]

Framework of the Japanese Sword: A piece-by-piece analysis

japanese sword

Swordsmanship is a deeply integral part of Japanese culture and a unique form of artistry. This ancient art form is so embedded in the region’s history that weapons meeting the highest standards of craftsmanship are deemed national treasures. The Japanese sword is also a central part of many Japanese martial arts. This includes Ninjustu amongst […]