Hensojutsu – The Ninja art of disguise

Ninja

Within the curriculum of Onshinjutsu(invisibilty) lies the techniques and strategies of Hensojutsu, or the art of disguise.  Ancient hensojutsu tactics were based upon the shichi ho de, or “seven ways of going”(more on this in later posts and in the Online training sections), and allowed a ninja the ability to blend in and penetrate a fortress or enemy area, nearly at will.

Many of you reading this quick lesson will have doubts as to why should I disguise myself? But to this I can only point out the fact that there are times when being see as “you” can endanger your mission or even put your family or friends in danger. A perfect example would be the surveillance of a suspect, as a private investigator. The skills within ninjutsu can easily be utilized in a career as a Private investigator, so study on.

Fundamentals:

Strategy: a disguise is intended to impede future recognition and or to allow an operative to blend in with their environment so as to disappear into the background of a crowd.

A good disguise includes the following:

1)      Is able to cover up your facial features or characteristic features

2)      Is generic and easily available

3)      Is quickly and easily put on, applied or taken off

4)      Is of little value and can be disposed of easily

Disguise Kit Equipment:

1)      False mustaches, beards

2)      Sideburns

3)      Eyeglasses

4)      Wigs

5)      Sunglasses

(More covered in the online lesson)

So you now have a few basics of Hensojutsu, what “individual” can you create that will blend in, within your local area? Put together the Disguise kit for that individual and go out and test it in public, have fun and be safe.

 

Bufu Ikkan

Sakki/Godan Test

Way back in 1996 I sat with 16 other yondans all waiting to be tested by Soke Hatsumi for our 5th dan. It was a little different then as Soke told us he would strike all the way through to the floor and you would fail if he hit you anywhere along his cutting line. (I know because he got me on the heel the first time) But I recently saw this clip on you tube and it brought back that day way back when.

 

Enjoy

 

Ninja Warrior Conditioning

Due to the extreme nature of the missions that a ninja of ancient Japan were called upon to perform, they required a level of physical and mental fitness that bordered on the phenomenal. They lived a rugged and often Spartan like existence from a young age, which allowed them to develop these physical skills that modern Olympic athletes and Elite military organizations today would be envious of.

A well rounded Ninjutsu training program will cover Flexibility enhancement, Strength and Conditioning as well as Aerobic and Anaerobic cardiovascular development. But, these physical fitness enhancements mean little if they do not enhance and or improve your fighting skills, why else would a ninja warrior practice them but to help them fight or perform their missions at an enhanced level.

As a start here is your first:

Ninja Warrior Conditioning Exercise

Hold and Hang:

                Grab a low hanging branch or overhead pipe, your feet need to be off the ground, now hang on for as long as you possible can. When you drop, note the time and begin a scorecard on how you are increasing your time as you add this exercise to your routine.

Skill enhancement: physical conditioning, grip strength, arm, shoulder and back strengthening, utilized in rope climbing, rock or wall scaling, grappling, weapon training

In upcoming posts we will be covering skills, drills, and exercises that will help you develop a whole new level of physical and mental fitness. You will notice that I said mental fitness as well! Yes, a warrior level conditioning program will develop your mental endurance levels, if and only if you are able to push through the barriers that will be holding you back.

Bufu Ikkan

 

Ninjutsu’s Art of Invisibility – Onshinjutsu

The Ninja of ancient times were famed for their ability to seemingly disappear at will. Onshinjutsu or “art of invisibility” is the ninjutsu practitioner’s strategies and tactics, which like the ninja of ancient Japan allow a modern Ninja proponent to disappear of blend in to escape detection.

The art of Onshinjutsu is comprised of several components that cover the myriad of skills from “light removing” skills (Gisou no ho), to Disguise and Impersonation skills(Hensojutsu and Gisojutsu). With some of these skills overlapping with the skill sets taught within Shinobi iri, a ninja would become a supreme master of “invisibility” in his life.

If you have been following the Anonymous living tips blog post, you have already some exposure to Onshinjutsu skills. In this brief lesson we will look at developing Urban Hensojutsu skills to blend in with our environment. Hensojuts is the art of disguise, and involves altering one’s appearance so as to “blend in” or seemingly “disappear” into the background. This happens all around us each day, and for the most part these “grey men”, don’t cross our minds as standing out or even remember able!

As part of your practice in Hensojutsu, you need to first be aware of whom these “grey  men” are and how you can become one at will if necessary. So I offer you this brief lesson:

For 1 week keep track in your log and lesson book the following:

1)      How many homeless people you see and what they are wearing, and where they are located.

2)      How many police officers you see and their normal working locations.

3)      Crossing guards (same as above)

4)      Telephone or cable lineman (same as above)

5)      How about taxi drivers!!

 So this list is just the tip of the iceberg on those around us whom blend in but can be visual seen each day. Does our mind lock onto them as a threat? Mostly no, sometimes they may seem out of sorts but there must be a reason for them to be there…right??

Good luck and practice this lesson well.

Bufu Ikkan.

Choho Lesson

Ninjutsu

Choho is the ninja’s art of gathering intelligence. In order to effectively gather information in a discrete manner, a ninjutsu practitioner requires practice. Here is a short exercise that I often practice when I travel or am out for a walk in a new neighborhood.

Gather the following information:

 

1)      How many homes were in the neighborhood

2)      How many of these had dogs

3)      How far apart were the homes from each other

4)      Depending on the time of day what cars were parked in the driveway

5)      How many streetlights

6)      Were there any signs that the homes had children living there

7)      Does it appear that anyone is home during the day in a particular home

8)      Who has the most expensive automobile in the neighborhood

9)      Who has a boat or travel trailer

10)   Are there any places where you can observe a large area of the neighborhood from, discretely.

As you casually stroll or even jog through the area, look the part of just that an active person power walking or a runner. Become a grey man, and blend in. As you become more adept at this type of fundamental information gathering, we will move on to a more complicated subject: Surveillance!

 

Bufu Ikkan

Ninja Wisdom: Soke Hatsumi

Soke HAasumi

“Would you repeat that movement again?”

“I replied that I could never perform a movement more than once. If I did the same thing twice, the movement would become just a “pattern” Even if it looks like the same movement, only the slightest difference either in my action or that of my opponent may change the situation completely.”

When you train for many years and decades this simple statement becomes the absolute of all truths. Repeating a technique exactly each time becomes a pattern, or a trap that your opponent may capitalize on. This fact alone is why I wrote the piece on changing your routines (yes look back and read between the lines).  Do you want to become the ordinary, patterned martial artist or person in life? If you are reading this, I think not!

 

So step up, change your patterns, change your life, change and vary your training and reap the benefits of this Ninja wisdom from Soke HAtsumi!

 

Bufu Ikkan

Sensei Lefebvre

A Ninja Home

Hello Again,

A Ninja home whether modern or ancient contained many secrets. Secret compartments, concealed hiding locations, secret entrances and exits etc. This is part of a video series at the Iga Ueno Ninja Museum (Iwill post all of the segments) also, wait until you see the upcoming launch of Modern applications to a Ninja Home!!

Enjoy