A Difference in the Approach, Samurai vs Ninja

samurai“The Way of the Samurai is found in death. When it comes to either/or, there is only the quick choice of death. It is not particularly difficult. Be determined and advance. To say that dying without reaching one’s aim is to die a dog’s death is the frivolous way of sophisticates. When pressed with the choice of life or death, it is not necessary to gain one’s aim.”  Yamamoto Tsunetomo  taken from Chapter 1, Hagakure

“The way of the Ninja is the way of enduring, surviving, and prevailing over all that would destroy one. More than merely delivering strikes and slashes, and deeper in significance than the simple out-witting of an enemy; Ninjutsu is the way off attaining that which we need while making the world a better place.” Soke Takamatsu taken from Ninjutsu Hiketsu Bunninja2

As you can see from the heiho written from the perspective of a Samurai and a Ninja, there are some striking differences in the strategies in approaching a conflict. Both have their merits and can be incorporated into you training and approach to living. What I find interesting is that the path of a Samurai was found in death, and the complete acceptance of that fact allowed them, if not freed them from hesitation to act in a moment’s notice. Often this was at the decision of their superiors and may or may not bring a “betterment” to the surrounding society, or without the preservation of their own life. Now a ninjutsu practitioner had a very different outlook, “enduring”, no matter what the circumstances a ninja must endure and survive to fight and live another day, what I am fond of is the last sentence “Ninjutsu is the way off attaining that which we need while making the world a better place.” Whether that world was the small village or family around them, the strategy to better those around them was always a part of the underlying strategy for a ninja to endure or survive for.

As you read and study this difference in approaches, understand there are opportunities when you should dive in with no fear and worry about the outcome (death), but wrapping yourself in the philosophy or “enduring” , thinking out the approach and strategy to utilize and the possible outcomes or impacts to those around (note: this can happen in seconds for a trained practitioner) you is also a vital method for you to study and learn on your journey in Ninjutsu.


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