Ninjutsu Hiketsu Bun
Essay on the Essence of Ninjutsu
The essence of all Martial Arts and
military strategies is self-protection and the prevention of danger.
Ninjutsu epitomizes the fullest concept of self-protection through
martial training, in that the ninja art deals with the protection
of not only the physical body, but the mind and spirit as well.
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 of attaining
that which we need while making the world a better place.
The skill of the ninja is the art of winning.
In the beginning study of any combative
art, proper motivation is crucial.
Without the proper frame of mind, continuous exposure to fighting
techniques can lead to ruin instead of self-development.
But this fact is not different from
any other beneficial practice in life carried to extremes.
Medical science is dedicated to the betterment of health and the relief
of suffering, and yet the misuse of drugs and the exultation of the
physician's skills can lead people to a state where an individual's
health is no longer within his or her personal control.
A nutritious, well-balanced diet
works to keep a person alive, vital, and healthy, but grossly over-eating,
over-drinking, or taking in too many chemicals is a sure way to poison
the body. Governments are established to oversee the harmonious inter-working
of all parts of society, but when the rulers become greedy, hungry
for power, or lacking in wisdom, the country is subjected to needless
wars, disorder or civil and economic chaos.
A religion, when based on faith developed
through experience, a broad and questing mind, and unflagging pursuit
of universal understanding, is of inspiration and comfort to people.
Once a religion loses its original focus, however, it becomes a deadly
thing with which to deceive, control and tax the people through the
manipulation of their beliefs and fears. It is the same with the martial
The skills of self-protection, which
should provide a feeling of inner peace and security for the martial
artist, so often develop without a balance in the personality and
lead the lesser martial artist into warped realms of unceasing conflict
and competition which eventually consume him.
If an expert in the fighting arts
sincerely pursues the essence of Ninjutsu, devoid of the influence
of the ego's desires, the student will progressively come to realize
the ultimate secret for becoming invincible - the attainment of the
"mind and eyes of god".
The combatant who would win must
be in harmony with the scheme of totality, and must be guided by an
intuitive knowledge of the playing out of fate. In tune with the providence
of heaven and the impartial justice of nature, and following a clear
and pure heart full of trust in the inevitable, the ninja captures
the insight that will guide him successfully into battle when he must
conquer and conceal himself protectively from hostility when he must
The vast universe, beautiful in its coldly impersonal
totality, contains all that we call good or bad, all the answers for
all the paradoxes we see around us. By opening his eyes and his mind,
the ninja can responsively follow the subtle seasons and reasons of
heaven, changing just as change is necessary, adapting always, so
that in the end there is no such thing as a surprise for the ninja.
Takamatsu Toshitsugu; 33rd Soke of
Togakure Ryu Ninjutsu