Ninja Secret Training School -- Back to the Basics

By: Jo Braweski

Does the ninja secret training school still really exist? And if it does, what can it teach us about self defense that we need to understand for everyday life, far away from the cloak and dagger images that the ninja warriors so often inspire?

It is the practical side of the ninja warriors training that is the most relevant. It was no secret that their school did not bind them with the same rules and taught them to use methods that their fellow japanese countrymen considered underhand or downright dishonest.

In addition, they would abandon or avoid fights that did not suit them. Not for them the principles of other japanese fighters who preferred to die with honour rather than run away and live. The ninjas had a clear advantage in terms of life expectancy.

They learned these tactics and others and practised them until they became second nature. When they needed to apply them, they could stay cool and defend themselves, or better stay out of sight and out of mind. Their weapons were often fashioned out of simple items that did not attract attention, where the effectiveness was as much in how they were used as in any intrinsic qualities.

This is the part of the ninja secret training school that is of most immediate use to anyone who is concerned for his or her personal safety. It divides into two main components. Firstly, be prepared and practised, because what often counts in situations of self defense is to know what to know and to do it simply and effectively. Secondly, if you need to use a weapon in self-defense, be prepared to use everyday items that you can carry inconspicuously on your person.

The range of everyday articles that can help in self defense is wide. Car keys, cigarette lighters, walking sticks or umbrellas can all inflict intense and dissuasive pain on aggressors if you cannot avoid or escape a confrontation. But you still need to know how and where to use them and to stay focussed in the second or two that is all it takes for an attack to happen.

Like the ninjas' school that trained them in their "secrets", the next step for you is to learn, practise and be ready, knowing that the readier you are, the more chance that your would be aggressor will leave you alone.

By coincidence, on the internet there are also references to games with secret ninja training schools where players can exchange artefacts and gain points. It's surely fun to play in a virtual world, but given the choice, I for one will be sticking to the real-world ninja's approach.

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