The Beginning of the History of Ninjutsu Ninjutsu was over 800 years ago and was found among the ninja people who lived Japan. It was the Samurai who were the warrior class and they ruled Japan at that time. The Samurai controlled the people and the land. They were only answerable to their lord, the Shogun. The ordinary peasants were answerable to warriors and served their every whim. A peasant could not retaliate and strike a Samurai, if they did, it would mean that they lost their life.
The ninja were unable to serve the Samurai, so they fled to the cold, barren, mountainous regions of koga and Iga. They were trained in the well known arts of war. Their art, it is said, is based upon the great Chinese military text that was written by the general named Sun Tzu, ‘The Art of War”.
Over the centuries the ninja (a word that means 'stealers-in') began their training from the cradle and continued to the grave in all the known martial art. These Ninja’s forte was a specializion in assassination and espionage using any means that was possible. However despite the nature of their operations, their training also taught them how to reach great spiritual heights, it did this by pushing minds and bodies to limits that were far beyond that of most normal human’s endurance.
A ninja began his training almost as soon as he was able to start walking. The childhood games were all designed and geared towards expertise in sword-work, unarmed combat, weaponry, escape, camouflage, and evasion tactics. Eventually over a period of time, ninja warriors came to be the most feared throughout the whole of Japan. Even the powerful Samurai looked over his shoulder if it was known there was a ninja in the area.
Over the many centuries, while the ninjutsu was being secretly practiced, people did not know anything about the art, and only the ninjas themselves had any knowledge about it. When Japan eventually emerged into the more modern era, and feudalism declined and eventually collapsed, the ninja warriors were thus absorbed into Japan's special services groups and the secret service.
The martial arts experienced a boom during the 1970's and two men began a search for something different. Stephen Hayes and Doron Navon discovered a ninjutsu headmaster who lived in Japan; this ninijutsu came from a completely unbroken line of ninja instructors that dated back almost 800 years. This was when the art was brought to the attention of the western World and eventually practiced.
When one thinks of the Ninja, an image of a black clad assassin that disappears into a cloud of smoke is what usually comes to mind. This distorted notion has absolutely nothing to do with reality and the studying Ninjutsu, or "Ninpo" in its highest form. Ninpo is the traditional Japanese bujutsu martial art; it has a rich and viable history which dates back to over ten centuries.
Ninpo was originally developed as an illegal counter-culture against the ruling Samurai warrior class, and Ninpo still flourishes under the direct and strict guidance of Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi, a 34th grandmaster of the Togakure Ryu Ninjutsu tradition and also eight other budo traditions. Dr. Hatsumi is known as the last true Ninja grandmaster and he has a direct line of decent from ancient feudal Japan.