What does Ninpo mean to us?
Ninpo is the name given to our art, Ninjutsu.
Ninpo encompasses all of the martial and spiritual aspects of our martial based art.
Ninpo was started by a Chinese deserter in the late 600s AD. He left China after losing a battle and fleeing to Japan where he lived in the Iga mountains.
As the story goes he trained three disciples in the arts he learned in the Chinese military. These disciples then traveled from Iga and passed on their skills to the locals which was adapted primarily by the farmer caste and Ronin living in the mountains. These people were connected by famial ties and defended themselves against the various Daimyo (warlords) of Japan at the time.
The Ninja (aka Shinobi No Mono) as they became to be known, passed on this knowledge over the years keeping what was applicable to them and discarding what was not, in their attempt to survive. The knowledge was then distributed across Japan after the war with Oda Nobunaga (1579-1581 AD).
The modernized Ninjutsu you see today in movies is partially based on the excerpts of some of these clans, the most powerful of which that were known as the Iga and Koga clans (Iga and Koga family lineages). They most notably used their skills to defend themselves against the feudal Shogun of their era, that were fighting for control of Japan.
These ancient warriors eventually gained the respect of the Shogun and Samurai of their time with their skills, later adapted and used to subjugate the populace, with some trained to be assassins, killing for purpose, lord and sometimes, for personal gain.
The stories are based in fact and lore spread in some cases to deceive their enemies, and to conceal their skills and secrets. These warfare techniques were used in peacetime and in combat for both applications. Most of the skills still have application today when used properly.
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