Moss-covered Monk

Moss-covered Monk


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Secrets of Ninja (22)


P’a Pu– Tip Toe Step

Fig. 10 Fig. 11
Third among the Nine Steps is Pa Pu, or Night Walking Ability. This movement is developed
by running on the balls of the feet. After much practice, add weight to the ankles. This
strengthens the feet, making it possible to walk on tiptoe for great distances. This aids in eliminating

Fig. 10 -P’a Pu is employed when it is necessary to move quietly and quickly forward. Exhale
and tense the Hara. Lower the body for better balance. Extend the arms, palms down, at
waist level. Step forward with the left foot first, balancing on the right leg. Place the toes
lightly on the surface, and shift body weight forward.

Fig. 11 -As you move over the left foot, draw the toes back slightly, press the left heel down
lightly. Glide forward, advancing the right foot in a similar manner. It will be noted that this is
a variation of the hunting step, in which the toes may be used to clear leaves, twigs, and other
small debris from the path before stepping on them.


The fourth technique is called She Pu, the Serpent Step. It is so named because the action of
the Ninja’s body resembles that of a snake. She Pu is used at times when one must move close
to the ground to avoid being discovered. Use She Pu when cover is scarce, visibility permits
good enemy observation, and speed is not essential.

Fig. 12 -Keep the body as flat as possible. The hands are kept palms down, near the face,
with elbows close to the body, legs spread, and toes outward. The head is lifted to observe the
enemy. Study the movements of a stalking cat to perfect this approach. To move forward, extend
the arms and draw the left leg forward. Pull with the arms and the toes of the left foot.

The weight is borne on the forearms and the left leg from knee to ankle. Thus, the body is lifted
slightly above the ground to prevent scraping or dragging noises. Change the pushing leg frequently
to avoid fatigue. Stop, listen, and observe after each movement. Silence and slow
movement are essential. This technique is also taught in every military service in the world.

Most frequently called the Low Crawl and practiced under barbed wire while live rounds ricochet
overhead to acclimate the recruit to battle. In South Africa it is known as the Leopard
Crawl, because that is the action of the animal that most closely resembles that need to be successful.

To the Ninja, however, the technique includes the injunction to “weave back and forth
across the line of travel” in serpentine fashion to disguise the trail and avoid gunfire.

~Ashida Kim