Moss-covered Monk

Moss-covered Monk


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Secrets of Ninja (54)


For here you are,
A cogless, meshless, automaton,
A body upon whom officials had performed clinical autopsy,
And left all of you that mattered back upon empty seas,
And strewn over darkened hills,
Here you are,
Bone dry, bottle empty, fireless.
Chill, with only your hands to give death to men.
A pair of hands is all you are now . . .

(Ashida Kim)

Erich Fromm, the noted psychologist, once said that "the function of any ethical system in
any given society is to sustain the life of that society." He neglected to mention that any system
can consider itself ethical. Thus it falls to the Ninja to determine which mission he will undertake.
Missions are divided into three major categories:

Sabotage includes disrupting the enemy camp as well as eliminating strategic points along
the enemy perimeter which will allow an assault to succeed.

Espionage deals with the gathering of intelligence about the enemy. This may be done surreptitiously,
or data gathered by the enemy may be boldly stolen.

Assassination is an art unto itself. It may take the form of poisons, booby traps, or murder.
Needless to say, the ability to get in and out without being discovered is a prerequisite.

A Ninja will not sacrifice himself needlessly, he will not be swayed by emotional appeals;
and he does not question the motives of those who would employ him. Should he accept their
commission, he will become their hands, and accomplish that which they could not.
Ninjitsu is a way of doing anything or nothing-simply being. Invisibility is merely the focus
of the art.

A Ninja does not surrender peaceably, nor does he carry on his person documents which
might implicate his superiors. The Ninja acts alone, relying on his own ability. He is one with

What will happen in one’s life is already written, but one must choose to be there. This is the
Way of Ninjitsu.

I wrote Secrets of the Ninja in 1980 as a training manual at the request of my student,
Christopher Hunter, who had written Book of the Ninja for Paladin Press. It was published in
1981 and immediately created a storm of controversy. First, because it was one of the few
books on a “forbidden” subject, and second because of the mask.

Let it be said that the Veil of Secrecy surrounding Ninjitsu has not been broken. All of
the techniques presented here can be found in other Arts. There are only so many kicks,
punches, arm-locks, throws, grapples, and takedowns, after all, and the history of man in conflict
is long. And, while many of the techniques are drawn from military sources, others come
from thieves and killers. The point is their effectiveness.

It should be noted that the student is taught the most devastating techniques first. In this
way an army can be raised and trained in the field in a short time. The subtlety of the Art, however,
lies not in tearing off the enemy’s head, but rather in non-violence. An army can attack a
castle and many will die on both sides. But, a Ninja can “convince” an enemy warlord that his
cause is unjust and that he should abandon his plans for conquest while holding a knife to his
throat in the darkness, and save a battle. This is the Silent Way. The translation of Nin-Jitsu.

The purpose of the mask is not to conceal the identity, although that is the purpose for
which it is most commonly employed. By “hiding the face” one can “diminish the ego.” This
calms the mind, heals the body, and insures that the Ninja acts in harmony with Nature. At this
printing, some twenty years later, many think they know the face beneath the mask in this book.
But, the truth is, it could be anyone. Because anyone can be a Ninja.

The Way that can be told is not the Eternal Way. The name that can be named is not the eternal
name. It cannot be explained, or defined. It can only be experienced. Given here are the means
whereby this can be accomplished.

 Ashida Kim
1st Day of the 1st Month
Year of the Drago