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HISTORY IN JAPAN

Ninjutsu began more than 800 years ago among the ninja people living in Japan. The warrior class which ruled Japan at the time were called the Samurai. They controlled the land and it's people. The lord, the Shogun, was the only person the Samurai were answerable to. The ordinary peasant served the warriors every whim. A peasant could never strike a Samurai. If he did, it would mean his life. The ninja would not serve the Samurai, and fled to the barren, cold and mountainous regions of Iga and Koga.

There they trained in the arts of war. It is said that their art is based upon a great Chinese military text written by a general named Sun Tzu, The Art Of War.

Over the centuries the ninja trained from birth to death in every known martial art. Their forte was espionage and assassination, by any means possible. But their training also taught them to reach spiritual heights, by pushing their bodies and minds to limits far beyond that of normal human endurance. Training for a ninja began almost as soon as he/she could walk. Childhood games were designed to include expertise in unarmed combat, sword work, weaponry, camouflage, escape and evasion.

Even the mighty Samurai looked over his shoulder if a ninja was known to be in the region. Over the centuries, while ninjutsu was being practiced in secrecy, no one but the ninja themselves knew anything about the art. When Japan emerged into the modern era, and feudalism collapsed, the ninja were absorbed into the secret service and special services groups.

The martial arts boom of the 1970's saw two men searching for something different. Doron Navon and Stephen Hayes found a ninjutsu headmaster living in Japan who came from an unbroken lines of ninja instructors dating back 800 years. This is how the art was brought to the Western World. When speaking of the Ninja, an image of a black clad assassin disappearing in a cloud of smoke is what usually comes to mind. This distortion has in fact nothing to do with the study of ninjutsu, or "Ninpo" in its higher order.