Just like “”, “International Ninja Day” is a quirky and satiric holiday meant to inspire some fun, laughs and to spark awareness and appreciation for the martial arts.
The first emergence of recorded ninja activities in Japanese history dates back to the mid-10th century.
The word Ninja is derived from the Japanese word “Shinobi-no-mono”, which is written with two kanji characters that can also be pronounced as “nin-sha”.
Ninjutsu developed as an opposing force to the samurai code of bushido.
The samurai valued loyalty and honor so much that their style of fighting involved: announcing a challenge to a single opponent and fighting that opponent in brightly adorned armor that proclaimed their clan’s identity.
While this code was steeped in honor, it was not always conducive to victory in open ware fare. For this reason, samurai lords start to commission ninja’s to do their dirty work.
The ninjutsu code centered upon accomplishing the mission by whatever means necessary. Sneak attacks, poison, spy games and seduction were all employed in ways that the bushido would consider shameful.
Upon hiring a ninja, the samurai lords were able to send spies to track down secrets, have opponents assassinated or plant misinformation all without sullying their samurai honor.
While samurai lords recognized the ninja methods as effective, they also recognized that ninja could be hired by their own enemies. As a result, the samurai needed and feared the ninja, in equal measure.
A few of the many interesting facts about the ninja include:
- Women also served in ninja combat. Female ninja’s called “kunoichi” could infiltrate enemy castles in the guise of dancers, concubines or servants.
- Myths and legends surrounding ninja include stories that they can fly, turn themselves into rats, toads or even turn invisible.
- Ninja tools and weapons included: shinobigatana, medium-length swords; the bo and naginata, war staves and pikes; and martial arts like karate.
To celebrate National Ninja Day, check out the following Westminster locations, that continue to teach the ancient martial arts skills used by ninjas.
Located at 554 Jermor Lane in the 140 Village Shopping Center, Choe’s Hapkido has been providing martial arts training to ages 3 and up for over 30 years.
Classes for children, teens, and adults are founded upon Chung Mu Hap Ki Do, an original style dating back to Korea in 372 A.D. which translates to mean, “the way of coordinating your inner strength with your outer strength”.
Owner Henry Wynn and Instructor, Dan Lynch are proud to serve Westminster and the surrounding communities.
“We offer traditional training that helps to develop fitness, discipline and offers a unique measure of self-confidence,” Wynn said.
“With tradition, comes discipline and respect. It’s rewarding to see the children develop into mannered and respectful young adults, and to see all of our students develop amazing skills and become formidable martial artists.” Lynch said.
Also serving the Westminster area for over 13 years is Tristar Martial Arts. Located at 73 John Street, Tristar Martial Arts provides instruction for ages 4 and up in a combination of traditional Taijutsu combined with mixed martial arts.
Classes for kids and adults teach Taijutsu meaning “body techniques” or “hand-to-hand combat” infused with new-age mixed martial arts.
While you may no longer be able to earn a wage from a devious samurai lord for these abilities, both martial arts schools promise to deliver self-defense skills, fitness and fun.