Ninjutsu is the amalgam of martial arts, strategy, and tactics of unconventional warfare and guerilla warfare practiced by the shinobi. While there are several styles of modern ninjutsu, not all can be related to the historic practice of ninjutsu in Japan, so as to be considered a koryū.
Ninjutsu is the fighting style that is used by all the shinobi of the Dead or Alive series.
Ninjutsu was developed by groups of people mainly from the Iga (present day Mie Prefecture) and Kōka Provinces (present day Shiga Prefecture) of Japan. Throughout history, the shinobi have been seen as assassins, scouts, and spies. They are mainly noted for their use of stealth and deception. They have been associated in the public imagination with activities that are considered criminal by modern standards. Throughout history, many different schools (ryū) have taught their unique versions of ninjutsu. An example of these is the Togakure-ryū. Legend says that this ryū was developed after a defeated samurai warrior called Daisuke Togakure escaped to the region of Iga. Later, he came in contact with the warrior-monk Kain Doshi who taught him a new way of viewing life and the means of survival (ninjutsu).
Ninjutsu was developed as a collection of fundamental survivalist techniques in the warring state of feudal Japan. The ninja used their art to ensure their survival in a time of violent political turmoil. Ninjutsu included methods of gathering information as well as techniques of non-detection, avoidance, and misdirection. Ninjutsu can also involve training in disguise, escape, concealment, archery, medicine, explosives, and poisons.
Skills relating to espionage and assassination were highly useful to warring factions in feudal Japan. Because these activities were seen as dishonorable, Japanese warriors hired people who existed below Japan's social classes to perform these tasks. These persons were literally called "non-humans" (非人, hinin). At some point the skills of espionage became known collectively as ninjutsu, and the people who specialized in these tasks were called "Shinobi no Mono" (忍びの者 lit. "one skilled in the art of stealth").
Despite the large presence of ninjas in popular culture, there is little to no actual basis for ninjutsu being its own martial art. The idea of a separate martial style exclusive to ninjas was popularized during the 1980s, which saw the rise of numerous ninja-based media, such as movies and games. Even the "ninja sword" (忍者刀, ninjatō) commonly shown as a shorter and straighter variant of the katana, has no historical basis. The pop culture boom of the ninja led many martial arts schools to re-brand themselves as teaching ninjutsu in order to draw in more customers.
Ninjutsu practitioners in Dead or Alive
- Honoka (part of her Honoka Fu)
- Momiji (combines aiki-jūjutsu principles with ninjutsu techniques)
- Ryu Hayabusa
Types of ninjutsu in Dead or Alive
These are some of the styles of ninjutsu that are used in the Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden series:
The Hayabusa style ninjutsu (隼流忍術 Hayabusa ryū ninjutsu) is a "balanced" type of attack style, which is both defensive and offensive. It is used by Ryu Hayabusa, and other shinobi of the Hayabusa village, which includes their shrine maiden Momiji. Ayane also possesses some techniques of this style.
Many of Ryu Hayabusa's techniques are based on his fighting proficiency with weapons. This includes his Mekkyaku: Soryu ("Azure Dragon Obliteration Technique"), Mekkyaku: Senryu ("River Willow Obliteration Technique"), Mekkyaku: Koryu ("Steel Dragon Obliteration Technique"), Mekkyaku: Ryuso ("Dragon Claw Obliteration Technique"), and his Mekkyaku: Ranryu ("Dragon Orchid Obliteration Technique"). Among his moves is the Izuna Otoshi ("Lightning Drop" ), a signature ability of the Hayabusa Ninja Clan. This throw has several variations, such as the Shoho-Izuna ("Rising Lightning Cannon"), Zuisho-Izuna ("Spreading Lightning"), Yoko-Izuna ("Wicked Lightning"), Resshin-Izuna ("Lightning Disastrous Quake"), Senko-Izuna ("Lightning Flash"), and the Rekko-Izuna ("Winged Lightning").
Other moves of Ryu Hayabusa have also been based on techniques from the Ninja Gaiden series. This includes his Kikoku-Shintei-Kyaku ("Demonic Wailing Essence Kick"), Kubikiri-Nage ("Beheading Throw"), and the Hane-Karakuri ("Wing Trick").
The Tenjinmon style (霧幻天神流忍術天神門 Mugen Tenshin ryū ninjutsu Tenjinmon) is type of ninjutsu that focuses on evasion and defense. It is used by Hayate, Kasumi, Kasumi α, Raidou (along with various copied martial arts), Shiden, and Honoka (part of her Honoka Fu). Alpha-152 and Phase 4 use tenjinmon style ninjutsu but have their own grabs and are more offensive.
The Hajinmon style ninjutsu (霧幻天神流忍術覇神門 Mugen Tenshin ryū ninjutsu Hajinmon) is quicker and more offensive. It is used by Ayane, Genra, and Honoka (part of her Honoka Fu).
Shiranui style ninjutsu
- See also: Shinranui style ninjutsu on the SNK Wiki
The Shiranui style of ninjutsu (不知火流忍術 Shiranui ryū ninjutsu) resembles normal ninjutsu with more graceful and majestic moves, somewhat in reference to traditional Japanese dance, and even incorperates use of the buttocks. It focuses on speed, range, and pyrokinesis. It is used by Dead or Alive 5 Last Round guest character, Mai Shiranui. When going all out, in order to ensure her limbs are able to go all out, Mai places her paper fan inside her mouth.
Mai uses her pyrokinesis to manifest flames in different forms. This allows her to create flaming rings while spinning and flipping, summon a spiralling flame pillar, and can even emit explosions from her buttocks in a form that somewhat resembles flatulence.
|Dead or Alive 2|
|Dead or Alive 3|
|Dead or Alive 2 Ultimate|
|Dead or Alive 4|
|Dead or Alive Dimensions|
|Dead or Alive 5|
|Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate|
|Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate Arcade|
|Dead or Alive 5 Last Round|
|Dead or Alive 6|
- Shiranui-style ninjutsu is one of only two fighting styles to incorporate handheld objects into the fight during gameplay, the only other being Tengu-do, practiced by Nyotengu and Bankotsubo. Coincidentally, both Bankotsubo (a practitioner of Tengu-do) and Mai Shiranui (the practitioner and namesake for the Shiranui-style ninjutsu) share the same birthday.
- On that note, Shiranui-style ninjutsu has a specific bounce to it, which was a reference to a form of assassination employed by kunoichi, where they engage in sensuality to their unassuming prey before striking.
|Grappling||Close quarters combat • Combat Sambo • Counter Fiend Combat • Lucha libre • Professional wrestling|
|Striking||Baji quan • Ii Style Leg Strikes • Karate • Mizong yi • Muay Thai • Ninjutsu • Pencak Silat • Pigua quan • Taekwondo|
|Internal||Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu • She quan • Taiji quan • Xingyi quan • Xinyi liuhe quan • Zui quan|
|Full contact / Combat sports||Mixed martial arts|
|Self-defense / Combatives||Aikido •Systema • Tengu-do|
|Eclectic / Hybrids||Anti-K’ Arts • Honoka Fu • Jeet Kune Do • Street Fighting|