Every martial art has it’s own unique techniques, skills, and strategies. Within the art of ninjutsu – the art of the ninja, the self-protection methods are known as ninpo-taijutsu.
This article outlines the 16 “fists” or ‘body weapons’ of the shinobi warrior. After reading through this list, you’ll have a much better idea as to why the ninja is at the top of the martial arts “food chain.” But remember, this list only forms the beginning of what a true ninja is capable of using in defense of himself or others!
Each of these fists is a “perfect fit” for different targets on the opponent’s body. While some are general purpose weapons, others have very specific uses and applications to maximize damage and create the greatest results.
The Ninja Juroppo-ken (“16 fists/body weapons of the Ninja)
1. Kikaku-ken (aka Zutski) Head-butt
2. Fudo-ken (aka Nio-ken or Kongo-ken) “Immovable (clenched) fist”
3. Shikan-ken ‘4-Rings Fist’
4. Boshi-ken (aka Shito-ken) Thumb-drive fist (refers to the piercing end a blade)
5. Shako-ken Palm-strike/claw-hand fist
6. Kiten-ken (aka Shuto) Knife-hand
7. Shitan-ken Finger-spear/thumb-pressure grip
8. Happa-ken “8 Leaves” Open-hand (slap)
9. Koppo-ken “Bone method fist” Thumb-knuckle fist
10. Shishin-ken “Finger-needle” fist
11. Shuki-ken ‘Elbow-gun’ (Elbow & forearm)
12. Sokki-ken Knee & shin
13. Sokuyaku-ken Heel of foot
14. Sokugyaku-ken Ball-of-foot & toes
15. Shizen-ken “Natural weapons” (basically, anything not on the list!)
16. Taiken “Body-as-weapon”
This is the list that beginning students are introduced to in the early stages of their training in the art of Ninjutsu. Of course, each of the 9 martial lineages that make up the Bujinkan Dojo’s ninpo-taijutsu contributes other specialty fists. These are either found under the “shizen-ken” listing, or are in addition to the above list.
The point of the training is that they ninja student learns to focus on options, rather than set techniques. He or she also focuses on precision, and matching just the right tool or weapon to the target in order to maximize power and damage with each blow to his opponent’s body.