A Street Self Defense Tactic From the Art of Ninjutsu – Learn to Fight Using the "Wind" Strategy

Jun 13, 2019
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In the realm of Ninjutsu – the self-protection and life mastery system of Japan’s ancient Ninja families – there are several options available for controlling a street self defense encounter with a violent attacker. This article explores one of these strategies, known simply as the “wind-mode.” This strategy involves the use of slippery, evasive body movement, as-well-as techniques designed to trap the assailant with his own moves!

Please remember that this is only one possible strategy taken from a system of 5 “elemental” models. Also, please note that this same system is not used by all Ninja schools or Ninjutsu instructors.

The reality is that the art of Ninjutsu – or Ninpo, as it is known in its higher, philosophical and life-mastery form…

…is so deep, and has so many different lessons, that it is possible to come at it from several different perspectives – and still be right!

This elemental strategy perspective is used as a means to help students classify and categorize “like” things for ease of learning. It also allows the astute student to “see beyond” the surface-level, obvious, step-by-step lessons written on the scrolls.

And, it is this higher-level mindset – this strategic vision – which separates the high-ranking student who knows a lot of kata, and the master who can recreate the entire system of scrolls…

…with just ONE TECHNIQUE!

So, for our purposes here, we’re going to take a look at what is often referred to as the “wind-mode” of ‘evasive’ response. This “mode,” or option, as stated previously, is just one of five strategic options taken from a system within the Ninja’s Ninpo-Mikkyo ‘secret-knowledge teachings’ which can be used to guide, control, and ultimately win in a violent encounter against a bigger, stronger, faster, and more-skilled attacker.

Using this symbolic “view of the world” and it’s different aspects, we can see that the “Wind” element represents things in a free, open, nebulous, or gaseous state, or having similar qualities. Things are “wind-like” because of their essential nature – not because we decided to call them “wind-like.”.

The best example of this “wind-element” found in nature is, of course – the wind itself. Constantly shifting and changing, unpredictable, and able to be as soft and gentle as a Spring breeze, or as wild and ferocious as a hurricane – not because the wind “chooses to be,” but because it is this way – naturally.

Within the human body, the wind element is represented by our respiration – our breath. Mentally, it is our open-mindedness and intellect. And on an emotional and spiritual level, the wind is symbolic of our sense of sacrifice for others and our “care-free” nature.

In a fight situation, the wind strategy appears as we shift and constantly change what we show our assailant to keep him off-guard and unsure. It is our ability to slip, evade, and avoid his attacking limbs, and our ability to adapt and receive his pushes, grabs, shoves, and attempts to throw us.

Instead of trying to stop his attacks, use muscle strength, or charge in, the wind-mode of defensive response uses what the military calls “flanking maneuvers” to avoid and trap the attacker using his own techniques against him.

This is the same kind of tactic used by the bullfighter, who baits the bull, only to take away the target at the last second – leaving the animal open to attack from the side.

But, unlike conventional fighters who tend to “choose” a favorite strategy, tactic, or technique, the Enlightened Warrior recognizes his emotional state that is occurring naturally in response to his assailant’s advances. In this light, the wind-mode is not chosen, so much as it is allowed to be the determining factor in the tactics and techniques chosen.

This natural adaptability, and being “appropriate to the given situation,” is one of the biggest differences between the Ninja’s methods and other conventional martial arts styles and self defense systems. Being “natural,” and going with the “flow” of the “natural order of things” is what sets the Ninja apart from just about any other fighter or combatant.


While, ultimately, there is no such thing as a so-called, “Wind technique,” there are, however, techniques, tactics, and strategies that have a “wind-like” essence or quality. And, as such,they make excellent examples for teaching this valuable strategic option to students new to the art of Ninpo-taijutsu – the unarmed self defense method of the Ninja.

The following is a list of some of the skills and tactics which might be taught under the “wind” classification:

1) Turning, evasive, shifting footwork

2) Receiving and monitoring using contact with parts of your body against parts of the attacker’s body

3) Swinging strikes

4) Hooking kicks

5) etc.

Again, these techniques and skills fit this category because of their common characteristics of circular or arcing movement, or “receiving” and adapting nature – not for random, arbitrary reasons.

Other self defense tactics that fit this elemental “concept” include such things as:

1) Breakfalls and other ukemi-jutsu (“receiving body skills”)

2) Last-second timing shifts, and “mirroring” of the assailant’s movement, and…

3) the use of the assailant’s energy against him

Even the use of the wind itself, in the form of blowguns, or blowing in the assailant’s ear as you pass by, work to tip the odds in your favor.

Again, the use of the Godai, 5-element system, is an expedient – a convenient system by which to aid the student of Ninjutsu in learning all of the techniques, tactics, and strategies this art has to offer, in the quickest, easiest, and shortest amount of time possible.


Source by Jeffrey Miller

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