For the student who wants to learn ninjutsu – the art and practice of Japan’s shadow warriors – there can be a lot of confusion, and even legal concerns, when it comes to mastering some of the Ninja’s more traditional weapons. However, with the right teacher to guide you through the process of mastering this powerful martial art, you should have no problem in bringing these proven and time-tested techniques, tactics, and strategies into the 21st century.
One of the Ninja’s weapons is known as metsubishi (also pronounced: “metsubushi”). This is conventionally known as “blinding powder” – the stuff that makes the “smoke screen” effect.
On a more advanced level, metsubishi is actually a category of techniques known as “sight removers.” And, while the “blinding powder” with the same name serves this purpose, there is more to this powerful weapon and strategy than meets the eye (so to speak).
This article offers several substitutes for the Ninja’s blinding powder. Instead of carrying around a packet or container of this highly irritating substance, there are some very common, everyday items that can be pressed into use in your defense that will accomplish the same job. They include.
- 1) Loose change.
- 2) Grass or gravel.
- 3) Sugar, salt or pepper.
Remember, the ninja of ancient Japan did not have the same items or technology that we have today. So, reaching into a pants pocket and pulling out a handful of loose coinage, would have been impossible for a Ninja warrior who was wearing a kimono or some other form of classical dress that, either way, lacked both pockets and money as we know it today.
Throwing a handful of coins at your attackers face may not create a Ninja-movie smoke screen, but the weight and impact of the coins will certainly give him something to worry about while you are either countering or making your escape!
Combined with the Ninja’s taihenjutsu (“body-changing art”), metsubishi can take many more forms than simply items that you can carry on you. Imagine your opponent’s surprise when he suddenly feels a wad of grass blades or the stinging of gravel hitting his skin – things that you picked up during that roll you used to avoid his previous advances!
Rather than egg shells filled with a specially mixed powder, the modern ninja has small packet of salt, sugar, and pepper available to him. In a restaurant or other similar situation, you could secretly grab a few of these readily available packets. And while the attacker is moving in or wasting time with threats, you could be subtly tearing open the packets and readying them for when he initiates his attack.
Remember – Just because our Ninja ancestors used a powder made of ashes, sand, and other irritants, doesn’t mean that we have to limit ourselves to the same thing. The power inherent within the martial art of Ninjutsu, is it’s focus on concepts and principles – not on set techniques.
This allows you, the modern ninja warrior, to adapt to any situation and have just the right technique that best fits the attack. As a teacher once told me, “flexibility is the key to longevity.” He wasn’t a Ninja teacher. But he certainly summed up the philosophy of the Ninja’s art!