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Ninjutsu was not actually “Ninjutsu” right from the start.
It started out as “Shinobi methods” (Shinobi no Ho), meaning methods
for discerning what is right for the world, enduring,Ninja training to become
a moral being, becoming aware of one’s destiny, and dedicating one’s life
to other people or the world as a whole.
These later became known as Ninpo and later still Ninjutsu.
The original sense of Ninja was not one of mere Jutsu (techniques),
but rather that of Ho (laws or principles) permeating the entire universe.
For this reason, Ninja always fixed their perspective on Tenhijin, the relationship between the universe, the earth and humankind.
In Ninjutsu Hiketsubun, a Kuden by Takamatsu Sensei, he talks quite clearly about the essence of Shinobi:”The sense of the martial arts and the ways
of strategy lies in protecting oneself. Ninjutsu is central to this self-protection. Ninjutsu protects the spirit too. If you perform the martials arts
with an incorrect spirit, instead of protecting your-self,
you will end up killing yourself”.
P.S.>Budo is only for those whose heart is
in the right place….!