While not exactly superhumans, Ninjas were definitely one of the best trained military and espionage groups in history! A ninja needed to walk, move, hide and open doors silently in order to achieve their goals.
Nin-jutsu, the art of the ninja can quite literally mean the skill of silent movement. Let’s take a look at some of the ways a ninja was able to achieve this silence:
Way of Walking
A couple methods for walking silently:
“Uho Steps” are steps where you shift your weight gently from one foot to the other. You step with the right foot, slide the left foot forward, step down and repeat with the other one. Imagine your feet are leaves floating on water. This method of walking is meant to be used with “Itazori” or “silent sandals” so you don’t cause floorboards to creak.
The “No Name Walk” is where you get down on the ground on all fours. Turn your right hand sideways in front of you so that it points towards your left hand. Gently place it on the ground in front of you. Bring your left foot over it, so that the side/ ball of your foot sits on the ground in front of your hand. Repeat this with your left hand and right foot.
This invention is a folding slab of wood that is wider than your feet and covered on the sole with layers of cloth or cotton padding, allowing you to walk across floor boards noiselessly.
The cloth is designed to fold with the sandals for easy storage. Using Uho steps with Itazori sandals makes for an efficient, silent walk!
How to Hide:
Don’t try to escape by running! Your steps and breathing will be loud and you’ll get caught.
‘Diety of Mercy’ hiding is turning away from the enemy, covering your face , controlling your breathing and staying still. Many shinobi would chant a spell of “ongyo” or hiding in their mind as well.
Uzura-gakure or quail hiding is pulling in the arms and legs and crouching. The face is turned down with a serene mind as if you’re listening to snow fall on a peaceful winter night.
If you can’t crouch with your face down, cover your face with your sleeves. If the enemy is searching with a light, leave, unless you’re in a good hiding spot.
The Art of Silence
These are just a few ways that the Ninja practice moving without a sound. Many of these methods were used in “in-jutsu” or the art of stealing in without being seen. These methods have played a role in successfully infiltrating houses and castles to achieve a goal that would determine much of history.