The term Ninja in the dictionary is defined as 'A member of a class of 14Th-century Japanese mercenary agents who were trained in the martial arts and hired for covert operations such as assassination and sabotage.'
A lot of the recruitment for Ninjas was from the lower class of society, as to not draw much attention. Training to become a Ninja ahead of covert warfare started from childhood, much in the same way as a Samurai family. They were taught not only survival techniques but also physical trainings, from running, jumping, swimming and moving stealthy in order to accomplish their tasks. Several times in Hollywood it is a miss conception of not only what Ninjas do but also with how they work. Ninjas unlike Hollywood worked in packs in order to help with situations sucks as scaling walls, in which they would use one on top of the others shoulders. A lot of the time they did not wear the 'trademark' black outfit, but dressed up as several different people in society such as a priest to gain knowledge of the enemy. Here are several terms used for some of the activities they would preform:
Hitsuke - The practice of distracting guards by starting a fire away from the ninjas planned point of entry. Falls under "fire techniques" (katon-no-jutsu).
Tanuki-gakure - The practice of climbing a tree and camouflaging oneself within the foliage. Falls under "wood techniques" (mokuton-no-jutsu).
Ukigusa-gakure - The practice of throwing duckweed over water in order to conceal underwater movement. Falls under "water techniques" (suiton-no-jutsu).
Uzura-gakure - The practice of curling into a ball and remaining motionless in order to appear like a stone. Falls under "earth techniques" (doton-no-jutsu).
As a kid I was very interested in the Hollywood form of Ninjas. Men and women dressed in black sneaking around doing espionage work on their enemies. It always intrigued me. So when I was younger I would practice walking and jumping quietly, sneaking around and hiding unnoticed to the people around me. Of course they could have just been ignoring me.....but I guess we will really never know. Anyways, this past year I took a couple courses in Martial Arts, and I will admit it was pretty fantastic! Rolling, kicking, spinning. It was awesome. The only down fall however was that although I wanted to learn everything, it was in a class with 15 people and there for a lot harder to learn. So in time I will eventually take Martial Arts again in a one on one course and finally become the Ninja I always wanted to be. Muwhahaha.........
Oh and Katana Swords were very popular!