Top 5 Most Popular Weapons for the Modern Day Ninja
Do you consider your martial arts IQ to be well above average? Do you take pride in knowing every martial arts weapon known to man? Well consider this a challenge good sir. All you have to do is write down the 5 weapons that you think will appear on our list of modern day ninja weapons, then read on to see if you're right.
No clicking ahead for the answers either! We'll know if you do... we're watching...
When one thinks of ninja weapons the images that typically come to mind are those of ancient swords and crude, heavy shuriken. Of course, advances in weaponry have allowed for the evolution of many ninja weapons. Many of the items on this list are very traditional pieces of weaponry with an updated make-over, while others are considered to be fairly new additions to the ninja tool-kit.
So without further ado, the winners are...
A ninja may ultimately represent the powers of stealth and cunning over brute force. However, when he has to handle some ninja business, the shadowy assassin will turn to nothing less than his trusty ninja sword. Earlier versions of the ninja sword would have been constructed of steel similar that that used in samurai weaponry (but with a straight blade design).
Some of the best modern day versions of the ninja sword are constructed from various steel alloys, with the finest blades typically coming from a solid carbon steel and Silicon mix. Advances in carbon steel heat treatment have also ensured that top-dollar ninja swords out today are about as good as it gets.
The blowgun is one of the quintessential long range ninja weapons. Silent, deadly, and sometimes poisoned. An exceptionally skilled ninja could lie in wait, under the cover of shadows, picking off multiple attackers from concealment before they even realized they were under attack. While the metal needles shot from the ninja's blowgun could be painful, they were typically only used as a delivery method for injecting targets with fast-acting poisons. Whether the poison actually incapacitated a weaker target or disoriented a tougher one, the ninja could ensure an edge in the close-quarters combat that quickly ensued.
Originally, a blowgun could be constructed from a thick reed or hollowed out bamboo shoot. This typically negated the need for real concealment as someone merely walking along with a piece of bamboo would most likely have been dismissed as harmless. Modern versions of the blowgun have been constructed from a variety of materials, including high-tech fiberglass polymers and ultra-lightweight aluminum alloys. That's not forgetting the darts themselves either. Nearly all of the darts available for today's blowguns are designed for super-accurate flight and maximum impact.
Just a quick glance at any one of a hundred anime shows featuring ninjas will depict at least one of them holding a kunai or some variation thereof. Shows like Naruto may have sky-rocketed the popularity of the kunai as a ninja weapon, it is, in fact, a fairly new ninja weapon. Of course the ninjas of old always had access to some variation of a short-ranged, bladed projectile. The most widely used of these were typically referred to as Bo shuriken and were most often crafted from metal spikes or nails originally purposed for construction.
Much like the modern ninja weaponry already discussed, the advances in these weapons come primarily in the form of the metal from which they are formed. Different types of alloys not available to ninjas centuries ago have allowed for lighter, aerodynamically shaped kunai for ninjas today.
The Manriki Gusari (also referred to as a Kusari-fundo) have been used by ninjas for years as lethal combination of a disarming/attacking weapon. Simple in concept, the manriki gusari is essentially a chain with weights on either end. This made for an ideal weapon for disarming attackers, as the chain could be easily thrown around a sword or arm while the weight helped ensure proper entanglement.
In a pinch, a resourceful ninja could even use the weighted end as a weapon itself, causing severe concussive damage to anybody it may have been swung at. Modern variations have seen strengthened metals, heavier weights, and even spiked or barbed versions of this ancient weapon.
The ninja star is without a doubt the most recognizable weapon of the ninja arsenal. No other weapon has been as widely depicted, glorified, or improved upon as this simple piece of sharpened metal. What originally began as shaped and sharpened metal washers centuries ago have now evolved into cruel implements of destruction with designs that range from brilliant to sadistic.
Today's ninja has never had so many options for projectile weapons as he does in modern ninja stars. The advent of laser cutting has allowed for even more creativity when it comes to ninja star design. Some are able to be sharpened to such a high degree, they are deadlier than an actual knife, while others are so intricately detailed they look like they would be more at home on a art gallery wall than from the belt of an assassin. From three-pointed to eight-pointed, curved, pronged, or all of the above, the modern ninja star has never been deadlier.
So there you have it. The top 5 most popular weapons for the modern day ninja in all their glory. Hopefully this has given you a slight peek at both the old and the new weaponry of everyone's favorite invisible warriors. While there are still many ninja weapons that you may not have even heard of, the list here spotlights those that have stood the test of time, remaining present in the public consciousness over the course of centuries. While much of the traditional weaponry has been refined and perfected, this list represents the culmination of old technology meeting new, creating a lethal combination that has helped shape the modern ninja into the deadliest version to date.
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