An-shu gives a from-the-heart explanation and interpretation of training in spiritual protection power projection for martial artists – the ninja’s legendary Kuji Kiri. Before going to explain Kuji-Kiri, let me give a short introduction of Hand Seals. Hand seals are symbols or signs made with hands to perform. Kuji-Kiri (九字切り lit. “nine symbolic cuts”) is a practice of using hand gestures found today in Shugendō and Shingon Mikkyō. It is also present in some old and .

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The nine hand gestures or cuts correspond with mantras that serve to evoke energy change and in some cases, inspire enlightenment. As is the story of many martial arts origins, the nine hand seal techniques find their origin in ancient Hindu teachings. This was a way that groups of the lower casts brought intrinsic worth of the spirit into the physical realm. The Hindu mudra were later adopted by Buddhist practices and increased in popularity.

Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu: Shinobi Hand Seals: Kuji Kiri (Part 1)

The gestures remained mostly unchanged, but mantras were added to stimulate personal growth and empowerment. The Buddhist movement spread through China and later to Japan circa A.

After Japanese translation of the mantras, Reikiand the kuji-in became resources for those looking to grow the areas of philosophy kjji practiced.

There are known to be 81 different ways of interlocking the fingers to create kuji. There is heavy debate over whether the practice of kuji kiri is safe, or too great a risk that the doors it opens may serve as a gateway for evil spirits. The concept of enlightenment, on the other hand, is an integral part of the art.

Born of the insight attained from repeated exposure to the very brink between life and death, the benevolent heart of Ninpo is the key to finding harmony and understanding in the realms of the spiritual and natural material worlds. Some, but not all of those who practice kuji kiri acknowledge chakras and their corresponding endocrine glands with each kuji. Chakra are a traditional Hindu belief in a system of points on kuui subtle body. Some believe that the physical manifestation of the chakra is found in the endocrine system.

There are seven main chakras. Qigong is a similar system based on energy centers called dantian. Both of these systems along with intentional visualization are methods of deepening meditation. This first kuji is typically preformed before any of the others can be effective. It is meant to channel power throughout the body and is associated with mental focus and energy generation.


Historically, this would be in preparation for battle or training. The visualization for this kuji is fire or raw energy. There are a number of variations on the mantra for each of the hand seals, but they are all very similar in concept.

This area is located two inches below the naval and is regarded as a reservoir for vital energy. Mediation and connection to the universe are an important part of the Shinobi spirit. The visualization is of a bright light building in the solar plexus and observation of its color changes. The SHA allows that harnessed energy to be summoned for healing of self and others.

This hand seal is closely associated with ki, which is said to be the energy force or center of the body as well as the heart chakra. This fourth chakra is considered the dividing point between lower and higher spiritual realms. The visualization is a bright light radiating from the chest. The KAI kuji enhances sensory awareness of their surroundings including the emotional state of others and premonitions of danger. The visualization point is the throat.

Awareness may appear similar to the concept of intuition, but delves much deeper to a level which can even seem intrusive, allowing the practitioner to hear the thoughts of others while shielding their thoughts from others.

This high-level kuji requires delicate care.

It is recommended that if you do not judge what you perceive from others, you will be capable of perceiving with more clarity. The sixth chakra is associated with the pineal gland and it is said the route by which the soul meets the Holy Spirit. The visualization point is the center of the head directly behind the eyes. The implications of this kuji are profound in theory, allowing the practitioner control over time and space by opening the mind to the perception of different flows of energy.

The concept is that all matter consists of energy waves that are being constantly re-created. Visualizing this re-creation changes perception of time. This is a technique, which amongst other areas, could prove crucial in a mission or battle. The corresponding gland is the pituitary gland, which is said to act as a third eye. The visualization point is the crown of the head.


Though the TOH kuji connects the practitioner to nature in a meditative and harmonious way, the ZAI allows a level of elemental control. This can mean control of natural elements such as the sky, river, trees and even animals to assist the practitioner in their intention.

There is no corresponding gland or chakra for the ZAI kuji. The visualization is a large stream of light radiating from the lower chakras and extending upward.

The ZEN kuji offers a skill often credited to the art of Ninjutsu by mainstream stereotypes. The ZEN focal point is the expansion of the heavens and the visualization is that of an infinite vast light filing a void with oneself as a part of it. With each of the stages of enlightenment that come from the nine syllables comes a new set of inner confrontations, which must be addressed and controlled before moving to the next level.

As a shinobi, whether or not you choose to practice the kuji kiri, it is recommended that you constantly revisit your intentions.

Not only with each kuji, but with your inner progression in the spirit of the art and life. In the same vein, training must also happen in nature and practice must not be limited by the opening hours of the dojo. Do we stop to live when we are outside the dojo? I always proceed to the light. The light is truth, and our eternal guide.

I hope this helps and please let me know if you have further questions. Your email address will not be published. This kuui uses Akismet to reduce spam.

The Mystery of Kuji Kiri Revealed

Learn how your comment data is processed. Authentic Ninjutsu Zenformation for the Modern Shinobi. Kiti Account Logout Wishlist. History of the Nine Syllables Simple hand mudra used in meditation. The Heart of Kuji Kiri: The Yoga of Ninjutsu. September 26, at 7: Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.

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