The contemporary ninja.

I’ve done a few posts in the past on ninjas and ninja weapons, so if you’ve spent any time on this blog, you’ll know that ninjas are a favorite topic of mine. I found an interesting weapon which raises a thorny philosophical question about ninjas, but I’ll save my little diatribe until after you’ve seen the weapon that inspired it:

The Shinobi Blade Runner

Shinobi Blade Runner
[view full size]

This, my dear friends, is a (supposedly) modern ninja sword. And it certainly looks the part. It’s got a really cool futuristic looking perforated black cylindrical grip, with a polished pommel. The scabbard also features a cylindrical design, with matching perforations at it’s bottom end.

The guard is equally modern looking, featuring two semicircular sectors with, you guessed it, perforations, and and two cutouts directly opposite each other to accommodate a cool little sub sheath attached to the scabbard, that hides yet another small blade.

Shinobi Blade Runner

The blade, well, it’s pretty par for the course as ninja blades go, featuring the standard single edged straight blade with a sharply angled chisel point style tip. Nothing to phone home about. It’s all been pretty well done though, and it’s name, Shinobi Blade Runner, conjures up images of a futuristic ninja, stalking the streets of the future with this trusty Shinobigatana on his back…

And it is exactly at that point when the obsessive compulsive nerd in my head politely, but really annoyingly, decides to interject: “I have a question!” he wheezes, raising his hand with a smug grin, “Why would a modern ninja even use a sword?” Dagnabbit! Good question. That annoying little geek has a point. Because, you see, unlike a Samurai, a ninja is not duty or honor bound to use his sword.

The ninja viewed his weapons, including his sword, as tools. Nothing more, nothing less. In fact, a ninja used whatever tools were available to get the job done. Roofing tiles, washers nails, sticks, garden trowels, whatever. Now back in feudal Japan, a sword was a very useful tool indeed. However, if there was a better one, they would have used it. Well guess what! There are. They’re called combat knives and firearms. *Gasp!* No!

Yes. Or, even closer to traditional ninja form, silenced firearms. You see, a sword is an almost pointless tool today, because it’s too large, ungainly, and conspicuous. And standing out is generally anathema to a good ninjas modus operandi. Today, they would use one or two smaller, more easily concealable combat knives, and a few, easily concealed, silenced hand guns. No need for a sword whatsoever.

Hence the annoying little voice in my head. Yes, this weapon is cool. It just that the idea of such a weapon makes no sense. And the little dweeb in my head knew that full well, long before he even raised his scrawny little hand. I would insert a ninja in there to shut him up, but he’d probably have to kill the stupid little dork.

Maybe if I armed the ninja with a taser… 😀

Shinobi Blade Runner – [Red Dragon Sword Co.]


15 Responses to “The contemporary ninja.”

  1. 1 ladyofspiders
    December 5, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    That is a good point, and it is something of a debate of sorts between my frined and me, as he turly is something like a mondern day ninja, he is a master at martial arts and teaches is own form of fighting which has been offically certified and so he includes guns in his combatic training.

    But I myself am a traditonlist, give me a sword, axe, mace, club, bow, crowwbow, dagger, etc… anyday, but I won’t touch a firearm.

  2. December 6, 2007 at 2:50 am

    Well, I’d have to side with your martial artist friend on this one. I too am a fan of, and enjoy playing with, classic martial arts weaponry (this blog should be evidence enough LOL). However from a practical perspective, they just aren’t useful in day to day life, as they tend to be large and cumbersome, and you generally can’t carry one on the street.

    In fact I think that any modern martial art that is intended to be used for real life defensive or offensive purposes ought to have firearms training. Of course, I may be biased, because firearms are another one of my hobbies… 🙂 On the street, or in combat, you are unlikely to have a pair of sai on you.

    Folding/fixed-blade short knives or handguns, on the other hand, are commonplace, easy to conceal and carry, and do not require large amounts of training to use. They would be perfect for a ninja. In fact, the character Agent47, from the new movie “Hitman”, carried exactly the kind of weaponry I might expect from a ninja. A pair of silenced handguns and two short swords. The swords were more ornate and flashy than I’d consider practical, but the idea was sound.

    I am curious though, is there any particular reason you won’t touch a firearm?

  3. 3 ladyofspiders
    December 6, 2007 at 2:43 pm

    There are a few reasons, though they are probably not logical ones, I have not been known to be very logical in general.

    For one just becasue of my love affair with the past, and my natiral inclination to turn away from mondern things. I love bladed weapons and anything that is remisensent of the ye old days. I am far more attracited to the appearnce of swords, knives and daggers then I am to guns becasue guns are more of a technological weapon. And I find men who can use a sword far more sexy then one that can shoot a gun.

    Which sort of goes into my other reason why I would rather not touch a firearm, to me there is no real skill are artform in using a gun, anyone can learn how to squeez a trigger, but there is real skill and art in swordplay.

    And the last reason is that I have had a long time tendency to associatie guns with killing animals, in my mind the kind of people that have guns are primaiarly sport hunters and people that shoot living things just for the fun of it. And I do not want part of a weapon with that sort of assocaition nor do I want to be a part of that class of people in anyway.

  4. December 7, 2007 at 12:42 am

    Aaaah. You’re a romantic. 🙂 In that sense, most of the reasons you provided make perfect sense. Except for your last reason, which I would flag as your only truly “illogical” one.

    People use guns to hunt for food as well as for sport. And people also go bow/crossbow hunting for sport. Any weapon can be used to kill animals, so that doesn’t seem to me to be a particularly good reason to dislike a specific weapon.

    My thing is that I personally do not see the “sport” in hunting animals that are dumber than we are, regardless of the weapon used. That’s why I choose to shoot up real people in online games. That’s “sport”. 🙂

    But I can’t argue with the practical logic of using the best weapon available to hunt for food. However as a romantic, you’re allowed to be a little illogical. Just So long as you don’t get between anyone and their guns… LOL 😀

  5. 5 ladyofspiders
    December 7, 2007 at 1:37 am

    Well I would have to aruge against the idea that all other animals are dumber then us, I do not find it so, but that proabably stems from my spiritual beleifs, but I have just always associated guns with the NRA and most of them are just people that shoot things to mount heads on thier wall.

    The people I know that hunt with bow and arrow tend to do so more for food then just for sport and fun, though that is not to say there are not people that do sport hunt with such weapons.

  6. December 8, 2007 at 3:29 am

    You do have a point, perhaps I was being a bit too broad. It was not my intention to argue that all animals are generally dumber than humans. Indeed, humans tend to act in much more irrational ways than other animals do, and I generally love animals more than humans, so even though I do not have a religious belief that compels me to be that way, I am usually biased in favor of animals on most topics.

    It has also been proven that animals are actually quite intelligent, though in a different way than humans. In some ways they are more intelligent, and less in others. So one cannot really make an objective comparison of human/animal intelligence, as our cognitive abilities are focused on different things. At least, that’s my decidedly non-religious viewpoint about that.

    My argument was really that I think it is unsporting to hunt creatures that you have a distinct advantage over. Bringing a gun to a knife fight is, to me, just as unsporting as hunting a tiger with a rifle. It’s just as bad as picking on someone weaker than you, of either the human or other animal variety. There is no challenge, and therefore no sport there. Competing with someone on even or even better footing than you, now that’s what I call sport. 🙂

  7. 7 ladyofspiders
    December 8, 2007 at 10:46 am

    Yes I would have to rather agree with all your points you made here.

  8. December 12, 2007 at 12:52 am

    “there is no real skill are artform in using a gun”
    Watch the movie ‘Equillibrium’ – Gun Kata Damn cool!
    I agree on many points. I’m not a gun person but while I do understand the skill needed to put a bullet in a bullseye, I also hate the fact that a totaly unskilled unintelligent person can take a life with the twitch of a finger. That’s what I like about hand weapons, you have to earn it. It takes skill to properly use a weapon and if the same unskilled unitelligent person picks us a bladed weapon they have a really good chance of just hurting themselves. 🙂
    I also agree on the hunting, no contest. Now….the guys that go hunt wild boar armed only with a big ass knife…now THAT’S hunting. When you have a equal chance of having dinner or being dinner.

  9. December 12, 2007 at 4:30 pm

    LOL You had to bring up ‘Equilibrium’? Grammaton Clerics have a lot more going for them than just excellent marksmanship! 🙂 That’s like citing Jackie Chans ‘Zui Quan’ as an example of expert “Drunken Master” Gung-Fu. LOL Looks good in the movies, just doesn’t work the same in real life… 😛

  10. December 12, 2007 at 5:12 pm

    I agree, but gun kata was made for movies. As far as I know there is no real life system as such, but someone could design one and like most arts it would have it’s strengths and weakness issues.
    I do love those automatic up the sleeve guns and clip reloaders!

  11. December 13, 2007 at 8:49 pm

    Well, I’m a serious skeptic on the idea of a realistic gun kata, just based on what I know about how Katas developed. You need to focus on completely different things with a projectile weapon, than with your fists, or with a non projectile weapon.

    But I will say that, barring Lara Crofts magazine of magazines, the sleeve mounted clip reloaders were some of the coolest handgun accessories known to man…

    And if we really wanted to go to the next level, we could start talking of the insane, flatspace based weapon/ammo storage system in Ultraviolet… 😛

  12. 12 cole
    February 6, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    that is an awsome blade how much would it be

  13. February 7, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Hey Cole, I’ve seen this for around $50-$60…

  14. 14 Pef
    February 15, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    sport , i think they still call it sport when they stab bulls with swords and javelins …
    though i think they could get even greater fun using a grenade launcher , or a jeep(van)-mounted chaingun , the crowd will love it.

    However , back on the ninjas … a modern one would use DNA targeted viruses and directional radioisotopes when they would need to mask the nature of death … or if not , better stand off weapons … a sniper rifle or remote detonation device … going in close to modern security details , metal detectors and video/infrared cameras would make combat knives and small arms make one shine in the dark … even if dressed in black.

    Still , if one would feel the need to carry defensive weapons in such environment one would probably use ceramic/glass knives and firearms .

  15. June 22, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    can you buy the ninja tool kit the realms of the dark blade

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