One of the problems with learning ninjutsu, whether you train in a dojo, or learn through online ninja training programs, is that it can be easy to get caught up in the so-called “classical approach.” This is where the ancient museum pieces become the focus of the training, rather than the application of the ancient principles and concepts for self defense in today’s modern world.
One of the Ninja’s weapons that tends to remain in this “classical” sense is the shadow warrior’s metsubishi (also pronounced: “metsubushi”). Known as “blinding powder” – the stuff that makes the “smoke screen” effect – the word actually means “sight-remover.”
This article offers 5 common items that you can use for modern self defense as substitutes for the Ninja’s so-called “blinding powder.” So, instead of carrying a concealed eggshell filled with an ancient mixture, the following are some very common, everyday things that can be used strategically to achieve the same results that the metsubishi was originally designed for. They include.
1) Beads. If your wearing a beaded bracelet, you could break it and allow the beads to slip off of the string and into your hand. Then the loose objects, including the string, can be thrown at your attacker when you’re ready to make your move.
It might be difficult to destroy your own jewelry, especially if it was expensive or holds a certain sentimental value. But, in a self defense situation, you have to decide, in the moment, if the object that could save your life, has the same value as your life itself.
2) Flashlight. While you could use a standard flashlight, I find that those tiny key chain lights make perfect little weapons for this tactic. Can you imagine what it feels like when a sudden bright light hits your attacker’s eyes after they have fully dilated to adjust for the darkness of night? Not only will you surprise them, but the trauma to the eyes, now forced to a pin-point, will blind the attacker for more than the several seconds it will take you to escape to safety or turn the tables on him!
3) Snow. Obviously a tactic reserved for a certain time of year, as well as for those of us who actually get snow. But, I wanted to add this to the list to make sure that you didn’t ignore the ground or such an obvious self defense aid just because the ground, dirt and grass that I discussed earlier was covered.
4) Aerosol Spray. This could be anything from cologne or perfume, to hair spray, and even insect repellent. In fact, one of the suggestions that I give students as a substitute for pepper spray is bug spray – specifically the type designed to spray wasp and hornet nests.
Using chemical irritants always creates a longer window of opportunity, but it also requires a greater awareness on your part as to both the wind direction, and the direction the nozzle is pointing. The last thing you need while trying to protect yourself from a crazed attacker – is to shoot yourself in the eyes with your own spray!
5) Your own hand. In our attempt to master the techniques, tactics, and strategies of self defense, we can overlook the simplest of things. Instead of merely punching or grabbing with your hands, you can use them at varying points in a self defense situation to cover your assailant’s eyes while you execute another damaging technique. The sudden blindness will draw his attention to your hand and allow you to effectively do whatever you want in that moment.
Contrary to popular belief, the idea of metsubishi, “sight-removing,” is not limited to the mixture with the same name. In fact, the physical powder is itself, just a reflection of the greater concept. Just as there are many ways to effect someone’s ability to see, so too, there are many objects and methods for making it happen.
The Ninja’s magic doesn’t lie in his weapons and “tricks.” The critical element in the Ninja’s art that makes it perfectly suited for modern self-defense is in it’s ability to allow you to adapt it to the time and location where you find yourself.