Is Yin Fa 隱法 a Martial Art? This bizarre question is so often asked. Here is the answer in three parts:-
1/ Is Yin Fa 隱法 a Martial Art?
Answer: Yes, Yin Fa 隱法 is a Martial Art! It is an art-of-war once used in historical warfare in ancient China. Martial means “relating to fighting or war” so it is a “martial art, or martial method, or martial system”. It requires a lot of continuous practice and in Chinese culture it is considered a “Martial Art”.
2/ In the Western mind it seems that running on roofs (example) is not considered a “martial art”.
Answer: On its own, running on roofs is not a martial art, but running roofs is part of Yin Fa. The fighting part, and the running roofs etc., are one thing – one unit that are inseparable – one Art.
3/ Westerners say that Yin Fa/Ninpo has no specific, individual fighting method, like the comparison of Jujutsu and Karate being different.
Answer: Yin Fa, is its own specific, individually recognized system of fighting. It is unique! It is unlike any other combat Art. The unique characteristic that makes up the Art is never shown in public. That is part of the “hide/hidden law” that is in its definition.
Note on Ninpo: It is our research opinion that Ninpo is a unique martial art in its own right, and that current Ninja research – mostly started with historical research of the Ninja – is missing this point for various reasons. If Ninpo researchers take another angle perhaps this point will reveal itself more clearly.