Black Belt

In Kage­maru's nin­ja school the body is seen as a weak and soft thing which re­quires con­stant pol­ish­ing un­til it reach­es its ul­ti­mate hard­ness. In the school there are many spe­cial­i­ties of mar­tial artists but all of them fo­cus on the very same con­cept of con­quer­ing the body's soft­ness:

* sumo wrestlers turn them­selves in­to huge un­break­able walls and the earth trem­bles when they step on it;
* war­riors pol­ish their mus­cles un­til their whole body is hard as rock and you'd break your fin­ger try­ing to poke their mus­cles;
* spies are quite the op­po­site of war­riors and wrestlers: they are tiny and you could poke them all you want, you could twist, stretch, fold, push, pull or do any­thing to their bod­ies and they'd take ab­solute­ly no dam­age from it.

Each way is very dif­fi­cult and the mas­ters care­ful­ly con­sid­er for every new pupil which of these di­rec­tions the boy should take. The phi­los­o­phy be­hind all of these ways is the same, con­quer­ing the body's soft­ness. But the ways of train­ing are fun­da­men­tal­ly dif­fer­ent.

How­ev­er, the black belt is equal­ly pos­si­ble to ob­tain at the end of all of these three roads. By mak­ing him­self the ide­al wrestler, war­rior or spy, the young man takes the an­nu­al tests un­til he's con­sid­ered wor­thy of wear­ing the black belt, the sign of the high­est rank for a stu­dent.

See al­so