Kisaragi-ryuu Ninjutsu (如月流忍術, Kisaragi-ryū ninjutsu) is an ancient fighting style developed by the Kisaragi clan of ninjas. Kisaragi-ryuu Ninjutsu is a deadly technique, mainly focused on assassination from the darkness. It has been portrayed on The Last Blade, Art of Fighting and The King of Fighters series. Its most distinct practitioners are Zantetsu, and his probable descendant, Eiji Kisaragi.
The Kisaragi style of ninja arts is an old tradition among the Kisaragi clan. Focused on deadly, silent killing, the style - and Ninjutsu itself - has declined by the time of The Last Blade. Zantetsu, the heir of the Mantis Blades (Kage and Nagare, two tantō knives handed to the master of the style) at the time, decided to show the might of the ninja against all the powerful warriors he could find, with the intent of showing the world that ninjas have not died. He has faced many strong opponents and has honored the name of the ninja and of the Kisaragi during the Hell's Gate crisis. In the end, Zantetsu perished due to the years of fighting he's had, leaving the Mantis Blades to his grandson, Sanji, who continued his legacy.
By the time of Art of Fighting 2, the Kisaragi style was represented by Eiji Kisaragi, who holds the Kage and Nagare, but chooses to use them sparingly. The Kisaragi clan, especially Eiji, has harbored a grudge against Kyokugenryu Karate, due to the fact that this is the only style the clan of ninjas has not yet been able to best. Eiji searches for the heir of Kyokugen, Ryo Sakazaki, in order to prove the might of his clan.
As a offshoot of ninjutsu, it is expected that the Kisaragi-ryuu follows the tradition of Ninja Jūhakkei, eighteen disciplines or aspects that represent the complete skillset a ninja is espected to have. The eighteen disciplines are:
- Seishinteki kyōyō – spiritual refinement
- Taijutsu – unarmed combat
- Kenjutsu – sword techniques
- Bōjutsu – stick and staff techniques
- Sōjutsu – spear techniques
- Naginatajutsu – naginata techniques
- Kusarigamajutsu – kusarigama techniques
- Shurikenjutsu – throwing weapons techniques
- Kayakujutsu – pyrotechnics
- Hensōjutsu – disguise and impersonation
- Shinobi-iri – stealth and entering methods
- Bajutsu – horsemanship
- Sui-ren – water training
- Bōryaku – tactics
- Chōhō – espionage
- Intonjutsu – escaping and concealment
- Tenmon – meteorology
- Chi-mon – geography
Seishinteki kyōyō is the area of study which enables the Kisaragi ninja to delve into chi channeling. It is from this discipline that stems the Kisaragi's supernatural abilities. Taijutsu is present in both Zentetsu's and Eiji's fighting styles, with Eiji giving special focus to the discipline. Shurikenjutsu is present in Zantetsu's fighting style, evident by his move where he throws several kunai at the opponent's feet. As a clan of assassins, it is expected heavy focus of the Kisaragis on the disciplines of Hensōjutsu, Shinobi-iri, Chōhō and Intonjutsu. Intonjutsu and Shinobi-iri can be seen in Zantetsu's fighting style, when he demonstrate his ability to turn nigh-invisible or to blend with the shadows. Eiji has also been able to demonstrate such an ability. The style also focuses on the discipline of Tantojutsu, which is the martial art of fighting with knives, used by the Kisaragi to fight with the Kage and Nagare.
Zantetsu and Eiji share several moves, passed down from generation to generation. The Kikou Hou is a thrust of the hand engulfed with chi energy that can push the opponent back. The Kasumigiri is a downward cut using slashing chi energy which can be done with the Mantis Blades or barehanded. It has the potential to negate projectile attacks. The Tenma Kyaku is powerful kicking attack, which is done from the air. The Ninja jumps and proceeds to hit the opponent with a blinding barrage of kicks. The style's most powerful technique is the Yami Gari, an attack where the ninja grabs the opponent and summons supernatural darkness, the ninja then proceeds to slash at the enemy from seemingly all directions, ending the move with one vertical slash that dispels the darkness. Both practitioners of the discipline are also adept at translocation, that is, the ability to rush to another location at high speeds and in a semi-intangible state.
The following are the practitioners of Kisaragi-ryuu Ninjutsu in SNK's gaming universe:
It is possible that Jin Fu-Ha has been taught the style by Eiji, but since his master's betrayal, has decided not to use it. He has gone to create his own, unorthodox style of Ninjutsu.