Known practitioners of Shiranui-ryuu Ninjutsu: Mai Shiranui, Andy Bogard and Hokutomaru

Shiranui-ryuu Ninjutsu (不知火流忍術, Shiranui-ryū ninjutsu) is a form of Japanese martial art created by SNK and used in its fictional gaming universe, most notably by Mai Shiranui. The Shiranui style of ninja arts has been featured in the King of Fighters and Fatal Fury series of fighting games.


Based on traditional Ninjutsu, the Shiranui-ryuu Ninjutsu is mostly featured in Mai Shiranui's fighting style. As traditional Ninjutsu, training in the Shiranui-ryuu school focuses on Ninja Jūhakkei, eighteen disciplines or aspects that represent the complete skillset a ninja is expected 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

As seen in the practitioners fighting styles, the Shiranui-ryuu Ninjutsu has a special focus on the skill of Taijutsu, Kenjutsu, Shurikenjutsu and Kayakujutsu. The Taijutsu discipline is evident in all three practitioners basic fighting styles, with special attention given to speed, elbow strikes and acrobatic kicks. Speed is, in fact, a crucial part of the Shiranui school - Andy remarks that the Shiranui style has such speed that he can cut through shadows. Kenjutsu is seen in Hokutomaru's moves with a wooden sword/stick. Shurikenjutsu is present in both Hokutomaru's and Mai's fighting styles, with the first specializing in throwing concealed shurikens and kunais, and the latter using the skill for her throwing fans. Kayakujutsu may be the explanation for the practitioners fire abilities, since all three have ways to employ fire in their moves. This is believed to be a spiritual power, probably achieved with training in the Seishinteki kyōyō discipline. Mai's ability to change clothes in one swift movement may come from training in the Shiranui style of Hensōjutsu, which may also be used for creating illusory quasi-real constructs as the babies she uses to taunt Andy in many of their special intros. Intonjutsu is also used extensively by both Mai and Hokutomaru. Mai can conceal an indefinite number of paper fans in her skin-revealing outfit making it look like there's absolutely nothing hidden on her. Hokutomaru also does this with his shuriken, kunai, and even with smoke bombs and dynamites.

It also important to note that female practitioners of the style tend to follow the Kunoichi way of wearing clothes that would distract their opponents by showing a considerable amount of skin, as is the case with Mai. The idea behind the Kunoichi way is also to make a man underestimate the ninja and go easy on her, while she could fight at her full power and defeat the opponent quickly. Tessenjutsu, the art of the Japanese war fan, may also be included as one of the learning disciplines, on which Mai chooses to specialize.

Known Practitioners

The following are the practitioners of Shiranui-ryuu Ninjutsu in SNK's gaming universe:

  • Hanzo Shiranui, Mai's grandfather and master of the style. Deceased;
  • Mai Shiranui, heiress of the style;
  • Andy Bogard, has been referred as master of the style;
    • Shadow Andy is apparently a (non-canon) product of Andy's Shiranui training. According to Shadow Andy, every Shiranui has a light and darker side, and for some, the dark side may manifest itself physically, thus creating a Shadow of the Shiranui master;
  • Hokutomaru, Andy's pupil.
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