Jutsu (術; Literally meaning "skills/techniques") are the mystical arts a ninja will utilise in battle. To use a technique, the ninja will need to use their chakra. To perform a technique, the ninja will bring out and release the two energies of chakra. By forming hand seals, the ninja is able to manifest the desired technique. Because of the extensive number of hand seals and different combinations, there are thousands of potential techniques to be discovered.
There are three basic types of techniques: ninjutsu, genjutsu and taijutsu. Subcategories exist, including fūinjutsu, juinjutsu and senjutsu. There are also kekkei genkai abilities which aren't techniques, but inherited abilities passed down through certain clans. Kekkei genkai can also be attributed to certain parts of the body, such as dōjutsu.
Without proper control of their chakra, a ninja will produce ineffective or weakened technique which will lead to them running out of chakra early in a fight. To manipulate their chakra more easily, hand seals can be used. With these hand seals, users can control their chakra and technique with higher efficiency. Different techniques require different hand seals.
Depending on the difficulty or skill necessary to perform a technique, they are ranked differently. There are six different ranks in techniques:
- E-rank - Learned by Academy students. Are the basic and most fundamental techniques for all ninja.
- D-rank - Genin-level techniques. Can be achieved by all genin, though many ninja only learn their "type" of technique.
- C-rank - Chūnin-level techniques. Sometimes learned by genin who have trained extensively.
- B-rank - Jōnin-level techniques. Require high levels of chakra to use.
- A-rank - Kage or jōnin-level techniques. Require great control over one's chakra and may be forbidden.
- S-rank - Secret, extreme level techniques. Are typically unique to a single user.
Main Jutsu Types
Ninjutsu (忍術; Literally meaning "Ninja Techniques"), is a vague term referring to almost any technique and allows the user to do something that they otherwise would be incapable of doing. The use of weapons by a shinobi in battle also falls under this category. Unlike genjutsu, which makes the opponent see illusions, the effects of ninjutsu are real. They vary greatly in purpose, with the simpler ninjutsu serving such tasks as transforming the user or allowing them to evade attacks. These techniques are often second-nature for experienced shinobi, who can use them at will. More complex ninjutsu manipulate one's surroundings or utilise the elements, respectively serving such tasks as healing others or manipulating nature transformations.
Ninjutsu, most of the time, relies on chakra and hand seals to be effective. The hands are put in sequential positions that moulds and manipulates chakra in the necessary manner to perform a technique. This is not always needed, however, and some techniques become second nature to experienced ninja, after which they can perform them at will. Additionally, many ninjutsu can be classified as an elemental techniques, in those cases where a specific element (wind, water, fire, earth, or lightning) is used.
Genjutsu (幻術; Literally meaning "Illusionary Techniques") are techniques that are employed in the same fashion as ninjutsu, requiring chakra and hand seals. However, the primary difference between the two is that the effects of genjutsu are illusory; instead of attacking the victim's body, like taijutsu or ninjutsu, genjutsu techniques manipulate the flow of chakra in the victim's brain, thus causing a disruption in their senses.
This is often used to create false images or to cause pain from trauma (because the body is led to believe it is in pain); however, there are plenty of other uses depending on the situation.
Taijutsu (体術; Literally meaning "Body Techniques") is a basic form of techniques and refers to any techniques involving the martial arts or the optimisation of natural human abilities. Taijutsu is executed by directly accessing the user's physical and mental energies, relying on the stamina and strength gained through training. It typically does not require chakra, though chakra may be used to enhance its techniques. Taijutsu generally require no hand seals to perform, occasionally making use of certain stances or poses, and are much quicker to use than ninjutsu or genjutsu. Taijutsu is simply put: hand-to-hand combat.