After yesterday’s piece on the Japanese marathoner who runs with her arms held low and stiff by her sides, my wife dug into the topic a bit deeper to find out that her methods are called Ninja running. Following up on her claim, I found this interesting bit of Ninja expertise online.
Some of the people commenting on the article asked these questions:
Will a high school girl be impressed if I can master this skill?
It depends on what type of girl she is. If she’s interested in this kind of stuff, then yes, you might be able to impress her.
How will this benefit me in my life?
Running is beneficial to your health. Being able to run quietly could potentially save your life in a dangerous situation.
Then I found this video of a “free running Ninja” who frankly looks rather slow even when he is bouncing off walls for special effect. In fact he looks extra slow bouncing off the walls.
But the real deal on so-called Ninja running is documented on this blog
. It quotes the one of the women’s marathoners that has adopted the style.
Her form has been dubbed “ninja running.” Both arms held straight down with almost no movement. That idiosyncratic style carried Yuka Ando
, 23, to the fastest-ever marathon debut by a Japanese woman, 2:21:36, at March’s Nagoya Women’s Marathon to land at #4 on the all-time Japanese lists. All at once Ando found herself catapulted to the top level of women’s marathoning, a candidate for Japan’s next great marathoner.
When she was younger Ando ran moving her arms like other runners, but she had a bad habit of moving robotically, her upper body and lower body not working in sync. The turning point came in 2014 when she joined Suzuki Hamamatsu AC. Working there with coach Masayuki Satouchi to eliminate the faults in her form, the pair arrived at the ninja running style that let her run relaxed. “Other people keep asking me, “Isn’t it hard to run like that?” but for me it’s comfortable,” she said. The efficient form helped her maintain her stamina and run head to head with Rio Olympics silver medalist Eunice Kirwa(Bahrain) over the second half of the race.
So it’s the Real Deal. Anyone that can run a 2:21 marathon deserves respect no matter how they get from the start to the finish.
I will no longer raise the issue as to whether Ninja Running is strange or not. The Japanese have long been known for efficiency and economy on a number of fronts. It appears they have again surprised the world with a bit of ingenuity.
In some respects, we may be witnessing a Meta form of running. Reduced to its absolute basics, one wonders if someday runners will move across the ground like the creepy faux-bombshell in the movie Mars Attacks
Lookin’ good there sister! Can you do that cruise at 4:55 pace?
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