Kakashi Hatake, one of the most skilled Ninja in Konoha

Shinobi, (忍 English: Ninja) or Kunoichi (くノ一 Female), are individuals who are able to unlock their inner abilities using Chakra(チャクラ, chakura), the moulding of the physical energy (身体エネルギー, shintai enerugī) present in every cell of the body and the spiritual energy (精神エネルギー, seishin enerugī) gained from exercise and experience.

There are a number of techniques an individul ninja can do, (Called Jutsu 術; Literally meaning "skills/techniques") and each ninja has a different kind of power. However, all techniques are placed in these categories:

  • Ninjutsu (忍術; Literally meaning "Ninja Techniques"), is a term referring to almost any technique and allows the user to do something that they otherwise would be incapable of doing, including the usage of weapons.
  • 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. According to the Second Mizukage genjutsu fittingly falls under the broad category of Yin Release.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.