Extreme Shadow Clone Training

Falling Shadow Clones

What if Kakashi invented the shadow clone training method earlier?

Kakashi accepted that Jiraiya would take over Naruto’s training to prepare him against Akatsuki, but his own failure to convince Sasuke to give up revenge and his subsequent defection inspired him try and help Naruto in a meaningful way before he left on his journey. He wanted to ensure that Naruto would be able to contend with Sasuke under Orochimaru’s unethical tutelage and any of the S-rank ninja hunting him, as impossible as that sounded.

And thinking about how Naruto was the youngest ninja to have ever learned the Shadow Clone Technique, he had an idea.

The idea that the experience of a shadow clone practising a skill or technique could be the equivalent of Naruto performing the training himself when said experience is deposited into his memory bank.

If Kakashi’s theory was correct, training with one shadow clone would allow Naruto to gain twice the experience for whatever he was learning. The more shadow clones he trained with then the more experience he would gain in the same amount of time.

When Kakashi brought the idea to Jiraiya, they decided to test it with Naruto’s worst skill, the Clone Technique.

Like in the graduation exam, Naruto tried to create three clones but only managed to create one, albeit one far more stable and life-like than any of his previous attempts. It had improved due to his advances in chakra control, but he had not practiced the ninjutsu at all since he had become a ninja.

With that attempt as the baseline, Naruto’s test was to create 168 shadow clones to practice the Clone Technique for an hour, amounting to exactly seven days’ worth of non-stop training. Naruto dispelled them after the assigned hour and when he next performed the Clone Technique, he created three functional copies without having done any of the training himself.

Most ninja who learned the jounin-level technique would be a lot older and more developed in skill than Naruto, would struggle to use it for training for a worthwhile amount of time, and would take longer to recover their stamina afterwards.

Only Naruto had the perfect combination of his young age, massive chakra levels, and enhanced recovery speed to make this the ideal training tool.

Jiraiya saw a lot of potential in Naruto; he had accomplished great things in his first year as a genin, had more chakra than anyone his age should, and had learned the Rasengan in a truly ingenious way. But he had seen for himself that Naruto was not talented in the ninja arts, not particularly intelligent, and had unstable chakra control. Realistically, he knew that he would not be able to train him to contend with S-rank ninja with only three years of traditional training.

While he had planned to work on Naruto’s foundation and build him up from there – something he had not had the chance to do before now – his focus was to make Naruto as powerful a jinchuuriki as possible. The Nine-Tails’ chakra was the best way to ensure that Naruto would be capable of surviving Akatsuki, so learning how to tap into as much as possible and controlling had been his plan for the next three years.

But now he learned that Naruto could potentially condense decades of training into years. Regardless of talent, he could attain a level of skill that should be impossible for his age.

And that changed everything.

Naruto On Water

Mastering Chakra Control

The first thing that Jiraiya had Naruto focus on was conquering his greatest weakness: chakra control. He created more chakra than he needed and then applied far less than required for his ninjutsu, causing him to vastly underperform while wasting his stamina.

Jiraiya had originally argued that Naruto did not need to worry about chakra control since he had huge chakra levels and the Nine-Tails’ as well. Under normal circumstances, Naruto likely never would have achieved anything more than just average-level chakra control due to constant disruption of the Nine-Tails’ chakra – which would have been enough considering his stamina – but now he had the opportunity to overcome that.

Now, Jiraiya trained Naruto on every aspect of chakra control:

  • Using a 50:50 ratio of physical energy and spiritual energy consistently to create stable and balanced chakra
  • Swirling his energies in its natural direction to improve his chakra conversion
  • The speed with which he can convert stamina into chakra
  • The total amount of chakra he can create at once
  • Creating exactly as much chakra he needs for his given task

Naruto’s shadow clones could practice chakra control through meditation – though this was hardly his preference – meant to improve one’s mental energy, and through the standard exercises taken to extremes:

The leaf sticking exercise with leaves planted on different parts of the body; standard position like their heads and hands but increase the difficulty with more awkward locations like on their back, elbows, knees etc. Then increasing the number of leaves so they need to direct chakra to different areas simultaneously to keep them attached. And finally swithing leaves out for heavier objects like pebbles to adjust to the different weight and shape.

The tree climbing exercise by running up and down them at different speeds, running around the tree trucks horizontally, or moving upside-down on the branches. Then using it on different surfaces and larger structures like a cliff wall, some rugged and at an angle while others were worn smooth and completely straight.

And the water walking exercises by running and walking over the water’s surface, adjusting to still water and high-speed rivers, switching from standing on their feet to standing on their hands and back again, and carrying heavy objects to make it harder to balance on the water’s surface.

They fine-tune their skill with chakra enhancement by applying to chakra to different parts of the body as quickly as possible, increasing and decreasing the amount to affect the results. And by using shadow clones, Naruto could avoid hurting himself as they would just self-destruct if they push the skill too far, allowing him to train the skill to a frankly reckless degree.

While he would always struggle to perfect his chakra control, he could potentially achieve a level on par with medical ninja or genjutsu specialists without needing a lifetime to do it. And that chakra control, in turn, laid out the foundation for everything else he could learn.

Two-Handed Rasengan

Mastering Rasengan

As much as Jiraiya believed that using a shadow clone to help create a Rasengan was ingenious – especially when he came up with it in the middle of battle and nearly killed Kabuto – he needed Naruto to understand that this was ultimately a handicap he should overcome to use the Rasengan to its full potential.

A simple demonstration of being able to create and hit Naruto with a low-powered Rasengan before Naruto could create a shadow clone to complete his own proved his point. Jiraiya wanted Naruto to use the Rasengan with the same ease as the Fourth Hokage himself.

Fortunately, Naruto’s advances in chakra control made this task a lot less daunting than it had been when he initially tried to learn it and had his shadow clones to aid him.

They each practiced with a water balloon to spin their chakra wildly in all directions until they could burst it with one hand, followed by increasing the force of their chakra to do the same with the rubber ball. With the two stages remastered from scratch, Naruto could finally bring them together to compress and rotate his chakra in a stable sphere without any helping hands, finally learning the Rasengan as intended.

As Naruto’s greatest offensive option, Jiraiya didn’t allow him to be satisfied with that either.

Once Naruto could create the Rasengan one-handed, he moved onto improving how well he could use it: creating it in his non-dominant hand, increasing the speed and directions of the chakra’s rotation, increasing and decreasing the amount of chakra used, changing its size to make it smaller or larger, and even learning to create one in both hands simultaneously. As his only offensive ninjutsu, it paid to ensure he could use it in any situation in an instant.

Naruto Hand-Seals

Mastering Chakra Natures

Nature transformation is one of the most time-consuming skills for a ninja to learn. The first stage of mastery takes most ninja at least half a year and the second stage normally three times that long. The fact that it can take a couple of years to master even one nature transformation is why many ninjas only bother to learn it for their own affinity, and even jounin will rarely learn more than three in their lifetime.

Jiraiya had not planned to teach Naruto any nature transformation to better focus his efforts, but this was also circumvented by the shadow clone training method. Now Naruto could realistically master all five of the standard chakra natures long before he returned to Konoha.

It was best to learn the nature transformations one at a time rather than trying to learn them all simultaneously due to the focus required. Naruto discovered that his affinity was wind, so he learned in the order: wind, water, earth, lightning, and fire.

Each chakra nature has the same first level of training where they try to affect a leaf by making it split in two with wind, soak it with water, crumble it away with earth, wrinkle it with lightning and burn it with lightning. The second level is more varied with splitting a waterfall with wind, filling a pool with water, breaking a boulder with earth, creating a ball with lightning, and burning a tree with fire.

Mastering nature transformation is required for learning more advanced elemental ninjutsu as higher levels of difficulty need the conscious creation and manipulation of nature transformed chakra rather than just relying on hand-seals. By mastering all five types, Naruto could theoretically learn any elemental ninjutsu and even create his own.

Just as he used shadow clones to learn nature transformation itself, he could use them to learn the individual ninjutsu of each chakra nature as well. As long as he was taught the hand-seal sequence and effect of the ninjutsu, each of his shadow clones could practice them repeatedly until they succeeded. The more they practiced the ninjutsu then the more powerful they could make it, the faster they could use it and the fewer hand-seals they needed to pull it off.

With this potential to learn a truly staggering number of techniques, Jiraiya could almost see the image of his own sensei in Naruto.

Shadow Clone Jutsu

Mastering Shadow Clones

An unintended side-effect of constantly training with shadow clones was the fact that Naruto trained the Shadow Clone Technique at the same time. Each day he would create and maintain hundreds of them for several hours which soon totalled up to more time he had ever spent with the ninjutsu active in the entire year previous.

That is not to say that he did not train the Shadow Clone Technique with this method as well.

One exercise Jiraiya came up with was the idea of multiplying the number of times he creates a shadow clone. Naruto creates a single shadow clone, they each create a shadow clone to have four of them in total, then all four of them create a shadow clone and then this is repeated until they hit their limit. Once dispelled, Naruto had the experience of performing the ninjutsu hundreds of times over and steadily refines his ability to use them to perfection.

Naruto becomes able to create larger numbers of shadow clones even faster as he increases how quickly he can generate enough chakra to perform the ninjutsu.

His familiarity with the chakra manipulation allowed him to switch from using the cross-shaped hand-seal to using one hand to even discarding hand-seals altogether (depending on the number of shadow clones at least). They became able to withstand greater level of damage, he could keep more of them active for longer periods when performing difficult training exercises, could create more of them at one, and achieved a greater awareness of where they are located and what they are doing at any given moment.

It was not an exaggeration that no-one could or would ever master the Shadow Clone Technique to the same degree as Uzumaki Naruto.

Naruto Versus Jiraiya

Limits of Training

For all of this training method’s many advantages, it was not ideal for every type of training and did have its restrictions.

1. Mental backlash

Normally, the information that the shadow clone gives back to Naruto when they dispel seamlessly becomes part of his memory. But the more shadow clones he creates, the longer their existence is maintained and the more intensive their training is then the more information is sent back to Naruto.

This is especially true when the memories of the shadow clones do not resemble each other. When they all practice the same type of skill or technique, if not the exact same one, then the easier it is to understand and assimilate their combined experience but the hours of mental fatigure could potentially knock Naruto unconscious if he wasn’t prepared for it.

That stress is magnified several times over if his shadow clones train in learn several different types of skills at once due to the sheer volume of conflicting memories, the resulting backlash being severe enough that Jiraiya outright forbade Naruto from ever doing it again.

2. Training length

Ordinary ninja would not be able to use shadow clone training is because the chakra cost for creating and maintaining a shadow clone on top of the stamina they would use up for their training. If a ninja could normally trained for six hours alone then found that they could only train for two hours with a shadow clone, then they would actually have achieved less experience in total.

Naruto’s chakra levels are such that he would never truly have to worry about. But if he created his upper limit of a thousand shadow clones to train with, he would be caught in the same situation where he may gain less overall experience than if he had chosen to use only a few hundred of them instead. And the more shadow clones created then the more difficult it becomes to maintain them, especially with how much concentration is requires for training, and that is also fed back to Naruto himself when the ninjutsu ends.

While Naruto can recover from exhaustion more easily than most, using too many for too long could physically and mentally strain him to the point that he cannot train the following day or longer. While not a deal breaker, training too hard was more inefficient than anything.

3. Physical training

Finally, this training method did not have any effect on Naruto’s physical fitness.

Strength, speed, agility, flexibility, balance, coordination, and endurance. None of these could be improved by shadow clones as their feedback has no physical impact on Naruto, for the same reason that he does not receive any damage from their injuries when they dispel. Making his shadow clones exercise would simply be a waste of chakra.

Which meant that, under Jiraiya’s guidance, Naruto himself had to exercise and condition his own body separately.

That said, most ninja need to divide their time between training their skills and training their body but Naruto can do both at the same time. While his shadow clones work on learn and improving his ninjutsu, Naruto himself can focus entirely on improving his physical capabilities.

Naruto's Eyes

The Naruto that returned to Konoha was far different from the one that had left.

While training alone would not be enough to guarantee victory against S-rank shinobi, the gap between Naruto and Akatsuki had been closed to a degree that no-one could have predicted.

Medical Ninjutsu

Medical Ninjutsu

Medical ninjutsu is a style which uses chakra to repair any harm to the body by guiding, accelerating and enhancing the body’s natural healing processes to restore their physical condition. As a type of Yang Release, it uses chakra mostly composed of physical energy to manipulate the body’s cells and biological functions.

Fundamentally, it requires one to convert their chakra into a state that can be accepted by the recipient’s chakra system without rejection. Otherwise channeling their chakra into their target would damage their body like when struck by a Gentle Fist fighting style. Doing this allows them to restore the target’s physical and mental energy so that they return to a physical state that can better mend their injuries and ailments.

Said requirement to transfer chakra without harm could be considered what separates medical ninjutsu from other ninjutsu that manipulate the body.

One sends chakra into a wounded area to rapidly increase its healing ability to repair the damaged cells of both external and internal injuries. The greater the injury then the more difficult and time-consuming it is to heal, and not every wound can be healed. Scratches, bruises, burns and stab wounds are the easiest wounds to heal, followed by broken bones, torn muscles and severed tendons.

The most difficult injuries are ones that are widespread across the body or damaged vital points due to the time, effort and chakra required to restore them to a stable state. And a significantly injured or destroyed organ is impossible for a medic to heal.

Beyond merely healing wounds, medical ninjutsu can also be used to treat drugs, poisons, sickness and disease by flushing out foreign substances, detoxifying bodies and treating the negative physical symptoms. Even the neurological damage inflicted by powerful genjutsu – trapping the chakra flow within the victim’s brain in a disturbed state – can be restored to normal with medical ninjutsu.

This ninja art is considered one of the most difficult as it requires precise chakra control, above average intelligence and advanced medical knowledge to effectively use it to heal without accidentally causing more harm. Those who specialize in medical ninjutsu – as well as other fields of medicine – are known as medic-nin.

And while it is primarily used to heal others, it actually works best with the user’s own body as the chakra does not need to be changed to support a foreign chakra system and has direct access to the wounded area.

In addition to healing one’s own body, medic-nin typically learn ninjutsu that allows them to enhance their own bodies to better survive battle such as activating adrenal glands for surges of adrenaline, stimulating the nervous system to enhance their natural reflexes, triggering sweat glands to lower body temperature and other such manipulations.

Advancements in medicine and specialized training for medic-nin during the last century have led to the development of cooperative medical ninjutsu. By having trained medic-nin work together on a patient, they are able to perform feats of healing that would be impossible for any of them individually such as regrowing lost flesh, healing internal organs or reattaching severed limbs. However these procedures can take hours to perform, are far more taxing than an ordinary healing session on everyone involved and are difficult to set up.

Fuuinjutsu is essential for this practice and is more closely associated with medical ninjutsu than any other ninja art. As the primary role of fuuinjutsu is to seal out-of-control power, it allows medical chakra to flow in a controlled state even when being provided by multiple users at once. Furthermore, fuuinjutsu can help the body remain in stable state when injured to avoid any further decline in health as well as sealing off afflicted body parts.

And just as an antidote can also be a poison, medical ninjutsu can also be a weapon with the intent to kill. The most obvious example of this are chakra scalpels which were intended for field surgery when no adequate tools were present.

These are extensions of yang chakra that selectively sever the chemical bonds holding together any cells it passes through. Because chakra scalpels do not actually cut living tissue, the lacerations it creates are much cleaner and finer than actual blades, making them much easier to heal with other medical ninjutsu. And by controlling what cells to sever and which to pass through harmlessly, a chakra scalpel can be used to operate on internal organs and tissue without causing unnecessary damage and while completely eliminating the risk of infection.

In heated combat, even the greatest medical-nin won’t be able to exert the precision needed to make fatal cuts, but it can still effectively cut muscle tissues and tendons, rendering the target immobile. No amount of body hardening or muscle training can protect someone from the effects of a chakra scalpel – if they are made of cells, they are vulnerable.

Furthermore, reinforcing the hands with chakra is relatively easy for a ninja already skilled enough to fight with chakra scalpels, especially as they are already channelling chakra into their hands to use the ninjutsu in the first place, so a truly skilled medical ninja can not only use their hands for inflicting deadly wounds but also for blocking and deflecting swords, kunai and other ninja weapons.

Being able to manipulate bodily functions with medical ninjutsu means that one can force their target’s body to experience reactions that could hurt or kill them. They could cause their blood to clot within their veins, weaken the integrity of their bones, rewire their nervous systems or even cause cellular death throughout their body.

While most medic-nin are best suited for support roles rather than battle, those with enough skill can be remarkably deadly enemies to face.

Most Famous Users

Tsunade – The Slug Princess of the Sannin will undoubtedly be remembered as the greatest healer in history. Possessing a natural talent for chakra control, a keen intellect and a deep fascination with medicine, Tsunade was perfectly suited for the role of a medic-nin. She was a genius who achieved greater contributions and achievements to the medical field during her lifetime than anyone else had in centuries.

In the Second Shinobi World War, Tsunade regularly fought on the front lines to protect her comrades. She healed their injuries both during and after battles to keep them alive and treated many different types of wounds, sicknesses and poisons used in the war. And as feared as she was for her superhuman strength, her ability to use medical ninjutsu in close combat could be just as dangerous.

Then in the Third Shinobi World War, she worked almost exclusively within Konoha rather than participating in battle for reasons that were never made public knowledge. Yet her reputation as the greatest medic-nin only grew as she nevertheless developed new drugs, antidotes and medicine, trained more medic-nin, wrote advanced medical articles and create new medical ninjutsu up until the conclusion of the war.

It was only after the conclusion of that war that she retired as both a ninja and medic. She left Konoha with her chuunin apprentice, Shizune, and chose to travel the continent having fulfilled her duties to her hidden village and nation. Even so Tsunade would still go on to create her greatest medical ninjutsu yet, Creation Rebirth.

Haruno Sakura – She was the one of Tsunade’s apprentice and proved herself to be the perfect successor as she learned all of her master’s medical and combat skills, including the Strength of a Hundred Seal and Creation Rebirth. While this was not so great as Tsunade inventing these ninjutsu, Sakura was able to master them before she was even twenty years old which made her a far greater healer than Tsunade herself at that age even if she didn’t truly surpass her master until years later. Completing the seal in the Fourth Shinobi World War even allowed Sakura to become a more powerful fighter as she could use even more chakra to enhance her strikes without fearing that she would run out of chakra instead of holding back to carefully conserve it.

Yakushi Kabuto – Kabuto’s own skill as a medic-nin is often overshadowed by his history as a spy and war criminal but he is considered by some to be the equal to Tsunade or her successor, Sakura. He spent most of his career using these skills almost entirely for the sake of self-preservation or preserving the victims of experimentation rather than simply healing the wounded, but that made him a more deadly fighter than most medics as he wielded those skills in battle.

His best medical ninjutsu was his original technique: Yin Healing Wound Destruction. Named as such because it uniquely does not require yang chakra and so uses far more mental energy than other medical ninjutsu. When Kabuto focuses his chakra into the area of the body that he anticipates a wound, it uses that mental energy to trick the cells into preparing for cellular repair before it has even been injured. Something that would negatively impact the body if tried with yang chakra by prematurely causing cellular division.

By building up a lot of chakra for this “pre-healing” it means that once the attack lands, it instantly starts to heal the wound even as the damage is being inflicted. There is no delay in recovering from injury and grants an element of surprise as Kabuto counterattacks. Its only drawbacks are that it consumes far more chakra than an ordinary medical ninjutsu and if Kabuto fails to anticipate where the attack is going to hit then he suffers its full effect while wasting his chakra.

Kabuto’s medical skill was even pivotal to his later success as he delved into Orochimaru’s research to assimilate the cells of other ninja, adopting their abilities for his own to make himself into a far more dangerous ninja than anyone expected.

Creation Rebirth

Creation Rebirth

This is the pinnacle of all medical ninjutsu, created by the Slug Princess Tsunade.

Creation Rebirth uses a vast amount of chakra to stimulate all proteins in the body and accelerate cell division to rebuild them, allowing it to regenerate practically any body part when injured or destroyed. Flesh and muscle are regrown, bones knit back together, nerves are remade and blood is replenished. Even organs can be completely rebuilt and functioning when destroyed and amputated limbs are restored back to normal.

Unlike ordinary medical ninjutsu which can only repair cells, making cells regenerate is a far superior type of healing. One who wields this ninjutsu in battle is near impossible to kill. Tsunade was inspired by her grandfather Senju Hashirama’s unique ability to rapidly recover from injuries without needing hand-seals.

Creation Rebirth itself is intended as a short-lived ninjutsu which is activated to regenerate all of the wounds that Tsunade has suffered in battle and then stops once the body has been restored to its normal state.

However cells are only able to divide a finite number of times in one’s lifespan so speeding up cell division allows them to survive immediate lethal injuries while shortening their life in the long term. Thus the more numerous and severe the injuries one suffers while using Creation Rebirth then the closer they ultimately come to death. Moreover, regenerating wounds so quickly strains the body which can render it weak and slow as soon as the ninjutsu ends, potentially leaving the user vulnerable.

Unfortunately, the amount of chakra required to activate such an extreme level of healing would exhaust almost anyone to death anyway. To overcome this, Tsunade invented another ninjutsu.

Strength of a Hundred Seal

Strength of a Hundred Seal

This S-rank fuuinjutsu is the greatest chakra storage seal in existence. It is not technically related to medical ninjutsu in itself but is always associated with the field from being created and used by the best medic in history.

It is formed by using extremely delicate chakra control to continuously amass chakra into a seal; one focuses a portion of their chakra into the shape of a sealing formula on their forehead at regular intervals to store it within the developing seal.

The greatest difficulty is when adding more chakra into the seal as they must prevent any chakra from leaking from it while carefully adding chakra to the sealing formula without disrupting it. The more chakra one tries to add at once then the harder it is to successfully seal, and the more chakra already contained in the seal means the greater the resistance as more is added so it becomes increasingly difficult as it reaches completion. At the same time, the longer the gap between intervals then the more chakra is lost from the developing seal in the meantime which extends the overall time it takes to complete.

The sheer amount of chakra required for the seal to reach full capacity means that it takes years of effort and very few have the level of control required to succeed, even among medic-nin.

Once the seal reaches it full capacity, it appears as a diamond shaped marking engraved upon the user’s forehead as it becomes permanent part of the bearer’s chakra system. Just as Creation Rebirth was inspired by her grandfather’s healing ability, the seal’s shape was inspired by the marking her grandmother wore and was once a symbol of the Uzumaki Clan.

As the culmination of years of gathering chakra, it contains a truly vast amount that surpasses what even the most powerful shinobi could possibly produce at once and its name symbolizes how it contains the chakra of a hundred versions of themselves, metaphorically speaking.

Although this chakra is intended for Creation Rebirth, it is not restricted to this and can be used as fuel for any ninjutsu. One can share the seal’s chakra with another individual to provide them with chakra far beyond their normal limits or induce Creation Rebirth within their body for a life-saving treatment.

Tsunade in fact learned to use the Strength of a Hundred Seal in conjunction with her slug summon, Katsuyu, to create the Immense Healing Network. By channeling her medical chakra through Katsuyu’s clones, she is able to transfer it into whoever they are attached to heal their wounds and restore their stamina without being physically present.

Once all of the chakra within the seal has been exhausted, the seal vanishes from sight. It will then automatically draw in chakra from the bearer’s body to replenish itself until its diamond marking reappears. However, unlike when the seal is first created, it does not need to be filled to its full capacity to be restored and the bearer can channel as much chakra into the seal as they desire without resistance.

Creation Rebirth - Strength of a Hundred

Creation Rebirth: Strength of a Hundred Technique

This is the next stage of Creation Rebirth. By releasing the Strength of a Hundred Seal in its entirety and maintaining its presence, its immense chakra infuses every cell in her body to enact an ongoing regenerative effect which allows her to receive all kinds of injuries in battle without ever needing to slow down or stop as she immediately heals.

Moreover, this constant regeneration allows her to draw out as much of her superhuman strength as possible. She removes all physical restraints to unleash a hundred percent of her strength – magnified by her perfectly chakra control – to unleash more force than what should be humanly possible. This comes at the cost of tearing her muscles and breaking her bones with every single blow but these wounds are instantly healed before they can debilitate her.

On the other hand, one’s chakra and lifespan is used up at a far faster rate than merely using Creation Rebirth so it helps one fight at the highest peak but draws them ever closer to death.

Chakra Control

Naruto's Chakra

Everyone – humans and animals alike – possesses chakra. Their bodies are constantly generating it and it circulates throughout their entire chakra pathway system at all times. However that is only a fraction of the chakra that an individual can hold within them.

Ninja train themselves to create more chakra by consciously mixing together their physical energy and spiritual energy, known collectively as stamina. Physical energy is produced by the trillions of cells of the body and spiritual energy is produced by the will and experiences of the mind.

They must master the ability to create, maintain and manipulate their chakra even in battles of life or death. Chakra control can generally be defined as one’s ability to create chakra then channel it through their body and/or transform it into a technique.

When one converts stamina to chakra, they unconsciously swirl those energies around inside them as they mix them together. Some people are inclined to spinning them clockwise and others spin them counter-clockwise. Swirling them in the opposite direction to their type would disrupt the build up of chakra, but by consciously swirling those energies together in the correct direction and focusing on the speed of that spinning, they can increase how quickly they can create chakra and thus cast their technique.

A ninja should only create and use exactly as much chakra as they need. If they try to cast a t echniquewithout using enough chakra then the effects are going to be significantly weaker than desired at best or likely just fail outright. The effect of casting techniques using more chakra than needed can vary depending the type being used.

For offensive and defensive ones, adding more chakra will serve to increase their power and scale which is naturally very useful for attacking their enemies or defending themselves. The trick is that the more chakra they use then the more control is required to compensate to ensure that it is all applied to the technique without waste and without making it unstable. However for support techniques, using more chakra can often just be a waste of stamina or actually cause more harm than good such as with using medical ninjutsu on a patient.

That said, the mind and body limit how much chakra a person can produce in one go as a self-defence mechanism, preventing them from accidentally dying from chakra exhaustion. It is one of the reasons that the average, rookie ninja doesn’t learn more advanced and costly techniques.

Because of that self-preservation instinct, they must gain the stamina and resolve needed to overcome that limitation to freely create as much chakra as they need. The more stamina one has in the first place then they can naturally create more chakra from the beginning but it would still only be a fraction of what they are truly capable of.

(This is actually the reason that learning Fire Release: Grand Fireball Technique is a rite of passage for the Uchiha Clan. To learn this advanced ninjutsu as children, they must demonstrate the strength of will to overcome their limitations and draw upon as much chakra as their young bodies can handle to use it. It is something ordinary children – or even ordinary genin – wouldn’t be capable of and is an example of why the Uchiha considered themselves elite.)

The state of the mind and body have a significant effect on manipulating chakra. Humans never have a perfectly equal amount of physical and spiritual energy; their bodies and minds can change too easily from moment-to-moment and over time. But when a ninja consciously creates chakra, they seek to use the same amount for each to balance them together and make it as stable as possible so that it is easier to control and transform.

A relaxed mind and well rested body is the ideal state to be in for using chakra, granting them the best sense of their own energies, while stress and fatigue can make their control erratic and difficult to maintain. Powerful emotions are often a useful tool in creating as much chakra as possible as quickly as possible by pushing the mind and body beyond its normal limits, but this is more of a situational aid rather than something that can be relied on consistently.

There are all kinds of skills that are taught to young ninja to aid them in mastering their chakra.

One of the most basic ones that is taught to even young children is to stick a small object (such as a leaf) to their forehead by focusing their chakra on it. It is a slow but proven method of building stamina and aids their concentration by having all of their attention focused on a single point.

Another is the ability to walk over vertical and horizontal surfaces in defiance of gravity. By creating and maintaining a set amount of chakra to the soles of their feet, they are able to cling to solid surfaces and walk across them no differently than if they were walking across the ground. Too much chakra causes it to repel them from the surface while too little means you can’t adhere to the surface at all. And the more precise the individual’s chakra control then the better grip they can have on their surface.

And a similar skill is walking on water or liquids in general as the ninja continually emits a tiny amount of chakra which is constantly adjusted to allow them to float on its surface, teaching them to regulate their expenditure of a fixed amount of chakra.With this skill mastered it is even possible to stand upon a raging waterfall without losing their footing.

The hands are the most common part of the body for chakra to the be channeled to. And the feet are the one of most difficult places to manipulate chakra for most chakra. Chakra is kneaded in the stomach and the feet are the body parts furthest from it, meaning that the chakra has to travel furthest to reach them. It is technically possible to do the same manipulate from any part of their body through the relevant chakra points but few are capable of that level of control. And beyond this stage of control is a skill known as chakra flow where chakra is chanelled from the body into a foreign object to imbue it with power.

Someone with little control will create more chakra than they need, struggle to apply it to their techniques and waste enough of it that their technique will be ineffective or fail altogether. Someone who masters chakra control is one who can create exactly as much chakra as they require, direct it to where they need without wasting any and applying it all to the chosen task. Naturally, control is vital to a ninja.

Juugo’s Sage Transformation

Juugo's Sage Transformation

The Cursed Heaven and Earth Seal grants those of the Tenbin Clan an alternate means of achieving Sage Mode which they called Sage Transformation.

When Juugo’s juinjutsu absorbs natural energy and starts producing senjutsu chakra, its sealing formula appears on his skin and expands across his body in proportion to the amount of senjutsu chakra created.

In this initial stage, it enhances all of his physical capabilities such as his strength, speed, durability, reflexes etc. Even his senses can be intensified on such a level that he can communicate with animals or see chakra on a visible spectrum. He is essentially supercharged by the more powerful variant of chakra – going beyond ordinary chakra enhancement – up until the juinjutsu’s formula covers his entire body.

However this is only a precursor to the Sage Transformation. When the quantity of senjutsu chakra surpasses a certain threshold, the sealing formula merges together to envelop his flesh entirely as his body transforms into the second stage, raising his physical abilities and chakra levels to their peak. He can choose to transform his entire body or limit it to specific body parts as necessary.

The exact appearance of this monstrous transformation varies between individuals as it is influenced by the unique qualities of their physical and mental energy but there are always consistent aspects; their flesh darkens in colour, their eyes turn black and yellow, and a unique mark appears on their skin like the the symbolic markings of Sage Mode.

Because of natural energy’s shape-changing effect on humans, Juugo can manipulate his own cells in ways that are otherwise impossible to replicate and can literally turn himself into a walking weapon.

The simplest changes include hardening his flesh until it’s dense enough to withstand blows from steel blades unharmed, increase the size and thickness of his fists until they can be likened to massive hammers, or extend the length of his limbs to significantly increase his reach and thus his range of physical attack.

This can be taken further by changing his body mass into weapon-like constructs such as an axe to slice through an enemy, spikes to pierce, reconfigue his arms into a piston to apply a massive crushing force, or even fuse them together to create a protective shield. And though it isn’t a skill that he often practised, he could grow entirely new appendages if he needed such as a tail or wings to aid his movement.

The more complex changes aren’t merely physical and allow Juugo to manifest his chakra in unusual ways. He can alter the shape of his cells to extend hollow protrusions or open cavities in his body where he can expel chakra in a pressurized burst to provide propulsion for additional force and speed, or to unleash compressed bullets of destructive chakra.

However, the Sage Transformation’s abilities aren’t only combat-based.

Juugo can merge his own cells with an injured person to replace their damaged cells, or directly transfer his chakra into another person to replenish their chakra levels. Because of the amount of cells that are consumed to provide the energy for these techniques, his body shrinks down to the size of a child to compensate which leaves him in a weaker state than normal.

But as his abilities are based on senjutsu, it can only safely be used on another member of his clan, someone capable of manipulating natural energy or a bearer of Orochimaru’s cursed seal.

On the opposite end of the scale, Juugo is able to flesh and blood from another person through physical contact and convert it into his own cells as a type of super-recovery to heal injuries and restore him to peak condition. This skill can even be used as workaround for healing others as he can extract the cells of one person and fuse it with another to graft onto an injury. If Juugo was stuck in his childish form, using this would allow him to return to his normal state by replacing the body mass that he had sacrificed.

Spirit Transformation Technique

Spirit Transformation Jutsu

The Spirit Transformation Technique is an S-rank kinjutsu which detaches the caster’s soul from their body and grants them conscious control over it, becoming a living ghost.

It was one of the ninjutsu invented by the Second Hokage, Senju Tobirama, in his research of the nature of the soul as well as the Pure and Impure Lands. Years after his passing, it was learned by Kato Dan who used it to assassinate many of his nation’s enemies until he was feared as the Spectre.

This transformed spirit is an ethereal copy of the caster that lacks substance and is not bound to the natural forces of the world. They are visible to the naked eye and can even communicate with the living but they cannot touch or be touched by anything physical. And so they travel by willing themselves to move, flying across great distances and traversing through air, earth and water unimpeded.

The purpose of the technique is for the caster to possess another person. If they have a specific target in mind then, as long as they have seen them in person before, they can find that individual across any distance by tracking their soul rather than their body.

By entering their target’s body, they are able to seize control and use that body as their own to move and fight as they please. This makes it a useful tool for infiltrating enemy lines by possessing someone who belongs and using them as a tool to gather information or find a specific target.

More dangerously, they can kill the person they have possessed by literally attacking their soul. They essentially force the host’s soul to vacate their body, causing said soul to collapse and vanish from the Impure Land and the body to stop functioning with its absence. However this is not an certain killing method as it essentially relies on the caster pitting their chakra and soul against that of the individual they are possessing which can result in the death of either one of them, if not both.

Any harm inflicted on the possessed body is experienced by the possessor as well so commiting suicide to kill their target would be the same as killing themselves. And while they could technically try more indirect means to kill the host, the act of disposessing the body isn’t nearly as effortless as possessing it, especially when in physical pain or emotionally compromised, and can make them dangerously vulnerable by attempting it.

Ironically, means that killing the soul is practically the safest choice in eliminating the host.

There are, however, less harmful uses of this technique such as a communicating directly with another person’s mind and soul regardless of the physical distance between them, or sharing their chakra with another person.

This ninjutsu tethers the soul to the body with a spiritual bond to prevent them from being truly separated from one another, allowing the body to remain functionally alive but in a comatose state. This makes it vulnerable to harm as the caster has no awareness of their body’s state or surroundings unless present which means that an enemy could attack it and thus kill them without resistance. To perform the technique safely, the caster needs allies they trust to watch over their body or a location where they are safe from harm.

The caster can only remain in this state for as long as they have the chakra to maintain it. The ninjutsu will constantly drain their chakra until they return to their original body to restore their stamina that they can replenish the chakra that they have lost. If they run out of chakra before returning to their body then they lose that tether and are left adrift until they pass on to the Pure Lands.

And the caster is not entirely invulnerable in their spirit form either. Though they are immune to physical attacks, the same does not apply to chakra-based attacks which are part spiritual energy. Their soul-body disperses if struck by an offensive technique and forces them to use their chakra to restore themselves so if it occurs too many times then the caster would die. Barrier ninjutsu are also capable of preventing them from entering or leaving a location in this form as the chakra forms an impassable wall for them.