Ninjutsu, most of the time, relies on chakra and hand seals to be effective. The hands are put in sequentialpositions 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, there is the kind of technique that can be classified as a basic or advanced elemental technique, the basic types are techniques with specific elements (wind, water, fire, earth, or lightning), the advanced types combine two or three of the basics elements and creates a new one.
When creating a ninjutsu, the two methods of manipulating chakra are referred to as shape transformations and nature transformation:
- Shape transformation deals with controlling the form, movement, and potency of chakra.
- Nature transformation usually deals with changing the physical properties of chakra into an element.
These two methods can be implemented separately or together in order to create a ninjutsu.
It is said that the Sage of Six Paths was the first to explain the mysteries of chakra, travelling throughout the world to spread his ideas and religion, the Ninshū (忍宗; Literally meaning "Shinobi Sect"). The teachings were meant to give people a better understanding of themselves, as well as others, and lead the world into an era of peace. However, as time wore on, ninshū would eventually come to be known as ninjutsu, a more weaponised version of the Sage's teachings.