These Iranian women are practicing their moves in a bid to become highly-trained ninjas.
They were pictured brandishing deadly weapons while performing back flips and gravity-defying stunts in Iran – where the specialist martial art of Ninjutsu is popular with female pupils.
At this club which opened in 1989 and is based at the Jughin castle 25 miles outside of the capital Tehran there are 4,000 women in training to become kunoichi – female ninjas.
They learn to climb and jump walls, hide in the mountains and ‘slice the neck of a rival without making a sound’.
Ninjutsu instructor Fatima Muamer had previously said that the sport increasingly appeals to women as it helps maintain balance between the body and the mind.
Iran has a mandatory Army conscription for men aged 18, but it is limited to 18 months service, so these kunoichi could prove very useful.
Ms. Muamer said: ‘The most important lesson in ninjutsu is respect and humility.
‘They learn to respect themselves – first to respect their existence and then the art that they are mastering.
‘Calmness is the most important lesson they learn.’
Pupils at the school are taught to use dangerous weapons – including the bow, swords, nunchucks and shurikens – small traditional Japanese implements known as ‘swords in the hand’.
Sensei Akbar Faraji was the first to introduce ninjutsu to Iran when he set up the club 22 years ago – which now has 24,000 members.
He said: ‘In ninjutsu, we call men ninjas, while females are called kunoichi.
‘Being a ninja is about patience, tolerance, and fortitude. Literally it means the art of becoming invisible.
‘Ninjutsu, or martial arts in general, can be described as a medicine. Just like snake poison, despite the fact that it can be very dangerous, it can be a good antidote as well.’
Ninjutsu is considered to be one of the deadliest martial art forms and is associated with covert agents and mercenaries specialising in unorthodox methods of war in Japan between 1185 and 1868.
The women themselves say that the martial art gives them a sense of discipline and self worth.
One of the ninjas-in-training, named Melika, told El Mundo: ‘Here we are free. We live art ninja as a philosophy of life.
‘It helps us to endure the hardships of everyday life, to be patient, strong and disciplined.
‘It is a spiritual art. We’re not looking to fight anyone outside the classroom.’
Mr Faraji added: ‘The truth is that its lethal power is undeniable.
‘They learn to climb walls, jump walls and fences without being seen, to hide in the mountains and are capable of slicing the neck rival without making a sound.
‘I must be very sure that my students will not use the techniques of ninjutsu to hurt anyone or sneak into someone else’s house.’
Music: “Indore” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/