If you are looking for a fitness activity that combines the tranquillity of Japanese archery and the thrill of blood-curdling ninja — along with the fun of playing darts — then fukiya (blowpipe darts) is maybe for you.

For many people, fukiya conjures up the essence of ninja and samurai drama, which often features an assassin who blows an arrow coated with deadly poison into the neck of his target. But according to Takeshi Takahashi, today's fukiya enthusiasts couldn't be further from such murderous types.

In fact, Takahashi, a director of the Tokyo-based NPO Japan Sports Fukiya Association, says that propelling darts by wind-power through a pipe is now particularly popular among the elderly — thanks to the acknowledged benefits of abdominal breathing.