When Naruto first declared his intentions to become Hokage, it seemed like nothing more than a pipe dream. After all, what business did a ninja drop out of school who was unable to summon a convincing clone in an attempt to become Konoha’s leader? To the surprise of the entire village, Naruto kept his promise to him, quickly amassing jutsu and power that left him unrivaled in all of Konoha.
Of course, he couldn’t have done all this on his own. Throughout the original series and Naruto: Shippuden, he had several sensei who taught him jutsu and shaped his idea of what shinobi could be. Here are the teachers Naruto studied with, as well as the most important lessons they taught him.
Iruka Sensei was the first adult to recognize Naruto
Since her parents were shinobi victims of the Nine-Tailed Fox attack on the Leaf Village, it was much more difficult for Iruka Sensei to tolerate Naruto’s presence than the other villagers. For a while, Iruka tried to ignore him completely and even tried to be relieved of his duty as a Naruto teacher. Fortunately, Kakashi and the Third Hokage advised him not to harbor resentment towards the child, and slowly, Iruka began to form a relationship with Naruto.
During an attempt by Mizuki to steal Forbidden Jutsu Scrolls using Naruto, both Iruka and Naruto reached a new depth of their sympathy for each other. Naruto never expected to one day see a villager of the leaf try to give his life for his sake, and this gesture made him realize how much Iruka Sensei appreciated him. After Naruto defeated Mizuki, Iruka gave him a ninja headband on his own forehead and congratulated Naruto on his graduation from the Academy. Finally, Naruto was a full-fledged ninja.
Kakashi taught Naruto basic ninja skills, the value of teamwork and Rasenshuriken
Team 7 was the first ninja cell Naruto was placed in, and while he didn’t have a great relationship with either Kakashi or Sakura, his relationship with Sasuke was particularly dire. Using the bell test, Kakashi showed them just how dangerous individualism could be in the ninja world and, from then on, the two have channeled their animosity into more or less healthy competition. Naruto and Sasuke turned Kakashi’s chakra control class into a competition, but when they mastered it, they realized they got used to leaning on each other for support.
In Naruto: Shippuden, Kakashi once again faced Naruto as a student, this time attempting the much more difficult task of creating an original jutsu. He came up with the idea of Naruto using shadow clones to reduce training times, and in the process he taught Naruto how to use his clones in a more strategic way. Their training produced Rasenshuriken, the most devastating jutsu in Naruto’s arsenal. Once connected with an opponent, their death was almost assured.
Jiraiya taught Naruto Rasengan and Summoning Jutsu
When they first met, Naruto had no idea who the Toad Sage was, but Jiraiya knew everything about him. Fearing that he would be unprepared for the Chunin exam, Naruto asked Jiraiya to become his new sensei and wouldn’t let him rest until he accepted. Eventually, Jiraiya agreed, but only because he had his own plans for the young Jinchuriki. He first got Naruto to sign a contract with the Mount Myoboku toads and later taught him how to summon them into battle.
Even though he acted as if he had agreed to teach Naruto only under duress, Jiraiya had always planned to take him under his wing. Naruto’s status as Jinchuriki meant that the Akatsuki would come looking for him sooner or later, and Jiraiya wanted to make sure his student was prepared for that day. During their journey to locate the Fifth Hokage, Jiraiya transmitted the Rasengan to Naruto, giving the orphan his first bond with his father, the creator of the jutsu. After escorting Tsunade to the village, Jiraiya set out on his travels once again, this time taking Naruto with him, and promised to return him as a full-fledged shinobi.
Lord Fukasaku taught Naruto Sage Jutsu
After Jiraiya’s death at the hands of Pain, Naruto was entrusted to Lord Fukasaku to learn senjutsu. He went to Mount Myoboku and underwent the same training that Jiraiya did to attain wisdom. He faced the initial difficulty that all those unfamiliar with senjutsu faced, but over time he was able to achieve a perfect Sage mode that was superior even to Jiraiya’s.
Having achieved wisdom, Naruto also trained in the art of Frog Kumite with Lord Fukasaku, a hand-to-hand combat discipline that could only be fully utilized by those who had mastered the Sage mode. Frog Kumite allowed Naruto to have a great awareness of his surroundings and even to use the very air around him as a weapon. Aside from the normal taijutsu boost that comes with sage mode, Frog Kumite has increased Naruto’s skill set, making him more of a threat than he was before.
Killer Bee taught Naruto to overcome hatred and to use the nine-tail chakra
The perfect Jinchuriki of the Hidden Cloud Village was Naruto’s ultimate sensei. While trapped on Turtle Island with Bee, Naruto was finally able to learn how to harness the power of the Tailed Beast within him. It was a long process that began with Naruto dealing with all the hatred within himself. As good-natured and friendly as he was, Naruto still harbored some resentment towards the villagers of the Leaf for ostracizing him as a child. After dealing with his inner demons, Naruto was ready for the Nine Tails.
Killer Bee guided him on how to extract the Nine-Tails chakra from within himself without dragging his will out as well. Again, Naruto fought an internal battle, this time with the Nine Tails inside him, and managed to overpower the great beast. Ultimately, the bottomless chakra reserves within Naruto were entirely his to control, and this put him to a level that no shinobi has yet to match, let alone surpass.