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In the manga/anime, it appears as if teleportation is very rare. The few we know that gets a little bit explained are, for example, Minato (4th Hokage) and Obito (Tobi).

Despite of this, a lot of characters (mainly in the anime) "disappear" with a flashy exit when they wish. Orochimaru does this a couple of times, including others. Often with a phrase such as "I don't have time to play around with you any more" and then poof, gone!

Is there some explanation to this? Do they use a clone and then run off while the clone says goodbye to the opponent? If that is the case, when do they create the clone?

marked as duplicate by Nara Shikamaru, Logan M, Danalog, Dimitri mx, looper Oct 2 '13 at 18:32

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From what I understand, there are only actually a few ways to teleport. Those include Tobirama/Minato's Flying Thunder God technique, reverse summoning, and Obito's space/time Sharingan based technique.

Most of the time, when shinobi just poof, that means it was either a clone or they travel at a high speed such that one can not detect their movements. If it was a clone, then it was always a clone to begin and the person did not just substitute himself for a clone.

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They're ninjas! They're so sneaky that they can sneak away and leave a log or some object behind and it only looks like they've teleported.

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