A Day in the Life….

Ninja LifestyleOne of the most popular questions I receive is “Airyu, what is your average/typical day look like?” Well, first of all it isn’t average or typical, I wouldn’t be a ninjutsu practitioner if it was!!
Anyway, I figured I could give you a peak at what one of my days looks like:
5:00am – Wake up and hydrate
5:15am – Warm up and ready for training, that could be a run, bodyweight conditioning, weight conditioning, striking etc.
6:00am – Clean up, prep meals and snacks for day, review daily plan
6:30am – Off to day job, listen to Audio book, motivation etc
7:45am – Answer NTO and Facebook emails and questions, first meal
8:45am – Read one chapter or review one short video on martial arts or self improvement
10:00 – High protein snack and fruit
11:30am – Second main meal, review intelligence gathering sites
12:30pm – Walk the plant, stretch in office
2:30 pm – High protein snack, carbs
4:30 – 5:00pm – Prep for drive home, use audio recording device for open task list generation
6:00pm – Homestead work, dinner prep
7:30pm- Supper
8:15pm – Skill build (Lockpicking, escape technique development)
9:00pm – Relax, read, watch t.v time with family
10:30pm – Last reading session, hydrate, bed time!
This just happened to be what I did on Thursday of last week, but as I have posted before on Warrior Randomness, my schedule changes a lot! I often include prepping for new articles, research, class teaching, shooting skills development on the back yard range, projectile practice, family time, gardening, and a host of other items that are added to the mix.
The one thing I will share with you as a secret to getting a lot done is to have a plan each night prior to going to bed! It should cover what you need to focus on tomorrow, and at the end of each day what doesn’t get done moves on to the top of the new list.
Alright enough of me spilling what I do, why don’t you get off your lazy ass and get to training! (LOL)
Bufu Ikkan
Airyu – Living the Ninja Lifestyle

Grey Man Series #1 2016

gray manHello Ninjutsu Practitioners

Well, 2015 was a crazy year around the world and 2016 doesn’t look to be any better. From terrorist groups, hackers, and even the government itself, it gets more and more difficult to live a grey lifestyle.  Do not give up hope because there is NinjutsuTrainingOnline.com to help!!

So for the first of several Grey Man blog posts, I thought I would start with one that affects everyone, finances!!

It’s time to take a hard look and see if you want to live a freer life than you have today , and if you do it will require some changes to your life and the first is your financial situation. Are you one of the masses who puts everything on a credit or debit card? Does all of their banking on line or via a mobile app? Well, this post isn’t for you! Or maybe it is!!

If you want to cut back your exposure to a visible presence you are going to need to start here. Every time you go online, use a debit or credit card you are creating a profile of yourself out there for others to tap into.

So, let’s start with a basic Ninja Grey Man approach!

  • Stop using your Debit and credit cards! These leave a trail of crumbs right to your door step, and an online profile that marketers and others can and will use against you.
  • Go with CASH! Remember the old adage – “Cash is King”, well it is. Most service businesses like you to use cash, many will even offer you a discount if you pay in cash so they do not have to pay the fees on credit card transactions. I was shocked on a recent visit through Laguardia airport, when I sat down and wanted to have a glass of wine, and pay cash, and my server said “we don’t accept cash here it is only via a debit or credit card, don’t you have one?” I said of course I do, but I want to pay in cash, so I got up and left.
  • Start putting a cash reserve aside for hard times. Just think the power goes out, major storm happens, or some other type of SHTF scenario and you will realize that cash is king, end of discussion. Keep it in smaller bills of different denominations, so that you can make correct change of need be.

Now, this is just the beginning so you may be asking how should I start a cash reserve? Well how about a 52 week challenge. Each week you will put an additional dollar into a cash bucket and at the end of the year you will have over $1300 dollars to use on whatever you please! Just follow the basic plan outlined below:52weekmoneychallenge

 

Alright, I think I have shared enough with you all, it is time that you need to make a decision and step up to the plate and take on this challenge!

Bufu Ikkan

Airyu

Beyond Motivation!

Mental-Strength

If you are a frequent visitor here and on the Facebook page, you should know that I often write about motivation, to help inspire us all to achieve more than we think we are capable. Motivation is somewhat lacking in our society, too often people are swayed by negative motivational thoughts and have a difficult time pushing themselves to achieve more.

Now motivational words, pictures and videos are a great tool to help us, but there is something beyond motivation that even more individuals lack, and that is DISCIPLINE!

A key in becoming successful in whatever endeavor you are aspiring to, is being able to recognize that life is tough and will beat you down if you let it. Yet, staying the course, putting in the time and effort necessary to make small improvements in a consistent manner is where motivation becomes a shadow to pure discipline. You need to do things you don’t like, don’t want to, that hurt, or put you in an uncomfortable zone or position, yet you do them anyway no matter who is watching or not. Any ninja of old would put many of us to shame with the disciplined life and training they lead. Knowing you had to be able in a moment’s notice utilize your skills to protect yourself or loved ones pushed individuals hard, but the benefits were great as well. Look at the great warriors, leaders and athletes of yesterday and today and you will find that Discipline was what made them great.

I push myself hard, I also push my students, employees, and family to do more than they think they are able to, but yet I will be right there beside them. They laugh at me when I am up at 5:15am, in 15 degree weather, and go for a 5K run in the dark (actually they think I’m crazy) but then on the other hand they will complain that they can’t lose weight! I tell them straight out, I don’t want to get up early run or workout, but if I don’t push myself no one will do it for me.  Discipline is tough, it takes effort, and motivational material helps to keep you moving forward, but again that is not the “secret sauce” in your training or life success, it is Discipline.

Each day when you wake up, put a conscious effort into a disciplined regime of training and learning, and after each session you will feel the satisfaction of what you just accomplished. Revel and enjoy it, that is what will drive you further.

 

This year you may see the following saying in the posts and article here, as it is my mantra for 2016

Do the things that others will not do in order to have or be the person they will never be!

In order for this to succeed in our lives, we must embrace discipline.

Bufu Ikkan

Airyu

Good Bye 2015

Happy New Year’s Eve Ninja’s

Well now it is the last day of the year and I have been musing on all of the posts, videos and podcasts that have been put up here since I started this site. As a ninjutsu practitioner I am never satisfied with where I am at in life and this website is no different, so over the next few days you will all be seeing changes going on here, don’t worry if the site drops off for awhile, because each time it comes back there will be a lot of new information posted here.

Now with that said, wait until you see the changes coming in 2016!! Here are a few I have been working on behind the scenes:

New Training Videos

New Member’s Section

Podcast will be back

Free special reports

Ninja Warrior Conditioning

Modern Ninjutsu applications

and this is just the beginning!! For those who didn’t know there were many software glitches that have occurred between wordpress and the membership software and then to top it off the video software changed and became non compliant with the site, so for that I am sorry my friends and everything is coming back together now so stay tuned here and on our Facebook page for what is happening!

 

Happy-New-Year-2016-Hope-Wallpaper-White-Background-Free-4019828743

Bufu Ikkan

Airyu

Seishin teki Kyoyo – Spiritual Refinement

 

alvinhew_deep-meditation

For a ninja to be truly effective they were instructed in various manners, to be aware of themselves, and this was achieved via Seishin teki kyoyo. The basic fundamental of this spiritual refinement was to be in the moment at all times, without anything clouding their mind the Ninja would be able to perform effectively. There are 7 basic areas that are involved here but in this brief article we will start with “Self Knowing”.

Self Knowing involves a deep look inward, and knowing oneself. What motivates you? What drives you forward, what are you afraid of? What are you weaknesses?

Sometimes this deep inward journey can be extremely painful, and not all are suited to know themselves to this degree, some cannot do this without a guide to bring them along over a period of time, helping them understand these critical components of their own nature. Others can do this with deep focus and concentration during regular meditation sessions.

As a basic exercise let’s start with a simple understanding of what motivates you.

Start in a comfortable position, and begin to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, each cycle count in your head as 1 and when you reach 9 counts start again at 1. As you fall into this rhythm ask yourself this question  : What motivates and drives you each day toward your goals in life?. Continue your meditation focusing deeply on this question, as answers start to come, remember them but push harder and deeper. After your session , immediately start free flow writing everything that you thought of. Over the period of a few such sessions you will surprise yourself with what you begin to realize about yourself.

Now how to use this knowledge, well that is another lesson to come!

 

Bufu Ikkan!

Airyu – “Living the Ninja Lifestyle”

 

Ninja Nutrition: Boosting your immune system

Alright Ninja Fans,

After a short break and way too much to catch up on around the Ninja homestead, I am back to posting new material here on the website. Now with Winter coming on and a lot of indoor time, many people tend to fall prey to the ravages of colds and the flu during this time, but I am here with some nutrition tips to help you stay healthy during the winter or hell anythime year round, and it all starts with a bit of healthy eating of the following items!

In no particular order my favorite immune boosting foods:

#1 Garlic

Garlic is nature’s antibiotic. It’s antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and antioxidant properties help to not only fight infection, but to ward off sickness in the first place. Garlic contains sulfur-based organic compounds, which give garlic its funky order and help boost the immune system. Mince it raw and blend it with some chickpeas, olive oil and lemon to make a hummus, add it to sauces and side dishes. It’s a powerful bulb that’s sure to keep illness at bay.

#2 Miso Soup

Miso is a fermented soy product rich in probiotic cultures, which are essential for immune health. Approximately, 80 percent of our immune system resides in the gut, so in order to keep our immune system strong we need to keep our intestinal system healthy with probiotics. Probiotics are live microorganisms (good bacteria) that help fight off all the bad bacteria. They also help fight illness by increasing the number of virus-fighting cells.

#3 Pumpkin Seeds

These awesome seeds are rich in immune-boosting vitamin E, zinc and essential fatty acids, including the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant omega-3. Vitamin E is required for the production of immunoglobulins. These act as our body’s own personal bodyguards as they destroy all those pathogens that try to do us harm. Zinc helps increase the production of infection-fighting white blood cells and T cells.

#4 Mushrooms

Whether we’re talking button, crimini or shiitake, mushrooms are amazing immune boosters. Mushrooms are rich in a type of polysaccharide called beta glucan, which has the ability to “activate” the immune system and help prevent infections. It regulates white blood cells and keeps them in a highly prepared state so they’re ready to attack any invaders. Mushrooms are also rich in vitamins, polyphenols, sterols and zinc, which all keep our immune systems healthy and strong.

Bufu Ikkan

Airyu

PS: Stay tuned for changes going on here at the site!!

Silent Stalker

shinobi iriSilent Stalker

by Masaaki Hatsumi

(This article originally appeared in Ninja Magazine in 1985)

Great article and I have also added some side notes on how I utilize certain aspects of this article in my own training.

In any martial art, including ninpo, the most important aspect is footwork; therefore I will discuss footwork and the background of certain techniques.

Everyone dislikes the cold, including the ninja; so even in the summer ninja wear tabi, Japanese socks, to keep the feet warm. The feet are the key points of the body for retaining heat and health. In Oriental medicine, it is called zukan no kunetsu, meaning: ” Keep the head cold and the feet warm”. This is essential for staying in good health as well as curing illness. I, personally, will always wear tabi no matter how warm the weather. [With all the new wool blends for daily use there should never be a time for cold feet, camping and hiking here in New England during the fall, winter and spring have taught me this fact well!]

In order to increase strength and virility, the ninja massage their feet by holding the first three toes and rotating them. [Many of you know I am an avid runner, both trail and road running. Each stretching session I massage my feet, rotate my ankles and pull and flex to maintain my joint and tendon elasticity]

Even kunoichi (female ninja) practice this technique to ensure-good health of the whole body. It is particularly good for the liver; pancreas and the entire intestinal system. Part of the technique includes rubbing the bottoms of the feet to maintain good blood pressure and a balanced nervous system.

Ninja will also train by walking on beans scattered on the ground; this helps massage pressure points as well as toughens the bottoms of the feet. More advanced ninja eventually learn to walk on tetsubishi (sharp-spiked caltrops) without injury; this is accomplished not only because the feet are toughened, but because the ninja has learned to walk with perfect balance and lightness, distributing his weight so that he barely touches the thorny caltrops. [I use beans, marbles and even a foot roller for these exercises]

Walking is an excellent exercise, and one can do it anywhere at anytime. When I walk my three dogs every day, I walk them briskly for three hours, making sure I take small, quick steps. It is a good lesson to learn, even on the street for, occasionally we will encounter a cat or something that will excite the dogs. However, since I am always walking properly, I am always in control; I am never pulled too fast or tripped by a tangled leash. [I always try to get additional walking in each day if possible, I park away from the store, use the stairs instead of an elevator, walk in the woods etc., always trying to be light and nimble, avoiding people and items is a great way to advance your elusiveness]

Two years ago [1983] I held a ninja seminar in Dayton , Ohio . Most of the American students I met there seemed to walk more like “Frankensteins” than martial artists. They found it extremely difficult practising the small, quick steps. Many of them felt I walked too quickly, but I explained that in Japan , the foot is considered the ” second heart”, and to have a strong heart means to have a strong mind. So, walking properly also develops the mind.Walking is the most important thing in one’s life. Even classic Japanese No plays emphasise this.

When this technique of walking is mastered, when one “walks like a ninja”, one feels as though their feet never touch the ground. It is as though the ninja walks on air. In fact, one of my students, after observing the demonstration, said, “Sensei, your feet are not touching the ground. You seem to be floating in the air”. Another student, a professional soldier whose nation was at war, told me that training of the legs (in his country) was essential; that even while in Japan he always climbed stairs, never took the elevator. When I heard this, I knew he was a good warrior.

Walking is the basic body movement of martial arts. When you are learning the martial arts, be conscious of walking at all times; always train in the aspect of taijutsu (body techniques). It will leave little chance of your being attacked successfully. I know a professional gunfighter who wears gloves all the time. This is a type of thinking that is important to all martial arts: One should always be training and caring for one’s self. Training is an everyday thing, just as walking is an everyday thing.

Side-walking (yoko aruki) ninja technique involves lowering ones center of gravity and stepping one foot over the other. It also requires a dance-like arm movement in order to maintain balance. When carrying a weapon, one walks according to the environment and one’s relationship to it. It is important to practice side-walking in different environments. With a sword, especially at night, the sword can be drawn and the scabbard used to ” feel” what lies ahead.

Next is shizumi araki or low position walking; a technique especially useful in narrow areas. On a narrow path for example, a lower position is better, making you less visible to a potential attacker. Another low side-walking technique is called ninpo uzuru gakure. Mokuton means to hide in the trees; sooton – to hide in the grass; and sekiton – to hide in the rocks. These can all be developed once the basic walking technique is mastered.Whether the ninja walks alone or with others, he and they can progress undetected if everyone walks “correctly”. The obvious advantage of walking in numbers while on a mission is that, when you are three ninja, you are six eyes, six ears and three noses, each focused in a different direction so that all areas are covered. [When practicing the various stepping motions, I practice this in a constant movement. For example walking straight at an opponent or object I step to the side using yoko aruki and then continue on in my path, (similar to the shinden fudo ryu practices). For shoten no jutsu I use a small 2 X 6 on an angle, then run at a straight wall to see if I can scale it quickly]

In shoten no jutsu (going up to heaven), ninja practice walking up large plants placed at various angles, increasing the incline to as much as 80 to 85 degrees in order to master the art of walking and climbing in the forest. Training eventually advances to climbing plants or tree trunks situated at 90-degree angles. After reaching the top, the ninja then learn to tumble back down to their original position (kamae). Often, when carrying a sword, both sword and scabbard are used to maintain balance. Side-walking is also used while up in the trees crossing from branch to branch. In koto ryu koppojutsu (which includes side steps and other body techniques), the ninja can easily move backward while facing forward simply by crossing one leg after the other. This is particularly useful when eluding an opponent’s attack and positioning ones self for a counter attack.

Ninja no shinobi kobashiri means running in small steps with the body leaning forward. In the night, while in the mountains, you can see the sky between the trees. This is your path. You must also use care when near the water or anything that might give off a reflection, lest you be detected. (Moonlight can be an enemy as well as an ally.) [I often run in the early morning and it is pitch dark, running with a headlight you can only see a certain distance in front of you, forcing you to focus on every step]

 

In Japan , the martial arts are not only “offensive orientated”, but very defensive as well. The Japanese are basically agricultural land oriented people; and our martial arts have developed out of that tradition. I hope these illustrations of basic footwork and ninja body movement and techniques have been helpful to you. It is good to start from the ground up. It is important to have good feet on the ground.

I hope you enjoyed this article, and my side notes on how I and my students utilize footwork in training.

Bufu Ikkan

 

Developing the Mental strength of a Ninja!

Mental-Strength

Alright ninjutsu practitioners, it takes daily practice of pushing yourself to grow stronger, face your fears, do the things others will not do, to develop the mental strength of a Ninja. There is no time to waste on feeling sorry for yourself, or thinking I am not going to work out today, or some other lame excuse that is holding you back from pushing your boundaries, physically and mentally. So what traits should you be striving for? Well, here are 7 things you should be attempting to improve each day.

  • Balance Logic with Emotion: In other words when you are ready to unleash that tirade at someone, take a step back and seriously apply the rules of logical order of thinking to the situation. (more on that someday soon!)
  • Develop the ability to adapt to change: Change is good, life is change and there is no use in clinging to the past. Embrace the changes as they come, if they are not for you adapt and adopt what works for you in life.
  • Face your fears: Everyone is afraid of something and fear is a heathy reaction. It can keep us safe and comfortable, but that is the problem if you never face your fears you may never experience life to its fullest.
  • Sharpen your skills: Sharpen your skills in all areas of your life and training each day. Do not brag or show off, but improve each day so you can become the best that you are capable of.
  • Hardships are opportunities: Everyone goes through hard times in training and in life. It is in these dark times that many of us give up, but push through hardships will pass and you will come out of it stronger and more prepared to deal with future events!
  • Be productive: Time is your most precious asset, being productive is the only way to maximize your most precious asset, don’t put off what you can accomplish today till tomorrow, as that day may never come.
  • Learn and analyze your mistakes: Everyone makes a mistake, how you learn or not from it is the issue at hand. Analyze what happened honestly, and vow to improve yourself to not make that issue occur again.

Now these seven points are just the beginning of a path, but once you are on the path you have taken a step that 90% of the people on this earth will never do. De different, embrace ninjutsu and be strong mentally.

Bufu Ikkan