Kaizen, a Ninja way of life

Kaizen, literally translates as “improvement” or “change for the better”, and it should lie at the core of every ninjutsu practitioners way of life and training. Let me explain something, life is about change, everything changes, grows, collapses, and is different all the time, and the only way to stay growing is to improve a little each day. Improvement can be small or great, as an example I was up early this morning and knew I needed to work on my cardiovascular endurance as I have been a bit behind these past few weeks, so I bundled up a bit(it was only 16 degrees) and hit the road. My goal was to shave off some time from my previous 5K time a few days before, I made it back and felt pretty good, I looked at my time for the run and lo and behold I shaved almost 50 seconds/mile from my time! I am not saying that I will be able to do this every time I run, but by challenging myself to do more I did, and so can you. So what are you going to be working on improving? I have a few ideas for you below:

1)      Increase your flexibility 10%

2)      Increase your strength 10%

3)      Increase your knowledge of orienteering skills

4)      Learn and use 3 new knots

5)      Learn 2 ways to light a fire without matches

6)      Improve your taijutsu fundamentals

7)      Read 2 new martial arts books and apply it in training

8)      Learn 3 new nutritious meals and add them to your diet

9)      Learn to shoot a new rifle, shotgun or pistol

Just 9 little ideas for you to take and apply(or not, if you are a slacker), with 2013 coming to a close and the Holidays upon us, I want to ensure you all don’t cut yourselves to much slack in your training and growth in ninjutsu, so get to work Ninja’s!

Bufu Ikkan

Ninja tracking skills

outsole_at_beachNinjutsu covers a wide variety of techniques and tactics for surveillance. One of which that I review with my students is the art of tracking. Tracking can serve you in several manners, one of which is the ability to locate or follow an enemy, and a second is the ability to locate game animals to help supplement your nutritional needs. Now there are many skills you will need to gain to become a proficient tracker, and I will be publishing more on these subjects at a later date, but here are 8 basic items that indicate movement through an area.

8 Primary indications of movement through an area:

Crushed or bent grass or vegetation

Broken twigs or leaves

Overturned stones or leaves

Mud displaced from streams or wet areas

Sticks or rocks impacted into the ground

Broken cobwebs

Mud or scratches on stones or logs

Depressions in the leaves or ground

 

Well, yesterday I did a little practice on some deer, but overnight we had a nice dusting of snow, so I think I may get out there and see what I can follow today!

Train in the outdoors is a key to developing real world skills!

Bufu Ikkan

Ninja Phone Privacy

Ninja Warriors,

As you know, modern and ancient ninjutsu practitioners are and were, what I call an “information vampire”. Constantly seeking information and knowledge. Well in my recent reading I came across some interesting information regarding the NSA’s ability to glean information on you from your phone. I happened to be reading a military story of the British SAS and SBS use in the war in Iraq. What hit me wasn’t how well interalted they were with our Delta Force operatives but the following story. During the war, most phone lines and cell towers were destroyed, which prompted foreign and local contractors to come in and set up a whole new cell tower system. Once this was running, over 100,000 people a month were buying in to the new network and utilizing cell phones as their primary means of communication. What was very intersteing was that the NSA recorded and tracked every cell call in Iraq. They were able to decipher messages of various terrorist groups, high level officials etc. but what was very scarey was their ability to form a web of where an individual was, or where they had been going to form intelligence so that an individual or group could be set up for a direct action, snatch, hit whatever.

This ability was based on the various metadata and GPS coordinates the phones were scanned for, almost very similar to what has gone on in the USA. So don’t believe that the capture of information off of individuals phones is as harmless as we are being told by this shadowy organization. If they are capturing the information it is valuable to them or another agency for use. Just like the ancient Ninja of Japan gathering information on their enemies and forming a web of intelligence, the NSA is no different, so beware of your communications at all times.

More to come on protecting your communications.

Bufu Ikkan

Ninja Training on the road!

Hello Ninja Warriors!

Well, here I am on the road traveling a bit over the last 5 days, but just to keep myself active I have been working on  short but intense workout for my physical conditioning. Take it and I hope it works for you, like it has me!

Ninja Road Warrior Workout:

10 minutes flexibility work

Forward Lunges(25 per leg)

Pushups( pyramid starting at 10( 1st set 10, 2nd set 9….)

Situps (Pyramid starting at 10)

Plank(forward, side, back 30 secs per position)

Burpees ( 1 set 15)

Mountain climbers ( 1 minute)

Cool down with flexibilty work

15 minutes Meditation and breathing control drills

Bufu Ikkan

 

Ninja Digital Privacy

Ninja EyesWith all of the articles and news stories out there about someone (or the government) listening in on our calls, invading our email accounts, even merchants tracking us in their store by our phone GPS! I thought it might be a good time to start at rock bottom level here and put out some lessons around a Ninja’s Digital Privacy tactics. So without further ado, let’s start at the basic password protection!

Alright, how many passwords do you have? If you are like me A LOT! Work passwords, email accounts, websites, banking, credit cards, facebook, twitter….. do I need to go on!?? I don’t think so, but take a look at what you are using for your passwords and review them against this top 20 utilized list:

1)123456

2) 123456789

3) password

4) adobe123

5)12345678

6) QWERTY

7) 1234567

8) 111111

9) 123123

10) photoshop

11) 1234567890

12) 654321

13)000000

14) abc123

15) 1234

16) adobe1

17) macromedia

18) azerty

19) ilove you

20)aaaaaa

So how many of these are you using? And you wonder why it is so easy to hack into someone’s accounts, steal an identity, open a loan, take out a credit card etc all on the basis that most people do not adequately protect  their password to critical accounts. Don’t be fooled, your email account has tons of information about you, so much so that if I had access to your account for 15 – 30 mins, I could steal your identity! Pretty scary and I am not even very good at my computer hacking skills. So youst me when I say it is not difficult to pry into your retail accounts and then to go out and become you!

So this is your first lesson, get going now and update and upgrade your passwords!

What you want more, well not until you step it up ninjutsu practitioners!

Bufu Ikkan

How does a Ninja physically prepare for a mission?

TrailRunningI cannot tell you how many times, that I have been asked this question, “how would a ninja physically prepare for a mission?” Well, the training would include many if not all of the aspects contained in our Ninja Warrior Conditioning course, which I pull for our class workouts. The Ninja warrior conditioning course structure includes the following principles and or areas to prepare one for the rigors of a mission or life.

Pulling and grip strength ( Have you ever climbed a rope or rock?, then you know why this is important)

Anaerobic and Aerobic conditioning

Burst – recover – burst, especially handy in E and E!

Jumping skill (height, depth etc)

Agility

Mobility/flexibility (Keeping your body supple and loose)

Conditioning

Pain and metal tolerance enhancement

Strength improvement (strength to body weight ratio)

And of course nutrition, recovery, speed enhancement etc!

OK, now you are getting the point here, a ninja warrior either today or in the past had to train in a physically demanding manner which developed specific attributes that would enhance his mission survivability. Of course being physically sound throughout their life also enhanced the potential over all life span and everyday health. Physical training is a core fundamental that the ancient and modern ninja live each day.

Stay tuned for more Ninja Warrior Conditioning articles and videos coming your way!

Bufu Ikkan

55 Days – Fudoshin

FudoshinOk, Ninjutsu fans here is the deal, it is day 310 for 2013, and only 55 days left before we start 2014. My question to you is how did you do on learning 13 skills? (Add link to post) If you haven’t been on this journey, what are you going to do with the last 55 days of this year toward achieving new progress towards your training and life goals? 55 days doesn’t seem like that much time to me but it can be a huge amount of time if you apply yourself to take action each day!

Fudoshin – Immovable spirit, the indomitable will and perseverance to take action each day for the next 55 day is not an easy challenge to accept, and I am publically challenging each of you readers to accept this challenge! I know your next question to me is, “What are you going to do for the next 55 days?”  Guess what, I am accepting my own challenge, and I will be doing the following: Increased material/information released to Ninjutsu Training Online and NTO Facebook, 1 new Podcast, new Ninja Warrior Conditioning training reports(my training as well as items for you to use), never mind awesome training for myself and current students!  And if I am not living up to what I have stated here, YOU ALL get to give me a rash of CRAP!

So are you willing to accept my challenge? What are you afraid of? Do it now and let me know what I can help you with as well what can I harass you for!

Bufu Ikkan

“Sleep is for the weak, you can catch up on your sleep when you are dirt napping!”

A Ninja Birthday

Just over a week ago, I celebrated another new year in my warrior’s journey. Many people that I know lament that they are getting older each year, you know this person, the one who is complaining about his aching back, or lack of drive, strength , eyesight …whatever. Those are the people you are not going to want to be around for long and neither should you.

Each year I look forward to learning more, chipping away at my weaknesses, become as fit as I can be no matter what the numbers my age show, and for those who know me personally, you know that I am in shape and each day I challenge myself to grow and expand my knowledge and teaching skills. I was lucky way back when I started the martial arts at the tender age of 10 years old. I look back and laugh at what I did, the lessons I learned (mostly the hard way), the friends along the path that I have been honored to meet and train with, and lastly what I have been passing along the way to those who meet and train with me.  Recently, I came upon this quote from Soke Hatsumi, “ In Shinken gata, learning new things is always important.” I truly believe this! Now a bit of Ninja advice, we all have the exact same amount of time each day, what you do with it is what makes you great or makes you less than you can become. Each day you need to evolve! Evolution is change and change is life, your arts and life are intertwined, each day live passionately about evolution in your daily practice and life.

 

Bufu Ikkan