Archive for January, 2014

Only 10 – 20%…

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

Ninja Lifestyle

“Only 10 – 20% of people can stay calm and think in the midst of a survival emergency. They are the ones who can perceive their situation clearly, they can plan and take correct action, all of which are key elements of survival. Confronted with a challenging environment they rapidly adapt.”

Recently, I came across the above passage in Deep Survival, by Laurence Gonzales and it is not a difficult jump to make this assumption to martial arts practitioners as well. Over the years I have seen and been in quite a few emergency situations, fights and a LEO altercations and I really believe that the author hit the nail on the head with this one.

Although, you can become the 10 – 20% with the right level of realistic and repetitive training, not everyone is willing to push themselves to their limits to do so. A ninjutsu practitioner must enter into this small band as there is no other way to survive a conflict other than to take immediately action in a calm manner, pulling what is needed for the situation out of their data banks from the harsh training you should be putting yourself through each day. Mental ability is more than half of your battle and should be emphasized in your training as well. How well do you perform under stress? Have you ever tried to see what you can do in a stressful situation? How do you prepare or even incorporate this tactic into your training regime? Let’s give you some methods so that you can become better adapted to deal with a Survival Situation.

Training Modifiers

Physical exhaustion: The ability to push through physical exhaustion is a key in developing mental fortitude and the belief that you can succeed through that which you didn’t believe possible. Add withering conditioning drills such as burpees, wind sprints, heavy bag punch and kick outs, extended training time. When you have completed your exhaustion training, add your skill specific work in now. One of my favorite scenarios here is shooting: I start with a 1mile trail run, end at the range where I have to do push ups, situps, burpees and then shoot for precision!

Weather: The ability to act or move in all weather, only comes from training in all weather. Outdoor training in the rain and especially in the cold for you hearty types should be a key point in your sessions. Here is a good one, stick your bare hands into the snow until they are hard to move and nearly frozen and the grab your sticks or other weapons and try to strike targets until the feeling comes back in them. I have often been outside in the winter striking a makiwara to toughen my ability to hit hard when necessary. It’s always fun when you leave a little flesh behind when your skin sticks to the target, so be careful!!

Now our training has to be harsh to prepare us for the real world, but here is another analogy. With the Olympic winter games upon us, one of my favorite sports to watch is the Biathalon, skiing and shooting! Think about this a timed race and shooting match combined! Training is often very tough but one I leave you with here is the following story:

Norwegian Magnar Solberg was an unknown heading into the 1968 Olympics in Grenoble. He was not favored to compete well, much less win. However, a bizarre and brutal summer training regimen devised by his coach allowed Solberg to concentrate on his shooting even under the pressure and exhaustion of the 20 km event. His coach forced him to fire at a target 50 meters away while lying on an anthill, with ants crawling into his clothes and on his face.

Although not an especially fast skier, Solberg hit 20 of 20 targets. His perfection earned him a gold medal.

So if you want to be in the 10 – 20 % who can act under pressure in a survival situation, start matching your training to help you develop the mental game you will need to do so.

More on Winter Training coming up!

Bufu Ikkan



My first time reading about Ninjutsu

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

Official Karate

Ninjutsu article


I am known as in information vampire and have a huge library (some students call it the Vast Archive) of marital arts and related interests. It is funny I can still remember the day I bought Official Karate magazine because I saw the article on the Ninja. I read this article over and over trying to figure out a way to train with Soke Hatsumi (which took time but eventually was well worth the wait!)

I can remember after reading this everything I could find as soon as it was printed on the Ninja, and started practicing as much as I could from reliable sources. I had to, of course, build my own obstacle course to help me improve my entering skills and soon had ropes to climb, obstacles to climb over and under, logs to cross at various heights, and targets to practice my shuriken and kyujutsu skills on. This wasn’t the first time I had built a training area (I’ll save that story for the member’s area), I even turned my clubhouse into a Japanese styled home, complete with escape tunnel, and escape hatch to the roof, with hidden compartments and weapons and training gear galore!

So in a future series of lesson I will help you build a few items that you can use for your own ninja training area!


Bufu Ikkan

Shikin Harimitsu Daikomyo

Sunday, January 12th, 2014


“Every experience we encounter carries within it the potential for the breakthrough to enlightened consciousness.”

Each day when you get up, do you think “wow, this is the day when it will all come together for me!” or “Crap I have to go to work again today…”, well your inner voice is defeating opportunities for you to grow and learn.

I am not all about being Pollyanna, but what I am saying here is, every day you have an opportunity to gain insight into new training methods, information, skill development, meet a new teacher, see a video you never saw before, even hear a story that could, in a moment change your life. In the beginning of class, when you sit in seiza and bow in, reciting this verse, why aren’t you realizing or applying this to your life and training each day? Just this morning, I woke early and was thinking, what can I learn and practice today? So I got up, had some coffee and practiced a bit of lockpicking skills(from Intonjutsu) that I have been neglecting lately. After I finished my coffee I decided to work on my cardiovascular conditioning and went for a 5K run, my first of the year to set goals for improvement. I came back with many ideas for lessons and posts and immediately sat down to write them all down and create this short lesson for you all.

Ninjutsu is about living and applying the skills we learn and gain each and every day, our practices and interactions during the day are offering us even more training and the potential to breakthrough barriers holding us back. So my challenge to you for 2014 is to start each day with this verse in your mind “Shikin harimitsu daikomyo” then take on the day with a passion to improve your ninjutsu skills and life.

2014 is a new beginning, and you will be seeing great things here, so stay tuned. Send me an email or post here if you have questions or suggestions for upcoming lessons.

Bufu Ikkan


Ninja Reflection

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

Every year, I take time to sit back and reflect on the past year’s accomplishments, lessons learned and what didn’t go as planned. Now it this takes a bit of time, but this reflection allows me to look forward to setting new goals and objectives for the upcoming year. Now with 2014 here, I am just starting this process again and thought I would share this with all of you as a lesson to help improve your training and potentially your life in many areas.

Reflection Process

Tools: Notebook, pen/pencil, audio recorder anything to keep track of your thoughts, Goals from previous year, highlighters.

Step 1) Review your previous year goals, write them in your notebook and briefly describe what you have done to complete them, and if you did complete them Highlight it at the top.

Step 2) Review any other accomplishments that occurred during the year. Many of these can occur without planning but almost all of them will take away from time that you were planning on using for Goal achievement.

Step 3) Review any lessons you might have learned throughout the previous year. This could be anything you learned along the way, and might be tid bits of advice, actual skills, things not to do or try again etc.

Step 4) For each goal you did not achieve, write down WHY you didn’t achieve it. Trust me this can be painful as you might be opening a can of emotions you didn’t want to deal with, but the why is important, especially as you start to create your life plan for next year. (Do you like the” Life Plan” I use this to keep my goals all encompassing.

Step 5) Did you miss anything? Take a few minutes and read what you have put down, the good the bad and ugly. Just because you didn’t achieve something doesn’t mean you didn’t accomplish something during the process of attempting a goal. Of course you learned that maybe it wasn’t a goal you wanted to achieve, or your love of candy outweighs your goal of losing weight, but you did learn something.

Step 6) Start your Life Plan for 2014! Start with goals in areas of Self improvement(learning), Physical improvement, Relationship, financial and spiritual improvement. Set a goal that is or has something you can measure against, a weight, time, dollar value, number of training sessions, books to read etc. This is the best way to see if and what you improve. As an example I had a goal of reading 80 books, listen to 20 audio books, this did not include magazines or online articles etc. (Yes I hit this goal, if you are wondering)

So, you may be thinking what does this have to do with Ninjutsu? Well you should remember the secret of Sanmitsu (Thought, Word, Deed) and how this should drive you to improve your skills and life through the action of Thinking and reflecting, setting a goal and the taking action to become a better ninjutsu practitioner, partner, father, friend, whatever it is you want to achieve! So my fellow Ninja’s take the time over the next week to review your 2013 accomplishements and set a new Life Plan in place for 2014. I will share this with you….1 of my big goals is to make this website a hub for Ninja practitioners from around the world to share and learn to and from!

Bufu Ikkan!!

Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Happy New Year

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014