How is your day or week going? Is it hectic, running from one place to the next, action item after action item, only to then come home and have to clean up the house, drive the kids around, attend a meeting, maybe squeeze a training session in, then off to bed?? Sound familiar, I bet it does. Our lives are in a constant state of motion and activity and our brains are being forced to keep up with this frenetic pace, but how can you work to calm your mind, so that your body and mind can recover, well it is through meditation. Now before you groan and say “all this mental stuff doesn’t work” or “I don’t have time”, or any other lame ass excuse you can come up with, let me just ask you do you have 7 minutes you can spare in the morning? If you say no, then get up earlier! But let me explain, I came across a short piece from Jennifer Heil, an Olympic Gold Medalist Freestyle skier, and she recommends that we take just “seven minutes each day to focus on your breath. Slowing down to six breaths per minute for seven minutes is enough to calm the nerves and allow our bodies to physically recover.”
So, as always I became a human guinea pig in a new experiment to bring my frantic mind into calmness in just seven minutes. I start by sitting on the floor legs crossed, arms in my lap, concentrating on slowing my breathing down until I am at 6 breaths/min of time. My mind is usually racing trying to plan the day, remember to work on the website, call a student back but each time a thought wonders in I force myself to sit and concentrate on my breathing. After my first week, I felt huge improvements on my ability to focus on a task and creativity started pouring in. A ninja, must be able to control his/her thoughts and emotions on short notice, and so I ask you can you spare 7 minutes of your day to work on calming your mind? If not why are you reading this post, go and get some practice time in!
“Sensei, I like the winter training posts you have put up, are you going to film anything new to add to the posts?” John G, Illinois
Yes I am! We just cleared a small storm that left 14 inches of snow here, and a nother new storm is coming in next Thursday. I hope to be able to head out to camp Shinobi to film some material next week.
Thanks for the question,
“Hi Airyu, do you have a list of the books and DVD’s you have read or watched and what is good and worthwhile to review?” William T, Mississippi
Of course, silly Ninja! I have a long list of material I have studied and that will be posted in the new Members section that is going to be released on March 15, 2014! Stay tuned for more on this upgrade.
“Do you train with a sword? Mark W. Conn.
Yes, I train with a very large assortment of weapons, and tools(ningu). You never know when you will be required to utilize something as a weapon or tool, so a wide breadth of knowledge can be very helpful. As I said in the above reply, the new members section will be packed with training information including various weapons both traditional and modern!
“Sensei, what do you think about Crossfit.” Sam P., Oregon
Well that is a loaded question! I have been a big fan of many training programs for well over 35 years. During this time I have been training and absorbing from many areas and people. Crossfit is not really a new program for me, as many of the short HIT programs it utilizes are very familiar, having been a fan and student of Coach Davies and Mark Twight material. Just as a side note I have and do teach several programs, one of which is Ninja Warrior Conditioning™, that will be released this year to the general public. But also a great deal of this is being prepared for our members, keep in touch so you can join up and receive the material.
Train hard and intense!
Alright ninjutsu fans thank you for the questions, feedback and keep them coming as it keeps my motivation high so I can continue to bring great material back to you.
I love winter!
I love the cold the snow and even the treacherous driving (sometimes). Why, you might even think I am crazy but any ninjutsu practitioners should be training in all weather conditions, and yes that mean getting out in the cold! Now let’s take a step back here and identify a few different types of training you could be doing:
1) Skill based
2) Activity based
Here is a more detailed look at these two areas.
When was the last time you practiced your camping skills in the winter? Setting up a tent or emergency shelter and then spending the night out in the elements? How about your cooking and water purification skills? Personally, I get out several times in the winter to do just this, I have built lean two’s, trench and debris shelters, as well as my hammock tent and spent pleasant nights in them nice and warm. I also enjoy physical training outside taking my ukemi, and striking drills out into the real world, hey when was the last time you took your pistol out to the range on a cold day and see how you would function and deploy a concealed weapon? So you are probably getting my point here, get out side and practice in a natural environment, without doing this you are only a “dojo trainer”.
Here it is time to have some fun and stay in shape in the out of doors! Skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding (one of my favorites), shoveling, trail running(another of my favorites) hey you could throw in a biathalon event just to have some fun. I love snowboarding, facing your fear as you line up into the jump, using your legs and hips to carve and control the board, great training for your taijutsu! Last week, I was out on the slopes for 5 hours. The slopes were almost bare, no one around why? Well it was 0 degrees at the base, and now add you coming down the mountain on a board to throw some wind chill at you and it was ~-20 degrees! But it was awesome, I had so many runs I lost count! So get out there and choose something you like to do and pursue it with a passion!
O.K, now you have a few ideas to add once again to your training, so get ready and hit the cold temps!
Ps: More winter training tips coming…