Training like a Ninja – Some of my principles on training

The other day I was speaking to a friend about training and he asked me “what was so special about my training or ninjutsu training than other arts.”

Well here comes my answer—-

All martial arts are good in some way, shape or form. It depends on the individual to choose what they want to gain from an art before they jump in and start training as the martial arts can be used for purely health related purposes all the way out to sport combative or real world combative applications. It all depends on who you are and what you want to gain, so before I start offending others here get ready as this is my opinion and it has served me well for many, many years of training and real world application of my training.

It isn’t what you train in, specifically, but how you train and how you apply what you train in. In ninjutsu it is about surviving another day by any means possible, from the direct application of a technique or the direct application of a principle or tactic. But, even deeper is the “How you train”, is your practice safe and non threatening? Then don’t be blowing smoke at me and tell me you are practicing for a street encounter. Ever been hit by a kick, punch or stick? It hurts, and it throws you into the whole adrenal fight or flight mechanism, and if you haven’t trained to prepare for it, I wish you a lot of luck. Again, take ninjutsu, it is one of my favorite systems to practice but I also practice many others and continue to push my learning outside of the boundaries, preconceived by some, yes like a ninja did ages ago. Braving new technology or tools to accomplish a mission or to protect one’s family. So, is your training for real? Do you push yourself in a physical manner to help you develop your mental endurance? When you are trail running do you stop to catch your breath, or do you push further until you physically have to stop because you don’t have it left in you to go further…this is what I mean when I say it is how you train. There are keys along the way that will help you in learning, core basics that make up an arts curriculum, but Soke Hatsumi has often said that we need to “Break” , (Ri) from the basic and let it become our own. But, let me step back here and say without a physical background you will never achieve the deeper parts of an art, or true understanding in how to operate in the real world. The mind is a key, training it to be stronger, more flexible in problem solving, analysis of situations, enduring, etc. Without these skills you will always be at best an intermediate practitioner of anything or any art. So, I am throwing a lot out here about my core beliefs in training, what can you take away here, well at the very least a few questions to ask yourself when training:

  • Is it functional? Is what I am practicing or using to improve my physical self a core function that will help enhance my other physical skills? Ex: What does a barbell curl do for your punching ability?
  • Am I exceeding my limitations? Most limitations are self-limitations. Do you self – limit your training by telling yourself you can’t do this or that because you are too old, not flexible, not strong enough etc. Throw it out and do it anyway, train the brain to push through it’s self-imposed limits.
  • Does it sync with what else you practice, know or do? “Absorb what is useful, disregard the useless, and add to it specifically what is your own.” – Bruce Lee I think you know what I am aiming to here, if it does sync with what you are doing it will not be something you do in a real situation, so why waste the short time you have practicing it?

Ok, I have laid out 3 principles for you to absorb, a ninja of any age was and is at the cutting edge of learning, physical conditioning and preparedness to help or protect himself of loved ones, can you look deep inside yourself and say that you are there yet? Then why aren’t you training like a ninja? Fast furious, hard and difficult, these are tried and true principles for you to make serious improvements in your skill levels and real world application of what you practice.

Bufu Ikkan

Airyu – “Living the Ninja Lifestyle.”

Ps: Time to head to the dungeon and do some training once again!