Crisis Preparation

crisis-preparedness-signAlright now no one ever has a crises occur in their life… maybe someone does or did, it could have been you. I know that I have gone through a few like lost my job, been lost in the wilderness, had to treat some serious first aid situations etc. With each of these events there are some common items that will help you “Be Prepared” to face the next challenge in your life.

  • Accept the situation. Yes, this is tough to grasp but to deal with what is happening you need to accept the fact that it is occurring to you, right now. I cannot tell you how many times I see or have heard someone in denial of what is going on to or around them. Instead of the denial, accept fully what is occurring and own it!
  • Plan now. Prior planning prevents poor performance!! Yes, sit down and take stock of what is going on to or around you and make a plan of attack. Practice this skill it can be developed. As an example I use the scenario based exercise “what would I do if…” , whatever the situation take a mental not to think what would I do if this or that occurred to me right now. I practice this at a stop light, in a mall, at dinner etc. I even involve my family in the scenarios for their input.
  • Take action. For those of you following the Facebook page posts, I often write about taking action. Why you may ask? Well, without action nothing occurs, and I mean nothing. When I took my first CPR/First aid training session the instructor made a huge impression on me by stating, “if not you, then who, so take action.” You may act and it may not work out as you planned but I would venture to guess it will be better than sitting back and not taking action.

So how does this apply in ninjutsu? Well in being ready to “expect the unexpected” events that happen in life. How many people in the recent natural disasters thought about being ready to take action if there was a fire, flood or other event, Probably not that many. So if you are serious about Living the Ninja Lifestyle, you need to adopt these three primary lessons into your daily routine.

Short post, but to the point.

Train hard and realistic!

Bufu Ikkan

Airyucrisis-preparedness-sign

Mushin and flow

“The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times… The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.” ~ Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1990, p. 3)

lyoto machida calmThis brief quote is a fantastic description of what many martial artists strive for, that feeling of oneness, flow, mushin. When I am asked about what is mushin, I usually respond with “living and being in the moment, deal with what is there, not what has past or what will be, just now.”

There is no easy path to reach this aspect of the martial arts or with any skill that you are seeking mastery in. What this brief lesson will bring you is a few tips to help you accelerate your journey to mushin.

#1) Master the fundamentals. (A simple statement yet so profound in its measure.) Over the last few decades I have met and trained with fantastic martial artist from many different systems, yet only a few have truly master the fundamentals of their respective arts. Each session practice the fundamentals of your art, if it is ninjutsu then start with sanshin no kata or the kihon happo, ukemi, aruki, and taisaabaki, if it was boxing then jab, cross hook, uppercut, feinting, footwork etc. Without a firm grasp of the fundamentals you cannot hope to move effortlessly.

#2) Put in the time with real training partners. These are the ones that everyone avoids because they “train to hard”, or like to “mix it up a bit.” These are the ones who will push you beyond your comfort zones.

#3) Controlled randori with a good coach. You cannot achieve mushin through meditation alone, you must deal with an attacker, multiple attackers and that has to happen many, many times. A good coach/teacher will push you safely with multiple attackers challenging your skill level while keeping it as safe as possible.

#4) Mental development. Just because I said you cannot achieve Mushin with meditation alone, does not mean you can neglect this critical aspect of your training. A calm, focused mind is not an easy thing to gain and you will need to learn to quiet those doubting thoughts, master your breathing, visualize your movements just as you are required to deeply grasp the fundamental physical techniques you should know.

#5) The last tip…..TIME! It takes time to gain this level of skill, with hours of diligent practice and the additional mental training your skills will develop over time, so be patient!

Bufu Ikkan

Airyu –“Living the ninja lifestyle!”

Building you Intelligence Network

Network

Hey Ninjutsu fans I’m finally back from traveling around the States this past month. Now while I have been traveling I have also been building my intelligence gathering network. Establishing a strong network of individuals that feed you information isn’t that difficult to put in place and the rewards are fantastic. (I’ll share a quick example that just occurred in my work network that I have been cultivating)

So how do you go about building the network, well let’s keep this short lesson fairly brief:

  • When you are in an event where you are meeting many individuals or just meeting someone for the first time, you have a great opportunity to add a node to your network. Learn their name and what they do for work and if the will share a bit about themselves what the enjoy doing outside of work.
  • After meeting take notes on the individual and add them to your network by filing the information on mindmap. You may need several maps to encompass different networks ie:Work related, martial arts related, informational etc. (personally I have three)
  • Routinely review and reach out to the individuals building your relationship with them and deepening the information you gather from them.
  • Put the knowledge to good use!

Pretty simple process and yes it works! Here are a few examples,

On a flight out to Tennessee, I was seated next to a young lady who asked me about a book I was reading, I had already noticed what she was reading and struck up a conversation regarding the material in what she was reading, this lead us to exchanging business cards. A week later I reached out to say thanks for the conversation and when they wrote back it ended up with a big lead for me on a non profit organization that I am doing some work with now.

A recent martial arts gathering lead me to new contacts that have now hooked into my network and I have a new student who lives fairly close,  that one of these individuals had spoken to them about training with me, new student has been on boarded!

A tier 1 operator that I trained some years ago, reached out and we are now sharing some training materials, this lead me to some great work with very talented individuals!

This are just a few examples of what a network can do for you, and I have hundreds of examples of this process and information that I have gained work to my family and my benefit. There is a lot that I cannot share for very particular reasons, but let’s just say a Ninja should always be prepared and in order to do so they require strong information from many sources HUMINT is only one.

Bufu Ikkan

Airyu  – Living the Ninja Lifestyle!