3 Ninja Brain Building Exercises

As a martial artist, we tend to focus on developing our martial, physical skills and often overlook the “brain” and how we can and should be strengthening and developing it as a muscle. There are so many task and exercises that will help further your physical training when your brain is more plastic like (plasticity) and able handle large amounts of information and problem solving exercises. What follows is just 3 basic exercises that you can start doing to help your brain stay strong!

  • Non-dominant Hand. Throughout the day try to use your non-dominant hand to do tasks. Simple tasks like shaving, brushing your teeth, utensil use, etc. For me I want to be able to utilize my non-dominant hand in my martial practice so I shoot, spar, and strike to improve my ability to be ambidextrous.

 

  • Upside down. One way to force the brain to go above and beyond it’s normal use is to do things in an upside down manner. What I mean here is read a note or a page from a book, look at a painting, wear your watch upside down. I know for a fact that I have gained information by having the ability to read a paper on someone’s desk upside down when we were in a meeting once. It is tough but start practicing now and it will get easier. Hell, I even hang upside down off a bar or heavy bag and practice target striking and even some attack and defense skills

 

  • Yes, something we should already be doing in our practice is meditation. Train your brain to slow down and focus. There are great benefits from meditating each day, but it does take discipline and focus to remain on task. Scan through the posts here and you will see several of them dealing and teaching about meditation

Now, this is just the tip of the iceberg and doesn’t even begin to cover how I utilize these exercises in actual martial practice and development, so stay tuned for more over the coming months!!

Bufu Ikkan

Airyu – Living the Ninja Lifestyle

Ninja Fire Making Skills

Alright Ninja peeps, as you know I love being outside! I also teach and mentor many individuals in how to survive and thrive in the outdoors. Now one of the most basic of all skills is how to build a fire to stay warm, cook and or purify water.

Now, I don’t know about you but I always keep more than one method of fire building on me at all times. It doesn’t matter if I am on the road (way too often) or just doing some logging work here around the ninja homestead, I am always prepared.

So let’s start with the basics:

  • Disposable or refillable lighter. (I have a great windproof one that I use all the time.
  • Strike anywhere matches. Sometimes hard to find, but when you do, put them in a small watertight bag or bottle, and place in your EDC kit.
  • Flint and steel, ferrocerium rod. (my #2 carry)
  • Magnifying glass

Fire building 101

  • Clear the space where you are building your fire to bare earth. I like to dig a shallow hole and line it with rocks or sand if possible.
  • Gather your tinder and fire making supplies (and gather 2X as much as you think you will need and you will still probably run out)
  • Start with your tinder and kindling in one of several designs (teepee, log cabin etc)
  • Light that tinder and slowly feed it until you have a nice fire going!

Now more advanced fire building occurs when the ground is wet, tinder is hard to find, it is dark and you are cold etc. Those are skills you need to hone through practice. As an example, I went out to the deeper woods today 15 inches of snow on the ground and practiced starting a fire with my trust old flint and steel. After about 10 mins or so I had a nice little blaze to warm up and dry off!

In ancient days, a ninja had to be prepared to survive outside in difficult conditions in all sorts of weather. Step one is build a shelter, step 2 to make yourself more comfortable learning to build a nice fire for warmth, comfort and utilitarian uses!

Bufu Ikkan