Within the Shinden Fudo Ryu tradition there is a principle of nature, or training in nature. This seems so simplistic by its shortness, but it actual encompasses so much more when you peel back the layers.
First, we all should be practicing in nature, outside of the confines of the dojo. Yes, this can mean training in a field or nice safe area, but what I mean here is to train in all-natural environments in order to test and develop your fighting and survival abilities.
So, let’s do a little exploration here!
Training in urban environments:
Take your training out into the urban world. This would include, practicing falling, leaping and fighting in areas you may need to utilize these skills. Additional examples, a parking lot, fighting from your car, stairwells, dressed in cold weather or warm weather clothing, use a mall for counter surveillance drills, practice intonjutsu skills by entering your home unconventionally, how do you deploy or conceal weapons with street clothes on? Now these are just a few suggestions but clearly not limiting a host of other ideas (and yes I will have a more detailed list and scenarios for you soon!)
Training in rural environments:
I am blessed that I am in a rural area but this does pose unique situations for training and preparedness. These would include, medical management (being away from a local hospital you may need to treat a person prior to transport), physical training – trail running, natural training such as log carries, rock lifting etc., as with urban training – weapons management, deployment, use of off road vehicles and animal handling, wilderness survival and land navigation skills, and these are just to name a few!
Blended Environments (Travel):
I travel a lot so how do I apply and train for travel? Well, non descript concealed weapon usage, intelligence gathering on my travel location, terrain familiarization and escape route preparation (how do I get to a secure location), educational research, language familiarization, etc. There are always opportunities for learning, no matter where you are.
As this is just a brief overview, you can possibly see you can spend a great deal of time on breaking down your training and pushing yourself and students into areas that will challenge and excite them to continue to grow. Ninjutsu is not a dead art, the principles contained within it’s multifaceted ancient arts translate into modern applications, but this is totally dependent on the teacher and or the student who wants to realize and utilize them in this fashion. My belief is that if you are not evolving you will be dead. Your opponents are not just hanging around doing nothing, they are sharpening their skills so why wouldn’t you?
Now get out there and train!