Independence Day


Happy fourth of July Ninja fans!

First, to all of our veterans, thank you for your service to our country. Now, let’s get into some discussion here. Our ancient ninjutsu forebears, were independent minded, hard working individuals, who out of necessity learned to protect themselves with specialized skill sets to prepare them for direct or indirect conflict. They had developed skills to gather intelligence to stay one step ahead of their opponent’s as well as unconventional warfare skills that allowed them to strike in the middle of the night to instill fear and confusion to their enemies.

Now today, most of us practice the martial side of our traditions but have not cultivated the more esoteric sides of our ancient arts. When was the last time you gathered intelligence regarding the political scene in your area? I am not just asking you to go along with your party line but to actually in detail research a particular political candidate or party line? Here is an example of this process:

  • Read 4 pro and con articles or news feeds on a topic. The feeds need to be both left and right of the subject being reviewed.
  • Hit the internet and review a particular topic. Use the various search functions like Bing, yahoo, google, duckduckgo, etc. Compare and contrast the various opinions.
  • Compile your notes and set up various contrasting maps of the subject

Alright so you have a few tips on remote intelligence gathering, now how about your food independence setup? Are you even remotely trained in how to forage in urban and suburban areas? What can you eat if you had to hit the road quickly with little supplies on you? Well here is a good resource for you to start your education , now what about any food storage you may have? Do you actually know what you have on hand? So how about you start an inventory list and once you review that learn to have a minimum of 1 month of on hand supplies in your pantry. Why you might ask? Don’t be stupid, shit happens and being prepared with food storage is just a smart thing to do. Think about if you lost your job tomorrow wouldn’t it be nice to not have to worry about buying food for a few weeks? (This actually happened to me a few years ago!)

Last one for this short rant, how are your finances? Are you practicing the 52 week challenge right now to help build up a cash reserve? Why not…is it too difficult to give up a few dollars each week! Well suck it up and get on the plan, having a little rainy day fund put away will make you feel a lot more comfortable and able to handle those short term cash emergencies that happen in life.

Ok, so now you have a different view of Independence day. It is time for you to start being more independent and prepared in life, not so different than our arts history and development through the ages,

Bufu Ikkan

Condition Yellow

308643main_codeyellowDo you feel that you are prepared, not just for a physical attack, but prepared for a mass shooting, disaster, medical emergency or even a financial one? I’ll bet you dollars to donuts, you can’t say yes to all of these items.

Jeff Cooper penned the Condition Color code system that is still relevant in today’s crazy ass society. On a day to day basis, my family and I are in condition yellow, calm alertness, scanning and being aware of potential threats.

The other day another mass shooting, what would you do if you were there? How about tomorrow your business closes it’s doors, are you ready for three months to live without a paycheck? Is your ninjutsu training teaching you the skills necessary to survive during either of those two events? Well, I haven’t been in a shooting (but oh yes, I practice my firearm skills regularly so that if I need to use a weapon I can) but several years ago I was hit in a layoff. Now it did shock my world, but I was also somewhat prepared financially to live a few months without a steady check, and I was able to work some light construction to stretch out my savings until I was ready and found a job that I wanted to take. Now I don’t say this lightly, you need to be prepared to do many things, and a ninja of old had no one to rely on, other than himself and family. They knew how to do basic medical treatments and first aid, they farmed or knew what they could forage on a mission, they could be financially prepared , communication skills, etc. All skills that have fallen off our training and life as we become so much more beholden to technology. I am not trying to be a doomsayer or a technophobe, I love technology and use it for all it’s worth, but I also have a few back up plans incase my tech goes down. I teach my scouts basic orienteering skills and one of them said to me “I will just use my GPS and find my way out” well on a recent trip there was no GPS signal and yes we relied on a map and compass!

But back to condition yellow, are you aware of what is going on around you on a daily basis and are you making plans to be prepared for whatever is coming your way? If not take a moment to work on the following skills:

  • Financial – 3 months cash put away in case you need it quick have some of it out of the bank and in your home.
  • Medical skills – Take a CPR/First aid class. I cannot tell you how many times I have helped or administered first aid to someone.
  • Weapon skills – Augment your training with your EDC weapons whenever possible. Take a firearms handling class so you are more prepared and trained than your opponent
  • Basic survival skills – firebuilding, shelter building, water purification. Know these three things and you will be a lot better off than 80% of the population
  • Become self reliant! (more posts coming on this one)


Alright, I have left you with a lot to get going on, but do not forget the primary lesson here is Condition Yellow mindset in all things. You will thank me for this reminder someday when something goes to hell in your day and you were able to deal with it effectively!

Bufu Ikkan

Airyu – “Living the Ninja Lifestyle!”

Whew – just got off the home range with the family, great times and awesome movement drills!!

Grey Man Series update

Grey ManHello My Fellow Ninja Practitioners!

Today’s post is following up on our popular Grey Man Series and outlines a few financial alternatives to help you lower your financial traceability in society.

Do you know that 48% of all monetary transaction are now electronic? Think about the debit and credit cards you see everyone swiping at the store, and then asking for cash back. Now think about all of those data breaches that have occurred in the last few months, and yet we still don’t change our ways….pretty sad actually.20140826_Data_Breaches

Ok so now what should you do to help become the grey man or modern day ninja for purchasing on or off line? Well, of course the first thing is CASH! If you haven’t figured it out yet, it is hard to beat cash in society. Many people will deal in cash and give a percentage discount so they don’t have to pay fees on the credit card or check processing. Not only that, cash does not show up anywhere if you have a stash of it in your home, so how are you doing on that 52 week financial challenge?(over $200 there now!)

I know you can’t use cash over the internet but there are several ways you can get around that as well.

  • Paypal
  • Prepaid credit or debit cards
  • Alternative currency

Let me just focus on prepaid credit/debit card. I love these things as you can usually reload them when they are low, and if you are careful will not have any hidden fees, slowly draining your resources away!(So pay attention to those cards!) I have used mine on line several times with no problems, and I usually have 1 or 2 on me with either $50 or $100 on it. If it is lost stolen or hacked in anyway it limits me to $50 or $100 bucks and not my whole account. It doesn’t even have to use my name, so someone prying into my purchase habits is going to have a really hard time doing that!

Alright, so a few things to think about and put into action, so get moving!

More lessons to come….

Bufu Ikkan

Airyu – “Living the Ninja Lifestyle!”

Rough Training

South Korean Soldiers Training Old School

South Korean Soldiers Training Old School

The other day I was looking through my old archives of notes and videos of some my earlier days in training, and as I showed a few of the students, they looked at me as if I was out of my mind. One of the students looked at me and said “You actually trained like that back when you started?” and I said back, “I still do.”

What we were looking at were my notes on training in the snow. I wanted to develop my mental ability of focus and perseverance in difficult weather, so I would head outside to my outdoor training area, in my gi, barefoot and would practice! Training usually started out with a 30 foot rope climb, followed up with kata practice, and then makiwara sessions. My makiwara was 1 inch hemp rope wrapped around a tree stump that I would strike with all the traditional strikes as well as my fingertips, wrist, shins etc. My cool down was to take a piece of carpet and lay it out on the snow and practice 15 – 20 mins of deep meditation.

Of course I didn’t think I was crazy, there were many stories of this type of severe training from the many masters of the arts, but my friends, family and students though I was a psycho! Yet, it never stopped me from my crazy training. Even now as long as it is 15 degrees above zero, I will hit the trail or road for running and training sessions outside, and yes people still call me crazy!!

Yet, maybe all of this training has prepared me for and allowed me to be where I am at today, I don’t know? I can tell you I have pages of history from my past that give me examples of what I pushed myself to be capable of, because sometimes what we are capable of and what we actually do are two separate things.

We have all heard of the rough and tumble training that Soke Hatsumi use to put his students through in the early days, and from the conversations I have had with the various Shihan none of them would have had it any other way. Now is this path for everyone?? I would honestly say no it is not, but that is because too many people have become soft in their training and life and would not take well to leaving the skin of your knuckles frozen on the makiwara post (oh yes this happened to me a few times! and yes it sucked!!) or being uncomfortable in the cold, bruised and or sore from sparring sessions, or even taking a quick trip to the ER to be stitched up or a finger put back into place.

Would I change the way I train or have trained? Not on your life would I, and I also know and have been pushed way beyond what I thought I could do or take to my body and mind and yet I am still training rough and difficult for as long as I can. Would our ancient forbears have trained in any other fashion to prepare themselves for the potential hardships they would face in war or life? I don’t think so, and so I offer you this Ninja challenge – ramp up your training, push harder than you think possible, do things beyond what you think possible and see what your training and skills look like in a few months, I guarantee you will be impressed.

Bufu Ikkan

Airyu – “Living the Ninja Lifestyle”

Grey Man Series

gray man

Hello Ninjutsu Fans!!

Well I am back again from traveling around this great country of ours, but man is it crazy lately or is it just me? Luckily for me, I live a pretty secure lifestyle that is self-reliant, as our ancient forbears did in the warring times of feudal Japan.

A few people have been asking about the Grey Man series and adding on new material especially with all the recent news regarding illegal gathering of information on US citizens, the Panama papers and just noisy people in general so here are a few quick tips on Online digital privacy.

Tip #1: Use an anonymizing software for internet surfing, here are 2 for you to check out

Tip #2: Use encryption software to protect your emails

Tip #3: Create you alternative online identity and use it! If you search through the archives here you will find a post on doing just that!

Alright now this is just a few tips, but does it stop here? Well of course not, this is just the beginning. Think about this you are tracked everywhere you go on the web, what you buy, sell, websites you go to etc.

Tons of data that in the wrong hands or wrong context can land you in a serious world of crap. Protecting yourself and loved ones is just another extension of the Ninja Lifestyle I have written extensively about here for years, so why aren’t you taking this lesson to heart?

I guess this means the Grey Man series is making a comeback!

Bufu Ikkan!

Airyu – “Living the Ninja Lifestyle”




New Light reviewed

k2-_4e113f2e-4f3c-42e3-b01b-d164872e8cad.v1 Hello Ninja Practitioners!!

Now before you think I am making anything on this endorsement, I just want to let everyone know straight out, -I buy and try out any gear that I recommend here. Nothing is given to me to endorse, and I wouldn’t do it anyway.

Alright with that out of the way I would like to recommend a cheap and effective tactical pen light from Bushnell, the Bushnell Pro 100L. I just happened to be strolling along in Walmart a few weeks ago and stumbled onto this cheap gem, so for under $20 I said why not and picked one up and I couldn’t be happier with this unit. It is solidly made from aircraft aluminum, pocket clip and yes some nice bevels in the front and rear of the unit, and to you can’t beat that it runs on 2 AAA batteries! Now this is not a high powered laser like beam, but instead illuminates a wide area very brightly.

Over the last few weeks I have used this repeatedly inside and outside, and as a final test have taken this along with me on 2 different trips (yes it is TSA friendly!)

Anyway, for the price I went back and bought one for each of my family members to have with them and or in their car.

More to come!

Bufu Ikkan

Airyu – “Living the Ninja Lifestyle”

PS: More of the Gray Man series is coming soon………..

Mental Paralysis

Mental-StrengthHello Ninja Fans!

It has been a while since I posted a new article here, so I thought it might be a good opportunity to start focusing on developing a stronger mental ninja view to surviving and thriving in combat and life! The first is focusing on Mental paralysis.

Too often in combat the “loser” was stuck in a loop of mental paralysis. This lesson quickly extends to life in the corporate world and as a senior manager in a large organization I see this same issue at the corporate level.

Mental Paralysis has a few basic phases:

Anxiety – The stress of a new situation, problem, decision, or combat situation hits and the adrenal response kicks in.

Panic – The “oh shit” response is in full gear now, what to do next, have you adequately trained yourself to deal with this moment? I have seen this in action with a lost person where they just start running as they haven’t controlled the adrenal response.

Mental paralysis – Your mind running in circles, asking hundreds of what if’s, you are unsure what to do, some  just stop and sit down giving up all hope, is this you in life?

Failure to survive – Here it is without breaking this chain you FAIL to SURVIVE! This may be ok in a corporate or career move but in combat you are or potentially are dead.

How do you learn to change these phases? Well you have to break the chain!!

1)      Start training hard and under pressure each session. It doesn’t matter if it is in a martial arts session, running, weight training whatever! You need to push yourself beyond what you think you can do, it is possible but our brains don’t often cooperate so you have to take control and do it!

2)      Break the chain! When panic starts, breathe and control it, don’t run, face the fear and deal with it, move through it and you will come out the other side with confidence.

3)      Trust in your training!! If you have been training hard and long you need to trust in your training to get you through this event and any that may come in the future, you can do it.

So I started here with a little information on fighting through the mental paralysis, but this is not an easy task. It will take a lot of work on your individual part, pushing yourself, testing limits and finally realizing most limits are just something you placed in your mind but you can break this, it will just take some time and effort.

Bufu Ikkan


ps: We are on week 11 of the financial challenge, how are you doing?

Follow up to 52 week challenge

Ninja LifestyleHello Ninja Fans!!

Well how the hell are you all doing? It has been a busy time around the ninja homestead with the martial training, shooting and wilderness survival practice going on around here but enough of what I am up to how are you doing on the last challenge. You know the 52 week financial challenge, not everything here is about ninjutsu (or is it?).

You should have $55.00 in your account this week, so I hope you have been keeping up with this as this challenge isn’t about just the money (well yes and no) it is about developing the discipline to start and stay on a simple track, even if there is a small amount of hardship along the way. What kind of hardship could you run into taking on this challenge? Well, you might have to not buy that new video game or bag of chips you wanted, but instead you are learning discipline, and putting a few dollars away you probably wouldn’t have otherwise.

Training and life are not meant to be easy, you will get knocked down and beat up, but a ninja endures and survives and eventually overcomes the obstacles in front of him. How you choose to learn how to do this is why I think you come here and read and learn from this blog.

Over the last few weeks I have been traveling and training hard! I have had quite a few emails asking me about ninjutsu and how I practice it in the real world, and I almost always reply, I live ninjutsu’s strategies and teachings every day and in as many aspects of my life as possible. Yes, regular martial arts training, physical conditioning to do things others cannot because they are out of shape, mentally – through meditation (check out the facebook posts about meditation!), and yes even financially. I am doing the same challenge as you and I putting the money away as a sort of hedge against something happening and I need quick cash on hand. (Like this could never happen to anyone…need quick cash for an emergency) A ninja is prepared to deal with what life throws at him, and my question to you is are you ready to face it? Do you have a small amount of emergency cash on hand that you can tap into quickly.

Don’t think you will need it?? Well here is a quick example, my friends wife couldn’t get home from work during a major snowstorm but he made sure she was prepared for events like this, he had a small bag in her car with some toiletries, change of clothes and extra cash just in case. So she goes down the stree to a nearby hotel and guess what they only accepted CASH! Which she promptly paid and got a nice room to ride out the storm.

Back to discipline now, it isn’t easy and you will feel like stopping and giving up but persist have staying power! Do what is necessary to make each week’s goal happen. At the end of this year you will be amazed at the $1378 that is sitting in front of you as a prize!

Now get back to work, train physically and mentally!

Bufu Ikkan

Airyu – Living the ninja lifestyle!

Musha Shugyo

“In the old days, musha shugyo was the way to cultivate reliable warrior skills in Japan. When there was a war, could students attend training at a dojo every day? Of course not. Training halls did not even exist. Teachers moved here and there as they were needed. You might have seldom seen your teacher, so when you did see him, you learned as much as you could from him in the span of a few days. What you learned from him in that short time would give you some suggestions for improving physically, mentally, and technically. These training tips were at best suggestions, and in the real fighting world, these student warriors created their own survival methods based on these suggestions.” – Soke Masaaki Hatsumi

NinjutsuThere have been many times in my years of training where I was alone or distant from my instructors. I would often fly across the country to live and train for a week at a time with one of my instructors. Now don’t think that we just went to class each day for a few hours, I am talking about getting up around 10:00am, eating, then hitting the pool for laps or footwork practice, stretching out, weapons practice, reviewing videos, books articles etc, sparring, lunch, dummy practice, off to class for several hours(usually more than 1) out for dinner, back to the house for more training, around 1 or 2 am we would head out for a power walk, then do more research and finally fall asleep around 4:00am (YIKES!) This went on for 5 – 6 days straight. Then I would come back, review all of my notes, practice each day, call my instructor with questions, get a partner or student to come over for practice and then just hammer away.

Over the years I have taught and attended seminars in several countries and all over the United States and I continue to do this on a regular basis. It is a great opportunity to train and spar with other talented martial artists and their arts. It keeps me sharp and aware of what I may have to face in a real world combative encounter. Each time I come back I complete an AAR, and analyze what went right, wrong and lessons and strategies learned. Always seeking to improve just a little bit than I was yesterday. The other day I was reviewing notes from a Pat McNamara video and I came upon this statement “ Think about you having a clone of you yesterday, and today you came back, and had to fight him, Could you kick his ass?” Well that is the whole purpose of this blog post…your personal musha shugyo and continuous improvement should be with that question in mind every day. Later this year I will be releasing my first publication in a long time, it as a heads up it will be about an individual’s solo training and how to use it effectively each day.

More later on this!

Bufu Ikkan

Airyu – “Living the Ninja Lifestyle”