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



3 Winter Ninja Training Tips!


Alright it is still winter with snow and ice on the ground, numbing cold and the potential for blinding snow and sleet. Well, this is the best time for a Ninja to be training in the great outdoors, so here are three tips to make the best of winter training!


  • Be prepared for the cold. Ok, seems pretty straight forward but what I am talking about here is be prepared for what ever activity you are planning for. When I am out practicing land navigation on shoe shoes, I have the right clothes and gear with me to spend a night out if I have to, or when I am out for an early morning run I am armed and dressed appropriately and may even be using a set of micro spikes for traction. What ever your activity or training is be prepared for the cold through the appropriate layering of clothing as well as a just in case kit if you are stuck out over night!
  • Train with your weapons in the cold. If you have never utilized or trained with your EDC weapons in the cold you will not be ready to use them in a real combative situation. Practice numbing your hands in the snow and practicing deploying your weapons with the heavy clothing you normally wear in the cold. Have you ever tried to draw a gun or knife with gloves on? Well how the hell are you supposed to do this without practicing in the outdoor environment?
  • What is this doing here? Well in the winter the air is dry and you will be sweating or dehydrated, so proper hydration is a key part of your training nutrition plan. Carry extra water with you, or the ability to melt and use snow to help supplement what you bring with you.

I love training out in the cold, I see and track animals, learn to see the winter constellations, breath the cold and fresh air, it is just another time to train ninja style. Remember a ninjutsu practitioner does not wait for the perfect weather to train, they are out there early or late, rain, snow or shine training while others are comfortable.


So get out and enjoy the weather!


Bufu Ikkan

Winter Survival #1

Hello Ninjutsu Fans

Well, winter is here! As I was cleaning up after the near blizzard like conditions it got me thinking about posting a quick article (or more) on winter survival techniques.

Over the years I have taught many a ninja and bBoy scout how to build and sleep in a survival shelter in the dead of winter. Not too long ago I was camping out in my Hammock tent at zero degrees and some of my scouts were in a survival shelter doing the same. Anyway I thought it would be good to give you two basic shelters that can be built quickly and with a tarp to help you survive in harsh conditions.

Now the first s on a fallen log or something for one wall but this one is kid of a wrap around a tree .

The first thing I would recommend is getting yourself some type of insulating material on the ground as you will loose a ton of body heat as you warm the frozen ground. Grab leaves, pine needles, rags, newspaper etc and line the bottom of your shelter, then climb in out of the wind to warm up!

I will dig up a few actual photos of shelters I have slept in to test my knowledge and preparedness, but for now absorb the information and get ready to try it out by sleeping out in the cold this winter!

More to come.

Bufu Ikkan





Medicinal Herbs

Medicinal Herbs

A Ninjutsu practitioner should be well versed in medicinal herbs in order to maintain their health, their family’s health, as well as healing themselves from wounds, sickness and training injuries. In order to start off our training, I am listing a few of the more common medicinal herbs. I am not giving any medical recommendations here, just information on what these herbs are capable of!

Aloe Vera: scar removal, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, repair damaged skin and promote the growth of healthy skin
Arrowroot: antiseptic, digestion, irregularity
Basil: low blood sugar, lack of appetite, antioxidant
Bay Laurel: dandruff, arthritis pain, inflammation
Burdock: skin diseases, antibacterial, antifungal, inflammation, mild laxative
Catnip: not just for cats! Relaxation, diuretic, laxative
Chamomile: calming sleep aid, tooth and earaches in a poultice, muscle relaxation, anxiety and tension, indigestion and colic, skin irritations
Chervil: relieves soreness and swelling
Chives: reduces inflammation, repels insects, beta carotene and Vitamin C
Cilantro/Coriander: antioxidants, stomach upset, cholesterol
Cloves: kills harmful bacteria, fights inflammation, relieves stomach and tooth issues
Comfrey: bruises, sprains, skin ulcers, wounds, broken bones, menstrual, diarrhea, cough, sore throat
Dill: assists in digestion, combats bad breath, lessens swelling, boils, and cramps
Echinacea: improved immune system, treats symptoms of cold and flu
Fennel: breath freshener, pesticide, upset stomach
Feverfew: used in the treatment of fevers, colds, ease pain of arthritis, skin conditions
Jasmine: antioxidants, fever, urinary inflammation, stress, heat stroke, sedative, antiseptic, antidepressant, antispasmodic, analgesic
Lamb’s Ear: bandage, absorbent, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antibacterial, menstrual flow
Lavender: relaxation, promotes healthy sleep patterns, helps with headaches, including migraines, antiseptic
Lemon Balm: bug repellent, treat colds, fever, headaches, anxiety, insomnia, wounds, bites, upset stomach, helps heal cold sores
Marigold: sunburn, acne, soothes ulcers and digestive problems
Parsley: Vitamins A and C, helps stabilize blood pressure, breath freshener
Peppermint/Spearmint: digestion, fever, headache. Can be brewed into a tea. Peppermint has Vitamin B, calcium, and potassium
Pot Marigold (Calendula): insect bites, sprains, fever, infections
Rosemary: antioxidants, breath freshener
Sage: internally, stomach and nerve issues; externally, skin infections, mouth infections, bug bites, cuts, inflammation
Thyme: disinfectant, antiseptic, digestive aid, infections, coughs, congestion
Wheatgrass: improved blood flow, antioxidants, over 100 nutrients

Bufu Ikkan



Ninjutsu – The Art of Preparedness

The Art of Preparedness

We live in an unstable world and you really don’t have to look far to find some kind of trouble brewing. Whether it is rioting, kidnapping all the way to mother nature’s fury, there is no better time to begin practicing ninjutsu.

Our ancient forbears faced many if not all of the same pressures and dangers that we do, and they created a martial arts tradition that prepared them to be able to deal with the situations that surrounded them. From the 18 traditional skills in the Togakure ryu to the combative arts contained within the 9 traditions we practice, the art of ninjutsu is one of preparedness.

The other day I treated 6 youth with basic first aid. First, because I was prepared with a well stocked medical kit and secondly because I was prepared with training. When I train I apply the same approach with my students and I. Application of strategies and tactics that prepare them to survive a combative situation, and that could be a mugging, fight, counter kidnapping or escape and evasion situation.(I do have an interesting mix of students who may need to apply these skills real time)

In the coming months we will be focusing this website to preparing each of you with new skills, challenges, and training advice to take you to a new level of application in ninjutsu’s traditions. So take some time and hit me up via email to send me your suggestions on what you would like to see here and on the Facebook page(You better be there as well!) and I will do my best to start supplying us all with the best information possible!

To a new beginning here!!!

Bufu Ikkan

Airyu – Living the Ninja Lifestyle

Physical Training and Conditioning

Mi wo Shinobu – a body that is conditioned, trained and maintained for physical endurance.

Hello Ninjutsu Fans

This post is partly a rant as well as a wake up call for all those individuals who call themselves a practitioner of ninjutsu.

The other day I was working with a student and they were complaining that they didn’t get any time to train outside of class and they were out of shape and not progressing where they wanted to be. Being the enlightened teacher I am, I stated “ then start working out, no one has the time, you make the time or you don’t.” As an example, I am a very busy guy, I work as an executive running a business, I travel at least a week a month, I have a growing homestead/farm, I am active in my community and I train every day for the last 63 days in a row, and before that at least 4 times per week!

Don’t tell me you don’t have time, get your ass up and make the time. Get up early or stay up late and get your training session in. This is a mental game , the physical part of it will cause you pain and hardship but driving you each day has to be the Ninja mindset and discipline to do it.

So why my rant, well how many of you know an overweight and out of shape “Sensei” who watches and tells the class to do X an all the while is doing Y. Meaning he is doing very little!

Alright enough of the rant, here are a few things to start doing every day:

  • Cardio conditioning: skipping rope wind sprints, trail running, road running, swimming, biking and so much more.
  • Strength training: Body weight, free weight, machine driven, odd objects, all great work.
  • Flexibilty/Mobility: static stretching, dynamic stretching, yoga, mobility chains. As we age this is critical!

Only 3 areas to focus on but so much to cover so stay tuned as there will be several new videos posted, drills added, and routines discussed!

Now hit the training floor, no excuses!

Bufu Ikkan

Airyu – “Living the Ninja Lifestyle!”

Prepared Ninja!

Hey there ninjutsu peeps!

Well, it has been a crazy couple of weeks here in the USA, the first Hurricane bore down on Texas and now the second is tracking toward Florida, Yikes!!

This reminds me of ancient times when a ninja had to be prepared for all eventualities in life. Bad weather, war, famine, disease, whatever it was a ninja had to be ready to deal with the circumstances and survive. Today is no different, except we as a culture have become a whole lot softer and more reliant on others to “care” for us. But if you are here reading this post, you are not the average run of the mill person. You have taken time to train in an art that teaches us to endure and survive. So here it is are you ready for what can come at you? Are you able to endure 72 hours without hitting the stores?

Think about walking into the store and seeing this:

So, what are you doing to prepare for all eventualities? I am blessed to live in a rural area with a small homestead. The power can go out, and I can still thrive here.

What about you and your family?

So here is the challenge for all of you out there become 72 hour independent! 72 hours sounds so easy, a little food, water, a box of band aids, but what about entertainment, lighting, food cooking, finances…oh you thought of everythin g now didn’t you!

Sounds easy, but this isn’t about martial arts practice, no it isn’t it is about life skills! I think it is time we (maybe me) started getting some information and skills out to you ensure you have the best information you can get Here is a short list of items to have on hand:


(A three-day supply of food and water, per person, when no refrigeration or cooking is available)

  • Protein/Granola Bars
  • Trail Mix/Dried Fruit
  • Crackers/Cereals (for munching)
  • Canned Tuna, Beans, Turkey, Beef, Vienna Sausages, etc (“pop-top” cans that open without a can-opener might not be a good idea.)
  • Canned Juice
  • Candy/Gum (warning: Jolly Ranchers can melt and using mint gum might make everything taste like mint.)
  • Water (1 Gallon/4 Liters Per Person)


  • Change of Clothing (short and long sleeved shirts, pants, jackets, socks, etc.)
  • Undergarments
  • Rain Coat/Poncho
  • Blankets and Emergency Heat Blanks (that keep in warmth)
  • Cloth Sheet
  • Plastic Sheet


  • Battery Lighting (Flashlights, Lamps, etc.) Don’t forget batteries!
  • Extra Batteries
  • Flares
  • Candles
  • Lighter
  • Water-Proof Matches


  • Can Opener
  • Dishes/Utensils
  • Shovel
  • Radio (with batteries!)
  • Pen and Paper
  • Axe
  • Pocket Knife
  • Rope
  • Duct Tape


  • Toiletries (roll of toilet paper- remove the center tube to easily flatten into a zip-lock bag, feminine hygiene, folding brush, etc.)
  • Cleaning Supplies (mini hand sanitizer, soap, shampoo, dish soap, etc. Warning: Scented soap might “flavor” food items.)
  • Immunizations Up-to-Date
  • Medication (Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, children’s medication etc.)
  • Prescription Medication (for 3 days)


(Place these items in a water-proof container!)

  • Scriptures
  • Genealogy Records
  • Patriarchal Blessing
  • Legal Documents (Birth/Marriage Certificates, Wills, Passports, Contracts, etc)
  • Vaccination Papers
  • Insurance Policies
  • Cash
  • Credit Card
  • Pre-Paid Phone Cards


  • Bag(s) to put 72 Hour Kit items in (such as duffel bags or back packs, which work great) Make sure you can lift/carry it!
  • Infant Needs (if applicable)

Bufu Ikkan

No Easy Day

Hey Ninjutsu fans, it has been quite a while since I have written a post here. I am not dead and if you are following the Facebook page you would know that I am posting there at least once a week (Motivation Monday’s) but anyway no excuses, I am back to posting so let’s jump in!

Every day we have a choice to wake up and start the day with a bang or hit that snooze button and go back to sleep. Well, if you are like me you get up and start the ninja grind, pushing yourself to be better, learn more and be a better martial artist. There is no easy day, no day off if you want to achieve and improve. Yeah, that is the hard truth, No Easy Day!

This morning I woke up early (shit it is even Sunday) sore and stiff from class the day before, grabbed some coffee, and started self-massage, stretching, and mobility drills. Then suited up for a 6.6 mile run on the rural roads around my home, had breakfast (yogurt, nuts and fruit), finished this post, cut and split firewood, got in some no spin short blade throwing, time on the range, developed plans for the week, class notes posted etc..etc..etc

What did you do?

My days are far from easy, I push myself hard, when I need rest, I rest but then I hit the learning aspect to keep me sharp, my mind and yours needs training just like any other muscle. Now, this isn’t supposed to be some motivational, Pollyanna post to say, now you can do it to, this is a post about what I do and think that Ninjutsu practitioners, hell good martial artists should be doing every day. Whether or not you decide to read this and get inspired or not is up to you. I am just throwing it out to get you thinking like a ninja…No Easy Day, yes the SEAL’s use this saying as well as elite athletes around the globe, and I am here to tell you it is true, your days should not be comfortable, or easy as it does not prepare you for life.

I am a big fan of the stoic philosopher Seneca and I read this short piece at least once or twice a week:

“Set aside now and then a number of days during which you will be content with the plainest of food, and very little of it, and with rough, coarse clothing, and you will ask yourself: ‘Is this what one used to dread?’”

It reminds me that what I think, dread and fear is far from the truth, and that by training hard and pushing myself each day, I can overcome obstacles that I didn’t think I could. My philosophy of “No Easy Day” isn’t unique, it isn’t for everyone and most people who start down this path will drop it after a few days, but a true ninja warrior will read this embrace it and put it into practice in their lives and training.

Now, what are you going to do after reading this, just asking…

Bufu Ikkan

Airyu –“Living the Ninja Lifestyle!”

Cover and Concealment

Hello Ninjutsu Fans,

Time for another post to help expand your training and knowledge, this post is about Cover vs Concealment.

Pretty straight forward  and easy to understand but too many people I have seen or even trained with make common mistakes when talking about cover or concealment. So lets start with Concealment. Concealment by it’s name alone explains it, you are hiding or concealing yourself from someone or something. Common methods utilize camouflage, shadow play, night movements etc. A key here is that you are not protected by anything (usually) when you are speaking about concealment.

Now cover is something completely different but it can also conceal you. Cover is the use of solid objects between you and your enemy, preventing projectiles or another type of weapon to penetrate you easily. Not all cover is good, like hiding behind soft furniture will not stop a bullet, nor will most single sheet rocked walls. A nice brick or concrete wall or multiple inches of solid wood can help to cover you. So I think you are getting the difference here.

Now there are methods to enhance your concealed location to enhance your protection. Some examples are layers of ballistic cloths within a couch or chair, the same can also be added to your automobile panels. Other ideas are a bit more work like hardening your walls with layers of steel plating or sand bags in a wall.

A modern ninjutsu practitioner must be aware of the use and protection from firearms and cover and concealment are two tactics that you need to understand well and make use of in your life plans.

Bufu Ikkan