“Train from the beginning with a sincere heart directed by proper motivation. It is pointless to work at the martial arts with the mere intention of collecting as many techniques as possible. This form of consistent concentration of course lacks the counter balance of the power of observation. Training for experience without awareness will only produce a martial arts scholar – one who is no more than a walking technique catalog with no real heart.” – Soke Hatsumi
How many of us have seen or trained with those martial artists that exemplify Soke Hatsumi’s wisdom. They come to training, they catalog the technique, they know the material but cannot yet make it their own. I have trained with many “drill collectors” , most mean well, some believe that they are better because they have memorized all these drills, but yet when the pressure is on they fail to be able to utilize the “drill” in a sparring match or fight. So, why is this??
Well a Ninjutsu practitioner should be holding in his heart the determination that in all situations I MUST survive! You notice I didn’t say I need to or have to I said must survive. With this in your heart how can you not be training to internalize and interpret each drill with an application to help you on this overriding principle of “surviving”!
In your next lesson apply the sincere heart of survival and attack your training as if you are in a life or death situation. There is no retreat, you can only survive if your skills are up to the task, so practice with this life saving intensity!