Wisdom from Sensei Manaka

In the old days, there were no pharmacies. You had to know how to create your own medicines and cures. Therefore, the ninja had to know how to do such things himself. Today, however, you can get medicines from a drugstore. As for homemade gun powder, it is so dangerous. It is not safe to make such things in your home. You do not need to know how to make it. You do need to study subjects like chimon (geography) and tenmon (weather conditions and star patterns). There are so many things that you should know besides taijutsu. As for poison, you may not be able to use poison formulas from ancient times. Many things were regarded as deadly poisons because there were no antidotes in the old days. Today, many drugs we have take away the deadliness of what was a poison yesterday.
It is important to let your students know that there are so many other items to learn outside of the taijutsu training. These items of knowledge should constantly be updated. How about electronics? Or flying an airplane? In the old days, there was the bugei juhappan, or ? classifications of warrior knowledge”. Now, in the modern ages, that might be closer to 180. A ninja has to know everything. Otherwise it is difficult or impossible to complete his mission.”
Sensei Fumio Manaka

A few days ago I was reviewing some old notes and I came across this great piece of wisdom from Sensei Manaka and it sure did hit home. Over the years I have been practicing the art of Ninjutsu and have become a “Knowledge Vampire”! Always questing to learn and understand more about various subjects, especially to be become self-reliant. I have worked on first aid skills, became a first responder, SCBA certified, gained reloading skills, covert entry tactics, rappelling, rock climbing, orienteering, weather studies, escape and evasion training, hacking skills and the list goes on and on, but that is what a Ninja of ancient times would do as well. Learn the skills that would continue to keep him 1 step ahead of his enemies and targets as well as to protect and nurture his family and clan as well. Earlier this year I posted 13 in 2013, which was a challenge to you to learn 13 skills in 2013. So how are you doing on that project? This weekend I am off to go camping and teach orienteering, to once again try to sharpen my skills and give back to a new generation just learning the basics. I hope you take away from the short lesson, a drive to learn everything you can in a constant and never ending manner, it may just save your life or that of someone you love.

Bufu Ikkan

Ps: This past Friday I had the opportunity to use my first aid skills to help an individual whom was having multiple seizures, he still is thanking me for the help a week later. You just never know when an emergency may pop up!


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