A Wise Woman Part Three

Uncategorized May 14, 2021

This past weekend I learned from a very intelligent woman her philosophy on how to be happy. There are three parts. First buy experiences not things. Second buy time and third give to a charity you are passionate about. To me this is a very valuable way to approach happiness.

The past two days I wrote about experiences and time, so today let’s think about charity. It’s easy to believe you don’t have time or money for charity, I am a great example for that excuse. I was laid off a year ago and though still unemployed am spending every ounce of time and energy into building Shinobi Science into a thriving business and community. It would be easy for me to say I am the charity that should be supported. I don’t have excess resources. Yet there are so many creative ways to give back to your community.

I have started cleaning out my closets, bookcases and cupboards. I have donated clothes, coats, soccer cleats, books and kitchen ware to homeless shelters and local...

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A Wise Woman Part Two

Uncategorized May 13, 2021

This past weekend I learned from a very intelligent woman her philosophy on how to be happy. There are three parts. First buy experiences not things. Second buy time and third give to a charity you are passionate about. To me this is a very valuable way to approach happiness.

Yesterday I wrote about the first part, buying experiences, not things. Today let's look at the second part, buying time.

Buying time what does that mean? Well what would help you do the necessary things in your take up less of your time? For example, cleaning the house. If you make enough money you could hire a cleaning service to come in and do it for you. If not, what are the tools that would make cleaning the floors, the dishes, laundry take less time? What makes preparing meals quicker? How can you use your time more efficiently so you gain time to spend with the people you love and enjoy and to have the experiences you want.

At Shinobi Science we do this through using the formula to stay focussed and...

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A Wise Woman Part One

Uncategorized May 12, 2021

This past weekend I learned from a very intelligent woman her philosophy on how to be happy. There are three parts. First buy experiences not things. Second buy time and third give to a charity you are passionate about.

To me this is a very valuable way to approach happiness. By accumulating experiences not things you have the chance to expand your knowledge and view of others, yourself and the world. New experiences can lead us down new paths of exploration.

For example, take something simple like trying a new cuisine. You find you enjoy it. You then decide to learn how to cook it. As you learn to cook it you learn more about the culture and country it originated from. Learning more about the culture and country you decide to take a trip there. Being there you meet the people, explore the city, markets, museums, countryside and environment. This new experience led you to view the world from a different set of eyes.

As we begin class we recite the phrase Shikin Haramitsu Daikomyo...

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The Middle Way

Uncategorized May 11, 2021

There are so many divisions amongst people today. Polarization seems to be at an extreme. However it has been my experience that finding answers requires me to keep an open mind and listen to both sides of an argument so that I can act appropriately for the situation. This is the same in our martial art, both in training and application.

To explain better I want to share something a good friend of mine, who is a martial artist and a rabbi, wrote.

“There are some types of martial arts that cling to tradition. The forms from the past are the forms they practice today. They hold tight to tradition and do not change. This is often beautiful, and they are able to maintain and pass down what they have received, generally in the form they received it, from generation to generation.

There are other types of martial arts that let go of tradition. They are totally open to what works today. They may focus on certain ideas or they may create new forms for dealing with current situations....

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Asymmetrical Situations

Uncategorized May 10, 2021

I’m often asked what is the difference between what we teach and mixed martial arts. The simple answer is we specialize in surviving asymmetrical situations where you are not the superior force. Let me explain this.

Asymmetrical situations is a term we got from our teacher Mark Davis which stands for a situation where the attacker is bigger, stronger, faster, has a weapon, or you are constrained or limited in some way. Basically where you are the underdog.

Starting from the assumption that the attacker has the advantage and pure physical force will not be enough to survive, your options have to broaden. Evading, escaping and hiding all become alternatives that would not be available in a competitive situation. Also from this perspective martial techniques can’t just be done without taking into account the superior strength of an attacker.

This is why Shinobi Science uses science. Our students have to understand the physics of using gravity and position to control space,...

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It's A Process

Uncategorized May 09, 2021

Once again today we looked at jumonji no kamae kihon kata and although it is one of the fundamental kata models of Gyokko Ryu the students discovered a number of advanced concepts using the Shinobi Formula.

Unfortunately most people when they learn a kata model believe that the model is the lesson. The model is just the starting point. From it you have to unlock the external goals of each part to understand the effect it has on the attacker. You then have to use the Shinobi Formula to focus on gravity, shape, positioning, alignment, timing, cover and decision making while attempting to recreate the effect goal on the attacker.

This process within the formula is repeated over and over with every kata model training in two directions, one developing more and more specific goals to affect the attacker and second using gravity more and more to achieve those goals. The result of this process is to unlock the lessons our martial ancestors hid within the kata models. The cause and effect...

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The Next Level

Uncategorized May 06, 2021

Yesterday we started Wednesday night classes again here in the dojo and on Zoom. The class is at Ninja Lab now to view at your leisure.

We continued with Jumonji no kamae kihon kata working on Shinobi Science skill sets 3,4 and 5, distance and alignment, timing and intent and cover and control. As ever we do not train in the skills we are good at, sometimes even great at, Dennis is always pushing us to go beyond. Which is both frustrating and exhilarating as a student.

So the beginning of class is bumpy. We are testing new parameters and skills and trying to understand the path to the next level. As we train pushing ourselves to the next level of understanding and skill we gain new insights into the art and to the capabilities we didn’t know we had.

Our movements became light, fluid and natural. We became connected with the moment and the answer appeared. We didn’t have to think about what to do. We weren’t separated from the moment doing something to make...

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Getting Results

Uncategorized May 05, 2021

We started to have classes inside the dojo this week. I was very happy, ecstatic really, to have a companion in the dojo last night. We had a fantastic session training with Jumonji no kamae in Ninja Lab.

By focussing on the external goals of what happened to the other person variations of the kata emerged naturally. We didn’t try to do them. We didn’t even know what they were until Dennis pointed out that changes of our movement and shapes had resulted in a variation with the same outcome.

We had recreated the results of the kata on our opponent with a different movement pattern unintentionally because we were focussed on the external goals of the kata not on what we had to do. It was all about what happened to the other person.

As we relaxed and became more comfortable with recreating the outcome of the kata our movement became lighter and effortless. The results were very effective. The best part is when we were able to recreate these results on Dennis. Making Dennis...

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Uncategorized May 03, 2021

I love puzzles. I even have a puzzle table. To recreate the puzzle you have to study the picture. In the beginning I start by separating the edge pieces from the others building the edge as I sort. Once the edge is done I study the picture looking for the easier recognizable areas to put together.

As I look for pieces to build an area I keep studying them and the picture. I find myself discovering certain nuances in patterns and colors. I walk around the table studying pieces and the picture from different angles. The more I get to know the picture and the pieces the easier it is for me to recreate the picture. To understand what looks like a black sky, is various hues of black, midnight blue and dark purples and all the shades in between.

Katas are like this. We see the whole picture and the pieces. First we work on just getting the outside edges done. Then we have to study all the pieces that go on the inside to get a full picture. We have to study the kata from different...

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Focus On The Outcome

Uncategorized May 01, 2021

Everyone did great in class today. We were working with a very dangerous attack where the person gets in close and uses a knife to stab to the body. We actually spent most of the time working on the attack because most of my students, thankfully, have never been in a knife fight.

When you’re looking at something dangerous like this training can be difficult because students get caught up in the ‘steps’ of the technique. By doing this their focus turns inward to what they are doing instead of on the outcome they need to accomplish. The probability of a set of memorized steps working in a real situation is nil.

To get past this we use the Shinobi Formula to keep students focused on the outcome of the steps. This focus becomes their external goal or intent and allows them to maintain an observational awareness of their training partner, keeping them in the moment and able to make any necessary adjustments.

I couldn’t be happier with the results everyone was...

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