Driving Saturday morning in a torrential downpour, with the wind gusts taking out power lines, I thought, is anyone really going to show up to train? When I got to the park to train well yes they did. We are all the same kind of crazy.
Luckily we had an awning to train under so we were not getting completely soaked. It was an interesting day to be outside. As we practiced, stopping our partners punches, working on our breathing we listened to the rain pounding all around us and the wind thrashing the trees. The wild force of nature around us was incredibly powerful and yet beautiful.
It is what we train in. We practice to float in gravity and move with the nature that is inherent in us but that we have forgotten as we grew to adults. We are finding our way back to fluid natural movement. As we continue to train, we create moments when we experience the powerful and beautiful nature of floating in gravity and being in the moment. The more we train the more we move with the power and...
By the title you can tell what we worked on today. Stopping not blocking. Blocking implies going out to get the punch to stop it. With the size differential between Dennis and I, if I did that it would end in me bouncing off Dennis and either landing on my butt or flying across the room or both. Not exactly the outcome I am training for.
The way to stop the hook was to figure out what force vector was needed to stop the punch. After that it was what retaliatory strike would create the force vector and shape necessary to stop the oncoming punch and strike my partner.
Once I figured out the shapes needed it was a matter of maintaining intent and staying focussed in the moment. Intent and focus propelled me from my starting kamae to my ending kamae which stopped the punch and delivered my strike sending Dennis flying.
This is the outcome I train for. It was an amazing feeling and fun too!! If you would like to train for superpowers, have fun and feel amazing come...
Having worked through all the Dempsey punches and drills we are now on to the next set of movements and boxing drills. This set consists of avoiding, redirecting or blocking the punch coming at you. We started with blocking the punch.
Tuesday Dennis and I worked on creating the shape to block the punch. After discovering the shape and how it felt, then we went on to using it on a punch coming at you. The shape not only blocked the punch it created an opening and target for you to punch. It is incredibly effective and powerful. It wasn’t a one, two block and punch beat. it was a one and punch, it was almost simultaneous.
Being able to block Dennis punch and then punch him across the room is rather fun and magical. I feel like I have a new superpower. If you are interested in gaining a new super power you can join us by clicking below.
Look forward to training with you
To embrace this art the first choice that must be made is whether to let go of what you think the martial arts are. If you hold the picture you have of the martial arts in your brain or heart you can never fully grasp ninjutsu.
You have to be willing to let go of what you think you know. Let go of the competitive idea of sport martial arts, let go of the stylized movie and television versions, let go of the gymnastic, magical and mystical Asian versions. If you do this then you can be open to the boundless possibilities of this art.
Letting go of those parameters opens you up to fully embracing this art and learning the lessons. It allows you to train unfettered by previous boundaries of thought, ideals and movement. It opens you up to all the lessons. The lessons of self protection for not just your physical self but for your mental, emotional and spiritual self. Yes this art is that vast. It is limitless what you can learn if you decide to let go and train with an open mind and...
Being lied to is not your choice. Believing it or not is.
How do we choose what to believe? In this social media driven world we now inhabit there are many players trying to make you believe what they say. With their ability to reach out to so many so fast we are constantly bombarded with their spin of events. How do we choose what to believe?
The ninja were first and foremost information gatherers. Combining that legacy with modern scientific tools teaches us to question everything. What is being said by all parties involved? Who do they represent or work for? What’s the timeline? Where are they getting their information? Has it been verified by other sources? If it’s scientific, can it be reproduced? Questions are powerful.
The problem is that your brain’s number one job is to regulate how much energy you use versus how much you take in so you can make it through the day and keep living. Questioning things uses energy, a lot of energy. Especially when you are...
January is named for the Roman god Janus, protector of gates and doorways. Janus is depicted with two faces, one looking into the past, the other into the future.
What does this have to do with training and the art? The training is about learning how to be present in the moment so that we are aware and respond appropriately to keep safe, healthy and happy. To do this we train to increase our awareness of our thoughts, words and actions. So that we can change our thoughts, words and actions to align with the future that we choose to move toward.
To do that we must look in the past and be aware of the outcome of our thoughts, words and actions. Then we examine the outcomes and see if they align with the future we desire. If not we work to change them. We change them by being aware in the moment. Changing the moment to align to the path to the desired future. We look to our future and change in the moment to get there by looking into the past at our thoughts, words and actions.
Training in this art creates a unique friendship and great trust in each other. The more you learn and the more you understand and train in the art, you quite literally become more dangerous. Your knowledge of how to defend yourself becomes greater. To defend oneself takes many shapes - not to be there in the first place, to disappear, to avoid, to escape, to dissuade, to harm, and worse.
Yet while training in this we become more cognizant of how fragile we are, how easily we could get hurt or hurt our partner. The art teaches us how to defend ourselves mentally, spiritually and physically and at the same time teaches us compassion and the desire to protect those around us, our family.
Overtime and training, your training partners become more than a friend, they become family. A family that is as important to you as any family you belong to. A family you want to protect. As we become more skilled and dangerous through training we also become more skilled at protection. Protecting...
In my Togakure Ryu leadership class Mark was discussing how he studied ninpo and suggested we do the same.
Whether it is a phrase like Shikin Harimitsu Daikomyo or a kata, first break it down, take each single piece research and train it. Mentally and physically training each part. Then when you have a better understanding of each part put it back together and research and train it as one. Then wear it for a while, a long while, until you can understand the concept or principle so it's more a part of you.
At this point start to explore how to transcend the principle for physical confrontation to use it for a verbal or spiritual confrontation.
Even after all that remember there is always more to learn. How would that principle look if a weapon, or two weapons, limited space, more attackers, in a chair….. You get the idea there is always more to learn.
There is no end of learning these techniques.
Which is both the most exciting thing about this art and in the beginning this...
The Wonder Of A Child
Are you happy where you are? Are you set with what you know? Is there more you want to learn or have you comfortably settled in wrapped in your habitual predictions?
There is a Japanese concept called Shoshin with a meaning of "beginner's mind." It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner would. Like the wonder of a child exploring the world around them.
If you want to learn, if you want to change who you are and how you feel about yourself and the world around you, it starts with questions.
You have to question what you think you know. You have to question what you base your habitual predictions on. You have to have the wonder of a child.
At Shinobi Science we use the questions of our martial ancestors combined with those of modern science to give you the tools necessary to get the answers for your questions.
If you have questions about...
The World Doesn’t Revolve Around You
Let’s look at another example of predictions and data and how far some will go to ignore the data. For this we once again go back to Aristotle and his geocentric model of the universe revolving around the earth. This model lasted for more than a thousand years until Copernicus.
Copernicus was a Polish astronomer and priest who in 1515 questioned this geocentric view and proposed that the earth was just another planet revolving around the sun. He didn’t publish his theory until 1543 and it wasn’t exactly welcomed with open arms. In fact Italian scientist Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for teaching, among other heretical ideas, Copernicus’ heliocentric view of the Universe.
It wasn’t until Galileo used his telescope in 1610 that the evidence tipped to support Copernicus. Even with this there were still those who didn’t want to accept the new data. Galileo wasn’t killed but he was tried for...