A Perfect Question

Uncategorized Mar 19, 2021

Part of my early training was how to ask a question properly of the senior Japanese teachers. I was told to first explain what I was working on, the results I was getting, and based on that what I thought I understood, what I was striving for and what felt was not quite right.

Yesterday one of our students did just that. She noticed while training with Juji no kata on Saturday that when performing her sword cuts her movement felt bumpy. She felt like it started smooth then stuttered. She actually noticed this movement in the reflection of her partner's sunglasses. She still had success with the kata at times but wanted to improve.

An excellent observation on her own training. She understood her results but was striving for more. She was asking for the next steps forward.

The answer became last night's class. It gave us all a better understanding of moving in gravity with several examples. Another benefit to this question was Dennis came up with a new drill to test and feel whether...

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What Do You Choose

Uncategorized Mar 18, 2021

This past weekend one of my friends' daughters was acting and singing in her high school play. Because of covid only a few people could go to each performance and also because of covid they were selling tickets to the live streaming of the event for the first time.

I bought a ticket and Saturday night sat down with my computer and watched the musical. All of them were wearing masks which at this point is normal. It was easy to pick out my friend's daughter and it was fun to watch her and the other students perform.

As she sang one of her solos I thought how special this moment was, even though I was not attending with my friend I was sharing this moment with her. I thought how fortunate because of the changes of covid this young actors performance was being enjoyed and shared with her relatives and friends in California, Washington, Vermont and New Hampshire. A year ago many of these people would not be able to share in this experience with her.

Covid has changed many things; it is...

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All The Same

Uncategorized Mar 17, 2021

Last week’s Togakure Ryu Leadership class in Boston was studying a sword concept on how to take advantage of an asymmetrical situation.

The first example Mark demonstrated was using a short sword against a longer one. He demonstrated the strategy and state of mind needed for success. You need to understand the concepts of surviving an asymmetrical disadvantage in order to use them effectively elsewhere.

Last night at Shinobi we trained the same concept Mark taught but against a grab that put the defender out of range of being able to effectively strike back at the attacker. Given our size difference it was very easy for Dennis to attack me this way. Using the Shinobi Science Formula I was able to experiment and find a solution that matched the principle of the short sword against a longer one.

I used the connection of the grab from Dennis as a weapon to off balance him and take away the danger of his other arm punching me. In the next moment when he went to reacquire control I...

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Flying Bears Oh My!

Uncategorized Mar 16, 2021

Today we took a “simple” toe kick and put it in Ninja Lab. Using the Shinobi Science formula we started experimenting.

We examined each part separately. We started by using focus and gravity to create the first shape of the kick. Then we moved into the next shape which allowed the back leg and hip room to twist and bring the knee up and through.

We studied the nature of the natural swing and arc of the kick with and without the extension of the leg. Then we studied how to direct this motion to create shapes of kicking for specific targets. And last how to use gravity to create stabbing force with the toe kick and maintain balance so we could step forward or back as necessary.

Putting all these concepts back together we experimented with hitting different targets. If balance was lost, at what point during the movement did it happen? At what trajectory was the kick going? Was it on target? Was the kick sufficient to get the shape breaking result we intended?

By...

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You Can’t Learn Online

Uncategorized Mar 15, 2021

You can’t learn online. I hear this a lot and I’m going to agree with an addition. You can’t learn online or in person if you don’t take responsibility for your own training.

I’ve been in the martial arts since 1983. I trained at a dojo but I also read as many books as I could about the martial arts. Those of us around then would have paid anything to have access to information online but it just didn’t exist. Books, online videos, and even a good teacher can’t make you learn. If you’re reading books, or watching videos online and are not training, you will not learn anything. However if you’re just attending classes and not training on your own, you won’t learn anything either.

There’s a process to learning the martial arts.

First you see something that you think is worth learning. If you don’t think it’s cool when you first see it you’re probably not going to last long. This first attraction is...

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A Year Ago

Uncategorized Mar 14, 2021

A year ago today we had our last class with everyone training at the dojo inside. It was a Saturday so it was crowded. I don’t remember what we taught or trained in but I do remember the talk Dennis and I had after classes. It was about the pandemic and whether or not to close the dojo.

So we started to research the facts. We started with the CDC and other scientific organizations that had information on covid. Then we looked at what was happening in New England, then in New Hampshire and finally our county and town. 

Most public events were being canceled. The school systems in our area were going remote. In Massachusetts covid was spreading rapidly. The town our dojo is in borders with Massachusetts. We have students from both states.

We made the decision to keep everyone safe and healthy and closed the dojo. It didn’t stop us from training. We already were doing online classes so everyone switched to that. Then we built Shinobi Science.

We had many hours of video...

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Using Less To Get More

Uncategorized Mar 13, 2021

Another bright sunny Saturday morning for training. This week we broke out the bokken and started training in Ju-ji no kata. We only did a part of it but two and a half hours later using Shinobi Science we all had discovered new insights into the kata.

Using the Shinobi Science Formula we honed our skills. Our cuts became smoother, more accurate and invisible. We were more confident and off balancing each other with the lightest movements yet with the greatest results. I actually found a muto dori sword defense idea in the midst of this and later Dennis showed me a way the technique could be done with a Togakure Ryu idea.

It is not that easy to unlock the kata and find the principles within but by using the Shinobi Science Formula we were able to delve deeper into kata unlocking all the magic inside.

If you would like to learn more about Shinobi Science click below.

We look forward to training with you.
T

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Using Less To Get More

Uncategorized Mar 13, 2021

Another bright sunny Saturday morning for training. This week we broke out the bokken and started training in Ju-ji no kata. We only did a part of it but two and a half hours later using Shinobi Science we all had discovered new insights into the kata.

Using the Shinobi Science Formula we honed our skills. Our cuts became smoother, more accurate and invisible. We were more confident and off balancing each other with the lightest movements yet with the greatest results. I actually found a muto dori sword defense idea in the midst of this and later Dennis showed me a way the technique could be done with a Togakure Ryu idea.

It is not that easy to unlock the kata and find the principles within but by using the Shinobi Science Formula we were able to delve deeper into kata unlocking all the magic inside.

If you would like to learn more about Shinobi Science click below.

We look forward to training with you.
T

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Whatever May Come

Uncategorized Mar 12, 2021

“Not being tense but ready; not thinking but not dreaming; not being set but flexible - it is being wholly and quietly alert, ready for whatever may come.” Bruce Lee

I came across this quote while reading this morning. To me it sums up exactly what we are training for at Shinobi Science. We train and strive to be fully present in the moment, to experience the truth and nature of it, to respond appropriately so that we can live to our fullest potential.

That is what Shinobi Science is. We train to become the best version of ourselves, with plenty of sarcasm, jokes and laughter.

If you would like to learn more about Shinobi Science click below.

We look forward to training with you.
T

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Cat Ears

Uncategorized Mar 11, 2021

If you read my Monday post I mentioned that I have several sets of cat ears. I have them from my daughters Halloween costumes over the years.

At some point along the way I started to wear the cat ears when I baked or cooked to keep the hair out of my face and out of the food. So my daughters, their friends and my family became accustomed to seeing me in cat ears. It became a normal thing.

Several years ago my parents were visiting and my daughter was bringing her boyfriend over for dinner to meet them. When my daughter and her boyfriend showed up, dinner wasn’t ready. About forty-five minutes later, my parents, both my daughters, the boyfriend and I sat down for dinner.

Halfway through dinner I brushed back a stray hair that had escaped the cat ears and realized I had them on. The boyfriend being exceedingly polite and probably questioning my sanity had said nothing. Realizing this I explained why I had them while trying not to laugh hysterically.

My habit of wearing cat ears...

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