As we said almost a year ago, we intend to follow CDC guidelines for safety during the pandemic. From our perspective to do otherwise would go against everything we practice in ninjutsu for safety.
It has been a long year and we appreciate all of you who have stuck with us during this time. We wanted to let you know that there have been some recent announcements that could lead to some indoor training in the relatively near future.
The CDC has updated its recommendations for fully vaccinated people. Fully vaccinated meaning two weeks after your final vaccination shot. From what we have read, fully vaccinated members, including T and me, will be able to train together inside without the need for masks or social distancing. You can find out more about these guidelines here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html
Other hopeful news is that the state of NH is ahead of schedule and some of us may become eligible for vaccination registration before the...
Saturday nights I have a zoom call with three of my friends. The four of us usually get together a few times a year. About a month after the pandemic started we decided to have a weekly zoom call to stay in touch. Since last March we have all been working remotely. The three of them interact with their work colleagues through zoom, conference calls and emails. I am fortunate that Dennis and I have quarantined so we can work together in the dojo. None of them have that.
Our zoom calls have become a weekly highlight for all of us. We vent, joke, laugh and catch up with what's going on with us, our families and other mutual friends. Out of this weekly zoom call has grown a deeper friendship between all of us. We now text or send gifs almost every morning starting our days together. We send cards and gifts to each other.
Two of us recently had Birthdays so it was decided we should celebrate together. My friend out in Seattle sent us chocolates from a local vendor there. Another sent us...
An old friend and student joined us today for training outside. He has experience in other arts, including defensive tactics. He was paired up with our newest student, a young man with a great sense of humor and a fencing background. However they worked together very well.
Together with the rest of the regulars they worked on Shinden Ryu kata dealing with a punch and ending up locking the person up with an arm bar. Out of all of them I think only T had seen the technique before but it didn’t matter because we were using science.
We read the kata model recipe, figured out how to turn the steps into goals, then put them into the formula and experimented. Because we use scientific methods to train it doesn’t matter who is working with who. Experienced members can work with new people. Larger people can work with smaller ones.
There are no weight, gender or age divisions because there is no competition, only good science where everyone is working to duplicate the same...
I was reading one of Dr. Hatsumi’s books and in it he was talking about the scrolls that contain the kata from our historical traditions. In it he said what is written is past, what matters is the present moment. Survival happens in the present. This moment is all that matters.
This was very appropriate for what we have been working on in class. We have been learning how to read the recipe like steps of the kata models and to turn them into external goals of what we want to happen to the attacker. Once we have these goals we place them into our Shinobi Science Formula to experiment with the kata and unlock the lessons within. Experimentation is how you internalize the principles of survival.
No memorized kata model is going to save you in a real conflict. Your memory is the past. Only focusing on the present can give you a chance of survival. At Shinobi Science we take the lessons of the past, really read them and make them understandable to our students with science.
A couple of days ago Dennis brought in a mini basketball hoop with two basketballs about the size of tangelos. He set it up on the glass pane in front of my desk so I could practice. He did this after watching months of me trying to throw things into the trash can and missing horribly in any way you can imagine. The trash is less than 6 feet from my desk.
So I have been practicing from my chair while at my desk. I have been missing ninety five percent of the time. Actually probably more. I have managed to hit just about everything else in the office including Dennis on my shots and them rebounding back across the room.
My response has not been disappointment but laughter. It’s incredibly comical how bad I am, at least to me. Oh and the faces I make while trying to make a basket can be fairly amusing too.
Dennis may not feel the same way. Today he asked me what are you looking at? I responded that I'm looking at the backboard. He watched me miss several more times and before I...
So we’ve been going through screen capture pics from seminars we have online to create thumbnails. You know looking for the really cool shot to capture attention. But what we mostly find are pictures that belong in an outtakes reel. We have been laughing hysterically the entire time.
A lot of martial artists I’ve met over the years take themselves too seriously. Here at Shinobi Science we take the training incredibly seriously but not ourselves. We laugh, we have fun, we train.
If you’re not enjoying it, if it doesn’t bring you joy, why do it?
If you’re new and interested in the martial arts or been around for years and love them and would like to train with a group that really has a lot of fun while getting great results check out Shinobi Science by clicking below.
We look forward to laughing and training with you.
This morning we looked at Ura Gyaku-te Waza or inward wrist lock in Ninja Lab. We took an in-depth look at the tools used on both sides of the equation and the shapes that created the effects of the kata. It seems like a simple kata but it was an intricate dance of shapes to create the effects that moved you to the next shape and effect.
As Dennis broke down each step of the kata. The first part was looking at the grab. Dennis had gotten out the several translations we had and his notes. Most times the grab is demonstrated as a straight arm grab with the goal of sending energy into the person so they become off balanced. It’s not a static grab keeping the person there or one that pulls the person forward. This is important because we want to be using their energy and shape against them. So the first step is to make sure you are attacking correctly for the specific kata.
This doesn’t mean it is the only way to grab for this kata, as long as the component of forward energy...
One thing I noticed as we trained with Jack Dempsey’s boxing lessons and ninpo boxing was the way I got into kamae. When I got into kamae my weight was balanced on my back leg or between my legs. I never naturally balance it forward.
Dempsey always had his weight forward balancing on his front foot. It seems, based on reading his book, that he didn’t believe in retreating, it wasn’t an option he liked. He fought and believed in going after his opponent with the goal to knock them out as quickly as possible.
Given the parameters of boxing at the time he fought, this makes sense. The space of the fight is confined to the ring. The time and the opponent is known to him. The gloves were far smaller with less protection. In studying his methods and watching him you realized his skill was incredible. It’s a great skill to have.
In the violence I have personally faced using Dempseys method, being aggressive or firelike would have escalated the violence and put me at...
There’s a term called negative bias. It refers to our brain’s inclination to create a negative assessment of a situation. There’s a good reason for it, back when we were in the food chain and not on top of it that negative bias created caution. The brains that thought, “if we go down there we could get eaten by the tiger we should stay,” didn’t chance it, they didn’t get eaten and stayed alive long enough to pass that trait on to their offspring.
So while this trait is natural it can cause problems while training in the martial arts and in life in general. Training in martial arts is about putting yourself in situations where you are in danger and need to figure out how to survive. So the brain is already heading for the negative but when you make a mistake in your training it really goes to town. It tells you how incopetent you are and all the reasons you can’t do this.
And what’s worse is when you are training for the ability...
In our martial art katas are not something you do, katas are what happens to the uke (the attacker).
Many martial arts katas are memorized steps repeated exactly the same way on whoever is punching in for you. Many katas are short and done with one partner punching in. Some katas are long memorized routines that are performed for competition. Some of these kata routines are incredibly complex. They may involve weapons, gymnastics or even partners. As athletically challenging and amazing to watch, whether short or long, all of these katas are memorized routines. These katas are about what you do.
The katas we study are about what happens to the uke, the person attacking. So when we look at the kata and train it we must understand what happens to the uke. To better understand it, it helps to be the uke to feel it. If we have no partner we do the techniques to ourselves imagining what is happening based on what the kata tells us.
Studying what happens to the uke tells us what we are...