The Ninja are famous for looking at situations from a different perspective then their contemporary warrior counterparts. Where the conventional warrior may boldly charge in, the Ninja uses subterfuge and observation to accomplish their goal. This different perspective or the ability to perceive more is to me the goal of our training.
This is the first of three posts about perception for training in our Ninja art of To-Shin Do. Each will discuss a perception of self or surroundings and how to use these to enhance our understanding of this amazing art. To begin we will look at the ability to perceive gravity.
If you spend anytime on Facebook you will see there is a trend in physical fitness that involves controlling your body in opposition to gravity. There are people doing all kinds of combinations of push-ups, pull-ups and yoga on the ground and up in the air on poles or bars. They use their muscles to counter act the effects of gravity and perform some amazing...
Whats Happening at Shinobi Martial Arts in May!
An-shu Stephen K Hayes and An-shu Rumiko Hayes in New Egland Seminar May 5-7. Shinobi Martial Arts will be welcoming An-shu Stephen K Hayes and An-shu Rumiko Hayes to our Dojo in Plaistow New Hampshire on Saturday and Sunday, May 6th and 7th. The Dojo will be closed both days.
Memorial Day. The Dojo will be closed for Memorial Day Weekend from Saturday May 27th to Monday May 29th. Have a great Holiday!
Little Ninja students are working on all their great injury prevention and evasion drills and they will learn how to escape from being kicked in the leg or tripped.
Level One Ninjutsu White and Yellow Belts are looking at an Earth Level martial arts defense against a waist tackle and an Earth Level martial arts defense against double wrist grab.
Level Two Ninjutsu Red and Blue Belts will be working on a Fire Level martial arts defense against an jabbing punch, a Fire Level martial arts front hip throw called...
I happened on to a martial arts gathering in our area recently, one of the ones where they bring together different martial arts to share with each other. So I went in to watch for a while. There were some martial arts students speaking about an instructor on stage. The comments ranged from how amazing he was to how dangerous he was as a fighter. But as I watched them work out it was obvious they were having difficulty with the material being taught.
I watched as the teacher demonstrated over and over for them but to no avail. He was a strong athletic person and his students were trying to do exactly what he was doing but they were not all strong and athletic. Some of them could simply not physically do what the teacher could.
Over the last few months I have had the opportunity to see a lot of different people teaching martial arts. Some were awesome, others not so much. Obviously there are differences in people’s skills and experience that would account for the wide variation...
Whats Happening at Shinobi Martial Arts in April!
Little Ninja Students are working on all their great injury prevention and evasion drills and they will learn how to escape from being pinned against the wall.
Level One Ninjutsu White and Yellow Belts are looking at an Earth Level martial arts defense against a wrist grab and an Earth Level martial arts defense against a one handed shoulder grab from the front.
Level Two Ninjutsu Red and Blue Belts will be working on a Fire Level martial arts defense against a big wind up punch, a Fire Level martial arts defense from the ground against a standing attacker, a Fire Level martial arts defense against a front kick attack.
Level Three Ninjutsu Green and Brown Belts will be working on a defense to a waist tackle that ends in a choke, a defense against a choke from behind and a wrist fold technique called Take-ori .
Sneaky Ninja Club is looking at some material from Gyoko-Ryu.
One of our newer students asked if our focus is self-defense why we still train with classical weapons like the katana. They felt it was very unlikely that they would run into anyone with a Japanese sword. I can understand a new person’s perspective believing they may not see these particular weapons in a fight but weapons in general are a part of our society so we need to be able to deal with them.
The problem I believe is in labeling. If you call something a ‘classical weapon’ does that mean you won’t ever see it in a fight? If you Google Japanese sword attacks you will see the answer to that is obviously no. If you are practicing sword fighting does that mean you can’t kick? A can of fruit cocktail can get the same effect as a shuriken and did in one story I read online.
People tell me that they are ground fighters and you need to learn to fight there as if it is somehow different than standing. So I play on the ground with them and pull out a...
Whats Happening at Shinobi Martial Arts in March!
Little Ninja students are working on all their great injury prevention and evasion drills and they will learn how to escape from someone grabbing their wrists
Level One Ninjutsu White and Yellow Belts are looking at an Earth Level martial arts defense against a double arm grab from behind and an Earth Level martial arts defense low kicking attack.
Level Two Ninjutsu Red and Blue Belts will be working on a Water Level martial arts defense against an incoming kick, a Water Level martial arts defense against a bear hug, and a Water Level martial arts response to a collar grab and a punch that ends in a wrist lock called Omote-gyaku.
Level Three Ninjutsu Green and Brown Belts will be working on a Wind Level martial arts response to a choking attack on the ground, a Wind Level martial arts response to a round house kick and Wind Level martial arts evasive wrist escapes.
Sneaky Ninja Club is working on locking concepts.
Many people try to learn kata or techniques by memorizing them. Then they combine that with body strength and speed and believe they have what they need. Unfortunately stength and speed are fleeting and memorized kata are not the art. The art is hidden in perception.
The kata are learning tools that transmit the understanding of our art. They are not the art. To aquire that understaning you must put yourself through a process of experience and perception.
The process I ask my students to follow is to understand the goal of a kata, stay in kamae, train and experience the kata. Then I ask them to tell me the results of the the training. Most tell me what they do, how they feel, what they think. Their perspective is completely about them.
If you want to get this art then you have to do the work and that work is changing your perspective. There is no drill, set of movements, or words that can give it to you. You have to experience the training become aware of...
Whats Happening at Shinobi Martial Arts in February!
Little Ninja students are working on all their great injury prevention and evasion drills and they will learn how to escape from being pinned on the ground.
Level One Ninjutsu White and Yellow Belts are looking at an Earth Level martial arts defense against a straight punch and an Earth Level martial arts defense against an arm grab from the side.
Level Two Ninjutsu Red and Blue Belts will be working on a Water Level martial arts inward rolling defense against an incoming punch, a Water Level martial arts defense against a one handed shirt grab and turning it into a thumb down wrist lock called Hon-gyaku, and a Water Level martial arts defense against incoming grab pressure.
Level Three Ninjutsu Green and Brown Belts will be working on a defense against a waist tackle that ends with a throw, defense against a full nelson grab and an outside defense against a straight kick.
Sneaky Ninja Club is looking at...
We had a question about striking in class recently from a newer student who had trained in boxing and karate. We were doing some pad work with jabs and cross punches. He made note of how different it was from what he had done before.
It seemed to him that the difference between the styles of punching he had learned and what we were teaching him was that they have different main purposes. He felt in boxing and karate the idea was to try to overpower your opponent, so the mechanics are designed to hit with as much force as possible. To him at this early stage it seemed the focus of taijutsu was more on controlling space and balance.
Warning: Science Geek Alert, I’m about to go geek.
My response was that actually the difference is in the mechanics not the purposes. Taijutsu is capable of hitting with very great force while at the same time having the benefit of still being in good balance and cover.
F = M x A Force is equal to mass times acceleration.
For many years just like most people I would make resolutions for the new year. Things like try to eat better, lose weight or get more sleep. All of which are excellent ideas but they usually fell by the wayside as the year progressed. In recent years I have given up resolutions and instead made specific plans based on cause and effect.
Studying cause and effect allows me to let go of disappointment and frustration with the perceived failure of my resolutions. Instead I look at my goals, for example we want to grow the student base at the school this year. The question is how?
Well we have studied over the last year what worked and didn’t work to bring students in so we have a good handle on the projects that need to be done. We line all these projects up and then figure out what has to happen or be done and in what order for each to succeed. What the cause of each successful effect we want is so we can plan.
This as you can imagine gives us quite a To Do list but we...