Tag: Ninpo Tai Justsu

The Pilgrimage

I stood quietly in the middle of the dojo floor and listened respectfully while Sensei yelled at me.  He had progressed from yelling to screaming, and by now he had been screaming non-stop for thirty minutes. I was keeping track of the time by sneaking peeks at the clock on the wall at the end of the dojo. It was quite impressive to witness Sensei’s ability to find new things to yell about, as well as his stamina for screaming. He certainly was a creative screamer, and apparently, I was giving him plenty of reasons to scream at me. I didn’t know where he was getting his energy from, but at least one of us had some staying power. Personally, I was exhausted, but knew better than to admit it. Over the past half hour, we had established a predictable rhythm. My partner would attack me, I would...

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The Reluctant Ninja….

    Here I am, hard at work transcribing, editing and compiling eight years of notes from three different notebooks, several different legal pads, and a multitude of sticky notes gathered over countless hours of martial arts training, classes and seminars. This daunting project is in anticipation of  testing for my next belt level. Some day. This next level is a comprehensive test which includes everything I have learned (or supposed to have learned) since the first day I entered the dojo and began training. Reluctantly, of course. You may recall that I was going to take a few classes, learn a few things, and then quit. I thought it was a form of recreation. Then I discovered how serious these people were about their training. I mean, they had notebooks, for Heaven’s sake! “What...

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Habits, constraints, and neuroplasticity….let the learning begin!

In my martial arts class, we often practice something called “randori”. One student stands in the center of the room while the other students form a circle around them and take turns randomly attacking the person in the middle. It’s kind of like the Ninja version of monkey in the middle. And it scares me to death. It is my least favorite training activity, but my incomparable stubborness won’t let me opt out. And besides, the guys would make fun of me if I refused to play with them. Last week, after we completed our randori, just as I heaved a sigh of relief, Sensei said, “We’re going again.” He looked at me and said, “And you are not allowed to do the same techniques. I want you to find new ways to react to each attack.” My response...

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