Shidoshi posted recently about taking change of one's own training. I don't think I could agree with him more if I tried but only now, after almost a year in, am I starting to get more insight into that principle.

You see, I am not of the warrior caste, as I think I have posted about before. I really have to work at this stuff. None of it comes naturally. I usually get my self up to 80% and them let my natural talent carry me the rest of the 20%. In this, I can't do that. I don't have any natural skill. I have to train all the way to 100%. I have never had to do that before in anything I have done.

So I need a new way to work.

In my particular school, there is a lot of stuff to learn. A LOT. Most than most ninjutsu schools that I have seen the kyu sheets for. Ok, more than all of them. Put together. For my 7th kyu test, I have 29 individual testable points. For the taijutsu parts, I have to know henka and counters, too. Ouch.

Shidoshi says that you have to do each individual movement 100 times with a compliant uke before the muscle memory even starts to think about kicking in. After that, you need to take it to randori and work it there 100 more times. Ok, I think I agree. I am going to formalize it a little bit, and actually plan my training.

For my 7th kyu exam, I am going to actually make a training chart, and track how often I train on each individual item. Everything - from the side roll to the jujutsu kata items. Some I can train alone, most I need an uke for, but that's what open mat is for. AND I will go to class as well.

What I need now is to revise my vision on why I am training. Fact is, I am training like I will use it. Fact is, I probably won't use it. I might once or twice (Aikido has saved my ass twice) but probably not much more than that. I need to now train to get good at it - becasue it is going to be really good for me to get good at something that I have a hard time with.

That might not be enough though. I am a very competition driving individual, though I don't pretend like I am. Takamatsu-sensei said something that matters, though.

The way of the martial artist is the way of enduring, surviving and prevailing over all that would destroy him. More than delivering strikes and slashes, and deeper in significance than the simple outwitting of an enemy, Ninpo is the way of attaining that which we need while making the world a better place. The skill of the Ninja is the art of winning.

Yes. Yes indeed. That's what I am training for - winning. Doesn't matter if it is in the boardroom or a brawl, winning is winning. That's what I am after.

Bill Sempf

Husband. Father. Pentester. Secure software composer. Brewer. Lockpicker. Ninja. Insurrectionist. Lumberjack. All words that have been used to describe me recently. I help people write more secure software.

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