Every martial art, by its very nature, will make its practitioners physically and mentally strong. And, the art of Ninjutsu – the art of Japan’s ancient Ninja families is no different. In fact, with all of the additional skills within the art, the Ninja practitioner must take matters into his or her own hands to insure that their body is capable of both performing the skills, and enduring the chaos that they are preparing to survive.
One of the most common questions that I get from students, both online and off, is…
“Aside from being in good shape and flexible, what else do you think I can do?”
Now, I know that what lies behind the question is a mindset that is limited to seeing “strength and flexibility” as merely aspects and products of physical exercise. But, if you can see things from a deeper level – see things like a Ninja – you can see that you’re level of flexibility and fitness extends to the deep-level condition of the muscles and other parts of the body being exercised.
You don’t have to be a doctor or a scientist to understand this. But, having a deeper understanding about the way your body works, will allow you to be more successful in attaining a greater level of results. Having this knowledge also makes you more “Ninja-like” than knowing dozens of techniques and “official kata” from the scrolls!
To give you a place to begin with this deeper level of body conditioning, here is a list of 5 areas that you can take control of:
1) Diet – If you can see that your diet is really about the intake of minerals, vitamins, and the basic nutrients that your cells need to function. Your ability to attain and sustain a balance of the elements that your body needs to be powerful, the more fit, strong, and flexible – on a deeper level – you will be.
2) Water intake – Along the same lines as your diet, if you can remember that your cells are (supposed to be) 70% water. The core idea, both here and with your dietary intake, is this…
You will only be as strong, as a whole, as the weakest cells in your body.
So, insure that you maintain a high level of hydration to keep your cells in a state that allows for the electrical impulses that you will need to be “on” and in the moment, are as strong as they can be.
3) Exercise – When most people think of making the body stronger, this is immediately what comes to mind. But, what does exercise do, at a deep level?
At a very deep level, exercise does 2 things:
a) Causes your muscles to breakdown and therefor rebuild stronger than before, and…
b) Increases metabolism because of the greater amount of muscle
But there is something else that needs to be remembered when it comes to making your body strong. And, that is that exercise only effects the muscles. But, if we are not careful, too much exercise can limit our range of movement by tightening and restricting the movement of the joints.
So, be aware that your so-called “exercise” routine should include stretching. This form of training serves to keep the joints flexible and open. This, in and of itself, then allows for a greater range of motion – the way we make the joints stronger – and allows the electrical impulses to flow through the nerves that pass through the joints.
4) Breathing – By the age of 20, the average adult has become what is commonly referred to as a, “shallow breather.” What that means is that most adults limit their breathing to the upper to mid chest/lungs.
Contrast this with the fact that, as babies, we were “belly-breathers.” That means that we used the entire capacity of our lungs for breathing – we took air much farther down into our lungs.
Again, we’re back to deep-level cell activity. Now, we are adding extra oxygen – the other element, besides water and nutrients, that our cells need to operate at their highest level of performance!
5) Meditation – This is usually the element that confuses my students. After all, isn’t meditation something for the mind – for personal development? What does this have to do with fitness and flexibility?
And, the simple answer is, “a lot!”
It’s not really within the scope of this article to go into the benefits and value of meditation. Let me just remind you of the Ninja’s perspective that…
“A stressed, tense, and unfit mind – produces a stressed, tense, and unfit body. And, conversely, a relaxed, at ease, and disciplined mind – produces a relaxed, at ease, and much more awake, alert, and powerful body.”
About the Author:
Are you serious about mastering Ninjutsu-the Ninja’s self defense and personal development art?
Get my new Ninja Training book, “Becoming the Master” at: http://www.warrior-concepts-online.com/becoming-the-master-subsc.html
Shidoshi Jeffrey M. Miller is a master-teacher in the ancient art of Japan’s Ninja Shadow Warriors.If you’re serious about training,Shidoshi Miller can unlock the secrets for you!