1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Bujinkan TaiJutsu
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Hi everybody !!!!! + thoughts on training conditioning and strenghth training

    I practice Bujinkan Taijutsu (Ninjustsu Nimpo) and have been doing it since 1999, However its only since 2004 I have started to take my study more seriously (training every day and conditioning my body, meditating etc). I’ve been lucky in the sensei who have helped guide me (Abdul Rehman 5th of Thre Bujinkan Kings College Dojo, Dan, Duncan Olby 10th Dan, Hammersmith Dojo, both of whom have studied directly under Hatsumi Maasaki and continue to do so, unlike that fake and outright fraudster Ashida Kim…….

    Anyways heres my thoughts on training:

    Conditioning is important but approaching it in balanced manner and knowing your own limitations is even more important as these prevent debilitating injuries and habits from forming.

    Above all else remember that training isn’t everything!
    Family, friends, social interaction and sense of community etc are important too.

    As for my thoughts on physical conditioning:


    If your just starting out or are generally stiff I recommend avoiding cold stretches (without doing a warm up first), as this increases the likelihood of injury. Also I recommend static stretches; M. Alters book ‘Sports Stretch for Athletes’ is an excellent source as it explains how to stretch muscles but has literally hundreds of stretches for martial artists, which are conveniently categorized into ‘beginner ‘ and ‘advanced’ stretches.

    Try to stretch every day if possible, I personally recommend for half an hour a day and be gentle on your self – know your limits.

    Once you get more flexible (or if you feel confident) there is one sure tested method of getting very good results: Yoga Choose either Iyenga (Ashtanga I don’t recommend for beginners as your prone to get injured.)

    Yoga is excellent as it gives you total body flexibility, more than isolated static stretches as multiple muscles are stretched and exercised. Also you go from movment to meovent in order so your whole body is stretched and relaxed. Further most yoga classes include meditation at the end of each lesson which help with concentration, and a peaceful mind. Best place is a Yoga class or failing that a DVD tutorial as you get to learn to ‘flow’ from one movement to another.

    Body conditioning:

    Ok this is split into 3 parts:

    1. Tai Jitsu + Punching kicking drills
    2.Strength conditioning

    3. How to toughen up your hands and legs (ie not to break em)

    Tai Jitsu:

    No#1 rule: Avoid getting into bad habits, its no use doing hundreds of kicks and punches only to discover that your form is off……

    Try holding any of the basic stances for a few minutes at time and learn to ‘listen’ to your body. By this I mean are you off balance ? do you have tension in any part of your body? Does it feel awkward, if so how does shifting your legs closer or further part feel ? How does it feel to make your stances deeper and shallower ?
    If need be see how you move in mirror (back straight, not over-committing to a punch etc, not off balance)

    Move from one stance to another till you get them to flow smoothly.

    Remember that the key to good form is slow controlled momements, speed without control is just plain silly.

    If your having trouble with these I recommend breaking things down into small segments:

    ‘There is no arm’

    The basic Bujinkan punch (Ichimonji, step forward and punch with the guard hand:

    Place your arms slackly at your side and just try stepping in the Bujinkan way – how does it feel ? are you bobbing ? do you move smoothly ? are your soles of your feet scraping the floor ? To make it harder try wearing trainers and move without squeeking on smooth floor. The reason I say this is that you can learn to twist your whole body using Taijustsu and punching ‘with the body’ as opposed to getting fixated just on the arm.

    If you stomping at the end of each punch I recommend training bare foot on gravel – those sharp stones will force you to be careful.. Also try different surfaces, grass, tarmac, concrete, uneven ground.

    Firstly start doing 10- 20 punches each arm then build your way up – I recommend doing this in hall or in park as you need space to move. As you build up repetitions you’ll be surprised how hard it gets.

    Try the basic movements wearing weighted leg weights and / or weighted arm weights. Do 20 punches each arm this will build up endurance and stamina start with air then try bags. Again slow and controlled is the best approach, your speed will improve as your technique improves.

    Spin a Bo for 15 continuous minutes, not only will you feel the burn, it get you ‘flowing’ in the Bujinkan way too.


    The wall is your best friend ;)

    Like punching Start by kicking the air, then bags (if you have access to one) and see how many you can do before you get tired. I recommend doing 20-30 picks per leg to build strength and endurance. Use a wall or a tree but don’t kick it hard – other wise you’ll have arthritis in later life. Try different distances and different kicks, too see which areas need work.

    If you do use ankle weights do the kicks slower and more controlled – do 10-20 per leg and build up from there. Take off the ankle weights and feel the difference J

    Forward, backward, sideways, leaping rolls…how I love them.
    Do lots of these one after the other till you get tired. Also do them on different surfaces, start on mats, then grass, wooden floor, then harder surfaces and don’t just stick to smooth flat surfaces.

    Strength conditioning:

    Train at least 3 times a week for at least half an hour.
    Have a schedule and have goals.

    Functional strength is more important than how much can you bench press:
    I’m going to be very honest here: most programs in gyms aren’t geared for the demands of martial arts or any combat orientated sport for that matter. I have nothing against gyms as I use one myself…..but saying that there is nothing like using your own bodyweight J

    Exercises I recommend:

    Body weight squat (aka Hindu squat) Start by doing 25 per day and build up to 200 consecutive…
    Divebomber (aka Hindu push-up) start by doing 10 per day and build your way uptp 100 consecutive pushups.
    Sit-ups (all variations) start by doing 20 and build your way up to around 200
    Single legged squats – great for balance but I wouldn’t bother unless you can do at least 40 Hindu squats.

    However there is is help available, if you want to condition yourself for martial arts like Bujinkan I recommend conditioning books by Ross Emanait, as they focus on intensity as well as stamina, strengths, endurance and flexibility.

    Heres the way Ross trains:

    Variation without rest:

    • Run 200m (intense but sustainable rate)
    • Perform as many pushups in 30 secs as you can
    • Run 200m (intense but sustainable rate)
    • Hold plank position for 30 secs
    • Run 200m (intense but sustainable rate)
    • Perform as many pushups in 30 secs as you can
    • Run 200m (intense but sustainable rate)
    • Perform as many v-ups in 30 secs as you can
    • Run 200m (intense but sustainable rate)
    • Perform as many pushups in 30 secs as you can
    • Run 200m (intense but sustainable rate)
    • Hold plank position for 30 secs
    • Run 200m (intense but sustainable rate)
    • Perform as many v-ups in 30 secs as you can
    • Run 200m (intense but sustainable rate)
    • Hold plank position for 30 secs

    3. Toughening up hands and feet etc

    This is a tough one, I personally recommend getting good at body movement first so that you move correctly, before trying any of the following (except the pushups).

    Start with doing knuckle pushups on a mat or dense foam, make sure is stable, if you have difficulty drop to you knees and do them and watch that you don’t twist your wrists. After you get proficient I recommend finger tip pushups using first 4, then 3, then 2 fingers, watch your spacing for the fingers and balance, spread you feet wider if you need to when doing finger tip push-ups and do not over-estimate your abilities…..

    Sand in a plastic tub: A baby tub is ideal: fill one with sand and just do a punching motion into it or a prodding action (keep your hands / fingers in the same form for your martial art). Do the reps quirky in sets of a 100 or so.

    Trees: Its is most important that you don’t injure yourself here – never hit a tree with full force or even half force, don’t try to be macho or stupid as arthritis is no laughing matter…..I recommend a smooth barked tree, just do your standard punches and kicks from different angles, distances etc to ‘feel’ whats it like to hit a hard bony like surface. Same goes for knees and different areas of your leg. Remember DO NOT HIT HARD, and if you feel your joints swelling STOP.

    Bag work: not much to say here that hanst been said by others– use gloves or bare handed, if you are bare handed I recommend using wraps – as the skin WILL come off after 50 or so punches.

    Books for strength and conditioning:
    Underground Guide To Warrior Fitness, Ross Emanait
    Ultimate Training for the Ultimate Warrior
    Medicine Ball Training , Ross Emanait
    Infinite Intensity , Ross Emanait
    Warrior work out Bonus series 2 , Ross Emanait
    Secrets to Peak Performance; Garrett J Braunretter
    Body for Life, Matt Roberts

    Books for Stretching and flexibility:

    Iyenga Yoga; B. K. S. Iyenger
    Sports Stretch for Athletes, M. Alter

    Books by the Boss:

    Essence of Ninjitsu, Maaskai Hatsumi (my personal favourite)

    Other stuff essential for mind body and soul:

    Spend time with family and friends, try and help people when you can and above else, have fun J.

  2. #2
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Welcome to the Bullshido Forums Argonoss... Make sure you review your dojo and add it to your user control panel so you can get the icon in your user info bar in your posts.


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