Monday, July 8, 2013

The self-confidence of the warrior is not the self-confidence of the average man.

“The self-confidence of the warrior is not the self-confidence of the average man. The average man seeks certainty in the eyes of the onlooker and calls that self-confidence. The warrior seeks impeccability in his own eyes and calls that humbleness. The average man is hooked to his fellow men, while the warrior is hooked only to infinity.”

~~Carlos Castaneda

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Naked Warrior

Physical training is an essential part of warrior training. You can train for skill all day long and become damn good with your skills but if you don't have the endurance or stamina to keep you going what good is it? Can you run for a couple hours straight? Can you sprint at a high speed to evade? Can you climb without your arms giving out on you? How about just hanging by your hands or even lay in one spot on the ground for long periods of time? This is what we strive for as warriors, real life applications of endurance, stamina and strength.

Look at the methods of training used by the SAS and other special ops units, even the ninja of old, examine how they would train. Everyday practice hanging from a chin up bar, climb ropes up and down. Do a long distance cross country walk once in a while, be sure to place some weight on your back. This is known as weight load walking commonly used by the Israeli army instead of running. Forget the mindless running on a treadmill, if you do run though, make it cross country / off trail using uneven ground. Do your training in the elements instead of your nice temperature controlled gym.

I will begin posting exercises to help you with your training as well as many tricks and tips. As well as links to other resources to help you develop your training program.

Lastly, I would like to recommend reading some of Pavel Tsatsouline's books over at Dragon Start with Naked Warrior which is an excellent book on the methods of body weight training written by an ex-Russian Spetsnaz.

Until next time my fellow warriors!

Train hard..train fun..and don't take yourself so seriously...

-Tenguka aka Collin

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


I fell, twice this week... one a big fall and one a minor fall. I was hurt from the minor fall, not the big one which only left me with a couple scratches. I probably should have been hurt much worse but I attribute my training for keeping me undamaged, ie broken arm, leg or head...
So this is what happened..first the small fall. The wife and I took the kids skating in Palm Bay. They do a once a month free skating event at an outdoor arena mostly used for inline hockey skaters. Anyhow, as you can imagine they have solid concrete for flooring. We spent a couple hours skating and I'm rusty as heck, having only skated like 3 times in the last 12 years. I must have been doing something right as I was approached by a roller derby girl inviting me to the coed roller derby team. So after that I was probably dealing with ego issues but the universe set me straight. I tripped over my own skates landed on my left ass cheek. Three days later, I'm still hurting, although the pain has lessened. So what happened? First my ego was in place thinking that I was skating so well to be invited to a team. On top of that, skating with the kids, one has a tendency to show off. But the worse thing that happened is as I tripped myself I fell backwards. The strangest sensation on skates if you haven't experienced it so my entire body tensed and then 'slam!', right into the ground. My whole body tensed and felt the 'slam' into the ground. It hurt!
The big fall happened yesterday, I was climbing a tree at the new house we just moved into. I climbed like a monkey which is what I do naturally. As I'm looking down I tell the wife and kids, 'You know, the worse part about climbing is you have to climb back down.' This really doesn't bother me as I have climbed and rappelled from many a cliff while living in Flagstaff, Arizona. So as I'm climbing down the limb I'm standing on cracks and I my shoes loose traction. I try to hang from my right arm but that limb wasn't strong enough and breaks. I say 'oh shit' and fall about 10 feet to the ground landing nicely on my upper back. I managed to stay relaxed the entire way down and land properly just like I was in a roll. I didn't even feel the fall, no loss of breath, no slam. It felt like a soft landing. I stand up not even hurting, just a scratch on the hand and a shin.
So, what happened? Why so much pain on a small fall and on the big fall where I should have been hurt..nothing? The difference my fellow warriors is tension and locking up the body. When I tripped and fell while skating..I was not relaxed, I was tense. When I hit the ground it was like a brick smacking the ground. When I fell from the tree, I was relaxed the whole time. I wasn't worried or concerned. Didn't hold my breathe, didn't lock up the body.  Have you ever heard of baby's falling from tall building windows and not being hurt? Baby's don't tense up, they don't lock their body's up. They have no tensions, stress, or even fear in them. So the majority of the time they do not get hurt.
This was a valuable lesson for me and it showed the importance of staying relaxed, not holding the breath, having no fear in a crisis situation. Life is about flow, feeling free, being relaxed. When we get so tense with stress, anger, fear, etc the universe has a funny way of smacking us to try and wake us up. If you don't listen to the message then something worse may happen. Again, if you don't listen something even worse will happen. The universe (God, The Force, Universal Energy, etc) is always trying to help us yet most of us don't listen. If you focus on the negative you will get more negative in your will attract more negative. More stress, fear, anger... So, let go! Flow! Smile, laugh! Don't be afraid! We all die when we are supposed to, not anytime sooner or later and not by accident , it is nothing to be afraid of. I'm not talking about fate. We decide when that time is no one and nobody else. Those of us with no purpose, no goals, no reason to live tend to leave this world much sooner than those with a mission in life. Find your mission, your purpose. Enjoy life and have fun. The next time you fall, just go with it and come back up standing with a smile on your face.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Train for reality

 I told a story a few posts back about facing down the bad guys while standing in natural stance, also called combat stance, with a stare down equivalent to that glare your mom used to give you. I wanted to elaborate a bit more on this.

Many martial arts teach fighting stances so many times on the streets you will see combatants stand ready to fight in a stance of some sort either they learned from actual training or something they saw in a movie. The drawbacks to fighting stances are first, they betray your style of fighting to your opponent so you are ruining your element of surprise. Most people know what a boxer or karate practitioner look like when they want to fight. It's as bad as telegraphing a punch or kick with a message of what your are about to unleash. A skilled street fighter will love for you to tell him how your going to defend yourself and that you actually are trying to defend yourself!!

By using a natural stance, which is just standing there, calmly ready to fight or ready to just walk away you are throwing your opponent off. You look confident but they aren't sure of what you can or are willing to do. You look intimidating when you are relaxed at the ready.

In Bujinkan and I'm sure with other combat arts fighting stances are just points in time. They are not meant for you to stand there in that posture to fight! You flow from posture to posture during combat and for the most part are just training aids. In reality you are not standing there face to face as they do in a karate tournament or UFC fight. As a warrior I train to get to the side or behind my opponent, I'm sure as heck not going to stand their trading punches with him and if he's is a powerful brute type of guy I really don't want to get nailed. It amazes me how fighters just stand there hitting each other. I'll be the first to admit my body couldn't handle that type of punishment so yea, I'm going to fight dirty and end the conflict in as short time as possible.

Ok, I went a bit off topic there. I was talking about stances. Don't become so rigid that you fight from stances. Be flexible and flow. If you are attacked odds are you will be either walking, standing or sitting. So train that way! Sit at a picnic table and have someone attack you from behind, those fancy kicks will be of no use I can assure you. Learn close in hand to hand combat. Train in scenario instead of classroom environment. Wear your tight jeans, your heavy boots or sneakers. Train for reality my fellow warriors...not the classroom.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Focus and awareness

  You are a warrior so you need to train as a warrior. One very important element in your training is to learn to focus. Whether you are swinging a kettlebell, striking a target or studying a book you need to focus, to learn to tune out everything around you so that you can learn and train. With that being said you still need to be aware of your surroundings! You don't want to be at the park doing some deep reading or meditating then wham! some thug jumps you from behind.

  I have a first hand account of this happening. My buddy and I were training at a local park we always trained at in Flagstaff. As we were training we noticed this group of teens walking up to this kid who was sitting at a picnic table with his head down, probably sleeping. Without warning these teens jumped the poor kid attacking with chains and sticks. We don't know what prompted this to happen but we weren't going to let it continue that's for certain. We both shouted a 'hey' almost in unison which stopped them in their tracks. They looked at us and approached us. We did what we do best, stood their watching them waiting for them to take action. We basically stared them down while warning them off with a few words. Sometimes the most intimidating thing you can do to an opponent is stand nonchalantly in what we call natural stance (basically just standing normally with hands at your side) and then calmly but intensely staring down your opponent. First they are placed off guard as most people in confrontations are used to a war of words and body posturing before a fight. When you are standing there just waiting... it unnerves the bastards. Without us having to lift a finger these punks backed down and left our park, of course threatening to return. The kid who had been jumped, well he booked it out of there. To bad for him, he should have come to us as we could have taught him a few things.

  So, anyhow..the point is. You don't want to be caught off-guard as this poor kid was. Focus! Train! but stay aware. If you are in the flow keep a small part of yourself aware of your surroundings. Take a look at this article over at Life Hacker: Train Your Brain for Monk Like Focus which talks about focus. They have some great ideas to point you in the right direction.

Speaking of Life Hacker, it is a phenomenal site with lots of information to make your life so much easier on and offline. Well worth signing up to their newsletter.

Until next time my fellow warriors!

-Collin aka Tenguka

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Beyond Ninja training...taking it to the next level

Since I was about 16 I had this dream of training as a ninja. I was enamored with all the ninja movies of the 80's and I bought and read all of Stephen K Hayes's books. They were gold to me and I had plans of one day training with him in Ohio. In the mean time I was training in Mas Oyama's Karate and thought of myself as being able to handle any situation if it came to it. It wasn't until I was 22 and I had moved to Mesa, Arizona when I had my first chance to train in Togakure Ryu Ninjutsu. There were actually two instructors in town, Peter Crocell and another fellow from Australia, Chris Graham. As fate would have it I ended up training with Chris. It was exactly what I had always been looking for, I learned rolling and many of the techniques that I was familiar with from Stephen K Hayes's books. All the Karate I had learned was crap and I found out how easy it was to take out anyone who fights face to face or throws high kicks. I learned to take out opponents within seconds, not sparring for 10-15minutes, in fact, in Ninjutsu we didn't spar as everything was real combat. We just did it slow at first until our skill level improved.

After a year I moved with Chris to Flagstaff, AZ where we started a school at a local park and helped teach for a good 4 years, with me being his top student and Uke (practice dummy). This was real Ninjutsu...I learned to flow, angle to get to the side or behind an opponent, lots of rolling and hitting the ground techniques. We played, yes we called it playing, with swords, staffs, chains, ropes and my favorite, knives and of course anything that was laying around. We trained in the snow, on the ice and in the wilderness. There was night training and obstacle course training on the park benches, boulders and kids playgrounds.

On top of all the Ninjutsu training, Chris was also ex-Australian SAS (Special Air Service), so I was taught and helped teach 4 man maneuvers, survival skills, combat shooting with pistol and rifle, rappelling, sentry take downs, etc.
I was living the life doing what I always wanted to do..then we hit a snag. Chris's business wasn't taking off and I was un-happy with other areas of my life. Even the training had plateaued as Chris wasn't into it anymore. After a bit of an argument we parted ways and I was left without an instructor. At first I took that as a sign that it was time to move teachers and all that, but then came the dissapointment and the reason I am even writing this all out.
I could not find a teacher anywhere who taught like Chris. As we were never part of the Bujinkan dojo culture or mainstream training I wasn't exposed to most of what goes on in that world. Chris always taught flow, natural body movement, etc. We learned that Togakure Ryu was highly effective combat system designed to end a 'situation' within seconds. We didn't do kata's or spar, made us kind of unique in the martial art world. The shock came when I started training with other groups. There total focus as it turns out all Bujinkan groups are that they focus on Kata's...I'm like WTF?

Bujinkan is about natural flowing motion, doing what comes to you as you are in combat, taking what opens up to you first the strike the wrist, oh look that opened the target up to a strike to the gut, then oh look, he is bent over lets take his head. It all flowed..but here are these Bujinkan guys, so called Ninjas, learning set movements and practicing them over and over until you want to puke up Kihon Happo (as the movements are called). Didn't matter where you go and train, that is what is taught now. Soke Hatsumi, Grandmaster of Bujinkan, handed out these movements as if they are the bible of Ninjutsu and it is all anyone does. What the heck happened!!

I challenge any of you to read Stephen K Hayes's books that came out in the 80's volumes 1-5. And the few other books he published. Where is all that training? Why has Ninjutsu been watered down to such an extreme extent? Ninjutsu isn't just un-armed combat with a bit of weapon work. The Art, yes..the ART is so much more. Composed of 16 schools just chock full of techniques, skills, stealth, deception, strategy, etc. Is this training only available to high level practioners now? or is it even taught to them? All I see are thousands of Bujinkan students practicing the same motions over and over, moving like robots for the most part. The flow is gone, the 'ninja' training is gone, all have been scrubbed from modern Bujinkan Ninpo training.

I've given up on finding a Bujinkan school that teaches that way I was taught back in the 90's, I haven't totally given up hope. I'm sure there are some old School teachers out there..probably not affiliated with Bujinkan though. I understand now why Glenn Morris created his own system, while using Bujinkan fighting methods he looked elsewhere to incorporate and flesh out the training.
So, I am following the way and styles of teachers such as Glenn Morris and Timothy Ferriss. I take the path of the 'experimenter'. I pull from any resource I can to create my mind, body and spirit into a warrior. I learn parkour for the movement skills, climbing walks, leaping, etc. Brain mental skills from numerous sources. Energy work taken from Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Chi Kung and various other schools. Combat Skills from SAS and Special Forces teachings. I learn NLP, social skills, strategy skills. Incorporate Kettlebells, Crossfit, Bodyweight training.

I am creating the Warrior Zone training goal is to create an Advanced Human Being. Going beyond just a Ninja. The Ninja of ancient history were on a path to create the perfect human body, mind and spirit. They worked in the shadows to achieve their goals. I wish to bring that spirit alive again within the Warrior Zone. To help make you and everyone else who is interested into a better human being, an advanced human being. With ancient and modern teachings this is very possible today. We all can take ourselves to the next level of Evolution. Use more of that brain capacity, push our body's limits to levels that are usually only reached in highly stressful situations, such as survival. We can all become who we truly are. Being a warrior is so much more than being able to fight. In fact you don't have to know how to fight to be a warrior. Warrior Zone will help everyone and anyone reach their true potential.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Go with your gut instinct first

The Daily Mail just posted a report about trusting your gut instinct, your first thought. Don't doubt yourself. Here is the link if you would like to read it:
Why we're right to trust our gut instincts: Scientists discover first decision IS the right one

Question, is the scientific report right? I believe that the answer to this is much deeper than what the science says. I've known or heard of many people who go with their 'first instinct' to gamble on something, whether it be an important life decision or at the track on a bet, and have come out on the bad end of the deal. Why? The scientists say go with your first instinct always there is more to this.

Going with your gut is definitely the way to go IF you are tuned into your body and the universe. If you are 'clear' and 'focused' and you have the habit of practicing and listening you can go with your gut as to most people in our society who go with logic and the facts and worse of all emotions which are usually negative. Actually, I believe going with your gut is the short cut to getting where you want to go as your inner you or universal energy or whatever you choose to call it does know and can guide you to where you want to be BUT if you are full of negativity, stress and other mental crap you won't get a 'clear signal' and won't know what to do. Instead you will be making decisions, as I mentioned above, based upon emotions or because you've been conditioned by society to think or act a certain way.

Bottom line, before making decisions, in particular life changing decisions step back, re-frame, get clear, look within and listen to you gut. You will save yourself much pain and suffering. You will avoid the wrong marriage, the wrong job, etc and maybe actually find who you really are.

I have created a list of resources on my site: if you wish to delve into this more.

If you really want to dig deeper and break free from societies, parental, cultural thinking get 'How I Found Freedom in an Un-Free World' for the ultimate primer on breaking free and thinking for yourself and how to remove just about all stress from your life.

Until Next time!