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Don't Train Harder - Train Smarter
December 15, 2008
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REMEMBER: "You will only be as good at black belt, as the time, effort, and attention put into each level below it."

- Shidoshi Jeffrey Miller

self-defense expert Jeffrey M. Miller

From the Desk of:
Shidoshi Jeffrey Miller
Monday, December 15th, 2008
1:53PM EST Time

QUICK NOTE: The link for the upcoming Daikomyo-Sai Seminar Celebration was not correct. It seems that several of you found yourself on the flyer for the Daikomyo-Sai... for 2005! I apologize for the error. The link on the main site is the correct one.

Here is the correct link: Daikomyo-Sai 2009 January 9 - 11th, 2009 in east-central Pennsylvania.

Don't Train Harder -
Train Smarter!

by Shidoshi Jeffrey M. Miller
(C) 2008, Warrior Concepts Int'l, Inc.

This past Saturday, several students joined me for a special 1-day seminar which focused on 3 very powerful weapons used by the ancient Ninja and Samurai schools that make up the Bujinkan Dojo and other martial arts traditions..

While many students are relatively familiar with at least the basics of one of the weapons, the other 2 receive practically no attention in most dojo "training halls."

The seminar was another in the "Ninja Special Weapons & Tactics" series and the topic of this training event was on the tactics, techniques, and strategies for mastering the

  • Hanbo - 3' stick or "half-staff"

  • Jutte - iron truncheon (sword-catcher), and...

  • Tessen - "iron (war) fan"

My focus for the students went far beyond simply covering physical techniques passed down for these weapons though. What I really wanted was for the students to see both the "universality of technique" across weapons...


...To learn to see 'weapon types' instead of merely seeing each weapon as a separate "thing" to be learned - each divorced from and distinct from every other weapon.

I wanted them to come to an understanding of the principles in action for this particular class of weapons. In essence, I wanted them to think about their training in a different light.

I wanted them to stop training harder and start training smarter.

You see, most students focus on techniques, kata, and individual weapons. And doing that, is just WAY too difficult - there's just way too much to remember.

As always, what I wanted them to do was, instead of focusing on these three weapons as individual "things" to be mastered, to see them as variations on a theme. Each weapon has its own nuances - its own uniqueness, but it's also another "form" or "type" of weapon within the general classification of "stick weapons."

The great news is that the training event was a huge success (although I think a few students hit "information-overload" by the day's end). If you've ever been to any of my seminars, classes, or my yearly Ninja Training Camps - you know I have the tendency to do that!

In fact, a few of the students commented on how much those who didn't make it were missing.

If you were one of those who missed this training opportunity, here's a brief outline of what I covered:

  • a brief history of each weapon

  • how the hanbo was seen and used very differently by the ancient warriors than we view it today

  • the commonality between these three powerful tools

  • an outline of the 5 weapon classifications of real budo and how to use them to increase the speed at which you progress towards mastery

  • proper taijutsu principles and concepts for maximizing your power and ability with each weapon

  • modern variations of the hanbo, jutte, and tessen as weapon "types"

  • proper grips, striking, and kamae positioning to maximize the power and effectiveness of each technique

  • and more

Beyond that, here's what a few of the students had to say about what they learned...

"I learned that weapons don't make you better, just because you have them. In fact, the opposite can be true. They can make the mistakes you normally make with your taijutsu even more evident."

- James Alexander

"Due to scheduling, I could only attend for the hanbo material and still found that there was more about this weapon than I ever thought. Just the little bit I received will keep me busy for a long time. It was great!"

- Floyd Bourassa

"There are definite principles and concepts that, if a student can focus on and learn, can make the training a lot more smooth and effective. It's amazing how few people really focus on the principles and concepts of budo, instead of on trying to learn a bunch of weapons or hundreds of kata. The information taught in this seminar was excellent, as usual - and the reason I'm always here for these events."

- Kevin Young

As you can see, everyone had a great time and learned plenty to be able to take his training to the next level of progress. If you were there, you know how great the training was. If not, I hope that we'll see you at the upcoming Daikomyo-sai weekend in January.

But, all is not lost though.

You don't have to miss out on the information that everyone learned. Because...

The seminar was recorded on digital video!

As soon as I get the footage edited, I'll be offering it as a digital dvd training product so that others can benefit from this great seminar.

The dvd should be ready to ship by January 5th (I'd do it sooner but family demands around Christmas make it difficult to get things finished sooner!). The dvd will be priced at $49.

But, you can pre-order your copy and save over 30% off. I'm only taking pre-orders for the next week though, so if you want your copy of "Ninja Weapons & Tactics: Hanbo, Jutte, Tessen" at just $34 (plus $7 shipping and handling), you'll need to place your order right away.

Here's the link to order your video:

That way, you can order it now and save enough money to treat yourself to another Christmas present!

Then, as soon as the dvd is ready, you'll receive a confirmation email that your dvd has shipped (remember that it won't be ready until January 5th though).

You'll be able to learn and train with these principles at this year's Daikomyo-sai Seminar & Celebration, January 9th - 11th, 2009. For details and to download the event flyer, here's the link:

Want to send me something?

You may send questions, comments, or "what-if's" for inclusion in the newsletter using the CONTACT form on the web site - or cut and paste this link into your browser:

Just remember to keep your communications clear and to the point (limit each correspondence to ONE point, please). Any comments or questions received that are not easily understood or rife with spelling and grammar errors will be deleted. It's not that I don't want to answer but, if I can't understand your point or what you mean, I can't answer in a way that will be beneficial.

Until next time.

To Your Attainment of Mastery!

Jeffrey M. Miller, Shidoshi
Warrior Concepts Int'l
Self-Protection & Personal Development
362 Market St.
Sunbury, PA. 17801
(570) 988-2228

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