One of Many Ways of How Martial Arts Changed My Life 

I would like to share a short story with you all. 
Martial arts has really helped me in so many ways, especially when I needed it the most. I would like to share with you how it changed my life in a big way. When I enrolled in the Bujinkan in 2008, I was really excited about learning the ninja and samurai arts. From taihenjutsu to tai sabaki, junan taiso, dakentaijutsu, etc, I was living my dream. Little did I know, that all of this would come in handy years later. Allow me to explain. 

I am a musician, and I play a variety of flutes and instruments including the shakuhachi, a Japanese end blown flute, (which is my main flute) Xiao, a Chinese end-blown flute, and many others. I also play a bit of keyboard. Last year, I was invited to do two concerts in Japan, one in Osaka and the other in Tokyo. This was indeed a dream come true for me. After a few days of getting settled in, I had to go to 4 rehearsals, one of them was with another ninja performer who played the violin, one was a solo rehearsal and the last two, I did with a group of performers that I was working with, and both of those rehearsals lasted about 7 hours, After that, the real show started. Yes, 7 hour practice and the actual show was on the same day (for both days). Standing practically all day and playing shakuhachi took quite a bit of stamina. Oddly enough, though, it didn't bother me at all. In fact, after the first show, I got up early the next morning around 4:30 a.m. With a lot of energy. There was one segment in the concert where I had to hold a fighting posture (ichimonji) with my flute for about two minutes straight while the other performers did their part. I used my breathing techniques that I learned to get through that part with hardly no problem at all. 

I also remembered that in order to get to the rehearsal room, (I think it was the concert Hall in Tokyo) I had to squeeze through these very narrow hallways. I remembered my training of yoko aruki and managed to get through without much trouble. I have never had to walk down narrow corridors, but it was pretty cool to be able to use my training of walking sideways. 

Playing a flute like the shakuhachi requires a lot of breathwork and control, and I think martial arts also contributed greatly. I had to be able to play long sustained notes, not to mention having the stamina to hold the flute for long periods of time. Before I left for Japan, I would practice playing shakuhachi for hours after finishing my training. This took quite a bit of focus. 

Although I have moved on to other martial arts styles, I am grateful for what I have learned. I hope to continue to build to an even higher level.

8 Day All Japanese Media Challenge 

I've decided to challenge myself with an 8 Day All Japanese Media challenge. This means I will surround myself with Japanese news programs, dramas, and anything audio based. I've done this before and it would last months at a time, but for some reason, I would always revert back to English. I guess it's because the brain is so used to English, and when it is trying to understand Japanese, it gets fatigued, and as a result, I get frustrated. It's amazing how the mind works. It can be so strong, yet, at the same time, so fragile and weak. It will take some discipline and focus to accomplish this goal, but I will do this challenge no matter what!

I'll be performing in Japan, soon! 

飛び切りのニューズがありますよ!もうすぐ、日本に行きます!とてもワクワクしています!七月一日に日本に向けて出発する予定です。日本到着は七月二日です。僕は大阪と東京のコンサートでバイオリン忍者と一緒に尺八を演奏しますよ!バイオリン忍者はとても天才的なバイオリン奏者です。お楽しみに! 

すみませんが、僕の日本語は余り上手じゃないですけれど、一生懸命勉強しています。 

 
I have some awesome news! Soon, I will be going to Japan! I'm very excited! I'm scheduled to leave on July 1, and will ariive on the 2nd. I'll be performing in Osaka and Tokyo in two concerts with a talented musician named Violin Ninja. Flute Ninja and Violin Ninja, the irony! I'm really looking forward to this!

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