Monthly Archives: April 2014


Art of Ninjanuity


The Ninja has one rule; one driving force; one reason for existence. That reason is to “Never Quit!” The word Ninja actually means “a person – (Ja),” “that endures – (Nin)”. People have come to know the term as meaning “stealth.” This is indeed another meaning of the word but it is not in the way that people understand it. People imagine a person, clothed in black, running around at night hiding from the enemy in the shadows. However, this is not the essence of the meaning behind the stealth. On the contrary, stealth refers to the Ninja’s ability to both avoid danger and to find ways to endure and overcome danger if it enters their life. The Ninja does this, not through opposition, but through adaptation and change.

The Ninja would morph into what was needed for the time. The stealth does not refer to basic camouflage; it refers to invisibility based on a lack of proper identification. The enemy thinks he is looking at a patch of grass when instead he is looking at a man in a gully suit (camouflage suit). It is the state of who you become that eludes the danger or obstacles that seek to disrupt your life. The situation loses sight of you because you have adapted. This concept is where Ninjanuity comes in.

The ability to use strategy, experience, knowledge and connections to overcome weakness and danger is Ninjanuity. Adaptation in mind, body and spirit. Create what you need to render helpless the obstacles that interrupt your beautiful life. Whether people or situations, you create success where failure seems like the only way. There is no limit to your inventiveness and cunning because you engineer what you need. However, more than ingenuity you have Ninjanuity because you don’t just invent, you become!


The Shadow of Brightness

Every night, when I let my dog out, I am attacked by a swarm of moths, mosquitoes and other creepy, winged pest that are drawn to the light at night. For this reason, I dread opening my back door at night, yet I still keep the light on.

To me, the security that the light brings by piercing through the darkness of my huge backyard is more important than turning it off at night.  A few pesky bugs are not a huge deal, if I keep it in perspective.

Even the security of sitting in my living room and being able to look out my window and see that there is no one in my yard is enough to never turn off that light; however, there are many people who would just turn off the light until they need it. Some would even stop using the light altogether, succumbing to the overwhelming intrusion of pests.

There Is Something Important About Being Able To See Through The Darkness Of Life…


his reminds me of a deeper issue. At my school our goal is to inspire, teach and help others become warrior protectors. We are constantly integrating lessons of how to grow strong and use that strength as a way to help others…

…however, the lesson of how to share strength and protect would not be complete without the lesson of understanding that when you do good, the recipient or those around the recipient might not always accept your sharing.

A teacher and friend once told me, “With some people, you can do everything right to help and still be seen by others as wrong.”

To some, that is a foreign concept, but to a great number of individuals, this is a common occurrence….and that brings me to this question:  Where would our nation be if every instance of doing right became too tough, and great individuals gave up out of fear of bodily harm, slander, oppression, etc?

In This Often-Dark World, We Need To Continually Aim For The Light!


I had a student whose sister was being bullied at school by a boy, so the student taught his sister to get into a strong defensive stance and use her voice assertively to yell, “Stay back!  Leave me alone!”  He told her that the next time this boy bothers her, she was to do this.

A few days later, the boy went to bully her again, and she followed her bother’s guidance. Her performance was so powerful that the bully began to cry.  The boy was so hysterical that the teachers first thought the girl had hit him, but when the truth came out, they where all amazed and inspired by her non-violent display of strength.

Their original impression, however, was that she had been the one in the wrong.

I had another student who saw a girl being bullied at school by three, other girls.  While everyone was watching this young victim being pushed around by three aggressors, my student stood up and positioned her self between the victim and her attackers.

The attackers threatened her and told her to move out of the way, but my student refused to move.  The aggressors eventually backed down, but the truth is that this could have turned out bad in many ways.  It is always encouraged that youth get an adult involved as soon as possible.

Ultimately, these girls now look at my student as a person to heckle and she bears that weight because of her choice.  When her parents told me the story in her presence, I asked if she was okay with these girls now seeing her as an issue?  Her response was, “It’s not fun, but I did the right thing.”

Light Burns Away Darkness, And The Darkness Does Not Appreciate It – At All…


There are forces in the world that search for brightness, but they do not get inspired by it or seek to become part of it.  Instead, these forces seek to attack and extinguish that light.

When you are a good person doing great things in the world, if you choose to be a warrior protector, you must alwaysrealize that everyone won’t see the truth of your brightness.

Some will heckle you, and some will even try to quench your light.  Just like me and the light on my porch, we have three main choices – and these are not the only choices!  First, we can let the bugs win and shut of the light

Second, we can go through the hassle of moving the light elsewhere so that it’s not so inconvenient to us…

…or we can simply and finally accept the bugs’ existence and find a way to insulate ourselves from them so that they don’t interrupt our lives as much.  This third option is the best one because it allows our light to stay on and shine, properly positioned for maximum effect.

Will you turn off that light and give in to the will of those forces that may swarm you, or will you shine even when it is not convenient? The path of the warrior is tough but it has great benefit of self.  The path of the warrior protector is an arduous one but it is for the benefit of others.


Be the Ninja

Over the last few years I have talked to several of my fellow Ninjutsu practitioners who have become frustrated with their studies in the ninja art. For one reason or another, they feel they are missing something in their training and consider leaving behind the study of our amazing art.

It is always a shock to me to hear this – not so much from the newer Ninjutsu practitioners, but from some who have been in it for years. Don’t get me wrong, people are supposed to grow and change, and maybe they just outgrow their desire to study modern Ninjutsu as a self-protection method.

Years Ago, Even I Was Not ImmuneTo Complacency In Ninjutsu…
Even I had a similar experience when I was just in my second year of studying the art; however, after making it over that hump in my road, I realize now, 9 years later, that the true issue was that I felt the art – or someone in it – owed me something.

I felt that I needed something special to make my experience better and missed the entire point, altogether.

The journey is the destination in Ninjutsu…


In my instance, I wanted my teachers Mr and Mrs. Hayes to give me specific specialized training. Mrs. Hayes’s response was, “Remember why you came here.” First, I did not understand and I almost left Ninjutsu for good. Lucky for me, after a month of meditating on that phrase I got my answer.

I had left my friends and family in New Jersey and moved 600 miles to Ohio just to study Ninjutsu with my teacher. The reason that I did this was because Ninjutsu, as an art for self-protection and personal development and growth, had everything I felt a true warrior needed.

Now, years later, this did not suddenly change.

Here Is What I Think Happens To People Who Study Ninjutsu For A While…
In my opinion, people forget that Ninjutsu translates into the “Art of Perseverance; Endurance; Stealth; Success.”

Traditionally, ninja had to be proficient in 18 methods of study which were to help the ninja survive and succeed against the odds; furthermore, if what the ninja needed was something not encompassed in these 18 methods, then he or she would simply go out and get it.

No one can accomplish success if he or she does not have the knowledge to apply it to their particular situation.

Today, this is no different. I believe this is the greatest lesson of Ninjutsu. The name does not translate into a collection of techniques to find out who can throw the fastest punch, choke out the most people, or hide from others the best.

Ninjutsu is the Art of Success. Thus, the truth is that seeking, receiving and applying Be The Ninja – 2what you need to be successful is true Ninjutsu.


Too often, I hear practitioners saying that they aren’t getting from Ninjutsu what they need, and I challenge them with this: You are not growing in Ninjutsu. The point of Ninjutsu is NOT to overcome another human being. The goal is to become the best YOU possible!

Ninjutsu is designed to force you to dig deep and find out what is inside of you!

Whatever You Are Missing Is Actually Your Training: It’s Your Job To Learn How To Find What You Need In Order To Grow

Be-The-Ninja-3-300x234If something is missing from your Ninjutsu training, then you need to go and get it. Next time you doubt your study or your teacher, remember no man knows all the answers. Ninjutsu takes this into account and tells you to be the change you want to see.

Don’t forget that getting what we need to feel accomplished and successful is one of the goals of the ninja. The challenge is to NOT get it and keep it to ourselves. Others in our circle may be able to benefit from it.

They may be looking for that which you have sought. This is why Ninjutsu has survived and grown over the ages. My teacher did it, his teacher did it, I will do it, and you should, too!

Be the Change you want; be the growth we need.

Be the Ninja.


Don’t Lie To Yourself; Position Yourself!

“Don’t lie to yourself, position yourself!” was said to me and several other Jiu-Jitsu practitioners by a famous Jiu-Jitsu legend, as we attended his seminar. He used this statement as a way to say, “Give true and good energy while you are training.”

What this means, plainly, is this: Don’t give your partner anything that he/she did not earn through true positioning.

The seminar leader was not telling us to fight our partner. Rather, he was emphasizing staying true in such a way that our partner knows if he/she really has the technique right. The beautiful thing is that this message was also to the person performing the technique.

Being Untrue To Technique Should Never Be Accepted – By Us Or Our Partners…


We should never accept something that we know is not true to technique but is instead a courteous handout from our partner simply to be nice to him or her.  This statement was an eye-opener.  Not only did it mean a lot for training in a physical martial art, but it had a deeper meaning that transcended that moment or any physical martial application.

To me, it was a philosophical life principle.

We can all relate to a time where we said we wanted accomplish something. We can also all relate to a time in which we did not complete or finish the thing that we set out to do. There could be a number of reasons why our tasks did not get done.

To be fair, sometimes it is as simple as things getting out of our control.  There are times that things happen in our lives that hinder our progress and prevent us from accomplishing our goal.

Still…what about people who never really position themselves for success?

You Must Position YourSelf For True Success!

Those who say, “I want to lose weight,” but then they don’t exercise regularly or change their eating habits aren’t properly positioned.  Those who say, “I want to quit smoking,” but don’t join a program to help them stop have failed to position themselves properly.  This list goes on and on, infinitely.

For the purpose of keeping this simple, let me use getting a black belt as an example. People come in to my school all the time and say they are ready and will do what it takes to get a black belt; however a few weeks or months later, their training sessions begin to taper.

Just to make sure nothing serious is happening, I will ask why.  Often I get, “Well, I am very busy;  I decided to join, and I wanted to try it, but…” and the reasons are varied. Believe me.

I am all for gaining new experiences and trying new things, but it’s good to understand that random experiences could interfere with our goals.  One place that this is easily witnessed is in school.

Improper Positioning Can Keep Us From Reaching Our Goals!


While in high school, if we take on too many projects, it directly impacts our performance.  We can often quantify our choices with the grades we earn, thus getting a reminder of what we set out to do versus what we actually did.  Outside influences like parents and teachers can also guide us back on track.

Unfortunately, when we are on our own, it is easy to get off track or never be on track.

Please try and think about this the next time you set out to do something. Be honest about where you are and what it will take to reach your goal.  After you do this, set yourself up for success by positioning your life to help you accomplish your goal!

Below are some things you can do to help you with this.

Here Are The Steps You Need To Take ToBe Well-Positioned!

Step One

Identify what you want to accomplish and write it down and hang it in a place where you will see it daily.

Step Two

Be truthful about where you are and what it will take to accomplish it and if you are willing to do what it takes.

Step Three

Position yourself to move in the direction of achieving your goal. Commit to a gym; join a quit-smoking help group; don’t take on too many projects that will shift your focus. Understand that obstacles are sure to be present but you have to stay focused.

Step Four

Understand that we may have moments of questioning on the way to accomplishing our goal but remind yourself of that day you made up your mind to succeed and read your daily reminder.

“There are enough people lying to themselves. The world needs more people who position themselves.”


Understanding The Nin And Becoming The Ninja…

Often in our lives, we will experience moments of hardship, uncertainty and fear. These three things can often be viewed as obstacles.  Obstacles can keep us from achieving certain goals in our lives.

Elevo Dynamics is a place that teaches different ways of overcoming  challenges and finding success through determination, friendship, and mastery of oneself.


Many People Have A Misconception Of What It Means To Practice Ninjutsu

This art is one that teaches us about ourselves…

…the master puzzle to be solved…


I have had people come in and say, “Ninjutsu…that is an assassins art, right?”

I always smile inside and then tell them, “No.  The true meaning of the word is ‘The art of endurance, perseverance and stealth.”  To me, “stealth” is staying invisible to the things that don’t want me to succeed.

A Ninja is defined as one who never quits. “Nin” means to endure/persevere.  That definition hardly sounds like the name of an art that teaches low-character ruffians and assassins.

Don’t you agree?  Patience is truly at the heart of the matter…

It takes a lot to become skilled at a thing…



Recently, one of my students had to overcome his personal challenges and use the Nin concept as a means to take one step closer to his mastery of self as he blossomed into a Ninja. His name is Jack Barnes.

We hosted a Parkour seminar featuring the Tribe – an elite Parkour training group out of Washington, D.C.  I invited the group to the school to work with us on the basics of Parkour, a concept that is akin to Ninjutsu in that it also teaches people to move past obstacles without hesitation.

Parkour enthusiasts learn to overcome by mastering themselves and their relationship with their physical environments.

The Journey To Become A Ninja Has Less To Do With The External…More To Do With What Is Inside Of Us!

Jack attended this seminar.  He was 9 years old.  With the support of his family, he tried repeatedly to climb a 7-foot wall. Eventually, after several determined tries to get to the top, we added a vault box for him to use as a step.  It helped.

Once at the top of the wall, Jack was flabbergasted to find that the real challenge wasn’t the climb at all, but a battle with his inner fears.

Take a moment to watch the attached video and see Jack’s triumph!