Outdoor Training and Ninjutsu

By Yossi Sheriff

In Japan, a stay in the field went without saying in ancient times. A warrior would pass through the field on his way to battle or his teacher. A warrior would sleep in the field during this stay. There were people who mastered the art of being in the Japanese terrain: the mountains, the valleys and forests, which changed them. These were the Yamabushi, those who “sleep outside”.

A martial art can exist very nicely without spending any time outdoors. But some of us think of such an art as a weak new creation and synthetic. In the martial art we practice the old paths play an important role. This connection to old ways is an option, not a necessity, much like the practice of the sword is a very old path, one which not all veterans choose to take.

I try to walk both new and old paths. The newer ones because of their comfort, the excitement, for entertainment or just because it’s necessary. The old paths I walk for the benefit of my soul.