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Dr. Peter King, a ninja and retired London police officer lecture last week at the Idea Festival on Ninjutsu: The Art of Success. Peter King holds the rank Menkyo Shilhan (master instructor) in Togakure-ryu Ninjutsu and is recognized as one of the leading Ninjutsu instructors in the western world. He learned his craft from Hatsumi Masaaki.
Dr. King opened his lecture by explaining what isn’t ninjutsu. He then said ninjas:
- Are like today’s special forces.
- Were traditionally from the Iga region in Japan.
- Go back to the 6th century B.C.
- Were unusual for their time
Peter explained that one who masters ninjutsu, masters life. A perfect example is his teacher, Dr. Hatsumi, a painter, writer, actor, traditional medicine practioner, marital arts master.
He then outlined some of the principles of a ninja:
- self-protection and the prevention of danger
- protection of the body, mind and spirit.
- The way of the ninja is the way of enduring and surviving
King concluded with some of the teachings of Dr. Hatsumi:
- Hardship you endure is only temproary
- Always behave correctly
- Sorrow and hate are both part of life
- Never stray from the path of the spirit and the martial arts.
- Be ambitioius in the ways of the pen and sword.
While I’m not sure if I ever will make a ninja, the concept of mastering life seems like a goal I should pursue.
For additional Idea Festival coverage:
1. The Rise and Fall of Hyperpowers
2. The Black Swan
Image by: Ben Thomas
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