My name is Jeremy Creasey. I have been studying Bujinkan Ninjutsu for twenty years. As a young boy, my uncle introduced western Canada to this art after having been trained in Japan. When I was old enough, I began my training under his tutelage. I was always fascinated with martial arts, and especially with Ninja. On a Saturday afternoon, I showed up at his dojo steps and, with open arms, I asked him to teach me. That was twenty years ago and counting. In 2003, I made my own pilgrimage to Japan and passed my tests to become a Shidoshi (instructor.) The very next day, I was on the tatami mats, grinding and training as though nothing had changed. This is because nothing had. I believe there are two types of individuals within the martial arts community. There are those who train martial arts, and then there are martial artists. I commend everyone for having the courage to try studying martial arts, but I have true respect for the person who shows up the day after they get punched in the face. To truly accomplish anything within the martial arts, one must decide early on to totally commit. This is to live the budo lifestyle. Never take a day off, so you never have to get ready. You are always ready. My uncle constantly talks about making your movements “first nature” because second nature is too slow.
As a martial artist, I ensure that I am always switched on. Fear is an inevitable part of combat. Fear of looking foolish, fear of failure, and fear of defeat. What separates a true martial artist from the rest is their ability to continue challenging themselves in spite of that fear. Every accomplishment in my martial arts journey, which I am most proud of, terrified me beforehand.
A colleague of mine once asked me what my goals are within my training. I was unable to answer. After a few more years of study and much contemplation, I was able to answer. My goals are to train harder than the next person. To constantly challenge myself in the face of fear. To push through all barriers regardless of my failures. There will always be a person out there that is tougher and faster. You will not always win. You can, however, ensure that whomever you face, will always remember the day they met you. Your commitment to your training will guarantee this outcome.
Nana Korobi Ya Oki is a Japanese proverb which translates into; Seven times fall down, Eight times get up. This applies to so much more than just performing techniques. The majority of your time as a martial artist is spent outside the dojo walls. Your budo is always with you. There is no difference between tying your obi (belt) on and buttoning your suit. Your budo is within you. You are the most significant opponent you will ever face. My training has taken me to other counties and has awarded me recognition, yet I am only getting started. Of the thousands of skills within your given art, you are only trying to master one. You are striving to master yourself. Strive to be the fastest, strongest, toughest, and most determined version of yourself. Never stop attacking. Always get back up. As I tell my sons, “Ninjas never quit.”