Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Ninja Business

For many years I have studied martial arts. The art I have studied is not a sport but one which focuses on real life fighting skills or CQBS (close quarter battle skills) as it is sometimes called. Like many martial arts its heritage resides in Japan and my chosen 'warrior way'  is known as the Bujinkan or 9 Warrior Schools.

One of those schools is Ninjutsu and the tradition emanates from the Ninja tribes in Koga and Iga provinces in Japan. The school or tradition today is known as the Tokukure 'Ryu' (or school) and dates its lineage back 1000 years through 34 grandmasters or 'Soke', as they are known.

The ninja have become figures of fun and fantasy over the recent years but their skils were very real and extraordinary. They could blend both psychology, physiology and the secrets of timing, distance and balance to overcome all obstacles - or perish in the attempt - such was their commitment.

As sales and business people we could learn much from their tradition. An absolute unswerving comittment to our mission, the ability to thrive, adapt, innovate and use all the tools, environments and networks at our disposal to emerge victorious from battle.

But mostly we can learn from what the word 'Ninjutsu' means. 'Jutsu' means an art form - living , evolving, growing, developing, constantly changing, never the same. Unlike the word 'do' which means a fixed path or 'way' (e.g. Judo)  jutsu is inherently present, dealing with the 'now' and constantly flowing and adapting to change and circumstance.

'Nin' means a number of things from survival, to the ability to endure and to overcome.

The art of survival, endurance and the ability to overcome the challenges that face us in the current environment is as relevant to the modern 'ninjas' who operate in today's business world as ever it was for those past warriors who fought to protect their family, their people, their temples and their homes.

After all, do we not share a common purpose? To serve those who matter the most to us.

1 comment:

  1. Chris Johnston1 April 2009 at 05:26

    That brought back some memories! Recently discovered your blog and finding it most interesting.