Hi, this is Mark Roemke with Ninja Training TV, Pathways Dojo, and Ninjas in Nature. This is the second entry in our new ninja blog where I tell stories and share techniques from our training videos and expand on other aspects of the many programs and projects that we are doing with Pathways Dojo. If you haven't already seen it, check out my first blog entry where I talk about What is Ninjutsu?
Todays blog is about a roll called hicho kaiten, the "flying bird" roll. This roll is from Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, or ninjutsu, the "art of the ninja". This particular roll is an amazing roll. It has saved my life on multiple occasions and has prevented me from getting broken bones or worse. Here is a true story of how hicho kaiten saved my life.
I was on my motorcycle, driving at about thirty miles per hour down a street. A woman pulled her car out right in front of me. She didn't see me so I tried to swerve around her at the last instant, but I ultimately hit her. As I realized that I was about to impact her car, I leapt up at the last second as my motorcycle hit the car, launching me about fifteen to twenty feet in the air. I went into a hicho kaiten dive roll as I came back to the ground. I was wearing a helmet and full leather riding gear, so those saved my skin.
I stood up and walked over to the lady's door and said, "excuse me ma'am, but you just hit me." This roll literally saved my life. I was able to walk away from that accident more or less unscathed thanks to this roll.
One of the things that I tell my students all the time is that the elements of ninjutsu that will save your life just might be the practical, "basic" skills, like how to roll and fall properly. People fall and have accidents all the time in everyday life, but not everyone gets into a fight or self defense situation, unless you are a police officer, in the military, or are a bouncer.
This roll has also saved me more than once when I have gone mountain biking. I love to do some extreme mountain biking here in Santa Cruz. More than once I have gone over my handlebars, and guess what saved me? Hicho kaiten.
Check out the video below on how to do hicho kaiten. You can practice it on mats, wood floors, cement, rocks, lawns, or out in a forest...anywhere. Once you learn how to safely do this roll it just might help prevent serious injury or possibly save your life one day.
We have much more about hicho kaiten in our white to black belt series at ninjatrainingtv.com for adults or a full white to black belt series for youth at pathwaysdojo.com.