Becoming a Ninja Part 3

 Greetings Ninjas,

Welcome to part 3 in our ninja mentoring series called Becoming a Ninja. In this four part blog series, we follow the journey of how Sensei Mark Roemke went from a youth with no experience in martial arts to Dai Shihan, 15th Dan, one of the highest levels one can attain in the art of ninjutsu. 

In other words...what's the secret sauce behind this process? 

 We also take a deeper look behind the scenes through the lens of the "ninja mentor" to see what's really making Mark's brain tick. It's not just mate, which we can vouch does get him excited before he teaches his weekly online classes. There's more to it. Trust me.

In the first installment, Dai Shihan Mark Roemke told the origin story of how he found martial arts in his youth and the effect it had on him. If you haven't checked out, not to worry. Here's that story portal.

Part 2 was about how he continued to train, and train, and train, and his first meeting with the Grandmaster Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi.

But now a death and origin story.

Mark died, technically speaking. No joke. 

It involved a motorcycle accident. Fortunately, due to the technology of high voltage in the operating room, he was resuscitated. 

Side note...Mark's a professional electrician. Hmmmm. Back to the story cliff notes.

In the short story below, when he returned to health, Mark found himself asking one question...

"What am I doing on this planet?"

The answer to this question laid the foundation for the origin of Pathways Dojo. 

The answer to this question was about giving back, about healing, and about nature connection.

But I'll let him take it from here...

 

I hope you enjoy this short story. There's one final chapter to this. In Part 4 Mark talks about a vision that we all can be a part of.

In gratitude for healing, nature, and the inventor of human jumper cables.

Kenneth

P.S. In the video above, Mark talks about wanting to help kids. One way we are doing this is through our Ninjas in Nature Program. We've recently laid out a roadmap for connecting kids to the art of ninjutsu and the natural world in a short book that links to skills videos, games and more, called the Ninjas in Nature: Guardians Guide. These skills are like jumper cables for activating kids.






Becoming a ninja part 2

 Greetings ninjas,

In our last post, Sensei Roemke shared how he began the journey that led him to devote most of his life to the study of martial arts, in particular ninjutsu, the art of the ninja. If you haven't heard that story, you can check it out here.

In this next part of the story, he tells how he found ninjutsu and ended up with a private invitation by the Grandmaster, Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi, to visit with him on his first trip to Japan.

But, what is even more interesting, is the story within the story. Within the short video below is the story of perseverance. So many martial arts students begin their training inspired by a new art or by a new teacher. Between white belt and black belt lies a crucial period of training where the majority drop out. Once again, having a good teacher at this stage is crucial. However, in Mark's case, his instructor at the time actually dissuaded him from pursuing ninjutsu when he first discovered the art. 

Good thing he ignored that advice.

And then he left the art when he joined the U.S. Army. 

For many, it's even more challenging to return to an art once you leave it for years. 

As a musician, I think of all the instruments I have seen over the years covered in dust, in the backs of people's closets or hiding in the corner of rooms.

"Oh yeah, I used to play that," is what you often hear.

Still, when Mark left the Army, he moved to California and where he searched for his next instructor. And that encounter led him to wandering the streets of Japan at 4 a.m. That wander led to the voice of the Grandmaster of ninjutsu who called out from a window and invited him up to tea.

But I'll let Mark himself tell that story.


Hope you enjoy this second part of his journey. Stay tuned, there's one final installment up our gi sleeves in this series.

Tracking the stoke,

Kenneth

P.S. For those of you with young aspiring ninjas in your life, Mark and I are unreasonably excited about our new book- Guardians Guide: NiN Basics. After leading youth for years through our Ninjas in Nature curriculum, which fuses the art of ninjutsu with nature survival and awareness skills, we've put to pen a how-to instructor training manual for our first level of training. We've been running kids through this curriculum for years with the same results every time...extremely activated and happy kids. This guide is intended for parents, instructors, or anyone with a youth in their life that they would like to fully activate. If you want to learn more, you can check out the book here:

Guardians Guide: NiN Basics