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"A Tradition in Storytelling"

Author and Book Information

C. D. "Bud" Malmstrom

This book is a compilation of the concepts, ideas, beliefs, philosophies and truths the author has learned through his study of Bujinkan Ninpo Taijutsu, or Ninja training. "Throughout my childhood and youth I seemed always to perceive life differently than others of my age group and era. Peer pressure had little influence on me; I was a bit of a loner. My father was a minister and we often discussed the purpose and meaning of life. I began to realize that the world's many religions had certain things in common and that universal truth, no matter in what form one learns it, is still the truth. I began to formulate many concepts, the validity of which I knew in my heart, but couldn't find a way to relate to others. Why should anyone listen to me? Who was I to think that anyone would care what I believed in so deeply?"

Profound truths are rejected daily by the general population, if not openly, then certainly passively. People will hear a truth and nod their heads in recognition that it is true, and then live their lives as if they had never heard it. Historically, people have been hunted down and burned at the stake for trying to say something that seemed to threaten some dearly held belief of the hunters. In reality, genuine truth can only build on itself. It cannot threaten other genuine truths.

Part of the difficulty in getting people to accept a truth's relevance to their lives is that they may not only need to understand it emotionally and spiritually, but to experience it physically too. This is where martial arts come into the picture. A physical activity that teaches no universal truth or essence is only a sport. It creates athletes, not warriors. Conversely, to be satisfied with the mere study of universal truth and never test it physically creates monks in sterile monasteries. Ninpo Taijutsu, which is the study of the essence of movement combined with the efficiency of physical movement, has been, for me, the perfect blending of the two. As a young man I had trouble expressing my ideas about what I saw as the falsehoods people generally accepted as truth, and the truths they viewed as falsehoods. It was because I was only philosophizing about my ideas and not experiencing them. Now that I have spent a good part of my life making the precepts I hold more real through my art, I feel ready to try to share them with others. I see the US Marine Corps as my first step away from a difficult childhood to the secrets of Ninpo. It gave me confidence, self-respect and the discipline to focus my will. People who survive the Marine Corps, mentally as well as physically in one piece, are tempered with an invincible "I can accomplish anything" attitude. They may not yet be polished, finely honed blades, but they are made of an unbreakable coarse steel of the kind you would want to be holding if your life depended on the integrity of the metal. The lessons of the Marine Corps can provide the basis for the acquisition of the final razor edge. I have always felt that there was some purpose or destiny I was supposed to fulfill. Many seemingly accidental or coincidental events in my life have given me cause to wonder at how lucky I am to have found the exact pieces I needed in my life's puzzle at the time I needed them. I was once chided by a former Marine buddy and business partner into asking a certain girl to dance. I hadn't even noticed her previously, but that girl became my wife. The very first martial art school I chanced to enter turned out to be the only legitimate Ninjutsu school in the Western Hemisphere. It was in Tucker, Georgia, and it was owned by Stephen K. Hayes. I had never heard of a Ninja at the time. I happened into his dojo, or training hall, and the encounter changed my life. Given occurrences like these, it is easy to see why someone could wonder how much of life is pre-destined and how much is simply serendipity. Since the time I first began to discover universal principles and truths through questioning my teachers, working with my students, and physical movement, the study of Ninpo has enhanced my life more than any other single entity, experience or encounter. Before Ninpo taijutsu, I was like a marble rolling around on a board with many different sized holes. With ninja training I found the one that fit me. My training has been arduous and, at times, very painful, but I would not change any part of my journey through Ninpo taijutsu. It will be important, as we go through this book together, for you to understand what I mean when I use the terms "beliefs," "philosophies," and "truths." These terms are often used interchangeably in everyday speech or thought of as synonyms. I do not see them that way so my definition for each term will be explained in the course of the book. I invite you to accompany me in this written journey through what I have learned in the martial arts, or as I sometimes jokingly think of it, the ideas of "Bud-hism." When you're betting for tiles in an archery contest, you shoot with skill. When you're betting for fancy belt buckles, you worry about your aim. And when you're betting for real gold, you're a nervous wreck. Your skill is the same in all three cases - but because one prize means more to you than another, you let outside considerations weigh on your mind. He who looks too hard at the outside gets clumsy on the inside. Chaung Chou

A Tradition in Story Telling
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