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Teenage Ninja Dream

February 25, 2011

Recently, I find that I enjoy listening to Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream.

Here’s a vid of the Glee version:

I don’t know why I like it, how much respect can I have for someone who’s teenage dream is to run off with someone to a motel and have sex? I mean, really?

Then again, MY teenage dream was to become a ninja, so I guess I’m in no position to criticize. Let’s face it, what is more socially acceptable these days, to run off to a motel or to become a highly-trained assasin skilled in a multitude of ways to wreck havoc and mayhem? 😀

So, as I said before in one of my writings, in my teenage days I wanted to be a ninja. So I pored over Stephen K. Hayes books (they were all we had at that time) and dreamed about someday going to Japan to train in the Bujinkan, and then coming back to Singapore and starting my own dojo/ninja clan. In my fantasies I’d have undergone years of intensive training, and come back to Singapore as the highest-ranked practitioner of the Bujinkan, possessor of all kinds of secret, esoteric knowledge, and the epitome of martial arts coolness…

Guess what? Life happened. I grew out of being a teenager and got on with music and the rest of my life. School, university and work happened (as they do in many other countries, not just Singapore), and I got myself busy with those. And by the time I finally started to train in the Bujinkan, I had forgotten my teenage dreams and buckled down to learning the actual, real techniques and skills. I saw other people in the class, fellow practitioners who had started way before I found out there were Bujinkan instructors in Singapore, and thought I could make use of the advice and guidance from the senior students in my class. That was cool, not in the ego-driven “I-must-be-the-best” way, but in the sense that it’s always good to have other people guide me in my journey.

Interestingly enough, the rest of the guys in the class before me got busy with other stuff (like life, for example) and either stopped training or woould at best turn up occasionally. I just keep on going, (like the nin in ninjutsu) and by November last year (2010) I was promoted to yondan (4th dan).

Here’s the best part: the rest of the Singaporeans who were with me in those days didn’t continue training, but I did. And so I was the only Singaporean who continued to advance in rank. My sensei and my sempai (who are higher ranked than me, of course) are Permanent Residents and not Singaporeans. So as of this moment, I am the highest-ranked Singaporean in the Bujinkan.

So that means if I ever go around wearing a T-shirt that says “Warning: Ninja Expert” I’m not kidding! 😀

Since I am no longer a teenager, however, I realized how shallow my teenage dream was. Just to be the highest-ranked? Nowadays I work on the very much harder task of living up to MY expectations of that rank. I want to be as skilled as I expect a Bujinkan yondan to be, irregardless of whether I am the highest-ranked ninjutsu practitioner in Singapore or not.

But it still amuses me to consider how, in a very wry way, I fulfilled my teenage dream. How many people actually fulfilled theirs? 🙂

 

Junjie
Shunketsu
Singapore

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From → bujinkan

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