Samurai Sword & Bo Staff Conditioning

About Me

About Me

Hi, My name is Janou Lightning, and I have been practicing Koryu Bujutsu (classical Samurai fighting techniques) for almost 13 years.

How did I get here...Let me tell you a story...
I've always considered myself to be an entrepreneur, a quiet leader, doing business in my own way, paving my own path, beating to my
own drum. My motto for business, is, and has always been - Which ever way your competition is going, run the other way! Growing up,
I had two main goals, One, to be an athlete, the other to be a business woman. I never quite seemed to be able to get those two goals
working together until now.

I have participated in numerous athletic endeavors, including competitive swimming, competitive outrigger canoeing, competitive ocean
swimming, competitive horseback riding, but at 47 years of age, I didn't want to compete anymore, but there didn't seem to be any type of
physical activity that caught my attention. I was tired of the gym. I couldn't stand the treadmill anymore, or the stairmaster. I tried a
personal trainer and circuit training, but by the time I got to the 3rd and last round of my circuit, I knew I wouldn't be back. I was so bored,
I barely made it through the workout. Every day that I got up to work out, I felt like I had hit the wall BEFORE I had even started working
out. I tried all different kinds of yoga, but it didn't hold my interest, and while I loved long bike rides on the beach, I hated spinning.

Here I was, having gained more weight than I realized, and not having a clue as to what I wanted to do for exercise or to get myself back
into shape, with mind, body and spirit. My mother (who was my best friend) had passed away a few years earlier, so I didn't have her to
turn to, to bounce ideas off of, and I realized that I had to find something that would help me in mind, body and spirit.

One day, I went to the beach (luckily, I live within walking distance) and was staring out into the ocean, when I said to myself, that "today
was going to be the day that I would come up with an answer as to what I wanted to do with the athletic portion of my life". As I was
watching the surfers, I thought maybe that would be a good, fun thing to do, but then I decided that I didn't want to be in the sun all day,
and maybe that is why I never really took it up when I was younger, (as I have lived near the beach for most of my entire life).

So then..., there was martial arts, but what kind?
I tried Karate for about one month, but didn't like that. All the yelling gave me a headache. I tried Tai Chi. I liked it, but it just wasn't quite
enough for me. I got home from the beach, sat down in front of the computer, looked up martial arts in my local area, and then my future

A Martial Arts dojo, teaching classical authentic Ninjutsu and Samurai Techniques. I thought to myself, could this be possible that someone
actually teaches the Art of the Ninja and Samurai?
Afterall, what kid doesn't want to be a ninja/samurai at some time in his or her life?
I was no exception to that, but I didn't know it was something that was taught for real.

I called, made an appointment to go in for an interview, (it's not that easy to get into this form of martial arts), and sat down with the
Sensei.  After filling out a questionnaire that would give him a little more insight into who I was and why I wanted to be there, he took me
onto the dojo mat and showed me some fighting basics. I was nervous, but when I understood that in this training there wouldn't be any
forced yells, and that I would be wearing black (one of my favorite colors), I was hooked.

Not only would I get a good workout, but I had the added bonus of knowing that I was going to learn self-defense skills, of both the body
and mind. Within six months, I realized that this was something that I wanted to pursue for the rest of my life.

Now, at 59 years old, I have been teaching  a
Basic Bujutsu class, along with a combined Bo Staff Conditioning Class (bojutsu), and a
Samurai Sword Conditioning Class (kenjutsu) for over 11 years.  

How is it possible that after only so little time that I could be teaching?...
There are many, many techniques in fighting. No matter how much you learn, you will inevitably end up with your own repertoire of fighting
skills that match who you are as a person. Understanding this, and realizing that no matter how advanced you get, and for what reason
you may want Classical martial fighting skills, learning the BASICS and knowing them intimately is what will make you a better
fighter/martial artist.  I loved the form, the preciseness, and I knew I could teach this.

While I do love the fact that my mental ability for Paying Attention, Being Aware, Watching My Surroundings, and utilizing Mind Over
have increased dramatically, (hopefully allowing me to be in the best fight possible, which is NO fight), I wanted more...

With this thought under my belt, I still so immensely enjoyed this form of martial arts, that I wanted to be able to practice it outside the
dojo and its regularly held classes. While some of my counterparts have gone on to become Guardian Angels, (protecting the general public),
I did not want to patrol the streets, so I turned to the CONDITIONING ASPECTS of these martial arts. I want more people to understand
how martial arts can open up the Power of Your Mind, the strength of your body, (with an emphasis on balanced posture), and utilize the mind/body integration.  

So, now, I have come full circle... in that I am practicing an athletic endeavor that has taken me further than I could have
imagined, and I am combining it into my life's work. I truly have the best of both worlds.

Because there is NO COMPETITION in Koryu Bujutsu, the only person you compete against is yourself.

Sincerely ,

Janou Lightning
Renewing, Body, Mind and Spirit the koryu way.
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