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Hozuki Murakami
Hozuki Murakami
Remove Ryo : 500

Training Isn't Always Physical Empty Training Isn't Always Physical

Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:47 pm
Murakami had never enjoyed working or training which was primarily the source of his inability to use ninjutsu or taijutsu. Today he came to train, not to fix his weaknesses but just to improve his general abilities. The first step of any training wasn’t to learn fancy techniques, rather it was simply this: basic exercise and skill training. At least that was what it said in an exercise manual he had bought earlier this month. Murakami sighed as he flipped through the rest of the magazine to see what tips he could get out of it.
The first area of business was to build physical endurance and the best way to do so was to work on his cardio. After all physically one’s lungs are the basis of it all without enough oxygen anyone would fail. First Murakami decided to run some laps around the training ground. It was about 1 km in diameter which Murakami thought would be a piece of cake. At first while he was running he found that it was fairly pleasant. The wind was blowing pleasantly in his face cooling him down more than he was heating up. His legs moved steadily up and down carrying him forward. He didn’t feel tired at all, rather he felt great! “Wow” thought Murakami “Why didn’t I do this more often?” For the first thirty minutes of running he felt good about himself. He was optimistic, in fact why not abandon puppetry completely for something else. However at that moment he decided to look behind him to see the progress that he had made, expecting at least ¼ of the lap to be over. To his surprise he was only 100 meters from where he had started. His eyes bulging, Murakami felt on the verge of crying. After all after feeling so good about his accomplishment he had done barely anything at all.
After wiping away the tears at the corners of his eyes he instead moved onto the next topic that the advice book had offered: weight training. In the northeast corner of the training fields there were a set of old weights made out of bamboo and blocks of metal. They were covered in cobwebs and looked older than the village itself. However when Bob picked up one of the weights in his hand it seemed sturdy enough. The book said to do 3 set of 10-15 reps to gain the maximum benefit. Hefting one of the smaller dumbbells in his hand he set to work.  1-2-3-4… the reps seemed to fly by and Murakami was in another one of his good moods. Things were proceeding well and he almost felt like he was getting stronger by the minute. Soon enough he had finished the exercise listed in the book. When he turned the dumbbell over to check how much weight he had been lifting it was a measly 5 ounces. Turns out this weight rack was for physical therapy for disabled people. Once again Murakami was on the verge of defeat.
This time however, Murakami had learned a lesson from his experiences. Training wasn’t something that could be accomplished by following another one’s instructions. It was something that needed to be gained oneself through self reflection. Casting aside the exercise magazine Murakami settled down to truly think about what he needed to do to improve. Thinking back to what he had always done, it wasn’t strength that he used rather his wits. “How do I improve my intelligence?” thought Murakami sitting in the dirt cross legged. As he sat there thinking an old villager passed by with a worn Shogi board in his hand. “That’s it!” thought Murakami. Running after the villager Murakami panted “Hey Old Man, do you mind if I play some Shogi with you?”  “I’m just on my way to play Shogi with some old friends of mine, if you’re willing to tag along sure why not?” As they walked along Bob thought of all the times he had played Shog in the past, he was fairly good at it as far as he could remember, at least good enough to beat Grandpa and his fossil friends.
When he arrived at the location however the men and the games they were playing seemed different from the ones he typically played in elementary school. They had strained expressions almost as if trying to see into the future. This place and the people in it seemed to have some almost sacred purpose. Although intimidated by the environment, Murakami wasn’t afraid rather he was a little excited after all the true purpose of his visit wasn’t to fight an easy battle, but rather to train and improve his intelligence. He sat down to his first game against the old man he had met earlier. Expecting it to be a fairly evenly matched battle it was far from that, it was a slaughter. Early on in the game he made the fatal error of devoting too many resources to offense. All of his pieces were focused on taking down the enemy’s king as possible. This tactic seemed to work with his pieces working together smoothly to push through defenses. However, the old man had managed to sneak a couple pieces past his barrage forcing him to withdraw. This play however was a poor allowing the old man to take back just as many pieces that he had lost earlier. In the end, it seemed a close game just as expected. “My, my that was the most exciting game I’ve played in a while” chuckled the old man. “A rematch please” demanded Murakami, assured that if he played more carefully surely the next game would be his.
The next game was as if between two completely different players. The starting roles being completely reversed. Murakami started off playing defensively, moving his pieces to strategic locations, but without dedicating any strong moves to take down the opponent. “I see you’ve chosen a different path this time” smiled the old man “in that case, I’ll make the first move!”. The old man’s offensive was equally ferocious as Murakami’s in the previous game. Murakami smiled as he thought that he would use a similar strategy, to defend and then take the advantage when his opponent made a careless move. However every time that Murakami made a move to take advantage of a perceived weakness it was surprisingly blocked off. Each time Murakami thought “The next time… the next time… WHY ISN’T IT WORKING???” This time the game ended in an absolute defeat with only 3 pieces taken by Murakami throughout the whole of the game.
Murakami swept the pieces off the table, frustrated beyond belief. “I’m done with Shogi today old man” he said turning to leave. Grabbing him by the elbow of his shirt, he asked him “How did I play differently from you?” “Wha-? I don’t care, gloat somewhere else that you beat a kid 1/5th of your age” retorted Murakami stalking off to leave. “The difference was, I realized what kind of person you were and took advantage of that fact” “You were overconfident and invested too much into one side of playing and thinking, by realizing which of the two strategies you had in mind allowed me to play accordingly.” This statement stopped Murakami in his steps, after all he had only thought of his plays in terms of one way or another. He had to become more multifaceted with enough strategies and traps to stop even the most thoughtful strategist. Turning away with the first genuine smile on his lips that day he realized what he had to do.
Walking through the now abandoned training field past the useless weights and his discarded magazine in the footsteps of his earlier run he reflected on that day. Neither might nor endurance had carried the day for him. Both of those traits had failed him miserably with no usefulness in even daily life. How would those help him to win in an actual battle where others were surely far better trained than he. However, one thing he possessed and one thing he was sure hat he was much better accomplished at was his mind. His ability to manipulate others, see through others, and build traps for others. That was where his true strength lay. After walking for a few minutes he broke into a spring running back to his workshop where pieces of old projects lay around where the smell of poison [bad plot/logic I know] and wood carvings beckoned.
[WC=1423, 7 stats, 1000/1000 Hidden Mist Technique 423 towards its mastery]
Hozuki Murakami
Hozuki Murakami
Remove Ryo : 500

Training Isn't Always Physical Empty Re: Training Isn't Always Physical

Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:25 pm
Another day and another disappointing day for Murakami. His ninja classes weren’t going well once again with a dependence on puppets being looked down upon by the sensei and other students. “They just don’t understand” thought Murakami “there’s a reason why puppetry has continued to be passed down as an art for years”. However, admittedly there were some major fundamental flaws that he possessed that prevented him from effectively utilizing his puppets. Primarily it was in his low reaction speed. Fights, especially puppet fights were battles of speed where the power of one’s techniques could be completely negated by the necessary reaction time to dodge the attack. Murakami however was not agile at all with legs more akin to tree trunks than that of a ninja/runner. However, what he needed was not necessarily the increased running speed but rather the ability to react to an enemy’s attack.
In order to do so, Murakami needed a way to adjust himself to fast movements. Sitting down for a moment, he considered what ordinary things he could do to attempt to improve his ability to react. “Sweeping floors? Not really” thought Murakami. As he sat there in the sand thinking about what to do a small nimble desert cat bounded by like a flash of lightning. At that moment Murakami had his answer, catching small animals. Typically they did this by using traps like mousetraps or baited pits. This was due to their amazing ability to sense humans and escape danger, people had to resort to trickery to match their intuition and speed. However, Murakami couldn’t start out too abruptly otherwise it would be just as fruitless, after all the cat had appeared a blur to him.
First of all he would start off with a slower animal perhaps a dog. First he had to locate a stray, he was stark broke and paying for a pet just to train with it for a couple of hours seemed a poor use of his precious funds. Running heavily from alleyway to alleyway he began to sweat. Surely a good run like this one was the same as chasing a dog around. After running a couple of blocks he managed to locate a good stray, one that was still well fed but was dirty enough to have been forgotten long enough not to belong to anyone. Using his chakra threads he managed to wrap the dog in them and drag it over to the place where he planned to begin.
First he would start off with a standard method of training: let the dog run around and chase after it. This method wasn’t particularly effective. Running was tiring and the dog was pretty fast, considering it was just a stray. After 30 minutes of this madness he didn’t feel any “faster” than before. The dog still managed to continually evade his chasing. All that seemed to be happening was he just continued to get more and more tired. However after continuously chasing it for two hours he felt a sudden change in himself. Murakami felt himself leaping with the dog as it ran. Every cut and turn Murakami would execute the movement at the same time. Previously he reacted a couple seconds later than the dog. Now, he felt himself catching up with ease. Every step, every action was a small decrease in gap, only a few inches but it added up. Continuously he inched forward. By the time he was within arm’s length of the dog it was frothing and panting as if rabid. It panicked continuously trying new variations of movement to escape, however Murakami matched all of them exactly and reached out and grabbed the dog with both hands.
After going through all that strenuous physical activity Murakami felt drained. He placed the dog outside of the pit and sat down for a drink of water. As the cool liquid flowed down his throat he relaxed somewhat trying to calm his racing hart and aching lungs. Just training his reaction speed wasn’t the only thing that Murakami lacked, his chakra also wasn’t potent enough to manifest strong chakra threads to manipulate his puppets effectively. After contemplating how to improve his chakra he recalled that it was supposed to be a manifestation of a person’s will or spirit. The best way to improve one’s spirit was to meditate. Picking himself up from the ground he headed to the village’s temple. It was always peaceful with plenty of candles to suit the mood. Standing outside of the temple for a brief period to completely calm his mind and body he pushed aside the flaps and strode in.
Sitting down on a pillow in the center of the room he settled himself into meditation position. He crossed his legs folded his hands and closed his eyes. Taking a deep breath he settled down emptying his mind of idle thoughts and cares. To the untrained eye it seemed as if Murakami had simply fallen asleep. However, in truth it was far more difficult than that. Typically when you’re sleeping your mind is still active dreaming and thinking about past events. However, in meditation the key is to go beyond that to truly empty your mind. Murakami had previously been capable of only about 10 minutes of this draining exercise. Afterwards he would get irritated or his mind would begin thinking about things once again. His goal this session was to raise his time to 20 minutes, a 2x improvement although only an extra 10 minutes. This time however he couldn’t even reach the 10 minute mark. His concentration on training and the benefits he would receive from it were affecting his ability to remain calm and thoughtless.
Frustrated with his failure, Murakami went outside into the cool night air. The moon was full that knight and its glow cast an eerie pale sheen on everything it shown on. The streets were pretty much empty at the time as well. The time he had spent chasing the dog surprised him. “I thought I only spent 1-2 hours doing that?” he pondered. After washing his face in a nearby public water outlet he went back into the temple to resume meditating. This time when he sat down he focused on the serenity and beauty of the scene he had just experienced. This time he truly felt his mind emptying and his soul calming. After an interminable amount of time Murakami stopped even though he could have gone further. He stopped to check the clock mounted in the temple. It had been three hours since he started meditating. Clearly this was a sign that simply willing yourself to feel a certain way wouldn’t work. There would have to be some sort of sign, an iconic image that would support you and make you stronger. For this occasion what he had found was that the village appearing completely empty and ghostly had emptied his soul and calmed his mind. He would need to find other iconic scenes which would allow him to manipulate his mental state.
The next day after a relaxing sleep and a small mountain of instant ramen he was back on his feet with a few sores and pains from the previous day, but nothing major. It was time to embark upon another method of training, after all scenes like the one he experienced yesterday don’t appear every day. It was time to pick up a new topic of training. Considering his options, he decided it was time to embrace some of his passions, namely swimming and all sorts of water sports. As expected, Sunagakure was as implied by its name a sandy place with barely enough water to support village life. However, there was a small indoor swimming hole that was available for use once a month during the rainy season. After stripping and changing into his pair of slightly small pair of light blue Kirigakure swimming shorts he headed off to the “pool”.
The sand burned his bare feet as he headed across the village to the area near the springs where the pool was located. After presenting his refugee ID and paying a fairly large fee he was finally able to enter. Inside the water was murky and lukewarm, however it was a large improvement from the conditions outside. The air wasn’t constantly sucking moisture from your skin for once and it was considerably cooler than the outside. Luckily no on else was there, today technically being a school day. As Murakami stepped into the water he felt himself relaxing. What kind of feeling did he experience as he bathed in the water? That of home and belonging. This was quite literally in his element his body was structured so it was capable of turning from human to water and back at will. However, the dryness of the village made using this ability near suicide. He had nearly forgotten what his clan and his roots were.
Turning his hand into water for a moment he admired how the sunlight was diffracted, making his hand seem opaque. It glittered in the bright sunlight streaming in through the glass paneled roof. However, even though it was a special time when he could swim as he wished, it wasn’t his free time that he was using. It was training time. Remembering this he abruptly sat upright causing water to splash everywhere. He was here to become one with his element in a true sense. Activating his Kekkei Genkai he merged with the entire pool of water feeling it all become part of his body. It was a curious sensation, it felt like your skin was gradually stretched until you became a sort of giant balloon. Once again drawing upon his chakra he willed himself (the entire pool of water) to form a wave. Not a big one since he was rather inexperienced, a small one the size of a small filing cabinet. The water gradually concentrated itself onto one side of the pool and when Murakami felt like he was about to burst he let it go. The water splashed noisily against the side of the pool spraying a little bit onto the floor. The lazy receptionist with his feet up carelessly glanced up over the edge of his magazine and yelled pointing at the sign “No splashing” However, there didn’t appear to be anyone there so he blinked a few times and shrugged his shoulders going back to his magazine.
Excited, Murakami grinned wondering how far he could truly stretch his powers and whether this camouflage and ability could allow him to play further pranks on others. After playing around with the receptionist a little more throwing water at his magazine and slipping him up with water every time he got up to go to the bathroom he was finally persuaded to leave the room. Finally he could truly to begin practice in earnest. The first thing he would do is try to reform himself back into a larger human form. It was a very difficult task becoming familiar with an entirely different body than before, one much larger and clumsier. After concentrating for a few minutes he managed to remake his head, now a large table sized sphere. With a little extra effort he managed to reform his features as well his eyes, his mouth, his nose, his ears, and finally his hair. After that came the more difficult part, lifting his other body parts out of the water. His torso was much more difficult it always collapsed in on itself before it could rise out of the water. However, after enough tries that part also emerged. The arms and hands were a piece of cake compared to the torso since they were attached to the already large extremely stable portion that was the torso. Creating the legs was going to be difficult though, they needed to be sufficiently strong to support the rest of the body. Summoning the last of his strength he managed to make two pillar like structures that lifted up his body. They weren’t really legs per say but they did do a sufficient job. As he stared down at the now empty pool he cheered in jubilation lifting his arms up. However, failing to take into account his oversized body they smashed through the roof and Murakami was forced to make a speedy getaway before anyone showed up.
[2068 WC 10 stats 577 towards mastery of Hidden Mist Technique the remaining 1491 towards Water Release Water Dragon]
Remove Ryo : 139050

Training Isn't Always Physical Empty Re: Training Isn't Always Physical

Thu May 01, 2014 3:21 pm
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