Train like a Sushi Master


There was a documentary produced a few years back called “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.” It followed an 85 year old sushi Master, Jiro Ono, who served Sushi out of a small 10 seat restaurant at a Tokyo subway station. The minimum course was $281. What was so amazing to me was not the small capacity, or the price tag of the sushi, the age of the Sushi master or the fact that it was in a subway station but rather the detail he paid to the preparation of his Sushi.

Jiro’s processes for making Sushi were steeped in centuries of tradition.

Jiro had a student that wanted to be a Sushi Master. The first step for that student was to learn to make rice.

For us Americans we read the side of the box, boil the water, pour in the right amount of rice and set the timer. Walla!, we are done. We have now prepared rice.

But that’s not how Jiro taught rice preparation. He didn’t teach someone how to make rice in a day or even a week. A month wasn’t long enough. A person who wanted to become a sushi master spent years learning to make rice until each batch was perfect.

Can you imagine just making rice for years and that’s all you did?

I don’t know who first said it but I think it made a lot of sense. “You don’t attain mastery by practicing advanced techniques, you attain mastery by practicing the basics.”

Impact 360 trains ordinary people to use skills and techniques to hopefully survive extraordinary situations. We start with the basics.

Schools typically train in a very literal and robotic fashion, thug does X – you respond by doing Y. That’s how we instill the basics. There is really no other way to do it. In times of stress you revert back to your training.

The limitation with training is that is based on imaginary scenarios and we cannot possible anticipate exactly what threats and attacks we might encounter? We might live our whole life without ever a cross word with anyone, but then again, next week we might encounter the most heinous threat we could imagine.

Self-defense solutions are only as good as the opportunities that are presented to use them. The more skilled we are at adapting our basic training the more effective we will be at preserving our safety.

As we train, let’s not make it easy on ourselves. That only serves to create a false sense of security. Learn the basics and learn them to the point of instinctiveness. Resist the emotion of boredom. Put the training in perspective and why we do it. If you’re playing the role of the bad guy put some resistance into it. Don’t be afraid to try some variation that may stump your partner. It’s better to see it in training than be surprised by it in real life.