Tetsujin Challenge

Do you have a will of iron?

The Tesujin Challenged was inspired by many legends of the past such as Ueshiba Morihei: Founder of Aikido, Mas Oyama: Founder of Kyokushin Karate, Bruce Lee: Founder of Jeet Kune Do, and Joe Lewis: Founder of Joe Lewis-Style™. Each one of these individuals were well known for their physical prowess as well as their martial art skills. As I had always been impressed with the training habits of these martial art legends, we held an informal competition in my dojo to reach our personal best in a host of physical and mental challenges.

Out of this group of founders, I’ve only had the pleasure to train with one, which was Joe Lewis. I trained with Joe Lewis in seminars for years and during this time he expressed that he was impressed with our training (my students and myself). He was hugely impressed with my then teen-aged son’s pull and chin up ability. Since Joe Lewis was “The Man”, and as he was impressed I thought that maybe I should codify my routine. After all, my sensei had presented me with an award for Shugyo (harsh training), maybe a systematized routine could be used to inspire others.

Even within my sensei’s federation I was known as the crazy guy. I did a daily cold water bucket dousing (misogi), swam in ice filled mountain lakes, and took snow bathes on camping trips in the mountains. Plus, I took dips and punched and kicked waves in the winter ocean off the Oregon coast. I have camped out in subzero snow covered mountains without a tent. Along with that, I followed a rigorous calisthenic exercise routine for years. However, it would be hard to make a competition out of my old daily keiko, (practice).

Looking to my students’ records at their personal best was also no help. While their goals were impressive and varied, most of their individual goals would be hard for the general public to follow. Their top achievements ran the gauntlet from reaching the goal of bench pressing five hundred pounds, while others ran marathons, or were doing high repetition calisthenics and/or attaining the splits.

Then an idea struck me, instead of trying to get people to do martial arts, mokuso (meditation), misogi (cold water bucket dowsing), and a varied calisthenic routine, I could instead make a contest that would incorporate both mental toughness and physical endurance together over a period of one hundred days. This activity could be something that both martial artist and any exercise enthusiast could perform once every year for the sheer exaltation and bragging rights.

So was borne the concept of Tetsujin Challenge! This is an event that can be undertaken up to three times in a year. Although once a year is enough for the ordinary Tetsujin, (IRON-PERSON). It can be initiated in either the winter, spring, summer, or autumn session, as long as you have 100 consecutive days of practice to complete the course. The routine consists of doing both one cold water bucket dousing and one hundred kettle-bell swings, cleans, snatches or any combinations thereof daily. I personally have done the Tetsujin Challenge three times in one year and ten time’s altogether.

All that is required to verify your completion of the challenge is to post a photo on my Patreon page of your 100th swing or the like for 100 days. Photos of your misogi (cold water bucket dousing), are also appreciated. The daily misogi generally takes an iron will except maybe during the summer session, winter time misogi tests the mettle of your will. A certificate of completion will be available to my patrons who complete this challenge.

It is important to consult a physician before beginning any exercise program. A physician can tell you if you are healthy enough for this level of physical activity and can inform you about your current state of health.

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