To quote my cousin when I told him the news:
“Buying fire engines? Taking ninja lessons? What are you, seven?”
And to quote my wife:
“Pepperidge Farm is going to pay for you to take ninja lessons? Why? You aren’t coordinated, you aren’t graceful, and when people think of ninjas, they think of someone small, quick, and acrobatic. They don’t think of…well, you.”
Bolstered by Heather’s encouraging words, I’m forging ahead with my plan and I want to take one of you with me.
I have no idea how many NYC-area readers I have left, but if you’re within driving distance, I want YOU to join me for private Ninja lessons. I want YOU to be among the unspoken few who are trained in the fine art of stealth movement, defense, and grappling. Believe me, if you’re a parent, or you plan on being one someday, you’re gonna want this kind of training.
Several weeks ago, a representative for the company reached out and asked if I’d be open to helping them promote a new line of “bold” snack crackers named Jingos. In exchange, they’d cover the cost of a “bold” adventure (up to $250) from Cloud 9 Living: New York. The premise sounded interesting as I’m always up for some bold living, but most of the adventures offered in my region didn’t really seem all that bold.
Kayaking down the Hudson? Wine tasting on a boat? A gourmet dinner cruise? Champagne brunch? Deep tissue massage? None of these struck me as “bold” adventures. They were more like “only if I’m gonna get lucky” cheesetastic adventures.
Just when I was prepared to decline their offer, I saw it.
Private Ninja Lessons.
I was IN.
I begged and pleaded for them to let me go over the stipend amount, which they graciously offered to do once I explained that I wanted to bring a reader along with me. And that’s just what I’m doing.
PRIVATE NINJA LESSONS CONTEST!
The private Ninja lessons will take place on Saturday, October 20th at 3pm in Yonkers, New York.
For those who don’t know, the geographical location makes perfect sense because, aside from the very tippy-tops of secluded Japanese mountains, Yonkers is a well-known Ninja hot spot. You just don’t notice because of their extraordinary stealth skills. In fact, few people realize that the city is actually named after the feared Shinobi warrior, Yonkers the Great.
WHO can win…
Anyone over the age of 18 who at least pretends to be a loyal reader can enter. I prefer non-murderers because I really don’t need the drama of inviting some nutcase into the dojo, so please at least be felony-free. Sense of humor required.
WHAT you win…
One lucky reader (or unlucky reader, depending on your perception) will be invited to take the Ninja lesson with me, my wife, and my off-her-rocker sister. While I can’t guarantee you’ll walk out as proficient in Ninja warfare as I’ll be, I can guarantee that you’ll have a blast.
Also, the evening doesn’t end with sparring! Not only will you be invited to become one with the Ninja, but you’ll also be whisked away to dinner…my treat. While you’ll have to get yourself to and from the dojo in Yonkers, I’ll be taking care of the transportation to and from the restaurant. I have no idea where we’ll be dining, but I’m looking for a place on the second or third floor since we’ll all be trained to scale walls. I figure utilizing our skills will help boost appetites.
To quote from the Ninja lesson’s summary:
“Learn the secrets of ancient martial arts and the mysterious ninja warriors with one of New York’s oldest Bujinkan schools. Learn effective methods of self-protection using elusive timing, control of distance and subtle angling, like how to avoid the assault of a sword. You will learn from an actual Shidoshi (teacher of the warrior ways) in the areas of weaponry, striking, grappling, choking and throwing, as well as methods of leaping and rolling. In short, our training emphasizes shiken gata – combat survival techniques.”
WHERE we’ll meet…
I’ll provide directions to the actual location, but it’s outside New York City in the heart of Ninja country…Yonkers, NY. I’m sure Google Maps knows where it is, so you can always check the distance to see if it’d be worth the drive. Just FYI, it’s a mere 2,800 miles from Los Angeles. We’ll meet at the dojo and then depart from there for dinner. Assuming I have enough cash afterwards, or if we can perform a stealth “Dine & Dash,” I’ll return you to your vehicle following dinner (roughly 7pm).
WHEN it happens…
I’ll meet you at the dojo around 2:30pm on Saturday afternoon (October 20th) so we can prepare and change into Americanized Ninja-esque workout clothing (i.e. sweats). The lesson will start at 3pm and run for about 90 minutes. Once we’re all well-trained in the art of choking and grappling our spouses into submission, we’ll change for dinner and head out. I’m not worried about making reservations because no maitre d’ is going to risk turning away FOUR Ninjas. It’d be business and personal suicide.
Especially in Yonkers.
WHY I’m doing it…
I’ll answer you the same way I answer my wife…with, like, everything. “Why not?”
HOW to enter…
All you have to do is say you want to win and then explain in the Comments area why you want to be a Ninja. Has it always been a lifelong dream? Do you hope to level the playing field with your children? How would you use your newly acquired skills? Anything that proves you want to walk among the warriors is enough for me. Oh, and that you’re not a murderer…at least pre-Ninja training.
My only requirement? That if you enter and win, you can be there. No shows will be visited in the dark of night and stripped of all treasures. Ninjas don’t play.
WIN FREE JINGOS SNACK CRACKERS!
EVERYONE who comments will be entered to win a FREE box of Jingos Snack Crackers. You just have to say which flavor you’d want. You can choose from Lime & Sweet Chili, Parmesan Garlic, and Fiesta Cheddar. We’ve tried all of them and I think you’ll find that there’s no wrong choice. Although the Lime & Sweet Chili is my favorite, my wife prefers the Parmesan Garlic and our children always go for the Fiesta Cheddar. As for our dogs, they seem to love each equally, although we no longer share.
There will be TEN winners of snack crackers and ONE winner of the free Ninja lesson with a post-training dinner. Each winner will be chosen randomly at 1pm on Sunday, October 14th!
Believe me, if you can get to the dojo, you’ll have a great time. I promise. I just hope there’s someone out there willing to make the trip. It’d be great to send someone home all Ninjafied.
So…you wanna be bold? Wanna be a ninja? Just want to sit on the couch and eat free crackers?