Jason Steeves heads up the New Brunswick chapter of Divine Warrior Ninjutsu, which teaches the systems of Ninjutsu and Samuraijutsu. Jason is a certified personal trainer and Graduate of Theology. In the private sector, Jason has worked as bodyguard, captain of the neighbourhood watch, security of federal government projects, and as a consultant of different security details, including CIA training in the United States.
Can you tell us how you got invovled in Ninjutsu?
Sure! I started when I was ten years old largely because of bullying and stuff. And I felt I needed an edge up on my competition so to speak so I started learning martial arts and I’ve been doing it ever since.
Can you tell us a little bit about the martial arts strategies that you teach?
Martial art strategies I teach is Ninjutsu. Some people may associate that with like the ninja they see on TV and in movies but it actually has nothing to do with that. I mean it does a little bit but most of the stuff you see on the movies is just Hollywood stuff and doesn’t really have any real world truth.
I studied under Masaaki in Japan. I go to Japan every year been doing it for about ten years that way and I’m pretty happy with the way things are going.
Can you tell us about the survivalism component of Ninjutsu?
Yes! They say the hand to hand combat aspect is ten percent of the work, the overall art. It might take ninety percent of your time because it is more complicated but it’s really only ten percent the rest of it is survival for sure, how to recognize dangerous signs before they happen, how to prevent things. Like, you know, don’t leave like your mail out on your driveway when you’re not home the basic things that sometimes people forget about but also the more detailed things that sometimes you don’t think about.
What is your approach to personal training?
I say as long as you’re pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone you are always improving. You need to know what your limitations are before you can exceed your limitations so just push yourself hard and you don’t need to overdo things in the gym and stuff like that. Like you don’t need to create pain. If it’s painful you’re probably overdoing it but you want to create discomfort in order to promote growth, right.
What are some of your favorite brand collaborations to-date?
I have a store too where I sell like equipment and stuff that’s related to martial arts and I have my favorites for sure that I push to most but I don’t usually promote things that I haven’t personally used or I don’t agree with myself. It’s usually if I come across something that I found useful and it works for me then I’ll promote it. I have to believe in the product. I’m not one of those people that will just promote something that someone throws enough money at me. If it doesn’t agree with my personal philosophy I’m not going to use it.
What are some of the weirdest requests you have received from brands?
I suppose it would be to wear something in some of my videos that really has nothing to do with martial arts whatsoever and I’m like I don’t see the connect. So sometimes I will turn things down but it has to make sense, right. Otherwise it comes off as being fake or people will see through that.
Can you tell us about your book and training videos?
I’ve been on YouTube for, I don’t know, it’s been about five years now and started quite small and it’s picking up momentum. I think I’m on Pinterest and I’m on Tumblr and I’m on just about every other social media platform I can think of. Mostly because one of my students said “hey you need to get on these. These things are going places” I’m like “well” so they kind of pushed me into it and I kind of stumbled onto it. And I’ve written books myself as well and I have a few of them out there and they’re available on my store as well and you might find them in other places as well.
How do you structure your average day?
I create a to-do list like a checklist. It’s very strict and I try to spend no0 more than one hour per topic and if it tends to go over an hour then I’ll just reschedule it for the next day to pick up unless it’s really important. Sometimes I’ll rearrange my to-do list but for the most part I have a very structured to-do list.
I listen to Tony Robbins all the time and he’s motivated me in a lot of ways and he’s giving me all kinds of ideas on how to make the most of your day and to really squeeze it for everything it’s worth so to speak.
Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring fitness influencers looking to break out into influencer marketing?
Probably the big one at least it was with me was a lot of people will be naysayers and they’ll say you can’t do it or don’t do it or you’re wasting your time don’t believe any of that. I think a lot of people will agree just don’t believe that. No matter what you’re doing it doesn’t have to be martial arts or personal personal fitness. If you have a goal or you have a dream pursue it with everything you’ve got and don’t let anyone make decisions that will affect your life for yourself. You got to do it for yourself.
Do you ever collaborate with Japanese brands when you travel there?
Yeah there’s a couple in Japan too, I suppose. Most people probably haven’t heard of them but I do have suppliers that I’ve built relationships with and I have them send me stuff here or when I’m there I’ll go see them in person and I gather up everything I need and have it shipped back. It’s all martial arts related of course. A lot of it is like equipment or uniforms or anything that’s not – the big one is things that you can’t get in North America. Like there’s uniform parts or sometimes I’ll come across statues like figurines of samurai and stuff like that and I’ve asked them can you send me this in Canada and they’re like no we don’t send this overseas” so I have to get them myself, pack it all up, and bring it back every time I come back. And people give me orders before I leave it’s like get me this or get me that so that’s kind of how I’ve been going about it.
What can you tell us about the CIA training you have done?
I’m ex-military, I served in the Canadian Armed Forces and I’ve done some things that are fun and interesting and some things that are scary. I got in touch with a guy that used to be in the CIA in the US and he’s a recruiter. He basically teaches people the recruiting phases of the CIA and I’ve got a hold of him and I drove down to Virginia and we did out training there. And I can’t talk too much about it but yeah it was fun and if people had an interest I suppose I might be able to point them in the right direction