Who is “Rónin?”

I have considered changing my name to Ronin because all new members think this is a persons name. It’s not. It is a word engrossed in culture, stories of battle, service to ones master and of course taking ones own path. Years dedicated to martial arts brought the name to fruition, specifically the Japanese art Ninjutsu. If memory serves me correctly, the affiliate name Ronin CrossFitcan be credited to my long time friend and fellow Ronin Karl.

The early martial journey was a wild ride and on it I met some crazy wonderful Ninja. At a very important age of 17 in Dublins’ inner city there were many paths to take, some better than others. I was already surfing various currents and any one could have washed me away. The road from young, clumsy white belt to more skilled and hard working black belt was long and winding. I would like to include an example of the type of text that we used to follow, learn off by heart and essentially try to live, in a time where martial arts were fairly uncommon. Eastern teachings were easily accused of being cultish and Instagram motivational updates had not yet blossomed.

Grading prep with Jody 2009

‘Shodan’ Black belt award 2009 Shihan Brian McCarthy

There were a few extracts that really resonated with me. This piece is something that I’ve thought about many times and to this day I still see massive value in it’s simplicity. Granted I’ve fallen from grace! Such is life.

                                              Ninja masters admonitions

Know the wisdom of being patient during times of inactivity.

Choose the course of justice as the path for your life.

Do not allow your heart to be controlled by the demands of desire, pleasure or dependance. 

Sorrow, pain and resentment are natural qualities to be encountered in life, therefore work to cultivate the enlightenment of an immovable spirit. 

Hold in your heart the importance of family loyalty and pursue the literary and warrior arts with balanced determination.

Shinryuken Masamitsu Toda (32nd Grandmaster Togakure ryu)


A lot of traditional martial art practice is interwoven into the fibres at Ronin CrossFit. Here are some off the cuff..

Never, ever cheat a workout. You are cheating yourself in so many ways.

Complete the task at hand no matter how much you think you can’t. Believe.

Respect your training partners, they are your community.

Empty your mind of external pressures and stress when training. (Phones off?)

Movement and “form” are everything. Efficiency is born here.

Your body is a temple. 100%. And it’s the only temple you’ve got.

Unlocking skill from within, e.g. a pull-up, PR snatch, can be one of the best forms of therapy ever. Only you made this happen through dedication and hard work. There is no substitute.

The following is a phrase that motivates me to stay focused. There will be an award winning study released someday titled making savage the body, actually does civilize the mind (Eamo et Al) 

Whatever form or style you choose, physical well being is DIRECTLY related to your mental and emotional state.



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