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Kazuo Training Thread v2.0

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:30 am
by Sanjuro



"I know I should keep my skills sharp, but man this is boring."

Kazuo tossed the kunai up, caught it by the ring pommel, and threw it at the target with a casual flick of his wrist. It whistled for a moment before yet another thud echoed through the training hall, another bullseye shot. He let out a long suffering sigh before sliding yet another kunai from the holster strapped to his thigh. This time rather than simply throw it, he lobbed it into the air in front of him, eyeing the blade as it rose and fell, judged where it would be, then leapt into the air and twisted his body around on a fulcrum, snapping out a leg and kicking the handle of the blade. The force of the spinning kick transferred to the falling kunai and sent it spiralling towards the target, another dull thud echoing through the training hall once more.

"Well, that's a little more fun at least. Let's see what else we can do…"

And so began the process of one his Higuarshi Kazuo's strangest training sessions. Taking a blade, he tossed it into the air, turned around and caught it behind his back with the inside of his knee. Kicking off the training hall's cement floor, he flipped himself over so he was performing a hand stand, and used the rotating motion to flick his leg at an awkward angle and the resulting jerk sent the blade flying towards the target. Not as accurate as his usual shots, it only hit the outer edge, but it still buried just as deeply as usual. Tossing three blades into the sky, Kazuo jumped up after them and threw himself into a front flip, lashing out with a heel kick at the first one to send it towards another target.


Rotating his hips, he went from a vertical spin to a horizontal one, catching the second kunai between his toes. Instead of immediately letting go he continued through with the spin until he caught the third falling kunai in the crook of his elbow. The last second before he landed he completed one final spin and jerk his body at a strange angle, releasing the kunai in two different directions, and yet still each managed to hit one of the many targets he was surrounded by. As he crashed to the floor, he spun his legs and hips up above him and helicoptered his way into a standing position. Looking around at the kunai, all of them were at least in a target, even if they weren't pinpoint accurate as usual.

It was something to work on at least.

"Uh, are you sure you can hit that?"

"Nope. Should be fun to try though, right?"

Kazuo looked at the chuunin standing beside him at the range. The young man was throwing kunai and shuriken at a target maybe 20 or 30 meters away. Kazuo's target wasn't even actually in this practice area. He was aiming at one that was used for ninjutsu target practice, well over two or three hundred meters away. Shifting his stance, he looked at the chuunin and winked.

"You may wanna brace yerself."

Having warned the man, Kazuo reared his arm back into what was more of a pitchers stance than a knife throwing stance. Twisting his hips, he flung his arm forward, planting his feet firmly on the ground as he completed the motion of the throw. There was a moment of silence and then a powerful wave of air pushed the dust and the chuunin away from Kazuo a little as the blade sailed through the air far further than either of them had truly been anticipating. Kazuo watched the blade with glee as it sailed through the air, but sighed in disappointment when it fell short by about fifty or so meters. Picking up another blade, he took up the same stance, took a breath, and threw.

Thirty meters away.

If he wanted to do this, he'd need to figure out a better method. Right now it took too long to build up the necessary power. Taking up a handful of the blades, he shoved six of them into one hand and took a seventh in his throwing hand. In rapid succession, he began to throw the blades, one after another, as fast and as powerfully as he could manage. With each blade they became increasingly more powerful as his stance subtly shifted, allowing for more power from the rotation of his shoulders and hips, rather than relying purely on building up strength beforehand. With each throw he built momentum and that momentum was transferred to the next throw, and so on.

Before long he was no longer holding any of the kunai and picking up a pair of binoculars. He looked over the way and spied the target he had been aiming at the whole time he had been throwing kunai with a not inconsiderate amount of power. Only four of the nine he had thrown had actually hit the target but they were all within range of it, varying between a few inches to the furthest at fifty meters.

"Not bad."

"Yeah…" Kazuo turned to look at the chuunin, who looked like he had been standing in a wid tunnel, hair blown back and eyes wide. "Not bad."

Another day and Kazuo found himself once again working with kunai. More specifically, he was working with the blades of his Razorbolt. Ever since he realized the things could be detached, and how had he not known that he had been more interested in working on his shurikenjutsu. Today he was practicing a simple technique he had learnt a long time ago but hadn't used in a good long while. Throwing multiple shuriken, or in this case knives, from the same hand at the same time. Sliding each of the blades from the gauntlet between his fingers and then his finger and thumb, he lifted his arm across his body and took aim at the target across the way.

Breathe in. Hold. Exhale. Loose.

The blades soared through the air as he brought his arm down. He felt his pinkie catch on one of the blades and scowled as he lifted the offending digit to his lips, sucking on the cut, and stared at the blade as it went pinwheeling off into the darkness of the Jousai training hall. Well that was just plain embarrassing. Looking around, making sure no one spotted his little mishap, he summoned another set of blades and disconnected them, grabbing them before they vanished. It was a strange quirk of his gauntlets but a useful one.

Taking the same stance, he lifted his arm across his body, adjusted his pinkie now that he was aware of it, and let loose with the handful of blades. They spun through the air before sinking into the wooden dummy he had originally intended to hit. A second later they poofed away and Kazuo smiled. That was more like it. The muscle memory was coming back. Summoning and catching another set of blades, he repeated the process with his off hand, now holding four blades in both hands. Eyeing the targets in the hall, he looked around before suddenly spinning and crouching in the same motion, throwing the left hand full of blades and using the falling, twisting motion to transfer momentum. Before they had a chance to reach their target, Kazuo was throwing himself into the air and performing a horizontal spin before releasing the second volley at the same target.

He watched just in time to see the first volley hit the target, all four blades digging in deep and poofing out of existence as the second volley drove into the exact same spot, burying even deeper into the already existing holes before they too vanished in a puff of smoke. Landing from the jump, he brushed off his hands and nodded in satisfaction. All about the muscle memory.

Since he was retraining things he had learnt as a kid but let fall to the wayside as he got older, Kazuo was practicing his old favourite; the Shadow Shuriken technique. Drawing his arm back, Kazuo's eyes narrowed as he focused in on one of the larger targets towards the end of the training hall. Him arm slingshot forward, his wrist flicking in such a manner that the shuriken were sent spinning and kept their trajectory. He knew the moment the blades left his fingertips though that he had failed. The second had been too close to the first and they both landed at the same time. Drawing another two shuriken, he lined up his shot again and prepared to release.

Tensing the muscles in his palm, where the second shuriken was resting, he flicked his arm and wrist once more and let the first fly. Just as it left his fingers, he slid the second forward and flicked it with his wrist though still in the same arm motion. The shuriken was slightly slower than he would have liked, but at least it was trailing behind and slightly below. The first shuriken dug into the wood but the second simply bounced off. That method apparently wouldn't work either.

How had he done this as a kid? Was it something to do with throwing them at different times? Well, it was worth a shot.

The first of the hidden blades left his fingertips with its usual speed and with another quick flick of his wrist so did the second blade. Brown eyes kept a watchful gaze on the blades as they travelled through the air, trying to tell if someone would be able to make out the second from the first. He could see the first blade clear as day, but with the way the sun was currently facing he couldn't make out the second shuriken hidden within the shadow of the first. With a triumphant cry, he raced forward and grabbed the throwing blades from the log. Looking around to make sure no one was watching, he jumped for joy before immediately composing himself.

Just to make sure it wasn't some kind of fluke, Kazuo jogged back to his starting position. Without slowing and repositioning himself, his hand reached down and snatched up another two shuriken from his thigh holster. Two quick flicks of his wrist and the pair of shuriken sailed through the air, the second hidden by the first, and buried themselves deep into his training dummy.

Man, he really was out of practice with shurikenjutsu. That should've been simple. He was really glad he had chosen a time when no one else was around to witness this. Shaking his hands out, he glared at his fingers like they had personally betrayed him before shaking his head. Just needed to get back into practice.

Now that he had a handle of some of his older skills and some of the rust was beginning to flake away, it was time to try something a little more exciting. Something new. Well, newish. It wasn't anything fantastic but he was curious to see just how well he could do it. The art of shurikenjutsu over a focused area. Also known as, throwing a whole bucketload of knives very, very quickly. Oh how he was looking forward to this one. The theory was it would be impossible to determine just how many knives were in the cluster using the Shadow Shuriken method and just throwing blade after blade.

Filling his hands with as many shuriken and kunai he could fit without cutting himself open and bleeding out all over the courtyard, since he figured it would be better to try this kind of technique outdoors, he looked at the area he had designated with some chalk and did a little mental arithmetic. If he wanted them all to hit roughly the same area, and he threw roughly five shuriken per hand, he'd need around… five and a half volleys. Fifty five shuriken. Of which only maybe twenty or thirty should be plainly visible.

Shifting his stance, making sure he had both of his weapon pouches full and ready, he nodded to himself and then began the process. Tossing the first volley, he tossed the second even as his leading hand was reaching into the weapons pouch. The second volley was hidden in the shadow of the first, as he had anticipated, and as the third volley came up, some where hidden in the shadow of the second, some weren't, simply due to the slightly more prominent delay between them. The fourth volley came up as his hands were reaching back for the fifth and then the sixth, which in total would make thirty blades all flying through the air, aimed at a point in the sky where he knew gravity would take over and they would arc downwards and begin to rain down.

It was as the seventh and eight handfuls of the fourth full volley left his hands that the first and second throws started impacting the ground, steel clattering against stone, sending sparks showering through the area. Once that started it was a constant hail of metal until he had thrown the ninth, tenth, and finally eleventh handfuls of blades, completely emptying his weapon containers.

"Well… I'm going to need to start carrying more weapons if I want to use that out in the field. I wonder how much it'd cost to get a scroll made up full of them…"


Kazuo Training Thread v2.0

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:41 am
by Sanjuro
Technique Being TrainedShow
A-Rank Taijutsu Discipline
Kazuo is sensitive to vibrations in the ground and can automatically pinpoint the location of anything that is in contact with the ground within a 10-meter radius. While underwater, Kazuo can still use his tremorsense by backtracking the vibrations that carry in water.
Kazuo was sitting quietly, his legs folded under him, eyes closed, enshrouded by darkness. He could feel the dank air wash over him, the scent of must and decay filled his nostrils with each breath, but none of that mattered. He was focused entirely on the ground below him. He hands were resting on the hard, rough, compacted earth that made the tunnel floor. It was difficult, tuning out his other senses as he was so attuned to them relying on his ears and nose as much as or more than he relied on his eyes. Right now, however, he wanted to rely on none of them, focusing entirely on the feel of the earth, how with each breath his body moved, and how he felt that movement in his fingertips as the vibration ravelled from his legs to the ground and from the ground to his hands.

Being able to feel what was right next to him however wouldn't be a particularly useful ability. He wanted to be able to tell if someone was sneaking up on him and he couldn't hear them or smell them. There was always a way to avoid detection and if Kazuo could develop his senses to the point that none of them could ever all be fooled at once, then he was taking a step in the right direction. So, he focused on the feeling of the vibrations in the earth, for the briefest of moments he let his focus shift from his sense of touch to his sense of hearing. The hairs on the back of his neck picked up and his head shifted in the direction he could hear the soft scratching of claws along stone. It wasn't far away at all.

Focusing entirely on his sense of touch once more, he knew roughly where he should be getting vibes from, and moved his hands to feel the earthen floor closer to that direction, his forehead scrunching tight as he focused as hard as he could, trying to feel for ever the slightest hint of vibration in the pads of his fingers. There was nothing for a long moment and then it was like the softest breeze brushing over his fingers. He could feel it. The ever so faint vibrations that carried through the earth as something fell against it. Kazuo smiled broadly and went to open his eyes when he felt it again. This time far more prominent. And again.

The rat had caught his scent.

Opening his eyes, Kazuo smiled and slowly stood up from his seated position. At least there was never any shortage of training fodder in the Catacombs.

Technique Being TrainedShow
[Shadow of the Wild]
B-Rank Taijutsu Stance
Having spent as much time hunting as he has, Kazuo has learnt how to hide his tracks and scent-trails as efficiently as he can follow them. He understands which plants can mask his scent, how to leave false scent trails and broken branches to throw off pursuers, and move in such a way as to prevent leaving a trail of his own. While applying this technique he slows his movement to half of what he would be capable of. Those following him require a tracking technique equal to or above the rank of this technique in order to not be fooled by the false trails.
Kazuo slipped down another corridor, heaving heavily, leaning against the earthen wall for a moment as he tried to catch his breath. One giant rat? Sure, no problem. Five of them? Easy pickings. A thrice damned swarm of the giant bastards? That was where Kazuo drew the line. Trying to shake them off his trail was a pain in the ass as well, the buggers lived down here in the dark and relied entirely on sound and scent to track their prey, much like him. While he could eliminate the sound his movement made, covering his scent was another story entirely.

Driving a fist into the wall beside him, he shattered the stone and compact earth before pulling out a handful of the stuff. Tossing the solid chunks to the ground, he took the softer earth, clay, and mortar that maintained the tunnels structure and vegan to rub it over himself, trying to mask his scent with the natural scent of the Catacombs. His nose wrinkled when the scent hit it this close. It wasn't a pleasant smell. There was another path he could take as well, just up ahead if he recalled correctly. He stopped covering himself, sniffed to make sure enough of his scent was still coming through, and headed down the path he had originally intended to follow, making sure to rub the un covered parts of his body against the walls, leaving a solid trail to be followed.

When he finally thought he had gone far enough, he broke some more of the wall, throwing the hard stone further along after rubbing it under his arms, hoping the scent would throw off his rat pursuers, before covering the rest of his arms, face, neck, and clothes in the clay and soft earth. Once he was fully covered, he leapt up to the ceiling and, making as little contact as possible, channelled chakra into his finger tips and the balls of his feet to stick to it and start clambering back along the path to the point of divergence.

Moving slowly so as to not disturb the ceiling any more than necessary, he crawled his way along until he was a good way down the length of the tunnel before dropping to the floor and continuing on foot. He paused and listened for the sound of the rats as they pursued him and sure enough, he heard the skittering and scratching of their footsteps running down the path he had just left. With a smirk, Kazuo turned around and started heading back the way they had come. He had spent enough time down here for one day, and he was pretty sure Koji would be getting anxious, having been left back at the mouth of the Drop.