Our Kaigisuru 2018 was a great learning experience!

I've been waiting to do a Kaigisuru for a while, but wanted to hold off until we had some more skilled people to kick it off.  Now that we have, we have learned alot about the details, which we'll share, and have another one soon.

First, what does Kaigisuru mean?  (会議する)  The word "kai" (かい[会]) means "meeting; assembly; party; association; or club".  "gi" (ぎ[義]) could mean "teachings", or ぎ[儀] "ceremony; matter; affair, while "suru" (する[為る]) means "to do; carry out; perform; to cause to become; or to be in a certain state".

This inaugural kaigisuru was a seek and destroy scenario where we split everyone up into 2 teams.  1 team guarded an object while the other team had to locate and destroy the said object.  We basically split the teams up calculated so that skill level was roughly even among the 2 teams.  We set aside 2 full days to do this in a wilderness land area or approximately 220 acres.  It was beautiful and scenic with a nice river running through it as well.

What did we learn?  Well, we discovered that 220 acres is far too large of an area for the number of people we had.  It took our team many hours to locate the general area of the other team and it was night and very dark when we did.  The rules were relatively simple.  Safety was important.  No lethal weapons or dangerous situations.  The item to be destroyed had to be visible and stationary.  The item had to be in a different location from the base camp of the team in possession of the item.  If you were struck with any type of "lethal" blow, you had to return to your own base camp to "respawn" and start again.

The point of the exercise was not just about fun, but learning to use your Ninjutsu skills in a practical scenario.  This time, we tried to limit outside interference as much as possible, such as no major technology to help, no creature comforts, etc.  We wanted to simulate pre-tech wilderness as much as possible, to a reasonable point.  We built campfires to eat, but we did use a lighter.  We had flashlights.  Things like that.

We first left it open to anyone that wanted to participate but later closed it to only our group.  Our team heavily relied on tracking to find the other group.  At one point someone outside our group was blaring bluegrass music from an old style ghetto blaster on the beach/sand dune at the river.  We later discovered that both teams thought it was a distraction from the opposite team and investigated.  After we discovered the enemy camp, we tried approaching quietly but it was just too dark, with no moon, so we simply had to resort to flashlights that we tried to minimize shine just to see our way through dense forest paths.  We felt as a group this offered the best opportunity to sneak near the object instead of waiting until morning light.  At one point, we had a scout determine that the other team was at base camp and not watching the object any longer, expecting we would stop for the night, which was exactly what I was counting on, but it was so difficult to approach undetected that we were, in fact, detected.  Detection, in and of itself is fine since it does not send us back or anything like that, but we lost the element of surprise.  We were attacked from the rear since we walked right by someone and didn't notice.  Others were in front of us.

During this attack, our party was wiped out...supposedly.  Afterward, there was some discussion about what some called kill shots, others insisted were not.  But that is expected in this situation since we try to go on the honour system.  There was no arguing.  We just tried to decide if there was a better way in the future.  We are all friends, family really.  This type of exercise benefits everyone so we are looking for ways to improve future ones.  One guy was accidentally stabbed in his thumb by a weapon and had to deal with it, but for the most part, everything is safe.  We use dull weapons and safety is definitely number one priority.  These events will be different every time and just wait until you hear what we have planned for upcoming ones.  To my knowledge, no one in the world in Ninjutsu is doing what we are planning, except maybe 1 or 2 government three-letter agencies.