The First Time Online – Enjoy While You Can


Most of you have never seen this. I really hope you enjoy it. To download, just sign into Vimeo and you’re set. If you Final Cut it up, please set to a Crystal Method or Sevendust soundtrack :)

In other breaking news:

I need only 120 more Amazon reviews to beat The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, a dream I’ve had since 2007! Not because I dislike him, but precisely the opposite — he’s one of my writing role models and I long viewed his book as untouchable.

If you’ve read the 4HWW but haven’t left a short review on Amazon, please take 30 seconds and help me here! The stars are, of course, up to you.

It would really mean a lot to me, and what a milestone it would be as a late Christmas present :)

Odds and Ends Elsewhere:
Tim Ferriss on Facebook (includes new videos)
Tim Ferriss – Smash Fear, Learn Anything (TED video)

Afterword – Common Questions

Thanks for all the kind words and questions in the comments! Here are answers to a few common questions:

“Gaijin [foreigner] resentment from the Japanese?”

None whatsoever. Major point of conflict with the production company, as they wanted me to show I was ‘proving my teacher’ wrong, etc. for manufactured drama. Total nonsense. The Japanese teachers and students were some of the most gracious and generous people I’ve ever met. The Japanese get a bum rap for xenophobia, mostly by Americans who go over, speak to them in English, and them call them ‘inscrutable’ when they don’t respond in fluent, idiomatic English. Learn some Japanese and they are 100% fine. Business settings = negotiating = not a representative interaction. Get with the people and interact, preferably with something physical. I’ve never felt this artificial insider/outsider wall people talk about.

“Pre-bed and other preparations for physical only or also mental?”

Also for mental and learning. Pre-bed and mid-night language review is incredibly effective for improving recall.

“How much story arc vs. real issues?”

It was real. The fear of falling off was real. It came up only after arrival that injuries were much more common and severe than expected. The editing didn’t do justice to the drama. We had 100+ hours of footage, and there were some gems that could have replaced other bits in this 45 minutes. It rained for 2-3 days of the practice time, for example, and we couldn’t use the horses. The non-yabusame human-to-human interactions with the Japanese were also missing. Some really hysterical moments.

“Have I been back to train?”

Not yet. I love Nikko and would love to go back. I have spoken with both my teacher (Hayashi) and some of the Japanese crew, however. Truly wonderful people.

“Superhuman book to include cooking?”

The way I do it, yes. Simple stuff that tastes great and works. Boys, don’t worry — it’s bachelor screw-up proof.

“Doing a traditional Japanese martial art myself for many years do you ever get frustrated when you learn a skill and then to a certain extent ‘move on’ that you’re just scratching the surface?”

A few people asked this. I don’t try and “hack” everything and move on. I do believe in the enjoyment of constant practice as an exercise, almost like meditation. It’s important to balance achievement with appreciation, and there are skills that I continue to practice without abandoning them. In fact, I don’t feel like I abandon much. Even if I haven’t really practiced tango since 2006, for example, the skills and awareness I developed in tango are applicable to other things, even yabusame. I feel like each is intertwined with the next, so I’m — on a macro-level — constantly working on a process of skill-development that spreads across these various experiments.

In simpler terms, I’m just having fun and doing what makes me most excited. I see nothing wrong with this. For some, that will mean 1 skill a year, others 1 skill a month, and others still, one skill a lifetime.

All are fair.

Posted on: January 8, 2010.

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375 comments on “The First Time Online – Enjoy While You Can

  1. I just thought of something along the lines of skill development and accelerated learning. Have you put these skills, techniques or what you do to learning an instrument perhaps? Id be very interested in how you would go about that as I would love to learn to play the guitar or an instrument but have always had a hard time learning it.

    Thanks for the copy of Four Hour body btw, hope your next book is just as amazing, im waiting to read it but I know from the little I’ve read of it that it will be life changing.


  2. Tim – thanks for posting this. I was totally bummed when I found out after the fact that this was on the history channel.

    Great job with The 4-Hour Body. I’m a week into the slow carb diet and it is working great. Just getting back into it today after yesterday’s “cheat day.”

    In addition to the two copies of the book I bought, my better half received two from you as an EO member. It took her a while to figure out where they came from. Just wanted to say thanks for that as well. Cheers.


  3. I know this will sound silly, but it took me more than 6 months to watch this video to its end. I could never make 45 minutes of free time…ironic huh? I was almost in tears by the time it ended tonight, I had surgery almost 2 weeks ago, so I cannot work, and now I “have time.” I should stop fooling myself and get to my muse so I can live. Starting Tuesday because I have a funeral at which to sing tomorrow…..

    Thanks, Tim. Great video, and thanks for sharing!



  4. Be prepared Tim. One of these days a helicopter full of military brass is going to come pick you up and tell you that your country needs you, in a very ‘Armageddon’ kinda way.


  5. When I was first introduced to Tim, my mentor showed me the first snippet of this video with many others to illustrate Tim’s language prowess, but it wasn’t till now (1 year later) I could finish watching this video!

    A great video and good inspiration for me, providing insights into culture, life-hacking and determination. Something to take away there was Tim’s swift deduction of the core techniques that Yabusame riders required, not to mention his methods to enhance efficiency. Entertaining and instructive,



  6. Hey Tim,
    I would like to become a student of Ogasawara-ryu too. I have no intention of participating in the show but I would like to become a good mounted archer. Please tell me whether they accept foreigners (I’m from Germany) and what do I need to qualify. I have no particular time limit. I would like to stay as long it takes to become good at Yabusame.
    I appreciate a short response from you. Thank you.

    PS. I did use your website search function but couldn’t find anything related to my question. The website of ogasawara-ryu doesnt seem to say anything about the admission for prospective students.


    • Hungary, Slovakia, and Austria offer Kassai mounted archery and with Canada and the U.S.A. compete in a world cup. This is Hun style like Attila. Mr Farriss is extremely lucky to have been invited to Ogasawara Ryu and his documentary is the closet thing i have found to an inside look anywhere


  7. It may help you hack other similar thought/concept/skill evaluations if you consider that it is actually impossible to “hold on”/stay on with your hands on the reins as they are completely soft/movable/unstable and will go wherever your arm/hand takes it. It is only in people’s minds that they are holding on as we humans think that something gripped in the hands means “we got it”.


  8. That video was both intriguing and captivating. It just shows you that Tim Ferriss does not miss targets whatever they may be.


  9. I have a background in Ninpo Taijutsu and reading books by the grandmaster Dr. Hatsumi has inspired me to develop all of the 18 traditional skills of samurai and ninja of the past. Bajutsu or mounted combat was always a high priority but sadly now not part of most martial arts programs. I bought a horse and started riding bothering anyone on the internet i could find practicing horseback archery. 2012 i went to a Kassai world cup event in Montana to watch and learn. 2013 i placed 80th in the world cup. 2014 there will be no world cup events in north america but i still plan to go to a competition hosted by the Canadian Kassai group Borsos Torz. I am still fascinated by the Japanese style and this documentary has given me more information about that style than i could find anywhere else. (could use some close ups on the knocking technique)
    Mr Farriss did very well its far from easy and kind of scary. I had a wreck the night before last years competition. That old saying, “get back up on that horse” has a whole new meaning when you literally have to do it. Ninja rolls (ukemi) saved me from injury and i would strongly recommend letting some of your local judo or ninpo sensei throw you around if you wish to practice mounted archery. The danger is real and the fear is real focusing past it into perfect clarity is the goal. Hitting 2 in a row on your 3rd attempt is phenomenal. I missed 9 shots in a row in my first competition