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.

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

Leave a Reply

Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! (Thanks to Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration.)

375 Replies to “The First Time Online – Enjoy While You Can”

  1. Hey Tim,

    Awesome vid. I am using this as an inspiration for learning how to code websites in 4 weeks.

    I specifically like how you break things down like a machine and highlight the core elements that are integral to any process.

    Quick question, what was the bone clicking treatment you were getting by the doctors? I want that so much!!!



  2. Thanks Tim, I lived 20 mins from Nikko for 2 and a half years & visited Toshogu often. It was like a trip down memory lane watching your video. Your Japanese is really great. How long did it take you to learn? Did you use some of your hacking techniques for language learning too? It was refreshing seeing someone treading lightly in a foreign country. You were so respectful of culture and language ie not a bloody obnoxious tourist. Very refreshing indeed. Thanks

  3. Watched the whole thing Tim. Congrats on a project well done. Wish I was there to train with you – what an experience. Peace and respect.

  4. Tim,

    This vid is great and I’m speechless with all the details/complexity you needed to process in such a short period of time. Amazing!

    One thing REALLY stood out for me when I was watching this vid….your mention of the torn Achilles Tendon. I assume it was a partial tear, no?

    I had a complete rupture last year (in May) and would love to learn more about increasing my levels of physical performance w/that minor detail in mind. 🙂

    I’ve VERY determined, but NOT stupid, therefore, I want to embrace exercises I may not have engaged in before.

    I noticed that you used the kinesio tape. Do you utilize this tape for each physical activity that you participate in? I have not used it yet….

    My KSO’s are going to be order VERY soon. 🙂

    Thanks for all you do and keep it up…..I’m hyped for the new book!


  5. Wow! Yabusame looks too fun! I want to try. Ooh, I honestly have to find someone willing to do a demonstration (to promote cultural & equestrian awareness) in front of about 30 thousand people in New York. We have great riders representing many types of equestrian disciplines from across the world. But not anything quite like this! How amazing would it be to have a rider flying down Belmont’s historic and world renowned racetrack picking off targets as their battle cry washes over an awe struck crowd… Pure Energy!! 🙂

  6. Hi Tim – Truly Inspiring – thanks for sharing!

    I have recently set myself a hefty challenge – to record and release a charity single to iTunes and resculpt my body in just a couple of months, with the goal of achieving minimum top 40 chart position in the UK, aiming for top 10, and raising thousands for the Cancer charity.

    I will definitaly make a video diary of the whole experience as part of the process, and make a documentary similar to yours.

    The twist is that I have about 1 hour’s focussed attention per day to spend on the project, so the body resculpting will be similar to your “from Geek to Freak” regime, working to temporary muscle failure, and the single launch will be an online effort.

    Any tips for pulling off such a challenge?

    Wish me luck!

    Tony Finbarr-Smith,


  7. hey Tim,

    I read your book when it came out three yrs back, I occasionally frequent your forum.

    One thing I noticed was hot and cold bath. I suffer from chronic tension type headaches for past 10 years and used sauna then bathed in cold water. It gave me relief for 10 min, then tension spreads on my head. My necks gets stiff and I hear cracking sounds.

    My question is what is principle behind the hot and bath other than nerves dilating

    ii, Could u elaborate more on practicing every “4 and half hour” to accelerate learning?

  8. Read 4HWW and loved it. But having hard time coming up with ‘muse ideas’

    Problem is I don’t know anything. All I have is a passion for writng fiction but no credentials or anything. If anyone has any suggestions for me I’d love to hear them. Thanks!

  9. Congrats to you, Tim. I was rooting for you throughout the video, and I’m so glad you succeeded! What a real challenge, and it shows why you really are a master at cracking the code of life.

    Well done!


  10. What a compelling show. A great shame is was not picked up. Showed it to a few media-snobbish friends who were all deeply impressed and likewise sad the concept would not continue. An inspiration to see how you tackled the task! And such a beautiful archaic martial art…

    Thank you for the treat!

  11. Tim,

    This was simply amazing. As a life long martial artist I understand the complexity of this “hack”. Your teacher was excellent and your effort here is truly inspirational. My 9 year old daughter sat on my lap for the last 8 minutes watching you ride and shoot and said “I can do that”…kids, got to love them.

    Honestly, the best 45 minutes I have spent in awhile, a real achievement.

    Best to you,


  12. Hey Tim,

    Just watched your video. Amazing! Loving the way that you dissect the technique and make it fit your own physique. Life hacking at its very best. Major kudos for having the “konjo” to go through with the whole thing.

    Thank you for something that was not only entertaining but very thought provoking.

  13. I really enjoy the fact that the real drama was that you had to prove your teachers right for taking you on instead of the one that was intended in proving them wrong. I know for a fact that the one Japanese class I failed was more embarrassing for the teacher than for me(I was stuck on a bus for 2 1/2 hours missing the midterm). I had to explain why I failed, but he had to explain how a student who had good test scores and was actively using Japanese very often could fail and he couldn’t use the information that I was stuck on a bus despite me calling him from the bus.

    Also I slightly disagree with your analysis of Japanese racism, its there, but its not endemic, I can go pretty much anywhere without having too many problems, but I have gotten some rude glances for dating a korean. Nothing serious really, probably my favorite racist was a drunk guy at a bar yelling at me about how terrible gaijin are, while assuring me that I, a pale white guy with reddish curly hair is, in fact, a Japanese person, and that I should also hate these people.

  14. Wow, that’s all I can say… That was really awesome! The ending was emotional and the show was inspirational, loved it!

  15. Such an impressive video. And deeply thrilled that you are following your joy wherever it takes you. Your unabashed focus and willingness to edutain is giving visual, mental, and emotional permission to a whole generation to stay connected to their own dreams, magnificence and well-being.

    Thank you for sharing your process.


  16. Pingback: Yabusame | ??
  17. Dude! YOU KICKED ASS!

    You and the way you did it is inspirational model Learning, Adapting, and most of all Tackling ones Fear!

    I already listened to your original audiobook but I’m listening currently to your Expanded and Updated Version!

    I don’t know if its in the original but I loved your Outsourcing Chapter of A.J. Jacobs! What he did was nuts yet at the same time…pure genius! 😀

    I’m reading it again so that I could fully immersed the knowledge and integrate it in my subconscious!

    I know I gonna have to go back again and again in your Entrepreneurial chapter since I missed a lot of nugget that I didn’t catch on!

    The “Kiai” you did…it’s like good tactic on dealing with your fear because the shouting as I’ve learned now “Relieves Tension!”

    It would be funny if you’ve shouted “BANZAI! BANZAI!” hehehe! 😀

    Yeah that when you did it was…Surreal! Cheers to Life Hacking! 😀

  18. This video was awesome! I was cheering for you at the end. I knew you would accomplish the challenge. 🙂 Great job Tim.

  19. Nice random video. I felt like I was a fly on the wall listening to an interesting bar conversation. I recently listened to your audiobook and enjoyed it. I also just “retired” from my auditor job to “stay at home” with my kiddos. My intent is to do anything but that. Thank you for your inpiration and resources on an alternative way to enjoy this life. A few starter goals for me are to learn a new language – spanish, obtain my passport (in process) and visit a foreign country (so far I have only been to the Bahamas). I know these may sound remedial, but to me, I feel alive!

  20. Tim,

    In response to your request, I tried to write a review of your book – a very laudatory one I might add – on Amazon. But couldn’t because Amazon folks wanted to bully me into buying something from them before they would allow me to write a review.

    Now, I am not the kind who likes to get bullied, even by the most popular bookshop on the Web. And so the review remains just a draft in my head.

    The book has helped me immensely in changing my life style and this Video has added a great deal to my previous learning.

    Many, many thanks.

    1. Hi Ravindra,

      No problem at all — completely understood. Thanks for trying and for being part of the blog community 🙂


  21. That video was a great production and accomplishment by the teachers and you. Highly reasoning and dignified. I especially liked how the camera captured how, in the end, your teacher’s worried facial expressions turned into happiness and pride. (com)passionate teachers are truly beautiful creatures.

    Best regards.

  22. Tim,

    This is cool. I live in Japan, speak fluent Japanese, sing enka, party in Shibuya and am involved locally. I’m excited to see how the lessons in your book can give me even more time to get in amongst it, have already scheduled a 2 week cycling trip around Shikoku.


  23. is it worthwhile to get your book on the kindle Tim? Reason i ask is the kindle’s not really good with graphics or tables (at least in the books i have bought so far) and i dont want to waste mony on the electronic version if the graphics (if any) do not show up.

  24. Tim, Everything I’ve read thus far, and I’m certainly not a “reading giant”, makes a lot of sense and you constantly point out what should be obvious to everyone. I’m on a similar path, in some ways, as I’m writing a book about starting businesses, but with a little different twist…reverse engineering through the web. Anyway, nothing to check out yet, as it is a work in progress.

    Since we do have similarities, ie. my physical stature caters more toward weight lifting and contact sports rather than golf (gorilla with a stick) or swimming, I was curious if you’ve ever tried road racing? I sold my largest business a few years ago and did a “drivers education” event with my first Porsche after the sale. Ever since, I’ve been hooked and now race with the SCCA and other organizations. I’m not your average driver of 155 pounds (6’2″, 220) but I’ve found that I can be very competitive, even with at my size. It requires a great deal of finesse, concentration and, as you can guess, huge huevos to get everything out of the car. The reward is major competition and a constant adrenaline rush.

    If you haven’t, then give it a shot. But, don’t blame me for the addiction!

  25. Ciao Tim,

    I saw your Yabusame video and was really impressed with your Japanese. Your accent is quite good. I remember you mentioned about the Jouyou Kanji tablet at TED. I speak Japanese very well, but was never able to read the Japanese newspaper 100%. Memorizing Kanji is not easy and tt’s easy to forget. Can you give me some advice? I want to regain my skills fast.

    Yoroshiku onegai itashimasu


    1. Hi Frankie,

      Learn the radicals first (about 120), then go for flash cards. Some people suggest “Remembering the Kanji”, but I always found cards more effective.

      Good luck!


  26. Hi Tim-

    What ever happened with this series and do you and Kevin have plans to put up your own show? The guy that you featured in your Cold Remedy Post, has posted a couple of episodes of this awesome new series. I saw you in it and was wondering if you are planning on traveling with Aaron? What an inspiration and I am shocked at how fast one reader can change their life, based on your book. Cant wait to see you on TV again! 🙂


  27. thank you very much for your achievement and also i inspired for my own work.

    No matter if you are a blood donor or not. I-Blood is a great way to ensure your blood safety. I-Blood is a social blood network for saving lives. It’s main objective is to develop an effective network between blood donors and seekers. A voluntary work to serve our community to which we are belonging.

  28. Gripping Yabusame video Tim, good stuff. Just picked up the 4hww after one year of collecting dust and am loving it again 🙂 I need to work on systemising my business so I can do fun stuff like you 🙂

  29. Screw Man vs. Wild. You seriously need your own T.V. show. I’d be hooked watching challenges like this.

    Really impressive stuff.

  30. A jack of all trades and a master of most. People that are good at life are good at life, you can’t take that away from them. There is something to be said for honing one skill a lifetime, but I’ve found the more skills I learn, the better I get at the ones I’m inherently good at. If I practice something I’m not inclined to do, that helps me all the more with the discipline to develop the things that come naturally to me. I’m glad you touched upon that in this article, not that I ever thought you were a hack!

  31. Truly impressive!

    I wonder if you have ever tried a musical instrument, the violin in particular. Being able to play the violin well takes most people a lifetime, and, though arguably very physical, is probably unlike anything you have tried before!

    Let me know if you ever try it!

  32. I love the concept, and how you show practical advice for everyday life while doing extreme stuff, but the editing drove me crazy. I wish they had just shown what was going on and you explaining things without the melodramatic music, slomos, and cut away shots. I think the story could have told itself.

    Have you thought of pitching this to the BBC? They always seem to do doc style shows justice.

  33. I love the book you wrote. I’m reading it now. And it has helped so much in my business. Thanks again Tim

  34. I picked up two books when I went to the states from Guam to a training event in Charlotte. Outliers and Four Hour Workweek, I was halfway through Outliers and started my second book as I usally do and I have been blown away so far in only 40 pages of 4HWW. BTW I have’t finished outliers yet. I checked on your blog and ran across the Japanese video. Blown away again because as a Gaijin married to a Japanese women and a 4 year resident of Fujisawa I realize the magnitude of what you accomplished. They used the term konjo but I would have to say Yamato Damashi. I am looking foward to finishing this book today. Hooyah!



  35. “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.”

    You should actually try living there for a prolonged period while 1. Not being white, and/or 2. not being wealthy.

    My guess is that most people who have will view your statement as more than a little naive.

    But i could be wrong. Cheers.

  36. I wish there were more episodes, will you do a blog post(s) about accelerated learning or is it something hard to teach? I’ve learned speed reading and delving into some of my own self teaching and accelerated learning but you seem to be a pro at it.

    You ever going to do another tv show or try at this one again? I think it should be an ongoing series, if not, what if someone else took up the mantle?

  37. Hi Tim.

    With the highest respect for you and your book and writings (which I devour), I must admit I don’t see the point of cracking something like yabusame art in few days. I guess it’s because I just read the Eugen Herrigel’s book “Zen in the Art of Archery” (maybe you read it) and the book makes a clearest point: the process of learning takes year, and in the Japanese culture this idea of learning, the relationship pupil/teacher, becoming a master have a completely different meaning than in our own culture. I must admit that I was amazed to see you made it at the end, and I do wish I could do the same one day, and I have no doubt the whole experience (training, first failures,etc) has been exceptional, but as far as I understood from that book I think yabusame is more than hitting 3 targets in a row. And to be honest, I was surprised Japanese maestros would accept to participate in such a challenge.

    All that said, I have never been in Japan, don’t know much about their culture and I am sure you had terrific experience and I wish I had the same.

    That said I’d really love if you could “crack” the art of surfing waves. It’s something I started few years ago, and so far it has been the most frustrating experience in my entire life. I don’t see any improvement, and it seems to me the most difficult sport on earth. It seems that if you dont live on the ocean and can surf every day, also the micro-improvements will take years to come. So I’d really benefit (and I am sure many others as well!) from your insight.

    Anyhow, greatest video!

  38. Impressive as this is, the history channel said no, huh? Let’s see what’s on now… Hmm. “Turning Points of History… Deadly Water: Minamata.”

    It’s a show about mercury poison in the 50’s, in Japan. Hmm. Interesting, but disturbing rather than insightful.

    And I see you commented that there was much more human interaction that would have been worth showing… At least we caught a good shot of your spectators disappointment and pride at the end. You can tell from both states that they were really hoping for your success- The same kind of “With you” you would see with a parent or life long friend.

    With all the overwhelming comradery and respect you find these days, it’s no wonder they wanted you to downplay the actual experience for some long sought after tension… It’s that racy little pin-up poster missing from our culture these days.

  39. I’m in LA, so I’m jaded, but…wow! Extremely engaging, very professional; Jason Bourne-ish, even. What genius passed on this? Will you continue with something similar so we can see more? This could break you to a whole new audience. Of course, the historical tie-in could become limiting, but without History Channel, you don’t have to do that.

    Do the numbers work for a web series? You’ve got a great launch platform already…

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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!


  43. 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.

  44. 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,


  45. 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.

    1. 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

  46. 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”.

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

  48. 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