Depending on what you personally desire to achieve in your Budo study you must focus your deliberate practice accordingly to reach a level of effectiveness. 

Soke said recently that concentration or focus in Budo is different than that of sports and this is an interesting point.  Meaning that the mindset of Budo is beyond that of simple sport, or better yet competition.  The purpose is universally different in the fact that one is focused on winning and the other on survival.  Sports employ rules, and the Ninja mindset is designed to break them or flourish in an environment of uncommon-common sense.

However, focusing on this idea of focus or concentration in the aspect of training, I feel that it is fair to say that you need a heightened level of concentration in your training to assure that you are achieving the desired results.  Basics are extremely important, but even if you are training only the basics there must be a purpose or point of concentration and you must be confident that your training is designed to achieve desired results, whatever they might be.  The warrior path is a lonely and personal path and what you seek to achieve through your study of Budo may not be the same as your training partner.

The shingitai basics of martial arts are distance angles and timing.  In order for this to be affective this must be trained in a dynamic environment to produce real results; otherwise you are simply becoming acclimated to what occurs too often in the dojo-varying levels of reality.  Too often the training partner can be too passive and destroy any reality to the training.  (That is if you intend to keep it real.)  Not saying that your partner should punch you in the face when he or she sees an opening but should be honest enough to communicate effectiveness.

In this case it also helps immensely to often change your training partners to understand what works and what does not work on specific body styles from a physical perspective.   Also you need to have an agreement with your training partner that you maintain a high level of reality in the training session, almost training in a randori fashion.  Asking your partner to actually seek and attack openings that may be found in your distance angles and timing will highly improve your movement keeping you honest and safe as possible.

You also must be willing to train outside of your normal comfort zone, trying new things and exposing yourself to new challenges.  Too often we end up locked into a go through the motions trance in our training and lose the reality.  The truth is that most likely the physical confrontation we will experience will not stem from a Bujinkan practitioner. Therefore, the standard training punch we are all so used to will not be there.  I also might be fair to say that we are all too accustomed to controlling the space of a Bujinkan practitioner which the physical movement and attack style is extremely familiar.  I’m not saying that you must cross train with other fighting styles to avoid this; I’m saying that simple awareness and concentration maintaining awareness of this and similar aspects will support in avoiding allowing your mind to become accustomed.  Simply saying to the training partner that if you feel there is an opening or that the movement is dangerous or not effective, please be honest.  It does not require being slammed to the floor, but simply communicating and being honest in your focused and deliberate practice.

Bufu Ikkan