Kanreki 2009 New Year Greetings

2009 is the Asian zodiac year of the earth ox, my sixty first calendar year, and my sixtieth birthday this year on 9/9/9, and thereby my celebration of Kanreki. 60 years. Made it! Traditionally in Japan according to an online astrologer from Mercurynews, when a person reaches their sixty-first year, they have lived through the […]

Questions and Answers for An-shu

Two young men in Texas – Patrick Tow and Rayford Outland – decided to do a History Fair high school project about ninjutsu training and my work. They did a good job gathering information from my books, DVDs, and the internet. Their teacher asked for more detail and urged them to write to me personally with some more questions. […]

Ho Ho Hotei

Years ago my daughters were somewhat confused by school friends carefully questioning how my daughters could feel motivated to “pray to that laughing fat guy.” My young daughters were perplexed by their friends’ question for two reasons. One, the Buddha was a teacher, not a deity, so those who follow the Buddhist path to enlightened […]

Failure is an Option

Rumiko and I have chuckled over recent advertising received for services as widely varied as financial planning to computer systems and internet web building. Must be just one guy out there doing all the advertising writing, because several different pitches all came with the same heavy super serious line – When Failure is Not an […]

Poison Teachers Can Poison Spirits

A casual student of mine asked permission to study with another instructor for a short time. He was not leaving our school, but had heard that instructor claim to be a specialist in a certain technique, and he wanted to explore that man’s specialized knowledge. Of course I gave him permission. To forbid him exposure […]

Ninja Gaiden II Video

My friend DY Sao, extraordinary martial arts actor, put up on YouTube four minutes of the taping we did together for the Ninja Gaiden II video game documentary. DY and An-shu Rumiko and I spent two days taping for the documentary in New York City in spring 2008. We first did a day of interviews […]

We Cannot Go Back

Very few of my students or students of my students will have any idea what this building represents. The few who do recognize it will likely be heartbroken to see it in this condition, a rundown water department depot in a small Ohio village. In the 1980s, ninjutsu (and eventually To-Shin Do as 21st Century ninjutsu) […]

Consider a Code of Ethics

A friend who owns and operates one of our SKH Quest Center Martial Arts affiliate schools suggested that we might prune some of the words out of our 14 Point Code of Mindful Action warrior protector ethics to make it easier and quicker for young students to remember and recite. Might help adults, too. To-Shin Do […]

Long-Time Battler Now at Rest

I just heard the sad news that my friend Thubten Jigme Norbu left this life a few hours ago. He was born in 1922 in the village of Taktser in Amdo eastern Tibet. His younger brother, born in 1935, was enthroned as the 14th Dalai Lama and is now the Nobel Peace Prize laureate recognized around […]

Martial Arts Vision?

On his blog, my Boston Martial Arts Black Belt friend Chris Penn posed to me the question of how one develops vision. How do we become visionary? I call Chris a visionary. He looks at information technology that to most of us is arcane abstract futuristic speculation and then he shows me exactly what I as […]