Moving Like a Ninja

The martial art of To-Shin Do is an up-dating of the ancient art of Japan’s ninja. 1500s Japan had its own distinct culture, legal system, social formation, ways of moving, and codes of morality – all quite different from those of 2020s America. I took the practice forms and guiding principles of historical ninja taijutsu […]

An-shu Defined

People have asked about the meaning of the An-shu title that Rumiko and I use. Though the world knows our school as SKH Quest Center for Martial Arts in Dayton, the original Japanese name for our dojo is Kasumi-An. I have used that name since the 1980s to describe my dojo and the training method […]

Mountain Quest 2016 Study Notes

Here are some notes from what was taught at Mountain Quest 2016 in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. We took 2 days to cover the material in detail. You cannot “get it” from these notes, but if you were there, these notes will help. GYOKKO RYU KOSSHI-JUTSU CHU-RYAKU NO MAKI “Middle Scroll Collection of Essential Principles”  […]

Admonitions from Toda Shinryuken Masamitsu

体術の極意は平和の基礎と知れ (Taijutsu no gokui wa heiwa no kiso to shire) “Know that the secret of Taijutsu is the foundation of peace.   學べば不動心の道にありける (manabeba fudōshin no michi ni arikeru) Learn this, and you can walk the path of the immovable heart.”   戸田真龍軒正光 Toda Shinryūken Masamitsu 32nd Headmaster Togakure Ryu Ninjutsu

To-Shin Do Shihan: Golden Responsibility

Students have asked how to get one of those beautiful metallic gold-striped Shihan black belts worn by Mark Sentoshi Russo, James Kentoshi Norris, and Dennis Fuutoshi Mahoney. I always reply with the same 3-part answer: First, train for decades to develop incredibly refined martial arts skills. Next, perfect the art of looking at a student’s […]

The Beauty of Dissatisfaction?

In my non-stop travels the first half of this year, I was teaching a private lesson to a To-Shin Do green belt student. We were talking about the pace of progress towards brown and then black belt. My friend commented, “It’s frustrating to look at my progress and think how much faster I would be […]

Graduations

Students who attend classes regularly often graduate to their next belt every three months. The graduation ceremony is a celebration of learning, growing, and accomplishment that usually occurs on the last Friday of the month. Friends and family members are encouraged to attend and show their support, and a real sense of community takes over […]