Unlimited training from $25/month

Mark Sentoshi Russo

Mark Sentoshi Russo, An-shu's senior-most master instructor, has been training with An-shu Stephen K. Hayes for over thirty years and runs his own To-Shin Do training school in Florida. His intense presence and masterfully-precise martial arts skills are informed by his years of commitment to seeking the hidden spirit wisdom of the Himalayan meditation and mind sciences. His clear communication and his explosive power will keep you on the edge of your seat, empowered, challenged, and motivated.

Courses by Mark Sentoshi Russo

Strategic Sensitivity & Awareness

Any fight is two opposing energies coming together in conflict. At the highest levels, beyond just doing technique, the one who learns to embrace and control this energy connection will always be the winner.

Building a Life You Love

Building a life you love is a life management course that will guide you through the five fundamental areas that are the foundation of a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.

Beginner Workout 1 – Legs

This conditioning program will not only dramatically improve your marital arts skills but improve your overall health and fitness, helping to prevent common knee and back problems.

Safe Space

Join Senior Master Instructor Mark Sentoshi Russo as he guides students through self-defense fight scenarios exploring the three methods for finding and making safe space.

Functional Fitness – Strengthening the Base

Shihan Mark Sentoshi Russo’s leg workout course includes self-myofascial release, stretching, and a series of functional fitness leg exercises using your own body weight to strengthen the base and improve your To-Shin Do Taijutsu movement.

Understanding the Elements

Join senior ranking Shihan, Mark Sentoshi Russo as he takes you on a guided tour through the five elements of To-Shin Do – Earth, Water, Fire, Wind and the Void.

Sentoshi Sword Series

The Level One Twelve Count Kata is clearly and thoroughly presented in this course. The program takes you step by step through the twelve Fundamental Kenjutsu postures combined with cuts, deflections and counter cuts. An additional bonus is Master Russo’s unarmed interpretation of each clash, providing greater understanding and wider application for a first rate […]

Shoulder Dislocation Workshop

Join Shihan Mark Sentoshi Russo as he guides his students through a seminar workshop on shoulder dislocation techniques. The specific techniques addressed in this course include Musha Dori and Ura Oni Kudaki.

Trapped at Knifepoint

Learn how to turn an attacker into his own worst enemy. Shihan Mark Sentoshi Russo guides you through efficient and effective methods for managing the nightmare scenario of finding yourself trapped at knifepoint.

Punishing the Punch – Long Range

Learn how to apply long-range strategy and technique to defeat an attacker’s punches. You will be guided through the details of timing, angling, distancing, and how to generate powerful counter-strikes.

Ukinagashi Secrets – Mid-Range

Counter striking an attacker’s punching arm is highly effective and unexpected. In this mid-range version of counter-punching the punch course you will study the specific details of protecting yourself while simultaneously delivering a punishing counter attack.

Explosive Stomp Kicks

The stomp kick is an important fundamental technique in the To-Shin Do Ninja martial arts arsenal. As with all things To-Shin Do the stomp kick has many variations and applications. This course will take you through the critical basics and key variations as well as scenario applications.

Functional Fitness Workout – Phase I

Take the first step in a series of functional strength training courses designed to help increase your dynamic power, sense of balance, flexibility, and agility. You’ll build core strength and stability in addition to organizing and strengthening neural pathways that support effective unified movement, which is essential to proper To-Shin Do taijutsu. When done correctly, […]

Breaking Balance

When an attacker has their balance they focus on harming you. When you take their balance they must focus on regaining it, leaving them vulnerable. Learn how to steal balance and take control.

Getting Started with Meditation

Shihan Mark Sentoshi Russo introduces you to the concepts, principles, and techniques of a basic meditation practice. Learn how to gain clarity, focus, and achieve a calmness of mind that will help you reduce stress in your daily life.

Deceptive Takedowns

To-Shin Do Master Instructor Mark Sentoshi Russo clearly teaches you the secrets of the Ninja Leg Trap called ashikake. This incredibly practical and immediately applicable course provides sneaky, unexpected and easy-to-learn principles for this must-have technique in your self-defense skills arsenal.

Bojutsu: Exploring Seigan No Kamae

Learn core fundamentals, exercises, strikes and defenses using the rokushaku bo (6-foot long staff). Master Russo explores the some of the possibilities available from Seigan No Kamae and breaks them down into easy-to-learn lessons.

Roots of Confidence

Master Mark Sentoshi Russo teaches you the ninja secrets to body positioning, attack-stops, strikes, alignment, and kicks that work with your body’s natural movement rather than fancy athletic techniques.

Posts by Mark Sentoshi Russo

Visceral Training

This year’s Festival theme brings to mind high stakes, terrifying, gut wrenching conditions. That’s what real self-defense feels like. The definition of visceral is: “relating to deep inward feelings rather than the intellect.” In other words, forget about analyzing, calculating, and thinking your way through it. The way you have conditioned yourself, the way you […]

I Get to Do This

How often do we find ourselves griping about necessary tasks in our lives that should or must be done? If you are like most people, the answer is – far more often than you would like. Or, worse yet, you continue to procrastinate and avoid getting things done. Of course, some part of your mind […]

The Value of Sword Training

Many new students make the mistake of discounting the value of sword training. The common thinking is that training with a weapon that you are highly unlikely to ever face is probably a waste of time. On the surface this logic makes sense. The advanced, or unusually savvy, student will look beyond the surface to […]

Winning With Words

This year at my annual two day training camp I devoted the first day entirely to developing more effective communication skills. Clearly we will all fight many more verbal battles throughout our lives than physical ones. The key measure of our skills as communicators is our ability to effectively employ our ability to communicate to […]

Art Reflecting Life

I was doing an interview on a local television show. I was asked what was so unique about our marital art. I found myself struggling to indentify and communicate the specifics. As I began outlining the key elements, for example, using gravity rather than fighting against it, understanding unified body movement, perfecting balance breaking skills, […]

Straight Talk

As we continue to move forward with the development of To-Shin Do as the best self-defense martial art available anywhere, I couldn’t agree more with An-shu’s directive that we must focus on what is practical, relevant, and reliably effective. I have long held that when we are practicing defenses against various forms of strikes we […]

Fluid Connectedness

In my many decades as an instructor one of the most difficult essential To-Shin Do concepts to get students to assimilate is the idea of moving with your opponent. For many students this is incredibly difficult to grasp. This is the principal of fluid connectedness. This is the understanding that once the conflict has begun […]

Verbal To-Shin Do

In the ancient Toltec wisdom tradition words are viewed as having magical potential. Words that create negativity, suffering, and pain are considered black magic. Conversely, words that comfort, heal, and facilitate the manifestation of positive realities are white magic. This belief is clearly consistent with the Japanese Mikkyo doctrine of Sanmitsu; the triple secret. The […]

Is It Necessary?

We were winding up a seminar training session. I was taking questions. A long distance student asked a very common question. “What is the most important thing for me to work on at my stage of training?” There are always many things; improvement is continuous. Given that this student was a Black Belt my response […]

Practicing Perseverance

Keep on keeping on. That was the lingo we used to encourage each other to persevere when I was a teenager. That phrase has resurfaced from my memory archives on several occasions during the past few months. The process of building my new five star training hall has been riddled with unforeseen challenges, setbacks, frustration, […]

Yesterday’s Lunch

It was a typical summer day in London, shifting temperatures and periods of light rain. I was just outside the British museum spending time with friend and teacher Lama Rigdzin Dorje deepening my understanding of the esoteric Buddhist practice of Vajrakilaya. This practice is very complex and was introduced to me by my teacher An-shu […]

Why Don’t We Spar?

I have been asked this question a number of times over the years. To this day I remain a bit mystified by how difficult it is for most people to grasp the fundamental and critical difference between sport and athletic performance oriented martial arts and martial arts that focus exclusively on realistic self-defense. As I […]

Troubleshooting Your To-Shin Do

I have had many students ask me to comment on getting the most benefit out of their training time invested. Whether you are in a class at your dojo or training on your own with a few friends in a small group, there are a few things to consistently keep an eye on. You may […]

Learning to Love the Plateau

All of us who have trained for any significant length of time have experienced the feeling of losing momentum or stalling out. We feel that we are just not making any progress and may even come to believe that we have reached the limit of our skill development. If our aspiration is to reach a […]

No Mistakes for the Ninja

It was many years ago now. I was training with the 34th generation Ninja Grandmaster Masaaki Hatsumi and An-shu Stephen K. Hayes. I was in awe. The grandmaster had just demonstrated a brilliant reversal technique, and with a flippant laugh said, “no mistakes for the ninja.” My young, beginner’s mind interpreted that as a promise […]

On Opinions

The following is an excerpt from chapter five of my book Clearing Away the Crap in my Cap. The work is a rhyming book that explores the complexities and challenges of the human condition. The focus is on issues we all struggle with at times and common traps we may fall in to. I hope […]

Got Balance Breaking?

“This stuff is amazing,” he said. “Okay, you got my attention, what stuff,” I replied. “To-shin Do, To-shin Do is amazing,” he said. “I couldn’t agree more,” I said. “What’s the story,” I asked, because I knew there had to be one. Geo is a black belt student of mine. With great enthusiasm he proceeded […]

Solo Training

In the early 1980’s when I began training with An-shu the world was very, very different. No cell phones, no internet, no skype, no training videos. Back then it was: get on an airplane figure out how to get to where the training was happening try to take it all in take notes (lots of […]

Being Mindful of a Teacher’s Value

There is an old joke about a highly skilled engineer who was hired to solve a very challenging problem that folks had been struggling with for quite some time. As the story goes, this engineer showed up, assessed the problem in about 30 seconds, then pressed a quick series of buttons on a computer and […]

There Is No Finish Line

Recently I was refreshing my memory on some material by reviewing a course on video from a number of years ago. As I watched An-shu Hayes and studied the specifics of the lesson, and his movement, something became apparent. I noticed some subtle differences in the way An-shu was moving. I am not sure how […]