Dear Friends of To-Shin Do,
If I may, I would like to take a moment and speak to you about manners.
Many people today believe manners are dying away. There is quite a bit of evidence to back this online and in the news. Just recently I was solicited by a number of people asking things of me; questions about training, questions about health and exercise, and one to set an appointment for a private lesson in which I was told the day and two hour block of time they had available for the private.
All of these requests showed up in my Facebook Messenger. Messenger is an amazing tool that allows us to keep connected to each other. However, just because you can contact someone doesn’t mean you may without their permission.
I have, what I consider, a good friend whom I have never actually met and I’m not even sure what he looks like, and yet we are friends. He contacted me on Facebook Messenger and his initial message was this: “Would it be possible to ask you a question about a course of your’s on NinjaSelfDefense.com?” We now converse on a fairly regular basis whenever one of us discovers a new idea connected to training. How did this happen? He used manners and asked my permission.
To this day, despite being a member of the To-Shin Do Shihan Kai, if I have a need to talk to An-shu Hayes, I send him an email asking if and when he would have time to talk about whatever subject. You may be asking yourself at this point what this has to do with training.
I would like to propose to you that manners were created to keep you from dying. Manners were the first line of defense. Bowing, shaking hands, and showing respect to others are all ways to keep yourself safe by not insulting and angering others. To accomplish this manners require you to pay attention to others. To focus on them instead of you. This is the same focus needed to succeed in training.
So if I may suggest a training exercise for you all, practice manners, pay attention to and be polite to others, it’s a very Ninja thing to do.
Dennis Fuutoshi Mahoney