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Dennis Fuutoshi Mahoney

Dennis Fuutoshi Mahoney has taught ninja martial arts for over twenty-five years, and runs his own To-Shin Do training school in New Hampshire. His power and stature can be intimidating at first glance, but his warm-hearted easy-going teaching style always makes students feel good about learning. He has a unique gift for creating models that make complex concepts easy to understand. He teaches from a unique ability to see line and shape relationships within techniques, and channels his sense of humor to bring logical and clearly focused answers to complex martial arts problems.

Courses by Dennis Fuutoshi Mahoney

Do Nothing 2

Do Nothing 2 continues with the ideas from Do Nothing To Win and shows how the basic movements of a jab and cross punch can be used to power everthing else we have so that you can still do nothing.

Santo Tonko Today

From Ninja Festival 2018 this Master Level Course takes a modern look, based on Ucan LIVE Safe, at the principles found in Santo Tonko no Kata from Togakure Ryu.

Letting Them Down Easy – Ninja Ground Fighting

In this Master Level Seminar we look at the beginnings of Ninja Ground Fighting, a very different perspective then what is currently considered ground fighting. This course looks at ways of taking your opponent to the ground under control so that there is no opening for them to fight back from the ground.

Sword Grip Seminar

Historical weapons, like those today, had specific grips depending on their functional use. A naginata handle is different from that of yari for a reason. In this Sword Grip Seminar you will look at one type of sword grip and how your taijutsu improves immediately just by using it.

Shizen No Kamae

All Kamae are Shizen No Kamae with an attitude. In this seminar you look at how the natural body position of Shizen No Kamae powers all kamae and movement. You learn how it controls all of your weapons, creates cover and even tells you when to strike naturally.

Matrix Of Martial Arts Revolutions

Matrix Of Martial Arts Revolutions is the last course in the Matrix of Martial Arts Series. Here there is no spoon and there is no separation between attacker and defender. There is only the moments of the conflict which start before the fight and don’t end until control is restored. Welcome to the Revolution.

Set Side Foot Seminar

Set Side Foot is a concept that allows you to maintain kamae throughout all your movement whether striking, throwing or applying locks. Kamae is not a position to start from and then do techniques, it must be maintained the entire time while doing taijutsu. This course shows you how to set yourself to be in […]

Cover Creates Control

Our martial art is not a sport. It grew from a need to protect yourself in a life or death situation not from realitively safe competitions. Yet many people train without considering this. They defend and attack to satisfy their ego instead of to protect their life. Cover Creates Control is about how to first […]

Nose Tag

Nose Tag was Dennis Mahoney’s session at Festival 37. It was a fun and often funny series of exercises to teach you how to maintain your focus during a fight.

NLST Applied Striking

Welcome to NLST Applied Striking. NLST stands for Ninja Lab Solo Training a series of courses being created for those of you with no training partners. These courses will look at ways of practicing fighting concepts despite the lack of an uke. This course looks at applying strikes.

Matrix Of Martial Arts Revelations

Part Two of the Matrix of Martial Arts Course Series: Welcome to the Matrix of Martial Arts Revelations a Master level seminar. In the original Matrix of Martial Arts course you learned a martial intelligence formula for Ninja Taijutsu: the physical process of trying to take control with kamae in order to achieve our goals […]

Matrix Of Martial Arts Relativity

Part Four of the Matrix of Martial Arts Course Series: Welcome to the Matrix of Martial Arts Relativity a Master level seminar. In the original Matrix of Martial Arts course you learned a martial intelligence formula for Ninja Taijutsu: the physical process of trying to take control with kamae in order to achieve our goals […]

SciTaiTech Teaching Taijutsu

Welcome to SciTaiTech Teaching Taijutsu. SciTaiTech stands for science and taijutsu technology. In these courses we will apply the science and taijutsu principles from the Matrix of Martial Arts course series to different skill sets. This course will look at teaching taijutu.

SciTaiTech Bojutsu

Welcome to SciTaiTech Bojutsu. SciTaiTech stands for science and taijutsu technology. In these courses we will apply the science and taijutsu principles from the Matrix of Martial Arts course series to different skill sets. This course will look at bojutsu principles and bofuri.

Matrix Of Martial Arts Reloaded

Part Three of the Matrix of Martial Arts Course Series: Welcome to the Matrix of Martial Arts Reloaded. In the original Matrix of Martial Arts course you learned a martial intelligence formula for Ninja Taijutsu: the physical process of trying to take control with kamae in order to achieve our goals while maximizing options and […]

SciTaiTech Aruki

Welcome to SciTaiTech Aruki. SciTaiTech stands for science and taijutsu technology. In these courses we will apply the science and taijutsu principles from the Matrix of Martial Arts course to different skill sets. This course will look at Ninja methods of walking and movement.

NLX Wind Defense vs Straight Punch

Welcome to NLX Wind Defense vs Straight Punch. NLX stands for Ninja Lab eXplores where we use the process from the course, Ninja Lab, to look at individual kata from our curriculum and unlock the hidden principles within them. In this course we look at a green belt kata, wind defense vs a straight punch.

SciTaiTech Striking

Welcome to SciTaiTech Striking. SciTaiTech stands for science and taijutsu technology. In these courses we will apply the science and taijutsu principles from the Matrix of Martial Arts course to different skill sets. This course will look at striking.

Do Nothing To Win

Do Nothing To Win uses Inashi Gata, a training drill from the historical tradition of Koto Ryu Koppojutsu, to show how proper alignment of your weapons in kamae is more effective than muscular force. And if there is some music playing makes for a great line dance…

Harnessing Hidden Power

Shihan Dennis Fuutoshi Mahoney presents how to use your kamae and alignment to create hidden power. This course was filmed at An-shu’s 35th Annual Ninja Festival in Dayton, Ohio.

Matrix Of Martial Arts

Part One of the Matrix of Martial Arts Course Series: A simple 3-step process repeated over and over like a fractal formula that allows you to learn Ninja Taijutsu in order to be able to create an appropriate response for any situation. Within the Matrix of Martial Arts Course these steps are broken down into […]

Effortless Movement Seminar

Learn the mechanics of using your body in gravity to create Effortless Movement in everything you do. This seminar by Dennis Fuutoshi Mahoney looks at using bone structure and gravity to create proper taijutsu movement. This movement is then applied to striking, grappling and a special section on creating hidden power.

Elemental Taijutsu Seminar

The five elements, earth, water, fire, wind, and void are generally used in To-Shin Do as emotional energetic strategies of defense. This course is about the underlying taijutsu classified by each element that makes using the five elemental fighting strategies possible.

Ninja Lab

Locked inside kata and techniques are the secrets of the martial arts. You can not just memorize kata if you want to be a martial artist, you have to experience them. Ninja Lab shows you how to use martial science to unlock the hidden concepts within and discover the martial arts.

Body Position For Fundamental Movement And Striking

The Ninja concept of body position, what we call Kamae, and the use of gravity create a smooth powerful way of moving and striking that is difficult to perceive but highly effective. When used together the Ninja achieves Ken Tai Ichi Jo, body and weapon become one.

Effortless Throws

The Ninja can accomplish their goals without the need to use physical force. In this session from Ninja Festival, Dennis Fuutoshi Mahoney shows you how to use gravity to off balance and throw your opponent effortlessly.

Safe and Realistic Training

Double your martial understanding in half the time. Learn to be a good uke (attacker). The role of the attacker is one of the most misunderstood aspects of martial arts training. This course teaches you how to be a realistic attacker and accelerate your learning with every punch you throw.

Posts by Dennis Fuutoshi Mahoney

Everybody On The Mat

A question was raised at Festival that required a woman’s touch. So this month I’m going to step aside and let you read a very important post from my friends. -Fuutoshi Everybody On The Mat: Inclusivity Through The Lens of Kunoichi Women Warriors By Theresa Murphy and Amy Tiemann We highly value the benefits of […]


The ability to stay focussed in a violent situation on the presesent moment is often the determining factor in surviving. The development of this focus is the main point of all of our training. The problem is that we have three attention/focus systems in us that are constantly vying for control of our focus. The […]

An-shu Rumiko

At the beginning of this month we had the honor of hosting An-shu Rumiko Hayes for her first ever, solo seminar. Sixty people from around the country and Canada traveled to New Hampshire to take part in this historic event. None left disappointed, the seminar was amazing. An-shu Rumiko covered many topics and ideas on […]

Are You Breathing?

When you are training, are you breathing? Seems like a silly question, you may think of course I am, but are you? If you tense up doing a kata or technique If you lose your focus during training If you start thinking about what you should do If you feel yourself rushing ahead to the […]

Clear Goals

With the new year many people are making resolutions and setting goals for 2018. This thought reminded me of a conversation I overheard at festival this year right before the fire ceremony. Someone was asked if they were going to put a stick in the fire and their response was no because they had done […]

Are You Really Training?

This recent Ninja Festival was simply amazing. Mr. and Mrs. Hayes took the training to a new level as promised. If you were there you had the opportunity to make significant progress in your training. Provided you were really training. As I watched people at Festival this year I got to see an extreme spectrum […]

Ready, Willing and Listening?

I recently asked in our To-Shin Do Facebook group, what training question are you trying to get answered at this year’s Ninja Festival. This question is something An-shu Hayes is constantly reminding us to have so that we take responsibility for our training and keep progressing. But a conversation I had with some students made […]

Anniversary, Reward Or Obligation

Festival is coming soon and with it the ability to test for upper ranks. I always find it interesting to see the different attitudes about belt ranking and promotions. There are as many perspectives as there are people but I’ve noticed three, categories if you will, of how people see their rank. The first, and […]

Martial Arts Magic

I read a book recently called Spellbound by David Kwong, a magician and New York Times crossword puzzle constructor. In it he describes illusion as an ancient art that centers on control: it is the ability to command a room (situation), build anticipation, and appear to work wonders. Illusion works because the human brain is […]

Train Your Mind To Train

Advances in neuroscience are making it possible to understand how our minds function. I like to use these modern science discoveries to put into perspective our ancient wisdom. The interesting part of studying these discoveries, to me, is that they continue to confirm concepts from our art, like Taizokai and Kongkai perspectives. When you train with […]

Front and Center

An important concept in our art is the ability to take the attacker’s center from them to control the situation. At our recent seminar with An-shu Stephen and Rumiko Hayes, An-shu Rumiko was demonstrating an angling defense against a punch and then moving in taking the attacker’s center. She did a number of variations taking the […]

Get Good First

I saw an advertisement online offering comedy lessons with Steve Martin. In the opening of the promotional video he says he was talking to students and they were asking him things like how do I get an agent, where can I get my headshots and he thought to himself, shouldn’t the first thing to be […]

A Different Perspective

Many people try to learn kata or techniques by memorizing them. Then they combine that with body strength and speed and believe they have what they need. Unfortunately stength and speed are fleeting and memorized kata are not the art. The art is hidden in perception. The kata are learning tools that transmit the understanding […]

Another Layer

I had friends come down from Quebec Canada for some private training. They are very devoted practitioners, who every few months, drive over seven hours to train for almost eight hours then turn around and drive back. Each time they come we explore what they know to find what they don’t know. These are never […]

Going Through The Motions

Last week we spent alot of time at our dojo working on being a good attacker and throwing real punches at our training partners. Although this doesn’t sound like it would be difficult, from beginning student to highest ranked practitioner, all had a difficult time with this. From my perspective they were all just going […]

Humble Path to Excellence

It’s always interesting to watch people at festival, new and experienced, while watching a lesson on stage have that moment of what just happened up there. They see something done by An-shu Stephen or An-shu Rumiko and stare in amazement. You hear them ask how did they do that and say it looks like magic. […]

The Illusion of You

If I were to ask you how much do you think your life will change in the next 10 years, would it be a lot or a little? Most people think that they will change very little. However if I were to ask you how much has your life changed in the past 10 years […]

Thank You

This weekend as you have already read there was a special training seminar at the home of An-shu Stephen and Rumiko Hayes. It was an amazing event and I wanted to thank everyone who assisted in making it all possible. First and foremost An-shu Stephen and Ruiko Hayes for opening their home, hearts, and heads […]

What You Think You See

Go to a mirror and stand close so you can see your eyes. Now move your eyes so you are looking at your left eye then back to your right eye and continue to repeat being aware that you are physically moving your eyes. You will feel your eyes moving but what will you see? […]

Beyond The Belt

Why are you training? Think about that for awhile and we’ll get back to it. If you are involved in martial arts teaching sooner or later you have the conversation about why so many people quit training after they get their black belt. The answer I think depends on what you believe a black belt […]

How To Be A Good Training Partner

This is one of the most important areas of our training and one of the things that sets our training apart from other martial arts. While training in To-Shin Do you are not working on memorizing a series of movements that can be done by yourself. You are learning to understand the cause and effect […]

Edge of Training

There’s a Tom Cruise movie that came out in 2014 called Edge of Tomorrow. IMDb describes it as: A military officer is brought into an alien war against an extraterrestrial enemy who can reset the day and know the future. When this officer is enabled with the same power, he teams up with a Special […]


One of the difficulties that English speaking people have when they try to learn the Japanese language is that it is a situational language. How you speak in Japanese depends on the context of the situation. You can’t just translate word for word back and forth from English to Japanese. For example to simply say […]

Teaching not Telling

In January of 1992 I started a training group at the request of my teacher Mark Davis. He told me that teaching this art is about creating an experience for the student so that they discover the principle you are trying to teach them on their own. Take a moment to understand that statement. Teaching […]

Your Brain On Kata

Have you ever watched a technique or kata demonstrated and when the teacher says to go try it you stand there and have no idea where to begin? Or you try it and the results are nowhere near what was demonstrated. The problem may be that your brain is tricking you. What you see may […]

Shi-kin Hara-mitsu Dai-ko-myo

What does Shi-kin Hara-mitsu Dai-ko-myo mean? I’d like to share some of my research and thoughts about what this phrase means to me. Conventional wisdom around the Takamatsu-den based organizations loosely translates this as “In every moment is the potential for the enlightenment we seek” or “keep going and you can get it.” The question […]

Perception Part Three

The Ever Changing Moment Have you ever noticed while you are training that sometimes your mind is on what you are doing, your kamae, your movement or which hand you are supposed to be using and at these times you lose track of the attacker and get caught off guard. Then there are other times […]

Perception Part Two

Goals As it says on the back of the book, “DON’T PANIC”. I’m not talking about the things motivational people say like “Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement”. When I talk about goals I mean your perception of purpose in our training, from a very broad sense in the meaning of ‘Bu’ […]

Perception Part One

Feeling Gravity The Ninja are famous for looking at situations from a different perspective then their contemporary warrior counterparts. Where the conventional warrior may boldly charge in, the Ninja uses subterfuge and observation to accomplish their goal. This different perspective or the ability to perceive more is to me the goal of our training. This […]

Who Are You Teaching For?

I happened on to a martial arts gathering in our area recently, one of the ones where they bring together different martial arts to share with each other. So I went in to watch for a while. There were some martial arts students speaking about an instructor on stage. The comments ranged from how amazing […]

Why Classical Weapons?

One of our newer students asked if our focus is self-defense why we still train with classical weapons like the katana. They felt it was very unlikely that they would run into anyone with a Japanese sword. I can understand a new person’s perspective believing they may not see these particular weapons in a fight […]

Whose Thoughts Are You Thinking?

One of the side effects of teaching our ninja martial art is that you get into the habit of observing people, how they move and what they say, not just while training but in every day situations too. I was listening to a number of people talking about politics. One person in particular kept making […]

Science of Striking

We had a question about striking in class recently from a newer student who had trained in boxing and karate. We were doing some pad work with jabs and cross punches. He made note of how different it was from what he had done before. It seemed to him that the difference between the styles […]

Resolutions Or Plans?

For many years just like most people I would make resolutions for the new year. Things like try to eat better, lose weight or get more sleep. All of which are excellent ideas but they usually fell by the wayside as the year progressed. In recent years I have given up resolutions and instead made […]

Self Doubt

I once saw a cartoon in a magazine that depicted a scene of hell. In it the devil was showing one hell’s new occupants a room with all of the devil’s greatest weapons. All around the room were terrible weapons of torture and destruction. The caption under the cartoon was a quote from the devil […]

Quotes About Nothing

At the To-Shin Do Ninja Festival this year I taught a session on Saturday morning. For me, the session was very fun and humbling because of how much effort everyone put in to learning the ideas. We looked at arm positions which allow you to move and strike with great power while expending very little […]

Manners and The Martial Arts

To say that manners are a lost art in our society today would be an understatement. Rudeness runs rampant but do we still need manners? Most martial arts still practice some form of manners but the reasons for it may surprise you. Manners were a form of self-defense. In feudal Japan there was no law […]

Lose to Win

When practicing kata or techniques very often students rush “to do” the technique without understanding why the kata or technique exists. Kata in our system are reenactments of battles or are they are drills created to pass on principles of survival. They provide answers to situations that teach lessons to us. They are not things […]

Do You Have A Question?

Mr. Hayes often reminds us at training seminars that we should have a personal training question we are trying to answer. I have found many people have a difficult time with this idea. They ask things like, “Can you show me this kamae?” or “I want to learn about this historical ryu.” or “How do […]