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Things Come to Pass

42 years ago I stood at this Togakure Mountain shrine. I was just beginning my work of promoting the ninja martial art, making my teacher an international martial arts celebrity, and testing myself out in the rough competitive world of martial arts systems. I was full of enthusiasm, confidence, and determination. Over the decades, I […]

Building Brand Identity

Some students have expressed concern over the relative lack of recognition of the identity of To-Shin Do. After being around for almost 30 years, people still have a hard time recognizing our martial art by name. But can you blame them? Next time you are suited up to train, look down at your left chest […]

To-Shin Take Charge of Your Thoughts

We all have bad days. Here’s another truth. Our To-Shin Do training teaches us that no one is in charge of your mood but you. No one can hurt your feelings. No one can make you mad. I know. This conflicts with the currently popular view where everyone believes they are a victim. But an […]

Proving the Effectiveness of Our Art

Back in the 1980s, I had very few actual students studying the ninja martial arts with me. Instead of running a dojo, I ran seminars around the world. Into the 1990s, I had 13 actual challenges come up at these seminars. Guys figured that if I was on the cover of Black Belt Magazine, and […]

Street-Smart Gyaku Nage

Gyaku nage is an elbow leverage throw or takedown. Historically this technique relies on a straight arm for leverage and successful application. However, in a real struggle it is very unlikely that an attacker will give you a straight arm to work with. This is why the technique is rarely used. In

Ground Flow Workshop

In this new Ground Flow Workshop, Hardee Hakutoshi Merritt shares hard-earned personal insights into the secrets contained in this kata and the context behind each step. Adding this drill to your practice can go a long way toward helping you prioritize movements and understanding your options on the ground. With competency in this realm, you […]

November’s To-Shin Do Curriculum

This month To-Shin Do explores several key principles and techniques. For our Level 1 students, you’ll explore how to exploit the gift of your attacker’s momentum and how to skillfully applied proper alignment overpowers bigger bodies. Level 2 is in Fire mode this month, exploring vectors, intercepting, angles, using gravity to accelerate in unexpected ways […]

Kata Maki and Ude Garami Applications

“Kata Maki”, “single wrap” or “shoulder wrap”, is a training exercise from the Koto Ryu family style of kop-pojutsu. In the execution of this technique, you can attack the opponent’s shoulder by wrapping up or entangling one of their arms to injure, takedown, or incapacitate them. “Ude Garami” can be defined as “entangled arm” and […]

Nine-Kamae Long Bo Sequence

We’re thrilled to announce this brand new course by Mark Sentoshi Russo. Nine-Kamae Long Bo Sequence will get you well on your way to proficiency with the rokushaku bo (6 foot staff). You will learn the nine fundamental postures along with basic and advanced striking skills. By completing this course you will not only develop […]

The Many Facets of Ninja Taijutsu

Last year at Festival 41, we emphasized training in a very advanced ninja style combat called Santo Tonko no Kata, or “Method of the escaping rat”. This was a unique form of combat especially suitable for intelligence gatherers. If a spy had his cover blown and had to make an escape, he might have been […]

Guest Contributor: Bryan Toutoshi Griffin

Hello Ninja Friends! This month we are delighted to share a wonderful piece by our friend Bryan Toutoshi Griffin, owner of Quest Martial Arts Raleigh. Originally posted on his web site at questraleigh.com, we felt that Bryan’s experiences gave him a fascinating point of view. Thank you for sharing Bryan!

External Focus

One of our training members asked a question recently while we were experimenting with the body movement for slipping past straight punches coming toward our head. His question was about the sequence of body movements and which body part moved first. The question was a very logical question based on the steps of the experiment […]