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Secret Winning Power Within

I was talking with a student recently who expressed some pretty conventional negative thoughts about how her life had gone from childhood. Somewhat unhappy relationship with parents. Managed to graduate high school. OK but not super marriage. Picked up a little weight that will not come off easily. It was a sad but normal take […]

Who is Your Teacher?

Best advice ever given to me as a martial artist? “Know yourself and exactly why you are training in the martial arts, and then carefully select the best role model teacher who directly addresses your motivating passion.” For me, that meant looking all across America for a teacher who inspired me with his skill, ability […]

The Worst Advice I Ever Got

Worst advice I ever got? “Shut up and train. Don’t bother me with silly questions about people or techniques. Just do what I say. Practice the martial arts in their unchanging classical form and you can easily adapt them to modern 21st century self protection; it will be simple.” Wrong on all points. I studied […]

The Harsh Reality Of Self-Defense Training

Self-defense is a big topic. In fact, if you’re honest about wanting to practice self-defense, the training encompasses most every aspect of your life. That’s the hard part. Maybe you read the title and were already thinking of brutal knife attacks, group fight dynamics or what happens to the brain under stress. We practice all […]

Same Conclusion, Different Endeavor

I read this recently, from an interview with Olympic fencer Daryl Homer by Clay Skipper, July 13, 2021, and it absolutely paralleled what we do in advanced To-Shin Do combat. He puts it precisely on the nose! “…with our sport, we really have to understand the opponent’s psychology. Like, you might be a really strong […]

Kyo-Jitsu Ten-Kan Ho

It is said that the ninja uses the juxtaposition of falsehood and truth (kyo-jitsu ten-kan ho) as one of his options for winning. Ostensibly this is translated as presenting truth as falsehood and falsehood as truth. This seems obvious as a ninjutsu tactic. If you are strong, appear weak to trick an adversary into underestimating […]

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!

The Most Important Thing to Have in a Fight

Imagine the ear-splitting snap of automatic fire cracking overhead. Incoming rounds skip off the small dirt mound you’re blessed to have nearby as cover—a piece of micro terrain just big enough to lay down behind, but not wide enough to maneuver side to side. Every time you try to peek up and over the mound, […]

Balancing Perseverance with Walking Away

Growing up we’ve probably all heard the words of wisdom, “A quitter never wins, and winners never quit.” “Never give up.” “A winner is just a loser who tried one more time.” And of course, the contradictory wisdom, “You have to know when to cut your losses.” “Don’t throw good money and time after bad.” […]

Force of the Killer

I used to teach this a long time ago. But then I sensed that people could not really understand or grasp it. Anyway, here it is again, the three variations to applying sak-ki “force of the killer” as taught to me in the ninja dojo back in the 1970s: Sak-ki – Experiencing and projecting a […]

Codes in Martial Arts Training?

A friend wrote critically of codes and creeds in martial arts schools. He feels people just want fitness and self-defense and do not sign up for what he calls “Boy Scouts or Sunday School”. He has a valid point. But what of people who want more than fitness and fighting from their martial arts study? […]

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 […]