I am grateful that I get to go to my dojo and find a few hundred good decent people training hard to develop increasingly sophisticated levels of skill at handling dangerous confrontations (on the inside as well as the outside). I get to be surrounded by people elevated enough to understand that truly strong protectors say and do and think things that make the world a safer and saner and healthier place.
Sometimes I look at training halls that differ radically from mine in purpose and culture, and I see violent ugly confrontation being promoted and celebrated as their claim to fame. I observe stupid and boorish young men yapping and taunting anyone from the outside, being twisted further into an abyss of endless cruelty and ignorance. Those young men know no better than to relish the experience of bullying and being bullied as an addictive substitute for authentic manliness.
How fortunate I am to have a dojo full of friends who see as noble purpose the lifting up of others through an insistence on honest understanding of how violence works, uncompromising personal demands for ever advancing skill in dealing with violence of all types, and possessing bright hearts that celebrate similar advances among their training partners. I get to be surrounded by brightness, by hope, by diligent sweaty progress towards an almost impossible to reach ideal.
How fortunate I am to be able to call such days “going to work”. That’s one thing I am grateful for.]]>
Shihan service and responsibilities include overseeing To-Shin Do belt and diploma testing and promotion, developing ever-expanding training program curriculums for world-wide dojos and our internet “dojo without boundaries”, and actively advising and guiding To-Shin Do Licensed Affiliate Instructors.
Shihan is not likely a role many people will choose to pursue. As An-shu I demand a lot from my Shihan team. I expect the highest possible personal martial skill. I expect an ability to teach powerfully motivating and inspiring classes and workshops. And I require full undiluted proven-through-experience faith in our To-Shin Do as the most significant and needed martial art for personal defense and self-development in the world.
Shihan will be joining my seminar teaching activity, picking up more seminars around the world to help me build To-Shin Do and empower millions of people. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are serious and have a group that would like some up-close, personal instruction. Depending on the size of the group and the dates requested, one of us will be happy to visit.
James Kentoshi Norris, long-time “right hand man” at my Dayton Quest Center has now moved out into the bigger world as Shihan. He is available to travel and get new training groups established and supported. Contact the Hombu headquarters dojo if you would like to invite Kentoshi Norris for dojo-building help.
More and more teaching videos are being made available through our online training library at NinjaSelfDefense.com . We will soon have a generous offer for those who take this art so seriously that they would jump at a “lifetime membership” opportunity.
“To change is to grow, and to have changed much is to have grown much.” I like that sentiment. Cruising into 2014, my fervent commitment is to take our unparalleled To-Shin Do ninja tradition martial arts further into more people’s lives. I totally believe in what we are building. I totally believe that what we offer is one important answer to many of the problems that we as a world society are facing. Looking at the many heartbreaking modern problems that challenge so many people around the world right now, my Shihan and I stand for the ideals of the noble warriors of the past. We are willing to share all the secrets for how to build an authentic life through the path of assisting others to find courage and intelligence in the face of conflict and confrontation.]]>
Make a point of sharing with everyone who enrolls alongside you in your martial arts training hall your stories of how practice has shaped and sharpened your life. Encourage all newcomers to look beyond the minutes of each class to the months and years needed to cultivate the deepest benefits of your shared martial art practice.
As a seeker in a good and worthwhile martial arts dojo, you get to learn that:
I could empathize. Except for my early days of karate training in the 1960s, I have always spent more time training on my own than under the watchful eye of my teacher. Even when living in Japan, I spent more nights practicing and drilling and exploring with my fellow students than I did taking lessons from the head teacher. I reminded my green belt friend of that reality.
To grow as a martial artist, we need to explore and digest and come to an understanding. Then we need to come to internalize any technique as our own. To do all that we need space and time away from the pressure of more new material. One friend calls that “putting in the dirt time”. It might feel like running across a plateau more often than climbing towards a peak.
We need time on those plateaus to build our bank of experiences in order to be truly ready for the next cliff-climb of new concepts and movements to take us higher in our skill. I know that’s the truth, but my green belt friend still felt such sentiments were easier accepted by one like me who had already earned all the belts.
I replied that each of us must make the best of whatever our situation is in a life of training. “Keep pushing your boundaries and do your best every day of training,” I offered. “You have all the DVDs for your rank, plus some. You are re-reading all the books. You are a committed subscriber to our online ninja training courses. You do regular Skype lessons with the teachers in my personal dojo. Every time I am in your town you book a private lesson with me. You are way ahead of where I was back in the 1970s, though I can sense you do not believe it. You are doing your absolute best to advance, and should be proud of your determination to succeed.” Yes but… I knew my friend was still feeling itchy.
Secretly, I love it when people doing a great job are restlessly dissatisfied with their progress. That is so much better than one who tiptoes in and nibbles at the training but expects to be honored with belts and praises of his or her expertise. “I could be doing more!” sounds so much more noble than, “You should be giving me more.” Don’t you think so too?]]>
Start your journey today! Check us out at 6236 Far Hills Avenue in Dayton, Ohio or call us at 937-436-9990.]]>
Iron phurba – black (or green) north karma wind power destroys obstructor enemies for more security. Maybe you find your life invaded by people or groups or situations or conditions that seem to target you specifically and hold you back from what is rightfully yours. You are blocked or impeded by rivals, competitors, jailers, saboteurs, or outright enemies, some identifiable force to conquer and blow away in order for your life to be free to blossom. If your magic iron dagger could eliminate an obstructor, what inner or outer enemy would you banish? If your magic phurba could fly out like an arrow into another’s life, what threat would you eliminate?
This is powerfully significant inner warrior training, rarely found these days where brash outer shell power is celebrated in televised contests for enormous cash prizes. But what if your life is not a contest? What if you have to defeat monsters instead of “opponents”? Please do whatever you can to be part of this important learning event with me at Mark and Helen Russo’s Tampa Quest Center January 18-20, 2013. Special extra private event Saturday night for those who have attended the 3 previous phurba seminars.
Missed the show? Interested in seeing yourself or a fellow student under pressure, check out the full graduation on livestream at the link below.
If you missed this exciting event of promotions, demonstrations, and freestyle knife defenses, check out the link below.
Watch your family and friends on livestream at the link below. Due to technical complications, there is not sound on this video clip.