Failure Is Not An Option - It Is A Requirement

Uncategorized Dec 05, 2017

We are in a time where everyone gets a trophy just for showing up. Where everyone has the ability to spout whatever he or she want about a subject whether they are qualified to or not. Where parents yell at teachers because their child didn’t get an A+ for C- work. Where people want only success handed to them because they are special just like everyone else. They are afraid to fail. But without failure there is no real success.

This is from a couple of books I’m reading about the scientific process:

Modern science involves the idiosyncratic, often bumbling search for understanding in uncharted territories, full of wrong turns, false findings, and the occasional remarkable success. The scientific enterprise is riddled with mistakes and errors - and this is a good thing! The origins of scientific research are a process that relies upon trial and error, one, which inevitably results in a hefty dose of failure. In fact, scientists throughout history have relied on failure...

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December at Shinobi Martial Arts Center in Plaistow New Hampshire

monthly curriculum Nov 26, 2017

Whats Happening at Shinobi Martial Arts in December

Winter Holiday The Dojo will be closed from Friday December 22nd to Tuesday January 2nd for the ThanksgivingWinter Holidays. Everyone have some great wHolidays!

Little Ninja Students are working on all their great injury prevention and evasion drills and they will learn how to escape from a double wrist grab.

Level One Ninjutsu White and Yellow Belts are looking at an Earth Level martial arts defense against  a collar grab from behind called Yubi-kudaki and an Earth Level martial arts defense one handed shirt grab called Ho-soku.

Level Two Ninjutsu  Red and Blue Belts will be working on a Fire Level martial arts interception defense against a 2 handed shirt grab,  a Fire Level martial arts rear take down called Osoto-gake, and a Fire Level martial arts defense from the ground against a kneeling attacker.

Level Three Ninjutsu Green and Brown Belts will be working on a defense against a...

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Teaching not Telling

Uncategorized Nov 06, 2017

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 is not about memorizing the movements of a kata. The kata are learning tools. They teach principles that change the student’s perspective and understanding.

You have to study the material, take it apart and then put all back together again so that you can find the principles inside and then set up exercises for the student to discover those principles. The nice part about our art is that the lion’s share of the work is done for you with our To-Shin Do curriculum. Now the question is, do we understand it?

Recently during a training session with a number of instructors we looked at taijutsu concepts underlying each of the elemental levels. Kamae and ken tai ichi jo (body...

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November at Shinobi Martial Arts Center in Plaistow New Hampshire

monthly curriculum Oct 26, 2017

Whats Happening at Shinobi Martial Arts in November

Thanksgiving Holiday The Dojo will be closed from Thursday November 23rd to Sunday November 26th for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Everyone have a great weekend!

Little Ninja students are working on all their great injury prevention and evasion drills and they will learn how to escape from two handed shove or a choking attack.

Level One Ninjutsu White and Yellow Belts are looking at an Earth Level martial arts defense against  a waist tackle and an Earth Level martial arts defense against double wrist grab.

Level Two Ninjutsu  Red and Blue Belts will be working on a Fire Level martial arts defense against an jabbing punch,  a Fire Level martial arts front hip throw called Ganseki-nage, and a Fire Level martial arts kicking techniques called Shi-ho Keri.

Level Three Ninjutsu Green and Brown Belts will be working on a wind response outside a heavy straight punch, a wind response to a hooking kick attack and an elbow/...

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Emotional Energetic Strategies of Defense

Uncategorized Oct 03, 2017

Some people malign the five elemental models we use in To-Shin Do often because they just don’t understand what they are. Almost thirty years ago I was introduced to them as the Go Dai no Kata in one of An-shu Hayes’ early books. Ever since then I have been listening to people say he made them up. (long sigh…)

The elemental models of earth, water, fire, wind, and void (potential) can be found throughout Asian cultures in many different areas of study including the martial arts. Years ago I visited the National Museum of American Indians where I saw an exhibit called Our Universes that had Native American Tribes' representations of the universe. The majority of them had some version of Earth, Water, Fire, Wind and their name of the great potential. An-shu Hayes did not make them up.

Now that we’ve got past the childish arguments of the misinformed we need to ask then what did he create? The answer for me is a model of our minds under pressure and how to use...

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October at Shinobi Martial Arts Center in Plaistow New Hampshire

monthly curriculum Sep 26, 2017

Whats Happening at Shinobi Martial Arts in September!

Little Ninja students are working on all their great injury prevention and evasion drills and they will learn how to escape from shove to the shoulder.

Level One Ninjutsu White and Yellow Belts are looking at an Earth Level martial arts defense against  a wrist grab and an Earth Level martial arts defense against a one handed shoulder grab from the front.

Level Two Ninjutsu  Red and Blue Belts will be working on a Fire Level martial arts defense against a big wind up punch,  a Fire Level martial arts defense from the ground against a standing attacker, a Fire Level martial arts defense against a front kick attack.

Level Three Ninjutsu Green and Brown Belts will be working on a defense to a waist tackle that ends in a choke, a defense against a choke from behind and a wrist fold technique called Take-ori .

Sneaky Ninja Club is looking at some material from Takage-Oshin-Ryu.

Shinobi Martial Arts
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Your Brain On Kata

Uncategorized Sep 11, 2017

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 not be what was actually demonstrated.

Functional MRIs are providing science with amazing new understanding of how our brains work. The brain has for lack of a better word, filters, that it uses to put things in place in your mind. These filters however can cloud your perception of training.

For instance while you are watching a kata being demonstrated your brain is searching what you know already in order to put the new information it is seeing into context. So your inclination is not to try something new but to use what you already have learned. The first problem with this is that training is about discovering what you don’t know not confirming what you do know.

The next problem is short-term...

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September at Shinobi Martial Arts Center in Plaistow New Hampshire

monthly curriculum Aug 26, 2017

Whats Happening at Shinobi Martial Arts in September!

Labor Day! Shinobi Martial Arts will be closed for Labor Day Weekend from Friday September 1st to Monday September 4th. Have a great weekend!

Little Ninja Students are working on all their great injury prevention and evasion drills and they will learn how to escape from shoulder grab from behind.

Level One Ninjutsu White and Yellow Belts are looking at an Earth Level martial arts defense against a  double arm grab from behind and an Earth Level martial arts defense low kicking attack.

Level Two Ninjutsu  Red and Blue Belts will be working on a Water Level martial arts defense against an incoming kick,  a Water Level martial arts defense against a bear hug, and a Water Level martial arts response to a collar grab and a punch ends in a wrist lock called Omote-gyaku.

Level Three Ninjutsu Green and Brown Belts will be working on a Wind Level martial arts response to a choking attack on the ground, a Wind Level martial...

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Shi-kin Hara-mitsu Dai-ko-myo

Uncategorized Aug 08, 2017

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 this brings to mind is “get what?”

There are more poetic translations:
“Sound and light are released from the interaction of the heart and spirit making it possible to advance with Buddha.” The words that stick out in this translation to me are “making it possible”. They make me think that within there is potential, but again, within what?

I have heard An-shu Hayes translate it as: “Everything I encounter could serve as the perfection of wisdom that leads to enlightenment,” or, “Every experience contains the potential for taking me to the awakening I seek.”...

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August at Shinobi Martial Arts Center in Plaistow New Hampshire

Uncategorized Jul 26, 2017

Whats Happening at Shinobi Martial Arts in August!

Canadian Ninja Camp August 18th-20th. Shinobi MArtial Arts will be closed Friday August 18th to Sunday August 20th for Canadian Ninja Camp. We will be up in Quebec training and teaching!

Little Ninja Students are working on all their great injury prevention and evasion drills and they will learn how to escape from a hair grab.

Level One Ninjutsu White and Yellow Belts are looking at an Earth Level martial arts defense against  a straight punch and an Earth Level martial arts defense against an arm grab from the side.

Level Two Ninjutsu  Red and Blue Belts will be working on a Water Level martial arts inward rolling defense against an incoming punch,  a Water Level martial arts defense against a one handed shirt grab and turning it into a thumb down wrist lock called Hon Gyaku, and a Water Level martial arts defense against incoming grab pressure.

Level Three Ninjutsu Green and Brown Belts will be working on a...

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