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Thread: Stephen K. Hayes' To-Shin Do

  1. #1
    Bob Hubbard's Avatar
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    Question Stephen K. Hayes' To-Shin Do

    I was under the impression the he was a ninjitsu instructor. Real dumb question, but as I have read several of his books I have to ask. What happened to change this? Does he still teach ninjitsu?

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    He was a teacher in the Bujinkan organization, but I'm not sure what he's doing now. It seems like he's broken off and has started his own thing, which seems pretty common for the Bujinkan org...Bussey broke away, Tanemura (sp? The guy who founded the Genbukan org.), and apparently Hayes. I know Hayes is pretty heavy into Buddhism now (at least I think he is, rather), and he's provided security for the Dalai Lama on a few occasions. Maybe that has something to do with it?

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    Okay, did a little digging.

    Toshindo is a 'modern' approach to teaching what Hayes has learned from Hatsumi. From all appearances, it's a very commercialized way of teaching a watered down Tokagure ryu system in what are called 'Quest Centers'. Apparently, the higher ranked students in the system can eventually be taught the actual Tokagure ryu system with traditional instruction. Apparently there are still links to the Bujinkan organization.

    According to my instructor in California, the Hayes schools are closing down left and right, apparently not doing very well at all.

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    I can understand why, if thats true. I seriously considered heading to Dayton to try and learn ninjitsu under him, but I want the "real" thing, not a watered down version. Sadly, budgetary and other restraints kept me from doing that, and now it seems like it wouldn't have given me what I wanted. Kinda like all the systems that have 6yr old blackbelts. You just know that its not the "same" as what the "adult" got.


    sorry, my heads swiming from overload today....can't think too straight. Too much pain and anger in the air.
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    There's a guy in my city by the name of Dick Severence teaching Bujinkan ninjutsu. A buddy of mine was studying ninjutsu at the Atlanta Bujinkan Dojo under Bud Malmstrom some years back. From what I remember, the dojo changed their fees and access policies for the worst and he ended up leaving the system. Before that, when the fees were lower and the dojo access was greater, he had nothing but praise for the system.

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    To-Shin Do

    Okay, saw an interview on Hayes. He says that To-Shin Do techniques are based off of ninjutsu techniques (most likely ninpo taijutsu), but it is NOT ninjutsu. He states that most people can't or won't undertake something as rigorous as authentic ninjutsu.

    Just a little update.

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    Watered down = yuk.

    IMHO.
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  8. #8
    higuma Guest
    Kaith and Cthulu,

    Yes, Steve still has "connections" to the Bujinkan. No, his ToShinDo system does not resemble the Budo Taijutsu done in Japan or in most of the rest of the world for that matter.

    As for the migration of instructors being common place in the Bujinkan... I dare say that it happens less in the Bujinkan than in many other arts. Yes there have been high ranking people in the organization leave but, in my opinion, the best stay. I think that, in and of itself, speaks volumes about Hatsumi-sensei.

    Kaith, if you are interested in training with a legitimate Bujinkan group, let me know and I'll try to help you locate one nearer you than Dayton.

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    It's 'budo taijutsu' now? Last I heard, it was 'ninpo taijutsu'.

    Cthulhu
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  10. #10
    higuma Guest
    Aahhh... the "name" question.

    Let's call it a matter of evolution. Similar to the name progression of Wing Chun to Jun Fan Gung Fu to Jeet Kune Do to Jeet Kune Do Concepts, ad infinitum.

    In a nutshell, in the '60s and '70s the Bujinkan arts were known as Togakure Ryu Ninjutsu. Then in the '80s it became Bujinkan Dojo Togakure Ryu Ninpo Taijutsu. Then toward the late '80's early '90s it was Bujinkan Ninpo Taijutsu. Then, circa '94, it transmogrified one more time to Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu.

    The take home lesson here is, all the names are accurate. There are several reasons for the name changes at various times but overall, the point is that while we study the last extant "ninja" arts, we also study other things that are more attributable to the larger heading of "budo". Additionally, ninpo is a form of budo.

    Imo, the "official" name is really of very little importance anyway. At the end of the day, Bujinkan practitioners are studying Hatsumi-ha Taijutsu, aka Hatsumi Ryu. And when the student advances to a certain point the art starts to be his/hers. It is a living, growing, evolving art and as such is in constant flux. Nature is not static and neither is the Bujinkan.

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    I was just making an observation of the name change. Thanks for the info, though.

    However, the Wing Chun - JKD analogy is not really appropriate in this case. For the Bujinkan ninjutsu issue, despite all the name changes, the art has essentially remained the same. In Bruce Lee's case, it was not merely a name change, but a change in the system being taught at the time. Basically, JKD is NOT Jun Fan which is NOT Wing Chun.

    Cthulhu
    Expect only what happens in the fight. That way, you'll never be surprised.

  12. #12
    GouRonin Guest

    Question Uh...

    If the quest centers under hays are not teaching "authentic ninjitsu" what is it exactly they are teaching?

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    Quest centers

    They teach 'to-shin do', an art created by Hayes loosely based off Bujinkan ninjutsu. At one time, he still offered a course in ninjutsu for advanced students, but I don't know if that is still the case.

    Cthulhu
    Expect only what happens in the fight. That way, you'll never be surprised.

  14. #14
    GouRonin Guest

    Question Am I the only one...

    Who doesn't want to open his own martial arts school? But after reading half the stuff that goes on out there and PASSES as a martial art I think that I could quite easily get away with opening up a McDojo.

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    Bob Hubbard's Avatar
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    higuma - I would apreciate the pointers. Thank you.

    I think the name is less important than the quality of the teaching. If the instructor is capable, and can truely trace their lineage back to Dr. Hatsumi, and is certified to teach by him, then I'm ok with it.

    I prefer to learn quality vs watered down, even though I may need the watered down for the first month or 2 to get the brain and body in gear.

    A McDojo? naw. I don't need the fries.

    But, I have thought of opening my own school in maybe 5 years or so, or at least being a part time instructor at one of my instructors schools. I like sword and stick techniques, and like to help others.
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