Plz tell me about To Shin Do Home Study Course

Discussion in 'SKH/Quest/Toshindo/Shadows of Iga' started by KaranAuhi, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. KaranAuhi

    KaranAuhi White Belt

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    I just purchased it yesterday, and I wanted to know, was it a good investment?

    I don't have the time to join an actual school, so Im trying to learn what I can when I can.

    Can you guys please tell me what you know about To Shin Do?

    Does it actually help/work as self-defense?
    Is it Ninjitsu? I see a lot of the people on the forums here say no.

    Thank you,

    Karan
     
  2. Cryozombie

    Cryozombie Grandmaster

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    Bear in mind everything that follows is only My PERSONAL OPINION.

    And this isn't about Toshindo. Its about Home Study ******** in general. I dont care if its Toshindo, Bujinkan, BJJ, Krav Maga, or any of that...

    You will NOT learn effective self defense from a DVD, VIDEOTAPE, or BOOK. YOU NEED. NEED! NEED! An instructor to correct your mistakes, and multiple training partners to give you different timing and energy of attacks.

    Parroting what you see on a Video or described in books will only take you far enough to make think you know what you are doing so you can get your **** pushed in when you get into a real confrontation. Period.
     
  3. kcs

    kcs Yellow Belt

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    i have to agree i had both and nothing beats one on one with an instructor. you train and train and video tape your self and they say well do this or you need to do this and it is just ain't worth it. thats why i got rid of the hsc's i had.
     
  4. Monadnock

    Monadnock 2nd Black Belt

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    Depends if you get any value for your money.
    OK.
    Basically it is Hayes' interpretation of what he learned from Hatsumi.
    I think so.
    Not in the pure sense, that is, an original martial art from Japan. It's an American's version of Ninjutsu he learned in Japan. Maybe it is American Ninjutsu. Karate comes from Okinawa. There are Karate schools here in the US that are 1-off's from their Okinawan predecessors. We still call them Karate schools, but it's kind of a generalized term now.

    Ninjutsu is a rather specialized study. Most of what you see may be based on Kata from a ninjutsu ryu, but that doesn't make it Ninjutsu, does it?

    I tend to think of ninjutsu as "stealing in" or "espionage" and intelligence gathering. The hand to hand stuff just looks like Ju Jutsu to me. I guess if you put on some tabi and a black gi it becomes Ninjutsu? Mayeb you coudl help me there...
     
  5. SKB

    SKB Green Belt

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    Almost any form of training is better then none.

    I believe To Shin Do is effective self defense.

    You can learn a lot from the videos. I train at a dojo but also watch the videos. You should try to make a trip to one of the schools. Where are you located? There might be a school you could make it to. Like a weekend trip or somthing.

    I'd be more then happy to try and answer some of your questions.
     
  6. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Video's, book's, etc. are best used as reference tools. Good training under a qualified teacher though is the way to go to ensure that your fundamental skills are correct. [​IMG]
     
  7. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    I agree 100% with this statement! :ultracool
     
  8. Namu

    Namu White Belt

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    I have been looking at getting these DVD's for a long time...money issues.

    We are learning Kong Shin Bup hapkido from a set of DVD's in my TKD school. However, we also train with the Grandmaster of the system periodically. It is amazing because the DVD's are very detailed and he explains things very well, and yet, there are subtleties that are missed.

    I agree with others...learn as much as you can from the DVD's and then visit one of the schools for some tweaking of the details.

    My understanding is that it is termed as 21st Century Ninjutsu. Let's face it...it's a different world from when Ninjutsu was first developed!
     
  9. ToShinDoKa

    ToShinDoKa Green Belt

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    Hi Karan,

    My name's Scott, and I'm a brown belt in the art of To-Shin Do Go-Shin Taijutsu. I'm also a long distance student and have traversed the "musha shu-gyo" you invested in not too long ago. As one who has experienced the training, I offer my humble opinion (meaning it holds as much value as you receive from it and no more). :)

    First and foremost I'd like to agree with Mr. VanCise on one aspect of his argument, there is nothing that can match instructor to student direct training. But I disagree on another point, it "is" possible to learn Long Distance with the proper support system. That's one of the major differences between To-Shin Do Long Distance programs and others I've searched for. In truth, I have access to "master" instructors daily, who provide me with encouragement and training advice. That's daily feedback, Karan.

    Likewise, I get plenty of training opportunities with a one on one instructor. The closest instructor to me provides my training club and I the opportunities to train with him and his school on our whim, and also provides fulfilling seminars for all who wish to attend to learn all the things that a video program may not have available. "This", Karan, is the LD Program, not just the videos. Those who haven't done it often misunderstand and believe it's,

    "Here's your video, fork over the money and we'll send ya' a belt." Let me be the first (as a Long Distance Student preparing to test for his Black Belt certification in front of the founder of the art, himself) to tell you that this is not the case. You have invested in an excellent program, and you'll have many individuals willing to help you out along the way, individuals who are genuinely interested in your progress and walk with you on your journey towards "the mastery you seek." (Stephen K. Hayes). Individuals like myself, Karan, who too have gone through the same problems, have had the same questions, and who received a library's worth of helpful answers and advice.

    What about the ninja stuff? Classical, authentic ninja tradition is taught at specific times as the students demand. In example: I know the ninja aruki techniques of the Togakure ninja. I've compared them to my "ordained" Bujinkan training, and haven't seen much difference in the quality in the classical delivery. The only difference is that I don't just "know" them, but I understand them. I know the mechanics behind them and why they were used during that time in history. On top of that I know how I can use them now, and how they need to be adapted for my specific circumstances in this, our modern world, as the late Grandmaster Takamatsu stated when speaking of the essense of Ninpo.

    Again, I agree with Mr. VanCise, videos alone can't help you, but the SKH Network is far broader than that, and the videos merely serve as your reference and textbook: experience, safe experimentation, and guidance from qualified To-Shin Do instructors is how you "learn" it.

    I also agree with Monadnock, if you're looking for it's classical application of ninjutsu alone, or perhaps a good history lesson in the ways of the ninja of old, then mayhap To-Shin Do isn't the best thing for you. But if you're interested in an effective (not implying anyone else's system isn't, mind everyone) method of self defense and life-strategy, which illuminate and make understandable the authentic ninja secrets of old, then you're looking for To-Shin Do, and you took the first step towards your goal. :ultracool
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2008
  10. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    What does To-Shin Do Go-Shin Taijutsu mean, as opposed to To-Shin Do itself?
     
  11. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Hey ToShinDoKa you and I are probably very close in agreement on all issues involved. Meaning as I read your post it appears you have a teacher that you are training with albeit probably not as often as you would like but you are learning from a teacher that can correct your mistakes. Then you are also supplementing your training with videos. It would be to your advantage to train with a teacher weekely but at least you are training with one.

    If you train in any home study course with no teacher and peer interaction then I think you will simply not be successful. [​IMG]

    Having said all the above I am not in favor of home study courses, online training, etc. Truthfully I feel they in general are money makers and leave students practicing them in the dark. Just my 02. I am though in favor of videos, books, etc. used in conjunction to regular teacher/practitioner training. Then I think they can be a great aid. [​IMG]
     
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  12. ToShinDoKa

    ToShinDoKa Green Belt

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    I appreciate you recognizing that point. Honestly, I believe again that the LD Program is more than you make it out to be. This interaction I receive "is" a part of the LD Program and not the other way around. You were never meant to be secluded, just to have an understanding so when you do go see an instructor (or one comes to see you) those little adjustments that matter most are the only thing that needs to be fixed, along with passing a long some incite.

    As I said, and as any To-Shin Do instructor will tell you, there's nothing that can replace (key word replace) one on one daily instruction, just like in college (I hate my internet courses *sigh*) but the this program is the next best thing.

    On the issue of making money, you know what else makes money I've observed from supposed established one on one schools. Time/Progression Hindrance. What I mean is the instructors setting a strict time limit on when you can and can't test to progress to newer lessons. We have a prescribed but not finite average time scale in To-Shin Do, and many take longer, but some, some take shorter time. They progress quickly (natural ability, or previous MA experience, 12 years in my case) and so the monthly fee or yearly contracts some schools employ keep the money coming for the longest amount of time, while holding back to the students who are ready to progress and don't wish to waste their money on the redundency of the same lessons far after they've been internalized to a reasonable degree. Again, I say it was never meant for you to train with no interaction with a qualified instructor, or at least it hasn't been for the passed 5 years I've been involved with the process.

    Fact is, all schools need money to be truly successful. I had to pay my Bujinkan dues when I was a student with them (and they were expensive, just for a membership IMPO) and the same goes when I studied Aikido and Shotokan. I have come to find I've saved more money using An-Shu's program and received better training than what I've encountered in my state (and we have some great schools down here, with a wide variety of martial arts styles). Just an observation.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2008
  13. ToShinDoKa

    ToShinDoKa Green Belt

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    Hi there,

    Let me give you the official definition of To-Shin Do:



    [​IMG]
    TO - the sword
    At the core of our physical protection techniques and strategies are ageless combat methods born of the legendary phantom ninja warriors, rising from the lands of Mt. Togakure, cultivated in the wooded mountains and marshes of Iga in Japan.

    [​IMG]
    SHIN - the focused spirit of intention
    From the depths of our program to every move made, we embrace the essence of the rigorous intention-channeling training of the shugenja of Mt. Yoshino - dedicated to the discovery and development of nine key qualities that characterize a fully actualized human being.

    [​IMG]
    DO - the path to mastery
    We walk with the spirit of all masters on a living journey that comes from the original Himalayan esoteric mikkyo vajrayana mind and spirit sciences of Mt. Hiei, cultivating our unlimited physical, mental, emotional and spiritual potential.

    (The Above Definition is taken from, and can be found at DaytonQuestCenter.com)

    Go-Shin Taijutsu is the term that describes the Taijutsu Curriculum of our art, I believe. Goshin as a word can refer to self defense in Japanese, but in this case I believe it deals specifically with the 5=Go Mind=Shin sets that are natural to every human, and teaches us how to coordinate our bodies with those mindsets so as to live effectively, strategically, and most importantly happily. Whether every student studies To-Shin Do for those reasons is a personal matter with every student.

    Chi, Sui, Ka, Fu, Ku (Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, Void).

    Chi = Confidence, Steadfastness, Immovability, Leadership, and Dominance over adversary by the Mountains of Strength you possess. Ever had to stand up for what you believed in? You exhibited a grain of what it is to know earth.

    Sui = Strategic Withdrawal, Taking in the situation, Caution, Intelligence, Understanding, Analysis of Situation and Circumstances. Ever had to get out of a bad situation until you've figured out how to make it a good one and then come back stronger than ever? You exhibited a drop of what it is to know water.

    Ka = Passion, Connectivity to situation and others, the here and now, preemptive action, Readiness, intercepting the missiles of the problems that comprise daily life in this complicated world before they launch. Ever had to end an argument before it got started by being the bigger man/woman, resolving the problem, and even admitting you're wrong before the disagreement begins. You exhibited a flicker of what it is to know fire.

    Fu = Evasive effortlessness, obedience to a noble cause, fitting into the problem and then controlling it from within without a struggle, allowing missiles to harmlessly pass by. Ever had to put your pride to the side and work as a small part to a bigger cause for the sake of that cause? You felt a small breeze of what it is to know wind.

    Ku = Creative Potential. Understanding of self and others and environment and strategically living with them, promoting harmony between them all. Go Shin...
     
  14. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    But... How many "long distance students" are actually doing more than incidental or occasional visits with an instructor? I suspect that many attend one or two annual training camps and that's about it. (Honestly, I suspect that many buy the videos, practice for a couple of months, and set them aside for "when they get around to it" just like many other items for home study or exercise..."

    I also have to take exception to your earlier comment about daily feedback via the web. Brian and I bounce an idea off each other about one thing or another pretty much every day, as do many others. That doesn't make me an IRT practitioner, or Brian one of my Bando students. We can't give each other the small and precise correction and guidance that training requires over the web.
     
  15. Ninjamom

    Ninjamom 2nd Black Belt

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    Did anyone else notice the surge of 'one post wonders' on the forum, asking others' opinions about some great DVD/Video/Book/Equipment they just purchased??

    Could it be that this wasn't a genuine request for information, but a stealth-mode commercial for whatever lame DVD/Video/Book/Equipment they just purchased??

    What if from now on we all agreed to respond to any similar future request with the simple response that ANY DVD/Video/Book/Equipment is a total waste of time and money without having FIRST had a qualified instructor?

    Just asking.
     
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  16. Senjojutsu

    Senjojutsu Blue Belt

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    Excellent point! Then again...

    "...Paranoia strikes deep
    Into your life it will creep
    It starts when you're always afraid
    You step out of line, the man come and take you away"
    ARTIST: Buffalo Springfield, TITLE: For What It's Worth
    :)

    The OP could always be a case of buyer's remorse.

    ...and if you watch TV infomercials at 04:00 AM I think at least 20% are for pieces of exercise equipment or routines these days. So that's a lot of buyer's remorse happening.

    The correct opinion basically has been posted, videos are good reference tools - not replacements for instructors, partners and training time.
     
  17. SKB

    SKB Green Belt

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    In the times we live in I think any training, even if it is a video, is better then no training. I use the videos and also train at a dojo. If they were a waste of time I would of stopped buying them a long time ago!!!

    With that said, you still should train with someone. There are things which can only be transmitted by exsample and from someone seeing what it is you are doing. The videos are so much better then when I used to read the books and try to figure out things!!!!!
     
  18. ToShinDoKa

    ToShinDoKa Green Belt

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    Well if it helps you gain a little perspective as to the network, not too long ago we had one individual (and LDS) ask how many students trained through video alone and tested. None of the LDSs could answer with a me because many of them have had the opportunity to train with a recognized To-Shin Do training club in their area. These clubs are overseen by senior belts and To-Shin Do instructors in the region and/or Hombu itself.

    Instruction is not given over the internet, training tips are. You can give me a drill and describe it and I can benefit from it any day of the week. Weight lifters depend on magazines to find new work out plans. Successful dieters may read articles about healthy food alternatives and take action to change their eating habits for a healthier lifestyle...successful dieters.

    The thing is, the videos are not all the program consists of. I go to fewer "festivals" and "seminars" than most other LDSs I know. For instance the biggest, our yearly one, I won't be able to attend. But on the other hand, in a week or two I'm going to the closest quest center for private lessons and to perform a demo. This is a commonplace among LDS (Long Distance Students, if anyone was wondering what LDS meant). :)

    In the end I can't speak for any other LDP but this one, and I am very satisfied with it. More satisfied than I've been (as I state earlier) with the teachers around me. I suppose it's because To-Shin Do is an art that can only be mastered by "unleashing YOUR potential" and that involves some serious "self" study.

    I recall my sensei, Mr. Broom telling our class about how he had a friend who said they punch "this" way in their art, and he told me he wished learning To-Shin Do were as simple as that. That is, when you ask a question like, "is this the right way to turn the hand in a punch, or is this?" and you receive the answer, "Yes." ???

    But which way is right. Well, they both "can" be right, but the factors have to be examined to decide which one is more effective. Physicality of opponent and defender, environment, etc. but show me an instructor who can address the seemingly countless variations in an 1 hour or 2 class and you'll have shown me a martial god, some mythical instructor like Sojobo, King of the Tengu, legendary Sword Instructor of Yoshitsune. :lol:

    "Where are you going with this, Scott?"

    What I mean to say is we have enough training with an instructor to learn the basic technique and idea behind it. An instructor can give you a starting point and correct you along the way, but you must have time to experiment (safely, and for To-Shin Do LDSs training safely is priority number uno!) within your respective training group. Training on your own time is what makes the greats stand out from the "I attend class 2 times a week" guys.

    LDS is "not" under any circumstances the best way to train. I, one who before To-Shin Do practically "lived" in my dojo, will attest to the fact that I wish I lived closer to one so I can frequent it every time the doors unlock, but that's not always an option. The art of To-Shin Do (in my opinion) is one of the best self protection arts in existence, and my incite into self defense and technical savy always amazes my MA buddies, who don't believe me when I say I train long distance.

    I would make the choice of studying it any way I can because of it's effectiveness. The LDS vids and Support Network has given me one of the most fulfilling Martial Arts Learning Experiences ever, and that's my experience with it.

    I can only argue that, that is, my experience and the experiences shared with me by LDS friends world wide.
     
  19. TheStudent

    TheStudent Yellow Belt

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    I'd like to add a bit about the LDS concept.

    First of all, most people who disregard them have never actually used them. Most I've talked to have either read the ad and decied then and there, or at most ordered the course, watched part of the first DVD/video and decided it couldn't work.

    I design computer training for aliving. NOT martial arts. I design safety, computer systems and heavy machinery process training. So I look at iot a bit differently. Also, none of my training courses EVER rely strictly on Video.

    First of all, know your audience. LDS martial arts courses, by their nature, are most effective when the students have previous experience of some sort. The previous knowledge gives a basis to judge and conmprehend the illustrations and examples in the video. Having tried to learn balance while kicking in one style will lend to a much more effective ability to find balance when learning a kick in another art. Knowing one style's front stance makes learning a different one much easier than if you have never stood with more weight on a leading foot at all.

    Secondly, the student should be willing to learn from the video. In other words, you don't watch it start to finish and expect to retain all of it. In reality, the video should have stop points that direct the student to pause and rewind the video and practice until they feel they have a basic understanding of how to execute the stance, kick, kata, etc. and then move to the next section. In the ideal, I would design each technique as a separate video that jumps to the next automatically, but each chapter mark is the start of each technique, with the chapter menu the first screen you see, and the "play full movie" an option.

    Thirdly, LDS works best if it is used as a learning AIDE, with feedback and grading as frequently as possible. In other words, when you think you have something, submit a video of it for feedback and correction. Don't submit a video of every single item and expect the level of feedback you get in a dojo. submit a specific piece (2 or three techniques at most) and expect feedback comparable to what you would hear in person. Then fix accordingly. video again and get more feedback.When the feedback is mostly positiove with just a bit of "work on XXX a bit to really master this" then move to the next piece.

    So, the three pieces to make LDS work effectively are 1) Have a minimum standard to start the class (if you're expecting learning to occur). 2) Expect each technique to be viewed and practiced singly, not a group of techniques to be done all at once. and 3) effort and feedback need to be a cycle, not a one time occurance. Oh, and the 4th thing should be consistent repetition of the important parts, with a clearly defined summary at the end.

    With those in place, an LDS program can be successful, at least to a large degree. But skill in application requires an opponent to learn the muscle effort, weight impact, etc. to make anything truly usable. But most LDS students have or find a practice buddy or group.

    I personally am starting an LDS because what I want is not available in my town. But I know my skill and growth rest 110% on my shoulders. And I don't believe in testing unless I personally feel I've mastered the level requirements. My goal is mastery and growth, not a colored belt around my waist. If the course doesn't include the pieces I need to make it effective, I'll just add it myself. I have the pause, rewind and slow motion buttons on my remote. I have the ability to find and purchase additional videos and books fromj other sources. I have the ability top video tape and upload the videos to ask for feedback and critiques. It is personal determination and effort that makes for success in any endevour.

    I'll get off my soap box now.:)

    Mike
     
  20. Senjojutsu

    Senjojutsu Blue Belt

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    Yes!

    Yes Again!!

    Some very good points Mike.

    Unfortunately, and this is a generalization, so many of these LDS inquiry posts up on message boards... well, you just know they are written by fifteen-or-sixteen years olds.

    ...and often their LDS questions involve weapons training.

    So we try to warn them, maybe they will listen to us - as opposed to their parents.
    :)
     

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