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An-shu Stephen and Rumiko Hayes

To-Shin Do

Life Mastery Through Martial Arts

Founded by Black Belt Hall of Fame member, Stephen K. Hayes, To-Shin Do delivers Japan's oldest martial art, with today's best teaching methods. 

The To-Shin Do martial art is focused entirely on realistic and effective self-defense. In the 1970’s Stephen K. Hayes became the first American to ever study the authentic and legendary Ninja martial arts with the 34th generation Ninja Grandmaster. After decades of studying and teaching the historical methods and techniques An-shu Hayes began to adapt this historic approach to be more applicable in the modern day. The result became the unique and unparalleled martial art and personal development programs which he formalized in 1997.


He gave this powerful and holistic approach the title To-Shin Do, the way of the heart and the sword. Symbolically the sword represents the tools of power, which are technique, strategy and skill, the heart represents the wisdom to use these tools of power responsibly. 

Much more than a “fighting style”, this training extends into all aspects of life, helping you develop a more positive and self-assured outlook. To-Shin Do techniques are based on an ancient and well-tested system of warrior disciplines, handed down by nine historical Japanese family lineages. At the same time, our training program is built around a very modern approach to successfully handle the type of threats and confrontations that are a part of our own contemporary culture. From your very first lesson, you will learn methods that you can use right away, regardless of your physical condition or any prior martial arts experience.

To-Shin Do martial arts training was developed as a way to promote peace, security, and well-being in the world – command over adversity – never as a way to promote violence. The world needs more protectors, not more predators.

In an over-stressed society, balancing a clear mind, fit body, and centered spirit is the pathway to becoming a tatsujin – a fully actualized person operating masterfully in all areas of life.

To-Shin Do Technology


Our students earn lasting success by following three keys to their To-Shin Do self-development and self-defense training:

  • Self-confidence to recognize your potential for success and happiness

  • Discipline to accomplish goals and advance

  • Respect for self and others to attract allies and utilize power

Our program promotes five life-fulfilling aspects that every person desires to experience:

  • Abundance – Freedom to seek your own definition of success – living a full, rich, and important life - What does winning mean to you?

  • Authenticity – Knowledge of the true nature of reality and self – achieving personal peace through intelligence - Mindfully analyze the effects of our thoughts, words and actions

  • Association – Connection to friends, family, and allies – expressing who we really are and sharing honest respect and admiration with others - Rising above distracting division

  • Accomplishment – to sense we are needed – serving a worthy and noble cause - Using time purposefully to experience growth and enrich the lives of others

  • Actualization – Personal fulfillment – Having the freedom to live up to our expectations and dreams - Expand your experience!

At the Quest Center, we begin each To-Shin Do class by reciting the Student Creed and Code of Mindful Action

Student Creed



I believe in myself.

I am confident.

I can accomplish my goals.


I believe in what I study.

I am disciplined.

I am ready to learn and advance.


I believe in my teachers.

I show respect to all who help me progress.

Code of Mindful Action

A new point of the Code of Mindful Action is learned at each level of training.  By the time a student reaches the rank of shodan or, first degree black belt, they will have learned all 14 points.

The first 2 points deal with material considerations


1. Yellow belt

I protect life and health.

I avoid violence whenever possible.


2. Yellow-Black belt

I respect the property and space of all.

I avoid taking what has not been offered.              


The next 3 points remind you to be true to yourself


3. Blue-White belt 

I develop significant relationships. 

I avoid abusing others for selfish gain.


4. Blue belt

I thoughtfully express the truth.

I avoid the confusion of dishonest words.


5. Blue-Black belt

I cultivate a positive attitude, a healthy body, and a clear mind.

I avoid whatever would reduce my physical or mental well-being.                 


The next 3 points guide communication interactions with others


6. Red-White belt

I communicate health, happiness, and peace of mind to everyone I meet.

I avoid violent, disturbing, or unduly critical speech.


7. Red belt

I promote harmony and positive momentum to bring out the best in everyone.                               

I avoid causing alienation, doubt, and division among others.

8.  Red-Black belt

I encourage all to speak purposefully from the heart. 

I avoid the dull contentment of gossip and small talk.


The next 3 points are keys for operating effectively in the world


9. Green-White belt

I am as enthusiastic about others’ fulfillment as I am about my own.

I avoid treating others’ successes as the cause of my lacks.


10. Green belt

I promote the enjoyment of life, and encourage others with my smile. 

I avoid setting myself against the world.


11. Green-Black belt

I promote the search for the personal realization of truth.

I avoid the seductive comfort of narrow-mindedness.


The final 3 points suggest how to generate accomplishment


12. Brown-White belt

I accomplish what must be done in a timely and effective way.

I avoid putting off doing that which will benefit me and my world today.


13. Brown belt

I strive to be so strong that nothing can disturb my peace of mind. 

I avoid the negative effects of worry, doubt, and regret.


14. Brown-Black belt 

I work to build love, happiness, and loyalty among all the member of my family. 

I avoid putting temporary personal benefit ahead of the welfare of those I love.                               

Three important cultural roots from Japan’s ancient heritage


TO – the sword
From the nin-po combat methods of the legendary ninja warriors, born of Mount Togakure and cultivated in the wooded mountains and marshes of shadowy Iga, comes the foundation of our physical protection techniques and strategies. To-Shin Do martial arts practice is a great way to reduce stress and increase strength, endurance, and flexibility, while fostering a sense of peace, security, and control in life.

SHIN – the focused spirit of intention
From the kuji intention-channeling training of the shugenja mountain spirit seekers of Mt. Yoshino, comes the essence of our program for the discovery and development of the nine key qualities that characterize a fully actualized human being. We can achieve a more focused and disciplined understanding of the cause and effect dynamics that lead to success and fulfillment in life.

DO – the path to mastery
From the originally Himalayan esoteric mikkyo yoga mind and spirit sciences of Mt. Hiei, comes the technique of cultivating our unlimited physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual potentials. We can learn skillful ways to transform the inner and outer challenges of life into success, and ultimately experience  directly the significance of life's every moment.

NIN – Important symbolism behind the To-Shin Do name


The Japanese written character for nin of Japan’s ninja warriors and their martial art of ninjutsu can also be pronounced shinobi. It is translated as “stealth, endurance, perseverance, or putting-up-with”. Nin communicates the kind of strength required to keep our eyes on the grander goal. We know what we need, and we are willing to do whatever it takes to get it. We are not diverted, even when tempted to take on the petty affronts and insults tossed in our path from those who fear or envy us.

  • The top part of the Japanese letter character for nin is pronounced “toh” which means “sword” or actually “blade edge” – To represents the martial arts technology we study to perfect

  • The bottom part is pronounced “sheen”, and means “heart” – Shin represents the resolute spirit we need to win when negative forces attempt to drive us to defeat

Together as one single character for nin, the To-Shin ideal reminds us of the miraculous power of knowledge and intention combined to result in spirited intelligence in action.

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