Learn real-world self-protection at the Tampa Quest Center from Masters Mark Sentoshi Russo and Helen Jotoshi Russo. Core fundamentals and practical techniques you can use against today’s most common attacks are just a few lessons away. These powerful principles will teach you how to defend against much larger and stronger attackers.
Our programs emphasize “intelligence in motion” as opposed to relying on sheer strength, superior speed,, and flexibility. To-Shin Do is based on science and natural movement. Core scientific components include psychological warfare (for example, leading an attacker in to a trap by manipulating their intentions to harm you), the physics of timing, balance, angling, leverage, gravity (you will learn to use gravity as an ally rather than work hard to defy it), and techniques for using the musculoskeletal system against itself. For example, many martial arts practice kicking to the head, which is clearly working against gravity. The realistic self-defense art of To-Shin Do does not employ these impractical and limiting kicks.
To-Shin Do is a contemporary form of Taijutsu – the complete system of self-protection practiced by Japan’s legendary Ninja Shadow Warriors. To-Shin Do focuses exclusively on “minimal effort, maximum effect” and practical responses to real world attacks.
Further, programs at Quest Martial Arts focus on support and development of the whole person with the goal of increasing self-awareness, confidence, and control providing students the tools they need to create and experience the life they desire, on their own terms, with dignity and self-respect.
Click here to learn more about all the benefits of To-Shin Do Training!
Call TODAY, and start exploring your Path to Life Mastery today! 813-971-5545
NOTICE: Quest Martial Arts, To-Shin Do is not the right choice for individuals seeking purely sport, entertainment or competitive violence based martial arts programs. Some individuals may find our friendly, warm and supportive environment at odds with a “me against you” constant competition approach. Our approach to realistic self-defense frequently involves immediate structural damage and thus does not lend itself to competitive sparring, as safety is rule number one.
Click here to learn more about how Tampa Quest Martial Arts is having a positive impact on the lives of it’s Students!
Your journey with To-Shin Do begins with our “First Step” program which includes a private introduction, a uniform and two weeks of classes. From there you may choose from a number of courses that will expose you to a Level One core curriculum. Realistic self defense situations, leadership development tools, and skill building workouts are just a part of what is offered during this period.
Classes are open to both adults and youth (ages 8-15, to adult) though the youth group will most often work with each other. Throughout the program the core concepts of awareness, natural movement, and functional strength development are stressed and students are encouraged to apply these to every aspect of their lives. Students are encouraged to begin adopting new habits as they revise or replace habits they are not pleased with. Learning a new way of moving your body is a good time for these life improvements.
Our system of martial arts is based on the universal five elements of nature. These include Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, and Void. The elements are explored both in terms of human nature (states of mind; for example, water – defensive, wind – evasive, etc.) and naturally corresponding approaches to movement. In the first nine months of training you will primarily explore the earth element. This is a very solid and grounded approach to dealing with conflict. It helps to develop confidence in basic techniques and in ones self in general, forming the foundation for your later training.
The majority of your training is based on researched, high probability scenarios and are practiced at safe speeds with a training partner. Realistic and effective self-defense involves fundamentally different techniques and a fundamentally different approach to training than the currently popular sport and contest focused programs. The average person has no plans to enter into cage and ring fighting. Your training at Quest Martial Arts will help you understand how learning to be sneaky, smarter, and more scientific is a reliable strategy for defeating an assailant who may be bigger, stronger, and faster, and have truly violent intentions toward you.
Black Belt Club
The BLACK BELT CLUB PROGRAMS are offered to those individuals who decide that they are interested in long term pursuit of their Martial skill and personal development. Once a student is known to us and shows clear potential they may choose from a variety of training packages that provide advanced Ninja training, modern and traditional weapons, including methods for using your environment and every day items as tools for protection and defense. These programs will lead to the eventual attainment of your Black Belt in To-Shin Do and open the doors to training for advanced degrees of Black Belt.
Eligibility is based on your understanding of both physical and mental aspects of the training. Our instructors will do everything they can to help you to qualify for these options if that is your desire. We are not a “churn and burn – hard sell” school. We keep training commitments reasonable in length. We are passionate about our programs and the benefits they produce, and prefer to partner with our students in setting and achieving their individual goals. We have many individuals and families training long term. Master Russo has students who have been training with him for decades and are now Masters in their own right who continue to train with this internationally recognized “Teacher of the Masters”.
Children’s Program – The Mighty Dragons – Ages 5-8
The Mighty Dragons is intended for our younger students that are not quite old enough for the adult/youth classes and between the ages of 5 and 8.
A slightly modified version of the Level One, Fundamentals of Self Protection program is taught to these youths and the classes are kept very upbeat and fun. Heavy focus is placed on the “Three Qualities of a Black Belt” (self-discipline, focus, and respect) and the students are encouraged to practice these in the Dojo, academic school, and home.
Students are expected to behave in a manner befitting an advanced class and we require a good report from both school and home before promotions are granted.
This course covers their white, white/yellow, yellow/white, yellow, yellow/green and yellow/black belts. Upon graduation from the Mighty Dragons (Earth Element) the students will enter into the Black Belt club and into the water realm.
Life skills refers collectively to the tools, strategies and tactics that we provide our students as a means to better understand themselves and their world as they pursue their own vision of a great life. Fortunately it is still unlikely that most of us will be physically attacked. However, verbal, emotional, and psychological attacks are all too frequent. The principles that we study for managing physical conflict apply just as effectively to these other forms of danger and discomfort. In addition, we are all subject to the difficulties that our own “internal saboteurs” may visit upon us – no one is immune. Likewise, we all possess hidden strengths that we may not as yet even realize. Master Russo is uniquely qualified to provide this life development training (www.sentoshi.com). A program that deals only with external threat is incomplete.
Life skills include:
- Meditation practices
- Mind sciences – taking control of our minds by studying the complexities of intellect, emotions, and behavioral habits
- San Mitsu (the ancient “Triple Secret”) – focused awareness of our thoughts, speech and actions
- Communication and verbal skills
- The power of intention
- Practicing respect of self and others
- Connecting with the positive in a largely negative world
- Building true confidence
Life skills at Quest Martial Arts are provided to students in three ways.
- Quick and concise lessons are provided frequently as a part of your regularly scheduled classes and may take the form of a short meditation, words of encouragement and inspiration from a Master Instructor, or thought provoking short behavioral homework assignments.
- Short seminars offering broader and deeper exploration into specific topics ranging in length from 2 to 5 hours.
- Retreats – These are extended experiential immersions typically involving some travel to facilitate a supportive change of environment. Retreats range from 3 days to our hallmark adventure-based personal development excursions we call Summit Quest. All retreats are currently lead and taught by Master Mark Sentoshi Russo.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What Do You Teach?
A: We teach To-Shin Do (Toh-Shin-Doh)
TO – The Sword (Knowledge/Technique)
SHIN – The Focused Spirit of Intention (Heart/Courage)
DO – The Path of Mastery (Way)
To-Shin Do is a modern form of the 900-year old Ninja traditions. Training focuses exclusively on realistic self protection based on natural movement (as opposed to unnaturally athletic movement such as a high kick to a standing opponents head). It is sensible, practical and uniquely different from other martial arts programs. You will learn to use the force of gravity, not attempt to defy it. No high kicks, back flips, etc. We teach you to use your own body structure, balance and timing. To Shin Do skill does not require high levels of extreme athletic capability and is appropriate for all ages.
Q: Am I Too Old?
Our students range from boys and girls as young as 5 years old, to men and women in their 60′s and beyond!
This art is based on natural movement; using the attacker’s body, energy and negative intentions against him. You do not need to be stronger, faster or more flexible.
Q: Where Does To-Shin Do Come From?
A: To-Shin Do is a Japanese Martial Art
To-Shin Do is a modern form of the authentic Japanese martial art of the Ninja (not the various popularized media representations), applied specifically to self defense considerations for the modern day.
Our roots go back 900 years through Dr. Masaki Hatsumi the 34th generation Grandmaster, and world renowned American pioneer, To-Shin Do Grandmaster, Stephen K. Hayes. The Tampa Quest Center enjoys the great fortune of being under the direct guidance of An-Shu Stephen K. Hayes’ senior master student and To-Shin Do pioneer, Master Mark Sentoshi Russo.