The “Five Elements” system was developed centuries ago in India, and is still used all across Asia today.
In To-Shin Do, the Five Elements are used as a metaphor to describe the possible ways a Human Being might feel and respond when faced with danger, negative stress or conflict. It describes:
- How your body might react to a threat
- How your mind, focus and thinking process might react to a threat
- How your emotions and feelings might react to a threat
- How your words, tone of voice and breathing pattern might be affected in response to a threat
For most untrained people:
- They only know one or two ways to deal with ALL threatening situations, even if their response is completely inappropriate for the current situation at hand.
- Their response only makes a difficult situation even worse.
To-Shin Do and the Five Elements teaches you how to creatively, skillfully and appropriately harmonize your body, your mind, your emotions and your breathing to be able to successfully handle physical threats, negative stress and emotional or verbal conflict.
The Five Elements consist of: Earth, Water, Fire, Wind and Creative Potential/Void
Earth – Yellow Belt
The Earth element is the beginning and the foundation of your personal exploration into the To-Shin Do elemental model that reflects the components of nature in the world both around us and in the vast expanses of our own minds.
On the physical level, the earth element teaches us how to be grounded and stable whilst in motion. It is from this foundation that we are able to expand our options through the dynamics of the other elements.
On the psychological and emotional level, study of the earth element awakens the sense of confidence and control that supports the ability to prevail in any situation. Your training in the earth element will immediately provide you with usable and practical self defense techniques.
A non-physical example of the Earth Element would be:
You and a friend are having a debate and your friend presents his argument. Because you know your friend is missing some key facts, of which you have already verified, you calmly and confidently hold your ground; there is no need for you to struggle. As your friend realizes that you cannot be swayed to his point-of-view, he backs down and ends the debate.
The ability to move through each and every day with a sense of calm confidence is a birth rite of our very existence. Developing and/or reclaiming this sense can and will change your life experience.
Water – Blue Belt
You begin your journey in the Black Belt Club with the Water Element. Water is our defensive posture and is characterized by a scientific approach. You are aware of the situation and take time to analyze it before returning with your revelations. Again, as with all of our techniques, the kata’s are based on realistic attacks and are done at safe speeds with a training partner.
A non-physical example of the Water Element would be:
You and a friend are having a debate. Your friend presents you with a new idea that you had not thought of before. You take a step back to consider this idea and review the facts. After realizing that you are indeed correct, you move back in with your rebuttal, ending the debate.
This Element covers blue/white, blue, and blue/black belts.
Fire – Red Belt
The next step in your journey to Black Belt is the Fire Element. Fire is our assertive posture and is very committed. The second a conflict presents itself you move in and take over – you quickly deal with the problem while its small. This is not to be misunderstood with mindless violence or rage. You are very much in control of what happens and lead the situation to a rapid close.
A non-physical example of the Fire Element would be:
You and a friend are about to have a debate. Before your friend can speak you quickly deliver to him the facts, which need no furthur debate, and ends the discussion.
This Element covers red/white, red, and red/black belts.
Wind – Green Belt
The next step in your journey to Black Belt is the Wind realm. Wind is characterized by evasive circular movement and attitude. You are untouchable and light as air. Your opponents efforts to attack you are wasted as you blend in with his movements and return his energy back to him.
A non-physical example of the Wind Element would be:
You and a friend are having a debate and your friend has no interest in listening to the facts. Instead of trying to verbally force him to listen, you go around the point leaving him confused. You do not have time to waste to make him realize he may be mistaken. You quickly blend in with his argument and end the conversation at the first opportunity.
This realm covers green/white, green, and green/black belts.
Void/Creative Potential – Brown Belt
The final step before Black Belt is the Void. In the Void you learn to creatively and appropriately blend the elements in any amount (the complex), or you may choose any one of the Elements to operate from (the simple).
All of life, including conflict, is changeable and you are prepared for whatever may happen. You masterfully change and adapt without thought, skillfully doing and saying what is best for the situation at hand.
This realm covers brown/white, brown, and brown/black belts.