A Modern Approach To The Authentic Ninja Martial Art
Mark Sentoshi Russo began his martial arts training in 1965 at the age of eight. As an obsessively dedicated student of the martial arts he sought skill and knowledge in many different disciplines. By the age of twenty-five he had earned teaching licenses in four disciplines as follows:
4th degree Black Belt Okinawan Shorin-ryu
2nd degree Black Belt Okinawan Kobujutsu (weaponry)
1st Degree Black Belt Korean Tae Kwon Do (Under Legendary Teacher Joon Rhee)
1st Degree Black Belt Japanese Kempo Jutsu
After years as a successful tournament competitor Mr. Russo, through uncanny circumstances, met the father of American Ninjitsu, Stephen K. Hayes. In his own words, “An-shu Hayes toyed with me like a mouse. In that moment I knew this is what I’d been looking for my whole life.”
Through training with An-shu Hayes Mr. Russo met and trained with 34th generation Ninjitsu Grandmaster Maasaki Hatsumi. After decades of training at home and abroad he was awarded 5th Degree Master instructor teaching license by Grandmaster Hatsumi.
In the late nineties An-shu Hayes initiated and formalized a more modern and practical form of the Ninja martial arts and named it To-Shin Do (the way of the heart and the sword). Master Russo has been an integral part of this tradition from the beginning. In 2001 Master Russo was inducted into the To-Shi order and given the warrior name Sentoshi – Warrior of the Lightning Bright Blade. In 2011 Master Mark Sentoshi Russo became the first person in history to achieve and be awarded an 8th degree Black Belt in the art of To-Shin Do. As Senior Master, and the highest ranking student, he remains the only 8th degree in the world in his chosen art. As An-shu Hayes promoted Master Russo he stated, "the world of martial arts is different because of Mark Russo."
A firm believer in balance and education Master Russo also holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration and Transpersonal Counseling.
Master Russo and His wife Helen opened the doors of their full time training Dojo in March of 1997 in Tampa, Florida with the goal of creating a martial arts school built around a community of individuals committed to bettering and developing themselves, mentally, physically and spiritually.
After 20 successful years in New Tampa the school was relocated to Wesley Chapel two years ago. Our Dojo welcomes students from all backgrounds, skills, ages and abilities to come and experience a program that is truly transformative.
We invite you to visit us and experience why we are rated the best martial arts school in Tampa Bay.