The Art of Winning Blog

Friday, June 28, 2013

To-Shin Do Water Element Testimonial

I hope you'll be joining us for tonight's graduation. To-Shin Do ninja are testing at 6:00 (the Dragons test at 5:15). To help you get psyched, here's a testimonial from the extra credit of one of tonight's testers.

"Water training has taught me the incredible value of a single second of time. I can step away from the immediate danger, identify friend or foe, breathe, and begin my next action. It's amazing. Now I am even more conscious of all those precious seconds when I catch myself wasting time."

Click here for more information on ninja graduation.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

DOMA, Texas Women, and more Semantics

I was thrilled to wake up this morning and read the news that DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) was deemed unconstitutional and that the filibuster protected health care rights in TX. However, as the morning has continued, I find myself slightly disturbed. DOMA is not a victory for gay rights. It is a victory for human rights. The filibuster wasn't in defense of women; it was in defense of health care. Yes there are marginalized groups that would have been more negatively impacted by other results. But in finding the victories, we are removing those artificial distinctions. We are saying "This is the world I want to live in. This is equality, where difference doesn't equal exclusion".

Jackson Katz has an amazingly powerful Tedx talk about the importance of semantics and the bystander effect. We are the bystanders who should claim our voice and say the DOMA defeat is a victory for couples. Now we put the emphasis on love, bonding, and responsibility, not on the gender of the individuals. Now we can focus on more important distinctions as we've recognized that gender is not a distinction that negatively effects love and marriage. We are the bystanders who should stand with the people of Texas to say thank you for supporting people's access to health care. It wasn't just about abortion (that's the headline), it was about how to regulate out-patient medical care.

I'm also going to say that it wasn't liberals who defeated DOMA, nor conservatives who supported it.  It was people and to truly move into a brighter we need to understand people, and stop attacking the labels.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Dads, Choices, and To-Shin Do

My Dad was an amazing and complicated man. He was obsessed with work (I strive to be more balanced and I sometimes succeed), loved his family, and had trouble expressing emotions. One day when we sitting by the pool, I was complaining that boys could pee standing up and girls can't. Yup, I was about 5 and yes, it's something I'm still a little jealous of. My Dad looked at me very solemnly and said, "Well, why don't you become a boy then".
Me: "Silly Daddy. You can't just change like that."
Dad: "You can. It's not easy but the leprechauns say that if you can kiss your elbow, you'll change into a boy, or a girl, if you are already a boy."

I thought this magic sounded wonderful; I wanted the ability to change gender and pick the right tools for the job with just a simple kiss. Wow. It turns out kissing your elbow isn't easy, however. I know because I tried for days and every once in awhile, I try again just to see. Then I started to get scared because what if I got stuck...AS A BOY. Ick. Horrors. No can do.

So back I went to my Dad (who I'm pretty sure had forgotten that he'd told me the tale) and solemnly declared that I didn't want to get stuck being a boy and I was happy being a girl, thank you very much.

The moral of the story that I intended to share is this: I'm proud to be a girl and I got that gift from Dad. Having a free week for Dads this week is my way of saying thank-you.

But as I wrote, I had a second realization. Even at age 5, I was looking for ways to be more capable, to have more choices at my fingertips (or elbow). Is it any surprise that I found this To-Shin Do path? Through the elements, we get to enhance our natural talents, and develop ways of being that are new to us. We get to develop the opportunity for choices. We get to love who we are in this skin, and not wish for someone else's.

Dads, I hope you'll join us this week.

Mary Aitoshi
Warrior of the Loving Blade

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Meet Miss Anna

Miss Anna Roseman from Chapel Hill, NC has joined our staff for the summer. Anna earned her 1st degree black belt at Mountain Quest 2012 and also trains in BJJ. She'll be teaching Ninja Secrets in July (Groundfighting), helping at the desk, and teaching colored belt classes. She's also a welcome addition to camps. When you come to class this week, please join me in making Miss Anna feel the ninja love. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Always Training and Loving It

 I love training and learning and pushing myself to new levels of excellence. When I first became a student in To-Shin Do, I was inspired by the tagline "Unleash Your Potential" because I knew I was holding myself back. Even at just 25 years old, I could feel invisible ropes that I'd tied to my spirit to keep me safe. Over the past 15 years on this path, I've cut so many of those ropes and I continue to train so that I'm the best me that I can be.

My dedication to training is why I bring my teacher out every year. An-Shu Stephen and Rumiko Hayes are inspirations in my life and I want to share this inspiration with you. I want you to have the opportunity to train with these incredible teachers. I was working with my business coach today (part of my dedication to excellence) and I developed this vision for An-Shu's visit:

You are inspired by this amazing community, including the teachings and the teachers. You want to fully present with your experience. You leave ready to train again tomorrow, and the next day, and the weeks and months after that, because you know that learning opens your potential to be a bright and positive force of good.

I hope you'll join us for Ryu-Tai and Dragon Riding Invisibility on Friday night and then stay for 2-Day experience of the Copper Dagger to attract the bright forces that will help you achieve your goals. Don't miss this opportunity; register today.

Stephen K. Hayes Pro Shop

1501 Lee Hill Road #18|Boulder, Colorado 80304|Phone: 303.440.3647|Email: