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About Our Art

The Chapel Hill Quest Center’s primary martial arts focus is To-Shin Do Ninja Martial Arts, which derives from Ninjutsu, the 1200 year old Japanese martial art of the legendary Ninja warriors.

Founded by Black Belt Hall of Fame member Stephen K. Hayes, To-Shin Do martial arts training develops the ability to live fully and operate effectively in all areas of life. Our program uses a thorough system of personal preparation for facing the conflicts and opposition that are inevitable in the course of everyday life.

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 handling 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.

The Chapel Hill Quest Center teaches both the Modern and Classical training forms of the To-Shin Do system.

In the Modern training you learn methods of defense against:

  • Grappling, throwing, choking, and joint-locking
  • Striking, kicking, and punching
  • Stick, blade, cord, and projectile weapons
  • Successfully handling multiple assailants and surprise attacks
  • Overcoming psychological intimidation or bullying

In the Traditional Japanese training, you learn:

  • Ninpo Taijutsu – Unarmed combat
  • Kenjutsu – Long and short sword
  • Bojutsu – 6 ft. Staff
  • Han-Bo-Jutsu – Short staff and cane
  • Tanto-Jutsu – Knife
  • Kusari-Fundo – Chain and rope arts
  • Shuriken-Jutsu – Projectile weapons
  • Ukemi – Receiving and break fall skills
  • Randori – Multiple attackers
  • Newaza – Ground fighting

You will have the opportunity to learn and become proficient in one or several of the above areas of specialized study.

The Quest Centers were founded by tenth degree black belt Stephen K. Hayes. Stephen K. Hayes was the first martial artist in the western world to be taught the secrets of Ninjutsu by the 34th generation Grand Master Masaaki Hatsumi in Japan. Mr. Hayes organized these teachings into an easily understandable curriculum called To-Shin Do. Mr. Hayes is a member of the Black Belt Hall of Fame, and has been named Black Belt Magazine Instructor of the year. He is personal security advisor to Nobel Peace Prize recipient, the Dalai Lama of Tibet. He has taught skills to members of the U.S. Air Force Academy, the FBI Academy, Great Britain’s SAS, and law enforcement agencies nationwide. He is a bestselling author and is well known for his books on the Ninja.

The Chapel Hill Quest Center, convenient to Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Durham, was founded in 1998 by Dr. Richard Stack, a student of Mr. Hayes'.  The original Quest Center (the Hombu Dojo) is located in Dayton, Ohio.

There are now schools affliated with the SKH network located all across the US and world. The Chapel Hill Quest Center is honored to host Mr. Hayes for one to two weekend-long seminars each year.