SENIOR INSTRUCTORS train and supervise Instructor Corps members to deliver classes in SKH Quest To-Shin Do Affiliate Schools. To qualify as To-Shin Do SENIOR INSTRUCTOR, you must be at least 2nd Degree Black Belt, at least 18 years old, serve as INSTRUCTOR for 1 year, and complete a course of workshops and lessons under direction of Stephen & Rumiko Hayes and SKH Quest headquarters staff.
Michael Stinson – Senior Instructor
Michael Stinson began studying To-Shin Do in 1993 with Mark Russo at the Tampa Quest Center in Tampa, FL. Shortly after Mr. Russo began his Quest Center, Mr. Stinson became aware that he wanted to be closely involved with the To-Shin Do tradition. Over the next several years, Mark Russo and the Tampa Quest Center staff gave Mr. Stinson excellent training experience both as a student and to develop his abilities as an instructor. During this period, he also assisted in the creation and running of Tampa’s Mighty Dragons Program, a class for 6-year-olds.
During his years of training with Mark Russo, Mr. Stinson also took many opportunities to train with other individuals involved in both To-Shin Do and the Bujinkan nationwide. In 2000, he moved to Phoenix, AZ to pursue an opportunity in the growing Internet industry. Over the next two years, he continued to train with various Bujinkan groups, and traveled to Dayton, OH to train with Stephen K. Hayes at the Dayton Quest Center whenever possible. He also traveled to Japan to train with Dr. Hatsumi, who is Mr. Hayes’ teacher, and other high-ranking Japanese instructors. Mr. Stinson met his fiance and co-Quest Center owner, Lori Stinson, during his training experiences in the Phoenix area.
Michael formally approached Mr. Hayes concerning the opening of a Phoenix Quest Center while at the Dayton Festival in 2001, and after almost a year of hard work and determination, the doors to the Phoenix Quest Center were opened on July 20, 2002. Teaching and helping people Unleash their Potential is one of the most rewarding experiences Mr. Stinson has found.
INSTRUCTORS are qualified to deliver a great training experience to a variety of age and experience groups. To qualify as a To-Shin Do Instructor, you must be at least Brown & White Belt, at least 18 years old, serve as TRAINER for 6 months, and complete a course of workshops and lessons under direction of a To-Shin Do Senior Instructor. INSTRUCTORS are licensed by SKH Quest Headquarters, and receive e-mail updates from Stephen & Rumiko Hayes and Senior Instructors.
Nate Smith – Instructor
Nate Smith started training in To Shin Do and at the Phoenix Quest Center in 2003. Mr. Smith has been a martial arts enthusiast ever since watching his first action/martial arts movie growing up. He eventually got to a point in his life where he was able to start training in a martial art. Mr. Smith only looked around for a very short period of time, because when he found the Quest Center (through a search of one Mr. Hayes’s books online) he came through the doors and never left. Mr. Smith enjoys the life skills, the training and the people he trains with. As of right now Mr. Smith is currently working towards his 4th degree black belt, sho-den level of the kenjutsu as well as the instructor level. Mr. Smith looks forward to the many years to come as he grows as a person through this art.
Mr. Smiths life outside of the dojo consist of work, spending time with his wife and daughter, finding other training subjects to pursue and become proficient in, paintballing when he can and drawing. Mr. Smith has been paintballing for quite some time now and has played in one tournament called the SPPL (Scenario Paintball Players League). Scenario or Woodsball is played out in the woods with more objective based strategies to try and to accomplish. The gear is set up to be more tactical, most scenario games run for hours at times and the players equipment needs to be able to carry everything with the kitchen sink. Mr. Smith has taken a lot of what he has learned in the dojo out onto the paintball field. Another thing that Mr. Smith that has applied his training towards is firearms. Learning the dynamics or technique to shooting and then testing the technique out on the range running from one obstacle to another and shooting targets at each obstacle. These skills come in handy for him as a security professional.
In regards to paintball how Mr. Smith applies his skills, this is what he says; “The way I move the way I crouch and the way I stalk is all based off of my foot work, rolling and “stealth” walking that I’ve learned while training at the Quest Center”. While applying his skills to shooting he also says that “The firearm is the modern day sword. If you chose to carry one for self protection, or for work, learn how to use that firearm from any distance, every situation and as many shooting positions as possible. Also add in how to keep it and how to take it away.”
“To-Shin do is not just about using your body, ie hands, feet, knees, elbows etc…, to defend yourself. Its learning how to defend yourself using your spirit and mind and not let the bullies of the world crush those two things.”
When Mr. Smith has the day to spend he spends it with his wife and daughter being the best dad and husband that he can be.
Joe Franco – Instructor
Joe Franco began his martial arts journey in New York as a teenager in the 1970s. Mr Franco Started wrestling at the age of 10 and went on undefeated in High School. He started with the Tracy Brothers Kenpo Karate Federation and he holds a 2nd Dan.
Mr. Franco also trained with Richard Barathy in American Combat Karate before moving to Arizona in1984 to pursue a career in graphic arts.
In Arizona Joe began training with the Ed Parker Federation(IKKA) and now holds a 3rd Dan. After years with Kenpo Karate he expanded his training with Tang Soo Do holding a 2nd Dan. He eventually moved on to the United Fighting Arts Federation (Chuck Norris system) where he trained for the next 10 years. After taking a break in his training to pursue other interests, Joe began training in To-Shin Do in 2005 at the Phoenix Quest Center and is currently a 1st Dan.
As a student of Mr. Stinson Mr. Franco began his To-Shin Do training with an empty cup that is being filled with great knowledge and a new way to train. He has had opportunities to personally train with To-Shin Do senior instructors including Anshu Stephen & Rumiko Hayes, John Gentoshi Poliquin, Mark Sentoshi Russo,and Brett Dotoshi Varnum.
Mr. Franco holds many trophies in kick boxing and point fighting and has participated as a Professional Kickboxing Judge(PKA).
Mr Franco has trained with some of the most prominent martial arts legends Ed Parker, Robert Trias, Chuck Norris, Richard Barathy, Benny the Jet Urquidez, Joe Lewis, Howard Jackson, Stephen K. Hayes and J T Will.
TRAINERS assist Instructors by presenting drills, exercises, and individual instruction in To-Shin Do classes. To qualify as To-Shin Do TRAINER, you must be at least Red & White Belt, at least 16 years old, and complete a course of workshops and lessons under direction of an SKH Quest To-Shin Do Senior Instructor. TRAINERS are registered with SKH Quest Hombu Dojo, and receive e-mail updates from Stephen & Rumiko Hayes and Senior Instructors.
- Paul Williams
COACHES support Instructors who present up-beat and inspiring To-Shin Do classes. Learning how to encourage others is the first step towards Instructor licensing. To qualify as To-Shin Do Coach, you must be at least Blue & White Belt, be at least 16 years old, and complete the Coaching Seminar under supervision of an SKH Quest Center To-Shin Do Senior Instructor.
- Leonard Rickmers