Festival ’11 Gets Fired Up!

For 31 years An-Shu Stephen K. Hayes- Founder of To-Shin-Do, has hosted an annual gathering of martial practitioners, interested in the art of Ninjutsu. While the methods of translation have undergone major changes to accommodate a 20th century view of realistic self defense, this ‘Ninja Festival’ has still maintained a strong representation of the ideas and views supported by many practitioners of the art. My first experience of festival was in 1992. I borrowed a friend’s car and drove from Great Lakes, IL (where I was stationed in the U.S. Navy) to Dayton, Ohio. I was amazed by the variety of people practicing and the various types of skill level they displayed. 2 days of non-stop outdoor training. Incredible.

Flash forward many festivals later, me almost 20 years older and still amazed at the attendance of festival…only this year, it was a bit different. I had the opportunity to bring my experience as an event producer to the energy of Festival ’11! With some changes to room esthetics, the addition of staging and sound, and me in the role of emcee, we took the experience of festival to a new level! My friend Russ Nemhauser created amazing visual pieces displayed in the training space as we transformed a hotel ballroom into a martial training hall. With its highest attendance in over 10 years, we set the stage for many interactive and entertaining festivals to come! Thank you to An-Shu Hayes for allowing us to express our vision and create a memorable experience for the many followers of To-Shin-Do!