Stephen K. Hayes was inducted into the prestigious Black Belt Hall of Fame for his years of pioneering work in introducing the Japanese ninja martial art to the American public. Hayes was awarded the extremely rare Ju-dan Tenth Degree Black Belt license by grandmaster Masaaki Hatsumi of Chiba-ken, Japan. He is the founder of the martial art of To-Shin Do, a contemporary mind and body self-protection system based on ancient ninja martial arts principles updated and adapted for application to modern threats and pressures.
Masaaki Hatsumi trained with grandmaster Toshitsugu Takamatsu for 15 years and was granted the title of soke (lineage head) for the nine martial arts that he learned from Takamatsu Sensei. Hatsumi was inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame in 1986. His many books on the history, philosophy and methods of the Japanese martial arts have been translated into several languages.