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The Exciting Art of To-Shin Do: Kyna Burke ’19 at the Dayton Quest Center

My second Co-op in my Antioch experience is the complete opposite of my first Co-op despite them both occurring in Southwest Ohio. I am working full time as an intern at the Dayton Quest Center, which is a To-Shin Do dojo here in Dayton. At the dojo, over two hundred students come to train under experienced instructors. To-Shin Do is a modernized form of Japanese ninjutsu, and it focuses on self-defense and the journey of oneself to better the world.

My day-to-day task schedule can vary quite a bit. I usually arrive at the dojo at noon. On Mondays and Thursdays, we have an All Rank class at noon, and the rest of our classes start at 4:45PM during the week. The first thing I do is run through a daily checklist, which involves checking phone messages, updating appointments, opening the cash register, and completing a general clean up check. The few quiet hours between opening and the first classes are generally used for staff meetings, filling online orders, and updating our current attendance-keeping program to better fit our needs. When classes start, I am usually behind the desk, asking questions, answering the phone, or helping to set up appointments, private lessons, or memberships. During some classes, I am able to help run them. I especially love to work with our COOL Kids class, which are a group of four to seven year olds. Their energy makes me smile. I also sometimes coach in the Level One class, which is a new experience for me that I hoped to gain through this Co-op. During Level Two classes, I train. Part of why my experience here is going so well is that I have a new place to train and learn and grow my knowledge of To-Shin Do. In the other classes, I am usually stamping attendance cards and entering them into our system, or I am interacting with the families that come to watch the classes their kids are in. Meeting this community and getting to know the people individually has been such an honor.

During the first week of the month, most of my time is spent on preparing the month’s graduation list, pulling color belts for graduation, filling inventory orders, and making new attendance cards for those that had just graduated the week before. The second and third weeks are mostly filled with updating the graduation list, ordering anything we might need, and catching up with any task we may have looked over. Week four gets a little hectic. Week four is test week, where those with their names on the graduation list are tested in class on the techniques for the month. We give out “stripes” of electrical tape that we wrap around the ends of the belts of those who are progressing well. Once a student gets their red stripe, it means they will graduate at the end of the week. We host our graduations on the Friday of week four, and it is always a big celebration.

I have trained To-Shin Do for over a year now. I knew once I started that I would want to practice it for a long time. I am glad that I was given the opportunity to intern at the Dayton Quest Center. The skills and experiences I have gained through this job are unlike anything I have ever experienced. Along with growing as a person, I have also been able to meet a large number of new people. The community of the dojo welcomed me with warm and open arms, like I was already one of their own. The dojo is truly a family. I feel that I could talk to anyone in the dojo about something happening in my life, and that they would listen and try their best to help me if they could. A community with that level of trust and care from the first moment you enter it is worth more than any treasure in the world. I am incredibly thankful for my time at the Dayton Quest Center, and I know I will be sticking around for quite a while longer.

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Hello! My name is Kyna Burke. For those of you wondering, my name is pronounced “Key-na.” I’m an Environmental Science major at Antioch College. My interests include playing the ukulele and piano, practicing photography, To-Shin Do, feminism and equality, performing, and the spreading of happiness, positivity, and self-care. I am currently on co-op in Dayton, Ohio at the Dayton Quest Center, which is the local To-Shin Do dojo. I am loving my experience here!   I consider myself incredibly positive. While most people may find the downside of a situation, you can count on me to find something good out of any situation. I understand that some find this to be a sign of naivety, but I believe positivity is essential to successful projects, organizations, and keeping people grounded and inspired. I also find myself supporting people and their personal choices because I believe we as humans have the right to with our lives as we please. I am a natural leader and great public speaker. I used to act, sing, and dance on a stage for about four years; a speech in front of fifty people is nothing more than a small crack on the sidewalk in terms of an obstacle. I am crafty, and I love working with my hands. I do enjoy working on a computer in programs such as Photoshop. I am creative, expressive, and a great problem solver.   I am incredibly interested in botany, floriculture, forestry, and ecology. Although I have a great love for performance and art, I love to delve into the world of science, chemicals, and ecosystems. I love to get my hands dirty and explore through touch and sight, as well as learning how a small change in an ecosystem can alter it entirely. I would love to combine my love for science and art by using some sort of education to teach people. However, I would like to avoid getting a Master’s in Teaching and Education and educate people in a different method.   For my future Co-ops, I plan to go farther than I’ve dared to go before. My home is in Oregon, so living in Ohio (and so far from close family) is a challenge. I’d like to challenge myself even more and explore the world on my own. I am grateful for the Co-op program because I believe it will allow me to grow independently and give me skills to thrive as an individual. Thank you for reading this small description of me. I hope we get to meet in person one day and share fun and exciting stories together. Until then, I hope you have a wonderful day.

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