Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tuesday Night Karate Classes in Mesa

The Phoenix Japanese Peace Garden
It's Tuesday night at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate on Baseline Road in Mesa. Members drive to the Arizona Hombu dojo (martial arts school) between Mesa and Country Club on MacDonald and Baseline (60 W. Baseline Road). Look for the 'KARATE' sign over the door (location map for our dojo).

Soke Hausel stretches before training at the
University of Wyoming, where he taught karate,
kobudo, self-defense and samurai arts for 30
years prior to moving to Arizona. Today, 
some watch Soke Hausel stretch at the Gilbert 
Lifetime Fitness gym.
Traditional Karate Classes start at 6:45 pm. If this is your first time, stop by about 6:30 pm to talk with Soke Hausel and and feel free to watch from the peanut gallery. We have a dojo full of adults and families ranging in age from 70 to 10 years old. You will want to meet the people who train in traditional Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo. We have college professors, nurses, doctors, biologists, geologists, chemists, engineers, teachers, accountants, secretaries, students, pilots, authors, senior citizens, house wives, computer techs, lawyers, electricians and other professions represented in our group of adults and families. As one person put it, you can get an education in martial arts as well as just about any other subject from gravitational energy to gemstone deposits, and frogs to jet engines. You also get great exercise while learning to defend yourself - something you can't get at a gym.

Bowing to one another at the Arizona Hombu to show 
respect for each other as well as the martial arts.
Tuesday nights, traditional karate class begins with formal bowing and then warm up. Warm ups include a group of exercises to limber muscles, stretch ligaments, and do a few sit-ups and push-ups. Next its off to basics (kihon) where we the group trains in a variety of stances, punches, blocks, kicks and combinations. After these are performed, the class moves on to kata (forms).

Kata is everyone's favorite as these are set forms that use all kinds of techniques to develop muscle memory for self-defense applications (bunkai). At some point, a person or two will need additional help as the group ranges from white belts to master black belt instructors. When special help is needed, the group breaks up into two or more groups to provide personal assistance. Class ends at 8 pm with formal bowing.

Several members also train in advanced kata. Soke (Grandmaster) will review some advanced kata explaining the history and origin of the kata and teach the bunkai (practical self-defense applications) of all of the techniques in the kata. After review, the group may learn a new advanced kata or just focus on a bunkai from an advanced kata. Each is taught over a period of a few months so that it can be broken down piece by piece to insure the entire class understands the applications and can employ them in self-defense situations
Students practice kata in Mesa - the heart of Okinawa karate. Look closely as you neighbors might be in this class.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Traditional Martial Arts for Adults & Families at Arizona Hombu, Gilbert, Mesa, Chandler, Tempe

One of the few traditional martial arts schools in Arizona, teaches a very wide variety of Okinawan-Japanese martial arts at the Arizona Hombu on Baseline on the border of Gilbert and Mesa. At this school, one can learn traditional karate, martial arts weapons (kobudo), samurai arts, self-defense, knife defense, throwing arts (jujutsu), gun defense, body hardening, white crane shorin-ryu and more

The system of karate taught at this school is Shorin-Ryu Karate (Seiyo Kai). This is taught by Hall-of-Fame Grandmaster Hausel. Unlike self-proclaimed grandmasters in the Western world, Soke Hausel was appointed and properly certified as the world head of Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Kai by the Zen Kokusai Soke Budo Bugei Renmei in 1999.

Drums at the entrance to the pagoda exhibit the Okinawan (as well as Shorin-Ryu) icon