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. Our dojo (martial arts school) is located between Mesa and Country Club on MacDonald. Just look for the 'KARATE' sign over the door. Just take a look at a location map for our dojo.

Soke Hausel stretches before training at the
University of Wyoming karate club
Traditional Karate Classes begin at 6:45 pm. If this is your first time, stop by about 6:30 pm to talk with Soke Hausel and you can either watch from the peanut gallery, or sign up for lessons and pay your monthly fee, sign a release form, and start training. Regardless, you will want to meet the people who train in traditional Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo. We have college professors, biologists, geologists, chemists, engineers, teachers, accountants, secretaries, students, pilots, ditch diggers, authors, senior citizens, house wives, computer techs, lawyers, electricians and other professions represented in our group of adults and families.

Bowing to one another at the Arizona Hombu to show 
respect for each other as well as the martial arts.
Tuesday nights, our traditional karate class begins with formal bowing and then warm up with a group of exercises that includes limbering muscles, stretching, sit-ups and push-ups. Next its off to basics (kihon) where we practice a variety of stances, punches, blocks, kicks and combinations. After these are performed, we move on to kata (forms). Kata is everyone's favorite as these are set forms that use all kinds of techniques that provide muscle memory for self-defense applications (bunkai). At some point, some need additional help as our group ranges from white belts to master instructors. When special help is needed, our group breaks up into two or more groups to provide personal assistance.

Class ends at 7:40 pm with formal bowing.

At 7:45 pm, most members stay for advanced kata training. In this class, Soke (Grandmaster) reviews some advanced kata explaining the history and origin of the kata and also teaches the bunkai (practical self-defense applications) of all of the techniques in the kata. After review, the group moves onto learning a specific advanced kata. Each kata is taught over a period of a few months so that it can be broken down piece by piece and to also insure the entire class understands the applications and can employ them in self-defense situations. This class typically ends at 8:20 pm.
Students practice kata in Mesa - the heart of Okinawa karate.