Saturday, March 22, 2014

Mesa Arizona Karate Students Train in Samurai Arts

What makes my job as the head instructor at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate so fun, is our students. I have a great group of adult and family students ranging in age from 70 to 10. When I taught at various universities over the past 5 decades, I always taught adults and never got much of a chance to teach children.

Our students and faculty at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate travel from Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert, Phoenix, Tempe and even Scottsdale, Queen Creek and Apache Junction to train in Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo. As a certified Juko Kai Samurai, Kyoju (Professor) of martial arts at the University of Wyoming and now world head of Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Kai, I still look forward to teaching. The reason is the art that is taught is authentic traditional (non-sport) Okinawan Karate and Kobudo and all of our students are friendly. I've been very lucky in this regard because after teaching for more than 40 years, I've only had 2 or 3 problem students out of 5,000 students.

When I became the grandmaster of our Shorin-Ryu karate organization, I decided to expand the curriculum to include samurai arts, particularly since I had Shihan (master instructor) certifications in some samurai arts. So I incorporated some samurai arts into Seiyo Kai Shorin-Ryu such that members of our organization are trained in the classical Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo techniques, as well as the Samurai arts that include iaido (fast draw sword), kenjutsu (combat sword), sojutsu (Okinawan spear), naginata (pole arm), bojutsu (combat bo), hanbo (half bo), jo (4-foot bo), jujutsu (restraining and throwing arts), tanto (knife arts), hojojutsu (restraining arts) and manrikigusari (chain and rope arts).

We have a group of highly qualified instructors. One is Sensei Paula Borea. Sensei Borea is Japanese-American born into samurai lineage. She is a tiger in the dojo and a grandmother and enjoys keeping up with the samurai traditions.

Senpai Sarah trains with Adam Bialek using
manrikigusari (rope or chain).
Jujutsu was important in the samurai arts - it taught samurai
how to defend against an armed and armored attacker.
Here, Sensei Kati restrains Sensei Kris Urbanek at the
University of Wyoming.
All tied up and no place to go. Samurai of old were trained in hojojutsu - the art of restraining. Hanshi Andy
Finley, 7th dan at the Casper, Wyoming dojo, is tied up during samurai arts classes.
Sojutsu arts - Our samurai train with the yari (Okinawan spear)
Soke Hausel demonstrates the classical Halloween art of pumpkin carving in Gilbert, Arizona

Senpai Ben Corley trains with tanto (knife) at the University of Wyoming