Arizona Martial Arts Blog

Arizona Martial Artists Train in Kobudo

Posted on June 4, 2012 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Mesa, AZ, June 4, 2012: Martial artists from Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Scottsdale, Phoenix & Tempe completed a year of training with Okinawa tonfa at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate in Mesa. The Okinawa tonfa is thought to have originated as a farming implement likely from the wooden frame or handle of a millstone. It has been referred to as the ‘millstone handle’ for decades. The Arizona students trained in the tonfa every Thursday evening for a year before they were able to certify.

Many law enforcement agencies use (or have used) a baton modeled after the tonfa, but law enforcement only trains with one baton unlike martial artists & officers only receive cursory training, unlike Shorin-Ryu martial artists who train with it constantly. It is known as the side-handle baton in law enforcement, or PR-24.

After a year of training, a group of martial artists from the Phoenix valley were certified in Okinawa Tonfa by Grandmaster Soke Hausel, 10th dan. But as Soke Hausel stated, "This is only the beginning of your training in tonfa & kobudo in general. We have gone through the process of certifying in Okinawa tonfa; and after a year, this means we are now capable of learning more and we should all plan to continue training & learning about the tonfa for the rest of our lives". In the past few years, some students at the school have also in tonfa (), kuwa, and katana ().

To demonstrate their expertise, members had to perform basic blocks and strikes known as kihon (基本). They further had to test in three kata () (forms) and demonstrate understanding of the forms in a group of self-defense applications known as bunkai (分解). Such forms were created by Okinawan body guards & peasants centuries ago as living encyclopedias of self-defense applications.

Finally, the group tested using tonfa in kumite (組手) (sparring) against other martial artists armed with Okinawa bo () or kon (6-foot long staff or pole). During kumite, students (内弟子) (deshi) do not wear protective equipment other than safety glasses. The group showed expertise in the weapon and five were certified. Those receiving certifications in Okinawa Tonfa included Adam Bialek, Patrick Scofield, Sarah Kamenicky, William Borea and Ryan Harden. We congratulate them for a job well done!

Members of the Kobudo Class will continue training with tonfa. In the upcoming months, they will focus on one tonfa (as well as two tonfa) and use the weapon against attackers with clubs, knives and learn a variety of restraints and jujutsu throws with the weapon. In addition, the group started to focus on the Okinawa sai (). They will also learn the Okinawa Eku and Japanese naginata (薙刀) in the near future and continue training in the hanbo (半棒), katana and naginata on Wednesday evenings.

Classes at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate are set up so that students learn Shorin-Ryu Karate on Tuesday evenings, Samurai arts and self-defense on Wednesday evenings, and Kobudo arts on Thursday evenings.


Hall of Honors Inducts Arizona Grandmaster of Martial Arts

Posted on May 17, 2012 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (0)

ARIZONA MARTIAL ARTIST inducted into the Academy of Awards of Martial Arts

Planet News (5/17/2012) reported:

Hall of Fame martial artist, geologist, author, public speaker, astronomer, prospector and artist, Grandmaster Hausel of Arizona, was inducted into Action Martial Arts Magazine’s Hall of Honors 2012. Soke Hausel, a martial arts instructor of more than 4 decades, taught karate, kobudo, jujutsu & self-defense at four universities prior to opening a martial arts center at the border of Mesa with Gilbert and Chandler in the Phoenix valley. Soke is an instructor of Shorin-Ryu Karate, a martial art originally developed on Okinawa that teaches its members to respect oneself, each other, and works to develop powerful techniques. For centuries, it was the martial art of body guards for Okinawan royalty and peasants and was strictly guarded in secrecy, such that even the Japanese conquerors of Okinawa had no idea it existed until it was introduced to Japan in the early 1900s by Shorin-Ryu great, Gichin Funakoshi (1868-1957). Remember Mr. Miyagi and Daniel-san in the Karate Kid? Same karate!


Master Alan Goldberg, publisher of Action Martial Arts Magazine stated, “Congratulations, we take great pride and pleasure to inform you of your Induction as an Ambassador to the Martial Arts, into the Largest and one of the most Prestigious Martial Arts Halls of Honor in the World”.


Action Martial Arts Magazine touts their Hall of Honor to be the world’s largest gathering of martial arts superstars, film and combat celebrities and renowned masters in the world. The event has become known as the Academy of Awards of Martial Arts that is held at the Tropicana in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Soke Hausel was recognized for Outstanding Contributions to Martial Arts as a Grandmaster.


In karate, there is only one living Grandmaster in any particular martial arts style or system. Hausel is the grandmaster of Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Kai, Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Karate Renmei and Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Budo Bugei Renmei.


Hausel began training in martial arts in mid-1960s and 40 years later (in 2004), he was awarded the highest rank in Okinawan Karate: 10th degree black belt. Prior to this event, he reached his greatest achievement in martial arts when he was certified Soke Shodai (grandmaster) in 1999 and certified by two of the world’s greatest martial arts grandmasters.


At the turn of the century, he was inducted into the Millennium Hall of Fame as a polymath due to contributions to geological sciences, public speaking, writing and martial arts (he has also been active in art, astronomy and music). He is an author of nearly 1000 publications and 100 books and responsible for discovery of hundreds of gold and gemstone deposits.

In 2001, he was inducted into the National Rock Hound and Lapidary Hall of Fame. Since 1998, he has been inducted into 16 Halls of Fame around the world for martial arts and geology and has been awarded Instructor of the Year in 1998 and 2004, the International Instructor of the Year in 2001, and Grandmaster of the Year in 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2005 by various national and international martial arts associations.


Professor Hausel of Mesa, Arizona was inducted into Action Martial Arts Hall of Honors at the Tropicana Resort in New Jersey for Outstanding Contributions to Martial Arts as a Grandmaster. Hausel taught martial arts at 4 universities before teaching at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate at 60 W. Baseline in Mesa.

Martial Arts Experts Travel to Arizona for Training

Posted on April 25, 2012 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (0)


April 12th, a group of senior martial artists from Murray, Utah traveled from Salt Lake City to Phoenix Sky Harbor airport to train at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate and Seiyo Kai martial arts facility in Mesa and Gilbert, Arizona. The group from Utah included Kyoshi Watson, 8th degree black belt and Renshi Stoneking, 6th degree black belt of the Utah Shorin-Kai.


The group trained in advanced Okinawan Karate Kata (forms) that included many devastating self-defense applications against a variety of attacks. The group also trained with hanbo (law enforcement night stick, or 3-foot club) along with restraints and also in traditional Okinawan kenjutsu (samurai sword). The three day clinic was taught by Soke Hausel, 10th degree black belt and Hall of Fame martial artist from Arizona.


Soke Hausel recently trained librarians from Chandler, Arizona and faculty, staff and students from the University of Wyoming in self-defense.

Arizona Martial Arts Students Defend Against Attacks

Posted on April 20, 2012 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Patrick Scofield was promoted to gokyu (green belt) and Ryan Harden was promoted to sankyu (brown belt) at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate in Mesa and Gilbert, Arizona after demonstrating several kata (forms), kobudo (weapons), and self-defense against armed and unarmed attackers. The above photo shows Ryan Harden (right) training with Shihan Adam, 5th dan.





Posted on April 5, 2012 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (0)

BREAKING NEWS!  Or should we say, ROCK BREAKING NEWS in ARIZONA. Each spring, as it is traditional in Okinawa, Our students learn the art of tameshiwara (breaking rocks) along with a little geology!

When Soke Hausel started training in martial arts, most in the US were of the impression this was the primary function of karate and jujutsu -breaking things. In reality, it is a very, very minor part of karate and practiced to assist in development of self-confidence. Many US schools use rebreakable boards, but being that we are a traditional Okinawan martial arts school and Soke Hausel is also a geologist, there are plenty rocks willing to assist us. So, Soke heads out to the field to pick up a bag of rocks. This year, many came from the Salt River flood plain in Phoenix, while others came from the Gleeson Mining District east of Tombstone. The bag contains rocks of all different sizes.

So, for the past 40 years, Soke Hausel has taught this art to a few thousand students and all (exept one) have been able to break rocks after proper instruction.


Mesa Martial Artist Inducted

Posted on January 30, 2012 at 1:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Professor Hausel of the Arizona School of Traditional Karate in Mesa, Arizona, was inducted into Action Martial Arts Hall of Honors at the Tropicana Resort in New Jersey on January 20th, 2012. Touted as the world’s largest gathering of martial arts superstars, film & combat celebrities & renowned masters in the world, the event has become known as the Academy of Awards of Martial Arts. Inducted for Outstanding Contributions to Martial Arts as a Grandmaster, Professor Hausel has taught martial arts for more than 4 decades at 4 universities prior to teaching at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate at 60 W. Baseline in Mesa.  Grandmaster Hausel has been inducted into 15 Halls of Fame since 1998.

Photo of Soke Hausel in 1999


Posted on October 14, 2011 at 3:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Few people master martial arts – it takes years of dedication & training. When most people think of a master of martial arts, they visualize an old, wise, Oriental monk; or a faster than life karate master who is almost indestructible. Hollywood exaggerates nearly all elements of a martial arts master. To be a true master of martial arts, one must learn considerable oriental philosophy, history, traditions and of course, martial arts.

It is rare for a PhD to earn a Master Degree: not a master’s degree from college but a master degree in Shorin-Ryu Karate. Reaching the level of a PhD and Professor requires dedication to a particular field of study and research leaving little time for anything else. And to do the same in martial arts is rare.

Dr Neal Adam, associate professor of biology at Grand Canyon University, has dedicated the past 30 years to learning karate while pursuing a career in science. His love for karate reached a level of nearly complete comprehension of Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Seiyo Kai Karate and Kobudo. To reach such a level of expertise, one must understand the mechanics and physics of karate, they must comprehend the philosophy of the art, they must learn dozens of complex forms and be able to demonstrate the forms without thinking and with extraordinary power and focus, they must master several ancient weapons, and they must learn to defend themselves effectively.

The Master diploma is a measure of one’s expertise and translates in Japanese as Shihan and can only be granted by a Soke (photo below - Soke Hausel presents diplomas to Dr. Neal Adam in Mesa) . Dr. Neal Adam reached this level and was presented certifications of Shihan and godan (5th degree black belt) after testing in front of Soke Hausel, world head of Seiyo Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo at the Hombu (world headquarters) in Mesa.

Arizona Karate classes and clinics

Posted on April 17, 2011 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Within the East Valley of Phoenix, the Arizona School of Traditional Karate (also the world headquarters for Seiyo-Kai Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo) located at 60 W. Baseline Road in Mesa (near Country Club Road) welcomes visitors.

The Arizona School of Traditional Karate is a traditional Okinawan karate school with typical Japanese décor. Stop by and see us and see why we have so many dedicated members.

In the upcoming weeks, we are planning several clinics and events along with our normal class schedule. The majority of our classes are geared towards teaching adults in self-defense and the traditional art of Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo, but we also teach Japanese samurai arts. We also have an award-winning kids karate class, but this class is restricted to a handful of students who have first trained with their parents in the family classes.

In the upcoming weeks, we are looking forward to visitors from the Utah Shorin-Kai who will train at our school under Professor Hausel and study Okinawan forms and self-defense applications. The group will fly into Phoenix on May 28th and train for the next few days in Mesa.

This will be followed by a special clinic for non-martial artists – the general public is invited to learn self-defense at our school in Mesa on Saturday May, 7th as Hall of Fame martial artist, Soke Hausel teaches the public another use for their knees, elbows and even car keys. Soke Hausel is well known for clinics taught to the public. He was awarded the North American Black Belt Hall of Fame’s 2001 International Instructor of the Year and the American Karate Association’s Hall of Fame 2004 Instructor of the Year.

Another clinic is scheduled on the weekend of May 14th, when members from Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming will train under the Hall of Fame martial artist in Okinawan Yari (spear) and Kotekikai (body hardening). This clinic is only open to members of Seiyo Kai International.

This will be followed by a visit from the Police DAV karate team from India who are heading to Mesa to train in martial arts.

Last week, two members of the Arizona School of Traditional karate tested for rank advancement, while other members from Utah, Wyoming and Vietnam also tested for rank and were promoted by Soke Hausel.

In further news, the Hombu in Mesa was rated as having the TOP-RATED KARATE classes in the Phoenix Valley.

Top-Rated Karate Classes in Phoenix

Posted on March 17, 2011 at 7:40 PM Comments comments (0) rated the Arizona School of Traditional Karate in Mesa and Seiyo Kai International Hombu as having the #1 and #2 Top-Rated Karate Classes in Phoenix. How does one receive such a favorable rating? The answer lies in quality of instruction & appearance of the school.

Students attending the Arizona School of Traditional Karate and the Seiyo Kai Hombu in Mesa are treated to traditional Okinawan décor in the Mesa martial arts center. As one walks into the dojo, the school is similar to what one would see in some training halls in Okinawa. The school also focuses on adults and families rather than kids’ karate. Thus adults learn to defend against one another instead of training along side of 5 year old children. In this way, adults can learn basics of karate and much more complex advanced techniques (>150 black belts have trained under Soke along with hundreds of other students). Kids are not neglected, but to participate in the Kids’ Karate Class, children must attend family classes with their parents and later be invited to attend the Kids’ Karate class. Parents who have their kids in this class are impressed by the training – the children are actually taught karate and kobudo rather than games, and they are also required to learn respect and Japanese. Unlike many other schools in the valley where adults may be taught by teenagers, nearly all of the classes at the dojo are taught by the Soke. Many self-defense classes and clinics are taught to martial arts students and to the general public by Soke.

Soke is a term meaning world head, president or grandmaster; thus Soke is the highest ranked martial artist in the world in Shorin-Ryu Karate (Seiyo-Kai). He has 8 different black belt ranks and is a certified 10th degree (judan) black belt in Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo. As a result, the students (deshi) get access to Soke’s 46 years of experience in martial arts. Furthermore, Soke has certifications in nearly 2 dozen martial arts – so one will not get bored while training at his schools because there is lifetime of martial arts experience to draw from. The overachiever has been inducted into 15 Halls of Fame for his accomplishments and is a member of dozens of Who’s Who.

Soke is also unique in that he was awarded the title of kyoju (Professor of Martial Arts) due to 40 years of teaching at four Division 1 universities. He was also awarded the 2001 International Instructor of the Year, the 2004 Instructor of the Year and the 2000, 2002-2005 Soke of the Year by several major international martial arts associations. He was awarded the President’s Award in 1992, the 1994 Distinguished Speaker and 1998 Distinguished Lecturer awards. In 2006 he was awarded an Honorary PhD in the Philosophy of Japanese Martial Arts Sciences.


Karate and Kobudo Classes in Mesa and Gilbert

Posted on February 2, 2011 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Konnichi Wa!


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