Arizona Martial Arts Blog

Horsing Around in the Arizona Sun

Posted on April 23, 2018 at 6:35 PM Comments comments (86)

Horse Around? Yes! That is exactly right!


Each year, the Arizona Hombu Karate Dojo in Mesa Arizona hosts an annual Arizona-Utah martial arts clinic in" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo. Shorin-Ryu is one of the original forms of karate developed on Okinawa that in the past was also known as Okinawa Te, Shuri Te, and Tode. The Chinese writing used in Shorin-Ryu is significant as it translates as Pine Forest Style in Japanese, and Shaolin-Style in Chinese, indicating there is tie between Shorin-Ryu karate and Shaolin Kung Fu (Wushu). Karate was developed from Kung Fu and used by royal body guards for Okinawan royalty. Kobudo (ancient martial arts weapons) was developed by both Okinawan body guards and Okinawan peasants and uses farming, fishing and merchant tools for weapons of self-defense.


At the 2018 clinic in Arizona, Soke Hausel, world head of" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Seiyo no Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Kai, began the clinic on Friday evening (April 20th) by teaching Okinawan horse sense.




Borrowing horseshoes from the local communities of Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, and Phoenix, the martial artists trained with tekko for self-defense. Tekko is more or less, horseshoes, stirrups, or brass knuckles that are often referred to as Okinawan knuckle dusters. These were developed by Okinawan martial artists for self-defense. Clinic attendees trained with tekko against attackers armed with knives; then trained in the kata (form) - Maezato no tekko.


On Saturday, attendees switched from peasants to penchin (Okinawan samurai) and trained in Sojutsu using the Okinawan spear known as yari. The members learned a long, complex kata that teaches many blocks and strikes with spear.


Following training with spear, the group trained in hanbojutsu - a short stick about 3 feet long, used for striking, blocking, throws and chokes. This was following by training with Okinawan nunchaku for self-defense against knives.


The clinic ended Saturday afternoon with many tired martial artists, Some boarded flights at Phoenix sky harbor and traveled to Utah, others to California, and the Arizona members rested on Sunday looking forward for classes to resume on Tuesday.


Filming for New Martial Arts Video

Posted on January 31, 2015 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (0)

January 31st, 2015, Filming began for a new martial arts training video at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate. This video focuses on the use of a traditional Okinawan martial arts weapon known as bo - a six-foot long staff that is commonly used by SE Asians for transporting goods across their shoulders. The bo is a very effective weapon developed by Okinawan farmers for self-defense along with karate. 

The Video filmed in Mesa, Arizona will include several forms known as kata as well as their applications for self-defense. When completed the video will be for sale at:

Chander, Gilbert & Mesa Samurai Defend Karate School

Posted on November 12, 2014 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Students at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate (aka Arizona Hombu) took up the blade (samurai sword) and trained on pumpkins as an annual event for Halloween and Thanksgiving. The group all had the opportunity to practice cuts with the samurai sword using many donated pumpkins. 


Posted on May 12, 2013 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Kobudo, the ancient Okinawan martial art of farming and fishing tools for self-defense has been so effective, that many law enforcement agencies around the globe adopted many of these tools for their line of work. One notable tool was the tonfa, a side handle baton that replaced the common ‘Billy club’ for a few decades until the expandable baton was introduced. But even the expandable baton, known as a kibo and referred to as ASP, has a Japanese martial arts association. For instance, the hanbo, a 3-foot baton, is used in many styles of traditional jujutsu and ninjutsu and is even used in some styles of Shorin-Ryu Karate. Other similar tools include nitanbo and kobuton.

Other kobudo tools, or weapons, include an unusual fork-like weapon known as sai. The sai is a classical kobudo martial art weapon and one of the hardest to learn. Even so, members of Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Kai at the Arizona Hombu in Mesa tested for certification with this weapon. To certify, the group was required to demonstrate four separate advanced kata (forms), bunkai (self-defense applications) and ippon kumite (sparing). Six martial artists from the martial arts school successfully passed exams and were awarded certification in this complicated weapon. The six included Adam Bialek, Sensei Bill Borea, Amanda Nemec, Ryan Nemec, Alexis Pillow and Sempai Patrick Scofield.

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.


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.




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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