Monday, September 21, 2015

Self-Defense and Karate in Gilbert and Mesa Arizona

Self-defense aerial photo (sketch by Soke Hausel)
Self-defense or karate? Should we take self-defense or karate? I was asked by a family looking to sign up for classes if they should take self-defense or karate and my answer was - they are the same. We teach self-defense, but we also teach karate and all of the self-defense applications are straight from our karate kata or forms. And then add some kobudo (weapons) as you never know when you will need that weapon - not an M16, but I'm talking about your car keys, that magazine, towel, belt, you are always carrying some kind of weapon. And if you are trained in karate - you always have those God-given weapons - your feet, hands, elbows, knees, fingers, toes, forehead - yes you do not need a conceal carry to take your hands and feet with you.

Recently, my wife and I heard about a cafe not to far from our traditional dojo in Mesa. It was only a few blocks away, so we stopped in and found the place to be nice. Following breakfast, my wife noticed a store in the same complex and wanted to shop for some material for our house. While she was talking to the owner, his wife talked to me about their children and their bad experiences in martial arts. 

Both of kids are now playing football at a local high school, but their martial arts training apparently was much less than satisfactory. She told me of the kids training in karate, attending tournaments, winning trophies, but were frustrated because they were not sure they could defend themselves even after they being awarded 2nd degree black belts. They were actually bullied in school and the martial arts training they learned taught them nothing on how to defend themselves. They were taught basics, kata and sparring, but never taught the reason for kata or any pragmatic self-defense applications.

"The Empty Hand" Pencil sketch by Soke Hausel
The Big Game (sketch by Soke Hausel).
I was amazed. Even though I have been in martial arts my entire life, hearing stories like this always shocks me. In martial arts, a student should learn self-confidence as well as self-respect for others. At the same time, they should learn how to defend with power. And kata should provide them with a living encyclopedia of self-defense techniques. Okinawan karate kata were created by Okinwan karate masters in times past, in which they incorporated their favorite self-defense techniques in these forms that were often developed from experience.

In karate, we do not become superhuman, but we do learn to defend ourselves and make an effort to defend if attacked. Karate gives a person an edge due to muscle memory with constant training for various circumstances, and kata in particular, provides dozens upon dozens of self-defense applications that can be practiced daily - a sort of shadow boxing. So, if you are in a school that is not teaching you what every, single move in every kata is used for on the street, there may be something wrong with your instructor and personally, I would start looking for another school.

I was sadden to hear her children no longer liked martial arts and had no interest to ever try them again. She indicated they now hated martial arts and anything to do with them. This is understandable - to have an instructor teach you weekly and then reach a level of 2nd degree black belt and being unable to defend oneself, is unthinkable.

Pencil Sketch by Soke Hausel - "Night of the Dragon"

Monday, September 7, 2015

Gilbert Karate

What is "Traditional" Karate?
It is the original form of Okinawan karate that was developed as a weapon - not sport.

So, learn a sport and compete, or learn how to use your feet, hands, elbows, and knees as weapons of self-defense.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Gilbert Martial Artist Featured on Thumbtack as top Martial Artist

We would like to congratulate our Hall-of-Fame martial arts instructor from Gilbert, Arizona for many accomplishments. Recently, Soke Hausel was featured on Thumbtack as one of the top karate instructors in the Phoenix Valley and featured in the Thumbtack Spotlight on Top-rated Karate Instructors in Mesa, Arizona.  He was also inducted into Who's Who in the World and Who's Who in America.  

In past years, Grandmaster Hausel has been featured by many different organizations and is noted in various Wiki summaries as a martial artist, writer and geologist.

Soke Hausel at the Arizona Hombu
in Mesa, Arizona.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Traditional Karate Classes for Adults and Families

Classes in traditional karate, kobudo (martial arts weapons), self-defense & samurai arts for adults and families were opened to the public when the Arizona Hombu (a martial arts school) was established on the border of Gilbert with Mesa Arizona. The student body at the school ranges in age from a Chandler family with a 7-year old daughter and her two parents to a black belt snowbird from Wyoming who is in her 70s. In between, the school has attracted high school and college students, teachers, pilots, university professors, airline pilots, secretaries, authors, artists, geologists, medical personnel, biologists, chemists and a retired air force pilot. Each person signed up to learn about the traditional martial arts as taught in Japan. 

The owner and operator of the dojo (martial arts school) is Grandmaster Hausel/Soke, who taught martial arts at the University of Wyoming for 3 decades prior to moving to Arizona in 2006. Both Bill Borea, 3rd dan/sensei and Paula Borea, 2nd dan/sensei from Mesa train at the Arizona Hombu because it is the "real deal". After training in Japan, they could not find a school in the Phoenix valley that provided traditional teaching methods until Soke Hausel moved to the valley. 

Others have voiced their excitement over the variety of martial arts taught at the school. In addition to learning traditional karate, they are also learning about kata (martial arts forms) and how they are used in self-defense. "Grandmaster Hausel insists that we learn all self-defense applications for the katas and be able to demonstrate them without thinking".

In addition, the students have the opportunity to learn other aspects of karate not taught anywhere else in the valley including skills in one-punch knockouts, breaking rocks and body hardening. Everyone over 18, no matter their size or gender, has broken a rock with their bare hands!

As far as the Kobudo arts are concerned, the arts involving Okinawan weapons, many are impressed by the variety taught at the school. Many learn to use the hoe, staff, nunchuks, side-handle baton, rope, chain, fish hooks, and more. Others interested in the Japanese samurai arts are amazed at the variety of arts and some have searched for a school like this for years. In the samurai arts taught at the school, one can learn to use the samurai sword (katana), pole arm (naginata), the yari (Okinawan spear), hanbo (3-foot stick), kuboton (stick), tekko (knuckleduster), hojo (rope restraints), traditional jujutsu (throwing arts), tango (knife) and more.