Sunday, April 15, 2012

Arizona Black Belt Clinic

Over this past weekend (April 12-14, 2012), it was a great pleasure having a group of black belt and brown belt students travel from Murray, Utah to Phoenix, Arizona to train at our Hombu in Mesa, Arizona. Part of the Utah Shorin-Kai group drove from Murray, Utah and part of the group flew out of Salt Lake City International to Phoenix Sky Harbor and then drove to the Hombu. We also had students from Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler and Phoenix attend our clinic at the Hombu. The group is headed by my very good friend Kyoshi Rob Watson, 8th dan.

Sensei Bill Borea, 2nd Dan, trains with Tonfa (using reverse grip) with
his uke Shihan Neal Adam, 5th dan (using bo).
Training began Thursday evening with Okinawan Kobudo. We trained with tonfa and sai and a very interesting question came up. How come we don't see more police officiers taking these classes? My answer was "Good Question".

One of our students from the Gillette, Wyoming dojo mentioned a few years ago that the Campbell County sheriff's office issued nunchaku law enforcement personnel and they received no training. Talk about a bunch of deputies with knots on their heads!  This is as crazy as issuing a tonfa, a kioga or kebo (expandable baton) to a police officier and only teaching them to swing. We all know how to swing weapons (except maybe nunchaku), but police officiers are really missing the boat on not getting proper training with their accessory weapons.

Anyway, our members at our school trained with the tonfa before beginning kihon (basics) and bunkai (applications) with the sai. It didn't take them long to discover how difficult it is to use the sai. After many bruised knuckles, it was apparent to them that it will take time to master this weapon. Thus, all day Thursday was devoted to Shorin-Ryu Kobudo.

Sarah, 2nd dan, trains with tonfa, while Shihan Adam, 5th dan, trains with bo
On Friday, we had two sessions. We started reviewing all of the bunkai as ippon kumite for several kata (forms) including nijushiho, meikyo, wankan dai and others. So all day Friday was devoted to Shorin-Ryu Karate.

On Saturday, we trained in samurai arts including hanbojutsu, iaido and kenjutsu. The Hanbo is a great weapon and very pragmatic. We had the opportunity to practice strikes, blocks restraints, throws and pressure point strikes. This was followed by several iaido kata (fast draw sword) and then onto kenjutsu (katana or samurai sword applications). The clinic ended at 4 pm and our people from Utah were on their way back home. We will all miss them as we have all developed very close friendships.
Renshi Stoneking from Murray Utah applies Ryote Garumi on Luis during
hanbo training in Mesa, Arizona.
Sensei Kim attacks Jeff during Hombu Training in Mesa, Arizona
Soke Hausel, 10th dan, poses in Japanese
garden in Gilbert, Arizona with traditional hakama
We all missed our samurai at this clinic. Sensei Paula, of true samurai lineage, was unable
to attend due to back complications. We all pray for her rapid recovery.

Luis applies Ago Senage on Renshi Todd Stoneking, 6th dan, using hanbo at the Black Belt Clinic at the Arizona Hombu in Mesa.

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