Saturday, July 6, 2013

Body hardening in Martial Arts - Kote Kitae

Photo of Soke Hausel taking full force kick at
half time (University of Wyoming photo).
One part of martial arts neglected by most martial arts groups, particularly sport karate, is kote kitae - or body hardening. In the traditional forms of karate, the body is trained to accept hard punches and kicks by training with a makiwara board. The board produces harden knuckle bone and callus over a period of time. Other types of training may include kicking and punching bags, and still other forms may require use weights or train on rock in bare feet.  But nothing is as extreme as combat ki - a martial art of Juko Kai International created by its grandmaster - Dai Soke Sacharnoski.  

The first time (and second, third, forth, and so on) martial arts students and instructors sees this, they are in denial as well as in complete awe. We all try to figure out how a person can take a full-force kick to the groin and not flinch, let alone not collapse in a heap singing soprano. But all of the ki masters I've communicated with, all sing in a normal voice.
There are suggestions these extreme individuals must some how suck up their testicles into their stomach, or some other ridiculous theory that is physically impossible. And of course, none of the combat ki people wear any protection what-so-ever. So how do they do it? It is done like any other martial art - they train hard and long and learn to use this art properly.
Another form of body hardening - weight training.
Soke Hausel squatting 400 pounds at a body
weight of 165 pounds. He use to squat as much as
600 lbs at this body weight and one of his students
witnessed him squatting 800 lbs while at UW.
One of the more incredible people to master this art is a jujitsu stylist from Louisiana by the name of Kirby Roy. After watching him get kicked in the groin, punched in the neck, knife hand in the neck, punched in the sternum, upper cut in the liver, etc, he just stands looking at the attacker as if he is thinking - "is that all you have?"  Talk about a humbling experience for the attacker.

Believe me, this art is many magnitudes beyond any other. And so how do you learn this?  The only way to learn it is to join Juko Kai International. However, a great majority of applicants are refused entrance because of lack of proof of lineage in martial arts. This organization includes the best traditional martial artists in North America. And in the case of body hardening, there is no second best.
In the summer of 2013, I took a group of my students - traditional Shorin-Ryu martial artists from the Phoenix Arizona and Gillette Wyoming to the Juko Kai National clinic in New Braunfels, Texas on June 15th to train in this incredible art known as Combat Ki – a martial art of extreme body hardening that allows JKI martial artists to accept full-force strikes to vital parts of the body with little effect. The art, created by Dai-Soke Sacharnoski in 1960, is so advanced it has been featured on several programs in recent years including Stan Lee’s Superhumans, Sports Science, Discovery Channel and others.
Dr. Jesse Bergkamp from the Arizona School of Karate trains with vases
 filled with sand while on vacation in Okinawa in 2013.
While at the clinic, we trained in Okinawan Kempo and Tode. At the close of the clinic, martial artists from around North America including those from Arizona and Wyoming tested for rank and some of our students were awarded Menkyo Okuden (a combat martial art rank essentially equivalent to 1st dan black belt). Those from Gillette Wyoming who attended the clinic included Kyle Gewecke (4th dan), Chase Cassidy (1st dan), Brandon Brown (3rd kyu) and Nick Jarvis (4th kyu). Those from Arizona included Dr. Neal Adam (6th dan), Victoria Davis (1st dan) and Ryan Nemec (4th kyu).  Menkyo Okuden ranks were awarded to Neal Adam, Kyle Gewecke, Brandon Brown and Nick Jarvis. Chase Cassidy was awarded the rank of Menkyo Kyoshi (essentially equalivaent to 3rd dan).

Awards were also presented to two martial artists from Arizona. Ryan Nemec was awarded “Outstanding male martial arts student of the year”, an award presented by the JKI Hombu for students who have shown exceptional dedication in the martial arts.

Soke Hausel was awarded Meijin Wa Jutsu’ for lifelong contributions to martial arts as an instructor. Only a few martial artists have been presented this award.

In 2012, Soke Hausel was also awarded junidan and became one of a handful of to be awarded this rank since the 18th century. Soke Hausel began training in martial arts five decades ago and taught at four major universities prior to opening the Arizona Hombu (world headquarters) in Mesa in 2006. Recently, he was also inducted into Who’s Who in America 2013 and 2014 and has been selected as a Who’s Who honoree more the past 25 years and inducted into 16 Halls of Fame since 1998. He was also inducted into Whos Who in the World, 2013 and 2014.

Andy Finley of Casper, Wyoming accepts kick from Kyle Gewecke from
Gillette, Wyoming.
So, if you would like to learn the traditional martial arts, please come join our martial arts family on Baseline and MacDonald on the border of Mesa and Gilbert. We have a wonderful group of individuals (about 25% women) who are learning martial arts the way it has been taught for centuries. Our students are from Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Phoenix and Tempe.

In traditional martial arts you only compete with one person - yourself.

In 1996, Shihan Hausel takes strikes to vital parts of the body at halftime at a University of Wyomnig basketball game.
Here, sensei Donnette Gillespie, 3rd dan, kicks Hausel in the ribs with all of her power. Incredible, but
nothing compared to what others in the JKI have done over the years.
Training on 1.4 billion year old granite - circa 1992.

A makiwara in Gilbert Arizona. This is used for striking
with the hand, elbows and feet.




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