Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Self-Defense Training, Gilbert and Mesa, Arizona

Seiyo Shorin-Ryu Hombu dojo, Mesa Arizona, 2019

Unfortunately, the fraudulent 2020 elections, Chinese viruses, and increased rent led to the loss of many students and cash flow, forcing the closure of the Hombu. Dishonestly at the CDC and other government agencies left the world wondering what had happened to our government (are they possessed by demons?), and many students decided to stay home. Luckily, we have several, wonderful and very dedicated people training in our school, and we were offered four private locations to continue our classes. So, we are now underground and our instructor - Grandmaster Hausel - continues teaching at private dojo, 3 nights a week. 

We are relying on hospitality two of our yudansha families in the Phoenix valley for facilities in Gilbert and Mesa. Even so, we accept new adult and family members ranging from teenage to senior citizens (no politicians as traditional martial arts teaches ethics, morals, honesty - things that are impractical for politicians to comprehend). 

If who have interest in learning self-defense, contact Soke Hausel at shorin-ryu.karate@protonmail.com or sokeshodai@yahoo.com and apply. In 57 years of training and teaching, Soke has taught a few thousand students in powerful martial arts at Arizona State University, University of New Mexico, University of Utah, University of Wyoming, Golds Gyms as well as his private dojo.


Education Gym, University of Wyoming Shorin-Ryu Karate & Kobudo, 1999

Send email to Soke Hausel mentioning your full name, phone, years of experience (if any), type of experience, and provide a short paragraph about yourself. If you are accepted, we will contact you by phone and invite you to train with us. The fee is only $100/month cash (no contracts). Our current student is 13 to 73 years in age, and the group is now kept small (<20). Soke Hausel is a member of several halls of fame and taught karate, kobudo, samurai arts, jujutsu, and self-defense at four different universities. 


Corbett Gym, University of Wyoming Shorin-Ryu Karate, 2003


Sensei Hausel (airborne), University of New Mexico,
Shorin-Ryu karate, 1975

Sensei Hausel (airborne), University of Utah,
Kyokushinkai karate, 1969

Monday, April 12, 2021

Karate (空手) Acceleration - the Way of the One-Punch Knockout



In Okinawa karate, we emphasize proper transfer of energy from a punch, block, or kick, to the interior of the body of an attacker. This is sometimes called chinkuchi. Chinkucki is a subtle, but important, characteristic of Okinawa karate that takes time to develop and understand. It is something one needs to learn to order to develop a killer punch referred to as a one-punch knock out! To punch, block and kick in Okinawa karate, relax except for the fraction of a second when you make contact. Keep in mind that Okinawa karate systems train for combat, while most Japanese karate trains for tournaments. So, there are differences. To develop chinkuchi, learn kime. Kime and chinkucki, are about acceleration - something every karate practitioner needs. I can not emphasize this enough! Movements in karate need to be: (1) relaxed! (2) accelerated! (3) focused at the last possible moment, (4) accelerated! and (5) focused! I know I listed accelerated and focus twice, but this is because these are so important and DIFFICULT to get American martial artists to develop. Study Chinto (aka Gankaku in Japanese) kata performed by Akamine Hiroshi. Watch his kata for focus and acceleration (see about 4 minutes into the video) - it is nearly perfect. Watch it and periodically video tape yourself to see if you are gaining similar acceleration and focus in technique. A fast transfer of momentum implies the amount of force transferred to a target will be large all at once - this is the secret of one-punch knock outs.

Another important characteristic of Okinawa karate is mochimi. Mochimi refers to relaxation and flexibility. Punches, blocks and kicks should be performed relaxed and should contract only at the point of impact (not while you 'launch' your fist), and finish relaxed, which is different from Japanese karate where striking techniques are stiff throughout the process. 

Newton's second law of motion states that Force is equal to Mass multiplied by Acceleration (F=m.a), indicating that heavier fighters can strike with greater force than light fighters based on mass alone. But because of the magic of karate, through proper training, a light-weight fighter can increase the force of strikes by acceleration, and by wisely using body mass with timing and shuffle steps (i.e., tsugi-ashi or yori-ashi), grabs, posture, hip rotation, and shoulder movement. Few of us are as endowed in the martial arts as Bruce Lee with perfect balance, body movement and acceleration. Even so, we can greatly improve our abilities with daily practice and good instruction. 

To use mass effectively, execute every technique with good biomechanics and put more body weight into your punch just like the featherweight Bruce Lee (note how he moved forward to effectively use his body mass).

To increase mass participation with acceleration, practice kata (your body memory tool) at least twice: first, concentrate of mass participation practicing kata at slow to moderate speed: next concentrate on acceleration (you don’t need to move between steps fast, it’s your punches, blocks, and kicks that need to be accelerated to the max, with focus). If you have enough energy left after running through your kata twice (you should feel considerable energy spent), you can run through the kata a third time focusing on mass and acceleration working together. 

When you practice for mass participation, work on hip rotation, foot movement, stance, breathing and the mechanics of blocks, strikes, kicks, and slow the kata down (but you SHOULD hear the sound of your gi sleeve snap on your wrist and forearm and on your ankle and shin when you kick). Acceleration, on the other hand, is the rate of change of speed. In other words, it's about how quickly you increase the speed of your mass in the shortest time possible. Next time you see a hummingbird, watch how quickly it accelerates. In one second, it can cover 50 of its body lengths; whereas, a Euro-fighter jet’s top speed will only cover 39 of its body length in one second (Scott, 2009). To improve acceleration, relax your body and muscles in your arm, then accelerate your punch as fast as possible, with focus - I recommend video-taping yourself and watch for ways to increase power and speed. Also dedicate time to improving your biomechanics and acceleration with properly timed release of breath.

When you punch, stand with your back straight, keep your spine and neck erect. Avoid leaning forward, as this will upset balance. Focus on hip movement - you must use hips properly to increase kinetic energy of your strikes. And of course, breathe. Learning to breathe (kokyu) correctly will influence your punching power, speed, stability, and endurance (Jutras, undated).
 

Thursday, October 8, 2020

KARATE, KOBUDO, SELF-DEFENSE, SAMURAI ARTS for SENIORS, ADULTS & FAMILIES

Miyagi-dan, also known as Grandmaster Hausel, sokeshodai of Seiyo no Shorin-Ryu Karate
Kobudo Kai, taught traditional martial arts at ASU, UNM, U of U, and the University of
Wyoming prior to moving to Gilbert, Arizona. After 57 years of training about five decades of
teaching, Who's Who Martial Arts Legend hopes to teach another 3 to 4 decades.



Seniors
and some other adults assume they are too old for martial arts, and no schools are available to teach senior and adult martial arts. In traditional (non-sport) martial arts, schools that follow the old Okinawa traditions do not accept kids under the age of 16. At the Arizona Hombu Karate Dojo in Mesa, Arizona, the number 1 school in the Phoenix Valley, Soke (grandmaster) Hausel, the principal instructor, taught Okinawa Karate and Kobudo, as well as Japanese Jujutsu and Samurai arts (sword, spear, halbert, walking stick, cane, etc), and Self-Defense for some decades at Arizona State, UNM, U of U, and the University of Wyoming to adult students, staff and faculty. Only recently did he decide to accept children as young as 10 years of age, as long as they train with a family guardian. One great advantage of this is adults train with other adults, while children train in the same class with their family - it develops strong bonds with families, and develops good technique with adults who do not have to be concerned about a 5-year old kicking them in the shin.

Grandmaster Hausel, a senior citizen, indicates all people should take up martial arts - not only for self-defense, but also for physical fitness. His students range from 10 to more than 80 years in age, and his personal instructor, one of the greatest martial artists in the world, is now in his 80s and is even more formable that at an earlier age. 

Daughter-daddy night at the Hombu. Soke Hausel taught 
his own daughter self-defense years ago, and she successfully 
used it on an male attacker twice her height and weight. 
Watch as two of our favorite family members train at the Hombu. 
Years ago, one young boy trained with his grandfather at the Hombu, and was so 
quick and fast, that his dad, a Mesa cop, periodically tested his son by attacking 
him without warning. This continued for a short time until his son (about a 4th mass 
of his dad) caught him with a perfect front kick to the groin. The test ended.

Traditional martial arts improve a person's outlook in life by staying healthy through physical and mental conditioning. The intense training of martial arts often burns calories and should result in weight loss, a good circulatory system, better balance, flexibility, good immune system, improved reflexes, focus, memory and more. Karate, in particular, is unique, in that the explosive starts of punches, blocks and kicks are well known for burning more calories than just about any other form of exercise. Kata (Okinawan forms), are like dances, but these forms contain many explosive strikes, etc, and work on balance by using periodic, one-legged stances, teach ambidexterity, proper breathing, stretching, meditation and typically lead to good diet and positive thinking. Just take a look at the Okinawa people who train in karate, kobudo, toide and other similar martial arts. Okinawa has many centurions, actually more per capita than any other group in the world. No matter where you are in the world, there is likely a school in your region that teaches adults the traditional martial arts. In the Phoenix valley, contact the Arizona Hombu Karate dojo, and start learning one of the best forms of exercise known to mankind. 


Soke Hausel indicated that he has received many comments from his senior citizen students who describe that they feel much better, have much improved balance and lower blood pressure, greater confidence, better memory and focus, faster reflexes, greater flexibility, and improved confidence. One of his 60+ students even said that his sleep has greatly improved as has his dreams. In his dreams, he now, for the first time, defeats aggressors and chases away other monsters. In addition to have a great group of adults and seniors, he also has a well-educated group due to his background. Some of his students are university faculty in the Phoenix Valley, others are school teachers, some are accountants, engineers, soldiers, scientists, handymen, and even ministers, lawyers and computer techs.

Grandmaster (Soke) Hausel demonstrates Nunchaku nidan no kata at the Arizona Hombu Dojo in Mesa. Soke may be a father, grandfather and even great-grandfather, but he can still practice karate and kobudo.
Naihanchi shodan kata performed at the Arizona Hombu Karate Dojo in Mesa, Arizona in 2021




Thursday, February 20, 2020

Karate, Kids, Legitimacy, and Dojo Language

Recently, my grand-daughter started karate classes at three different dojos in the Phoenix valley. She obviously wants to train with grandpa at his dojo, but for some reason, her parents decided the other locations were better for her: guess they don't understand this is an insult, as it would be for any grandparent. I'm a very good instructor with considerably more experience than all of the black belts (if there are any) combined in these dojo.

Before I moved to Arizona, I taught my son and daughter karate at the University of Wyoming, and both became legitimate black belts. My daughter even had to use her training in self-defense from her Ex, who is twice her height and mass. He ended up calling the Cheyenne police department for help after trying to beat up my daughter. It's likely a good thing I didn't hear about this until later, as I would have provided him with a nice plot in my backyard, but still, I think it's entertaining my little girl beat the living - well you know. I also taught two of my grandsons karate. Their dad, a cop, often would attack the little guys when they were least expecting it just to be sure they were learning self-defense. Just imagine being doubled over by a 5 year old's mae geri (front kick). So, yes they learned well. Over the years, I've taught more than a thousand martial artists at four major universities, Gold's Gym, my own dojo, and elsewhere. I am a member of the black belt hall of fame, recognized as a Who's Who in Martial Arts Legend, and I am certified as judan (10th dan) by two well-known grandmasters - one from the US and the other from Okinawa.

Back to my grand-daughter. To make things worse, her parents started her at three local dojo in Gilbert, Arizona - all three could easily be McDojo, but I can't say that for sure, since I refuse to take part in this game. And after the first two proved to lack any form of legitimacy, she was recently sent to a Lifetime Fitness gym dojo. Last night, I saw videos of a training session taken by my wife, and if these people are legit, I would be shocked. 

The videos show complete chaos. Kids scattered all over the gym with no supervision, groups of kids standing in circles talking, and only one or two were doing any karate entire night. And the sensei, (apparently a sandan) continued to walk back and forth with his hands behind his back, and NOT providing ANY input or instruction the entire night. To be honest, I have no idea why he was even there?  Not once did he provide any instruction to anyone.

But the other two schools that my grand-daughter was signed up for, may have even been worse. One advertised they were MMA - a dead giveaway they most likely lack legitimacy (although a few legit schools have actually call themselves MMA because the name is popular). This is sad as MMA does NOT have values of traditional karate or any traditional budo, and anyone can claim to be yudansha (black belt) or instructor (sensei) in MMA, even though there only experience may be wrestling in high school. Remember, any one can walk into a martial arts supply house and buy a black belt for $5 or $10. But wearing that belt correctly requires years of training, experience, expertise, and a long lineage! 

Too bad parents have no idea what martial arts are? But this isn't surprising, as many North American martial artists don't even know. My own personal instructor, has told me a few times over the years that he often gets inquiries to join his Japanese/Okinawan/US association, and at least 85% of the people who apply have absolutely NO legitimacy. I never paid much attention to his statement until this recent incident with my grand-daughter. And I suspect, he is right, and it could be even higher.

Even though my grand-daughter is suffering through this, her parents are getting what they paid for. I just pray she doesn't end up getting hurt. People don't realize kids have growth plates; and fractures of these can result in serious problems down the road. In particular, joint locks on kids need to be limited and closely supervised - and it really appalled me when some years ago, I witnessed a kids class at the Chandler community center in aikido. Aikido is all about joint manipulation! 

And when kids are taught basic karate punches known as tsuki, they have to be closely monitored constantly, to keep their wrist straight, otherwise, they can easily fracture their wrists just by punching a bag. PARENTS - you need to be aware of this!!!

The second school my grand-daughter attended is located in Gilbert not far from Lifetime Fitness. My wife told me some lady in street clothes walked around the dojo screaming Japanese and English words, while a couple of older students in yellow belts (keep in mind, a yellow belt has practically no experience) taught kids how to hop, skip, jump, tumble, do push-ups, etc. Yes, can you imagine that, the martial arts school was not teaching them more than 2 minutes of karate. In the 2-minute period of karate, my wife told me the kids were taught a high block (jodan uke), a front kick (mae geri), and an outward block (soto uke). PERIOD!!!

So, the next time you check your dojo or instructor, do a search on the internet of his/hers dojo or of his/hers name. Next, look inside the dojo for a dojo license (this should be provided by a legitimate international martial arts association), and look for copies of his/hers diplomas. This is where it gets a bit challenging, knowing what is a legitimate, and what is not. Take a few notes and do some internet research. Most high-ranking martial artists know what to look for, but we keep some secrets to ourselves to be sure  illegitimate martial artists don't get wind of it. For example, some years ago, a German martial arts association gave me a diploma for the rank of judan (10th dan) in jujutsu. I kept the diploma to show my students some phony characteristics of a McDojo diploma.

I'll be waving at you from under our simple sign - "KARATE" over our door, and Shorin-Ryu on our window, and we teach much more than karate

I have certifications in many martial arts and teach traditional Okinawa karatekobudo (the art of Okinwan weapons), Samurai arts (if you are a Kill Bill fan, this is the place to be), Jujutsu (actually a samurai art), and self-defense. And each one of these arts includes several individual traditional martial arts. Some are initially overwhelmed by the amount of martial arts taught, but it only takes a short time to realize all of the basics you learn in karate including stances, forms, hand and leg movements, are all employed in each art, thus when you learn one, you are actually learning all of them, and I start everyone out in Shorin-Ryu karate.

We have a comfortable gallery with free cold bottles of drinking water, and you are very welcome to watch our classes and ask questions before or after class. 

Soke Hausel, the world head of Seiyo no Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Kai has been training and teaching martial arts for nearly his entire life. He is not only a hall-of-fame martial arts instructor and a Who's Who martial arts Legend, but also a hall-of-fame geoscientist. You can find all of this information on the internet.

Before moving to Arizona and opening the Hombu dojo in Mesa in 2006, I taught classes, clinics, and seminars in karatekobudo, self-defense, women's self-defense, samurai arts and more at the University of Wyoming for three decades along with researching mineral deposits. So, I love talking to people. My experience in martial arts is extensive, and I was awarded one of the highest honors for any westerner in martial arts in 2013 - that of Meijin Wajutsu which translates as martial arts genius.


You can try calling us at the above number, but we have been plagued by hundreds of robo and telemarketers making our phone almost useless. So, much of the time, it is easier to stop by and see us. And no, we do not hire salesmen and we do not try to pressure anyone. We only want those people to sign up who are interested in learning traditional martial arts. We hope to see you soon.

Oh, and I almost forgot - if you are tired of running into questionable martial arts teachers and schools in the Phoenix Valley, be sure to Google or Bing us, and please do a search of my name (Soke Hausel) - I have nothing to hide like apparently some  other schools in the valley. Copies of my certificates are posted so anyone can see my lineage and legitimacy - see if any other dojo does the same?


I like my students to learn karate, kobudo and other traditional martial arts as well as learn as much as possible about the culture related to Okinawa and Japanese martial arts including some Japanese and Okinawan dialect. Here are some of the terms I expect them to learn over time.

Opening-Closing Classes

Kiotsuke (or) Seiretsu -      Line up (or) Attention
Otaga ni rei -                      Bow to one another
Shomen ni rei                     Bow to Shomen (front)
Soke/Sensei ni rei              Bow to Head Founder/or Instructor
Mokuso -                           Meditate
Domo arigoto                    Thank you very much



Exercises

Applications                   Bunkai
Basics                             Kihon
Body hardening              Shitai Kori
Calisthenic exercises      Undo
Forms                             Kata
Preparation exercises     Junbi undo
Throwing Technique     Nagewaza

Counting

Ichi, Ni, San, Shi (Yo or Yon), Go Roku, Shichi (Nanna), Hachi, Ku, Ju (counting to 10)
10 to 19 - add Ju as a prefix. Thus 11 is Juichi.
Time - add ji as suffix thus one o'clock is Ichiji.

Dojo Kun

Karate ni sente nashi                                 There is no first attack in karate
Makoto no michi o mamoru koto              Have devotion in seeking a true way 
Reigi o omonjiru koto                               Always act with good manners.
Doryoku no seishin o yashinau koto         Cultivate a spirit of effort and perseverance.
Kekki no yu o imashimeru koto                Refrain from violent and uncontrolled behavior 
Jinkaku kansei ni tsutomeru koto              Work to perfect your character.

Dachi (Stances)

Back Stance - Kokutsu-dachi
Cat Stance - Neko-ashi-dachi
Crane Stance -Genkanku (Tsuri) dachi
Cross-leg - Kosa (juji) dachi
Front Stance - Zenkutsu dachi
Fighting Posture - Kamae (kumite) dachi
Horse Riding - Kiba Dachi
Heels Together - Musubi Dachi
Immovable Stance - Sochin (Fudo) dachi
Kneeling Stance - Iaigoshi dachi
Left Stance - Hidari dachi
Natural Stance - Soto hachiji (yoi) dachi
Pigeon-Toe Stance - Hachi (hangetsu) dachi
Right Stance - Migi Dachi
Side Stance - Yoko dachi
Sumo Stance - Shiko Dachi
T-stance - Tobuku dachi

Uke (Blocks)

Cross Block - Juji-uke
Downward block - Gedan Barai
Elbow block - Hiji uke
Grasping block  Torite-uke
High block - Jodan uke
Inward block - Uchi uke
Leg block - Ashi uke
Open (knife) hand - Shuto-uke
Outward block - Ude (Shoto)-uke
Palm Heel block - Teisho-uke
Rising block - Age uke
Sweep block - Hari uke

Keri (Kicks)

Back Kick - Ushiro-geri
Back Roundhouse - Ura-maewashi-geri
Crescent Kick - Kozumi-geri
Front Kick - Mae-geri
Flying Front Kick - Mae-tobi-geri
Flying Side Kick - Yoko-tobi-geri
Knee Kick - Hiza-geri
Leg Sweep - Ashi-barai
Rising Roundhouse - Age-Maewashi-geri
Roundhouse - Maewashi-geri
Side Kick - Yoko-geri
Snap Kick - Keage-geri
Thrust Kick - Kekomi-geri
Toe Kick - Tsumasaki-geri

Uchi (Strikes)

Augmented Punch - Morote-zuki (tsuki)
Backfist - Uraken (Reiken)-uchi
Chicken Hand Strike - Toride-uchi
Double (Over-Under) - Yama uchi
Elbow Strike - Hiji (empi)-uchi
Finger or Thumb - Yubi-uchi
Hammer-fist Strike - Kentsui-uchi
High Punch - Jodan-zuki
Hook Punch - Kaku-zuki
Knife-Hand Strike - Shuto-uchi
Low-Level Punch - Gedan-zuki
Middle Level Punch - Chudan-zuki
One-Knuckle Punch - Ippon Ken-uchi
Opposite Hand - Gyaku-zuki
Palm-Heel Punch - Teisho-uchi
Ridge Hand Strike - Haito-uchi
Rising Punch - Age-uchi
Rising Elbow Strike - Age-Hiji (Empi)-uchi
Spear Hand Strike - Nukite-uchi
Vital Point Strike - Atemi-uchi 

Martial Arts Titles

Sensei - instructor
Shihan - Master Instructor
Soke - Grandmaster, president
Sokeshodai - First generation grandmaster.
Soke-Dai - Vice President
Kyoju - Professor.
Hanshi - refers to a senior expert considered as "teacher of teachers." 
Kyoshi - refers to an advanced teacher. 
Renshi - "one who has mastered himself."
Senpai - senior student
Yudansha - black belt members
Mudansha - lower rank (kyu) members
Okuden - refers to entrance to the secret ways 

Kumite (Sparring)

Ippon kumite - one step sparring, typically used for self defense drills 
Sanbon kumite - three step sparring 
Kiso kumite - structured sparring drawn from a kata (bunkai). 
Jiyu kumite - free sparring 
Randori- Free sparring (Judo) 
Kachinuki - old style contests

Greetings/Responses

Hai - affirmation, as in 'yes' (should be used whenever you are corrected by your sensei)
iie - no
Domo - thanks
Gomen nasai - Excuse me
Onegiashimasu - Please
Wakarimasu - I understand.
Wakarimasen - I don't understand
Sumimasen - apology, sorry

Uniform

Obi - belt
Gi - training uniform
Karategi - karate uniform
Judogi - judo uniform
Hakama - traditional pleated and bloused pant

Dojo

Kamiza- Front of dojo. 
Shomen - front, same as the Kamaza
Kamidana - shelf or shrine at the Shomen.
Shimoza - back of dojo.
Joseki - right side of dojo as one enters - where senior students line up.
Shimoseki - Left side of dojo.
No-Geiko - training outside in the elements.
Tatami - mats

Kobudo

Hojojutsu - the art using a hojo cord (rope).
Tanto - dagger
Tonfa - rice grinder handles ? or baton with handle
Ryu fundo kusari - weighted chain
Manrikigusari - chain
Tessen - war fan
Kusarigama - kama with weighted chain
Naginata Halberd
Yari - spear
Bo - wooden staff (usually 6 feet in length).
Hanbo - half staff (3 foot in length).
Tsue - Cane 
Tanbo - short stick
Kuboton (hashi) - hand stick
Kioga - collaspable baton
Eku (Iku) - oar
Tekko - knuckle duster
Surushin - weighted chain
Katana - samurai sword
Kama - sickle
Nunchuku - nunchuks
Sai - three pronged knife
Kumade (Ra-ke) - rake
Kuwa - hoe
Sojutsu - methods of the spear
Kagi - Car Keys

Jujutsu

Nihon jujutsu - Japanese jujutsu
Tori - the practitioner who carries out the throw or technique
Uke - (Partner) the practitioner who accepts the throw or technique
Atemi - strike
Koryu jujutsu (ancient jujutsu techniques)
Edo Jujutsu (old style jujutsu)
Gendai jujutsu - modern jujutsu
Goshin jujutsu - non-traditional jujutsu lacking in lineage
Judoka- practitioner of judo (term usually reserved for those who are 4th dan or higher).
Benkyo-ka - "scholar"
kenkyu-sei - "trainees", practitioners below the rank of 4th dan
Kodokan - place for teaching the way (Institute of Judo in Tokyo)
Nage-waza - throwing techniques, 
Ne-waza - groundwork 
Kansetsu-waza - Joint locks
Te-waza - hand techniques. 
Koshi-waza - hip techniques,
Ashi-waza - foot and leg techniques.
Mae-sutemi-waza - sacrifice techniques in which the thrower falls forward. 
Ushiro-sutemi-waza - sacrifice techniques in which the thrower falls directly backwards. 
Yoko-sutemi-waza - Sacrifice techniques in which the thrower falls onto his side. 
Kansetsu-waza - Joint locks.
Shime-waza - strangle or chokeholds.
Osaekomi-waza - pinning techniques
Ukemi-waza - falling techniques 

Martial Arts Styles

Hozoin Ryu - Japanese spear system
Karate - art of the empty hand
Kobudo - art of ancient weapons
Shorin-Ryu - Pine forest style or Shaolin style of karate
Jujutsu - art of softness or way of yielding.
Judo - translates as gentle way.
Yarijutsu - spear fighting system
Sojutsu - spear martial art
Iaido - the way of sword
Kenjutsu - sword applications
Budo - martial arts ways
Bujutsu - martial arts fighting methods
Bushido - the way of the warrior
Toide - ancient Okinawan art of grappling, joint manipulation and joint separation

Monday, November 11, 2019

Be PREPARED! The Way of Karate

Being prepared (kitai) for self-defense is very important in training in karate. When I started training in karate in the Black Eagle Federation kyokushinkai dojo in the 1960s, we were taught to do many repetitions to imprint muscle memory so that we would not have to think during a crisis situation - just naturally react. In addition to constant blocks, kicks and punches, we trained over and over with foot sweeps (ashi barai), jujutsu throws, and ending up in the proper stances. To get to the point where one can naturally react with good proper technique, one must train in full contact as this builds lightning reflexes - but at the same time, few people today (as it was years ago), can handle full contact, so as an instructor, your dojo may be close to empty.

Other important aspects are bunkai (self-defense applications) done with full force and acceleration. In this case, one must strike at the air instead of their partner to be sure they are striking with considerable energy and also to be sure that their training partner shows up again for training. In years past, when I trained at the Juko Kai national yudansha clinics, I typically sought out a training partner - R. Smith, who blocked as hard as I did, and hit just as hard and fast as I did - it helped build technique, muscle memory and confidence.

Another important aspect is training in Kote Kitae - or body hardening. We did this intensely when I trained in kyokushinkai karate as we do in Juko Kai. Taking full-force blocks, kicks and punches will hurt at first, but after some time, it become a unique form of mediation that allows one to block out the pain and also anticipate the strikes.

And when ever you train in your martial arts and your instructor tells you to do 10 repetitions and he or she does not stop you after you've done the given number of reputations, think of this as a bonus, and do as many as you can until you are told to stop or move on. If you don't, you will never be an outstanding martial artists.





Tuesday, July 24, 2018

MARTIAL ARTS CONTRIBUTES TO BRAIN HEALTH & PHYSICAL FITNESS

To those who train constantly in martial arts, the positive benefits are not surprising - good health, feeling good, and self-confidence. And now, scientists are just beginning to study the benefits of these effects.

For instance, some scientists are now looking into links between emotional well-being and physical health. Its vital to note that martial arts has been shown to improve a person's emotional well-being, according to a recent 2018 article from Bangor University in Wales. In one study, older adults, aged 67-93, were asked to take part in: (1) Karate training, (2) Cognitive training, or (3) Non-martial arts physical training over a 3 to 6 month period. The results showed that the "older adults in Karate Training had lower levels of depression and greater levels of self-esteem after the training period, compared to the other groups".

In one Italian study, a sedentary group was compared to a group which trained in karate. The Italian researchers found that "taking part in karate improved a person's working memory".  

Researcher, Dr. Ashleigh Johnstone at Bangor University reported - "There is far more to martial arts than its traditional roles. Though they have been practiced for self-defense and spiritual development for many hundreds of years, only relatively recently have researchers had the methods to assess the true extent of how this practice affects the brain".

Now that scientists are performing imagining scans of people's brains, I suspect it is just a matter of time until a study is done to compare increases in size of the hippocampus by karate practitioners compared to other groups. This is because karate provides an constant influx in oxygen to the brain through intense training, and traditional (non-sport) karate practitioners are constantly being challenged by learning new techniques (waza), applications (bunkai) kata, kobudo and samurai weapons. In addition, these are taught to both sides of the body providing a means to enhance both sides of the brain. Even after training in martial arts for 55 years, I find I'm still constantly learning. It's been said by previous grandmasters in Okinawa karate that there is "No end to learning in the martial arts". And we are now seeing the scientific fruits of our labors.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The 'Art' of Karate

Sometimes a martial arts instructor, other times a
geoscientist, writer, public speaker, or artist
About 1989 to 1990, Soke Hausel was not only teaching karate, kobudo, jujutsu, and samurai arts at the University of Wyoming; but, also employed as a research geologist at the Wyoming Geological Survey and periodically took leave of absence to work as a consulting geologist for various mining companies around the world. In 1988 and 1989, six geologists including Soke Hausel discovered a giant gold deposit in Alaska. The company hired a draftsman at the Wyoming Geological Survey to produce professional quality maps of Soke Hausel's maps of the Donlin Creek gold deposit in Alaska.

One day a geologist, the next a martial artist
One day, this draftswoman mentioned while working on the the maps that Soke would be a great artist. He responded, "I can't even sketch a stick figure". Fiddy, the draftswoman disagreed and said all Soke needed to do was to focus and sketch small areas in detail just like his maps. 

That comment actually made sense. So, he tried sketching and was surprised by this hidden gift given by God to him. So, he did my first sketch in 1989 or 1990. But, without that one comment, he likely would never have discovered pencil art..

MARTIAL ARTS were uncommon in North America in the 1960s, but they peaked our interest from 1966 to 1967 as Kato fought a variety of villains on the Green Hornet TV series while espousing Zen philosophy. Martial arts took center stage again from 1972 to 1975 as Kwai Chang Caine preached harmony in the Kung Fu martial arts TV series. In 1975, a Shaolin monk named Lee fought a renegade martial arts monk who broke the code of ethics of the Shaolin Temple in the movie Enter the Dragon. And who could forget that likeable character Mr. Miyagi in the 1984 Movie, The Karate Kid. Miyagi preached Zen while teaching Daniel san pragmatic karate exercises to defend against a group of teenage thugs. Even though fictional, these programs espoused a code of ethics to live by while following the premise of "No First Attack" - a philosophy of traditional karate and 'traditional' martial arts.

Martial Art, by Soke Hausel
Many have the erroneous impression MMA (mixed martial arts) is martial art. Ever hear MMA competitors espouse positive philosophy, harmony, a path to enlightenment, or even concern for another human being? This is one of several characteristics that separate traditional martial arts from street fighting & combat sport such as MMA, boxing, cage fighting and sport martial arts. Traditional karate is not sport, it is a way of life as well as a weapon of self-defense - it is about perfection of the practitioner!

So, what is martial art? Visualize a boxer. A trained boxer is taught by a friend how to kick someone in the groin. Wow, so now is boxing magically transformed into a mixed martial art? Is it that simple?

Actually, it is much more complex than one could imagine. And just because someone advertises that they teach mixed martial arts usually means that they have boxing, wresting experience and usually only minor (if any) martial arts experience. Mixed martial arts is a catch-all phrase for people who want to be martial artists likely have no martial arts credentials. 

The Shotokan tiger by Soke Hausel
In traditional martial arts, there is an established lineage and history of certification and credentials - but there is nothing really writing down about the procedure, nor any government regulations (thank goodness). So, we need to first examine the words 'martial' and 'art' to try to get a handle on what a martial art really is.

Martial is defined as 'military-like' and is pragmatic; however art is more difficult to grasp as it is an 'esoteric expression' meaning different things to different people. When researching martial arts dictionaries for a definition of martial arts, it is difficult to find one that provides any kind of meaning - and in most cases, it is obvious that even those martial artists who have compiled martial arts dictionaries were unaware of what a martial art is, as in most cases, a definition is not included. 

The Overlook Dictionary of Martial Arts defines martial arts as "... an encompassing term usually reserved for the Asian fighting arts, although it can refer to any fighting discipline with or without weapons". This definition for martial arts is incomplete at best. More enlightening is A Dictionary of the Martial Arts which didn't even try to define martial arts, the very basis of the dictionary! The authors likely felt it was too difficult of a task to summarize martial arts because of its esoteric aspect. In the Overlook Martial Arts Handbook the author writes, "The term 'martial arts' means those arts concerned with the waging of war"

Defending castle - sketch by Soke Hausel
By separating the two words - 'martial' and 'arts', some insight occurs. Martial has several definitions. One that stands out is "characteristic of, or befitting a warrior". When discussing martial art we refer to bushido, the 'way of the warrior'. This is an important concept because 'way' used in this sense refers to 'path'. But what is path? “A path is a course of action, conduct, or procedure: the path of righteousness”. This definition implies a path should lead to righteousness: a concept common in traditional martial arts.

Dictionaries provide several meanings for 'art' including, "... the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance". Another definition: "Skill in conducting any human activity: a master at the art of conversation”. Also, “a branch of learning or university study, especially one of the fine arts or humanities, such as music, philosophy, or literature".

Based on these concepts and incorporating philosophy of Gichin Funakoshi and Shoshin Nagamine, two well-known and influential Okinawan Shorin-Ryu karate martial artists; martial art should lead to righteousness (this is why it is rare to see politicians in traditional martial arts). Some might point out that the Russian Premier trains in judo. But there is traditional judo and there is sport Judo. Putin trains in sport judo. But still, it is an anomaly.

Tai chi in the Arizona sun, sketch by
Soke Hausel
Martial arts should be beautiful, stir the spirit, and involve higher learning and should lead to a lifelong path of self-enlightenment – like religion. It should complement religion and not contradict religion.

In a discussion of the martial art of karate, Nagamine (2000) wrote, "If there is no kata, there is no karate, just kicking and punching". He emphasized that since, "... kata is karate, one must then embrace 'do mu gen' proverb which asserts: There can be no end to learning". He concluded "karate begins and ends with the study of kata". So if we are to believe Nagamine (as well as other Okinawan masters) karate must contain kata and kata must be the primary curriculum, otherwise it is not karate and not martial art. And kata contains exercise, self-defense, interpretation, philosophy, and moving Zen.

The blending of Zen with empty hand (kung fu and karate) and weapon's training resulted in Shaolin monks becoming formidable fighters and resulted in the world's first martial art. So if one agrees this was the beginning of Chuan Fa or martial arts, it is apparent Zen, meditation, self-defense exercises and forms (kata) are necessary ingredients to be a martial art.

Many martial arts attach the suffix 'do', such as aikidobudo, kendo, judo and karate-do. By doing so, it translates as 'way' or 'path' suggesting that the martial art will lead to a path of enlightenment. There are also just as many martial arts that attach the suffix 'jutsu', such as bujutsu, kenjutsu, jujutsu and karatejutsu. These are considered martial combat and most lack kata. However, in every case, the "jutsu" systems have traditions and also provide ways for self-improvement, unlike MMA.

Okinawan sunrise by Soke Hausel
Peter Urban (1967) wrote that martial arts refer to fighting arts and suggested a more valid interpretation came from the word budo which translates as 'the way of the fighter'. Urban further wrote that the integration of techniques with the spirit are important. The way or path is intended to lead to the attainment of perfection or what is often known as self-realization, enlightenment, or simply maturity. Be it karate, kendo, judo, jujutsu, iaido, kobudo, aikido, kyudo, Urban (1967) wrote that "based on the idea of virtue, the followers of martial arts are in effect descendants of samurai of old. It is the aim of all martial arts instructors to work toward promulgating this spirit of ancient Zen warriors, a spirit which is more than mere knowledge of fighting techniques - it is the attainment of a virtuous way of life!"

Geisha, by Soke Hausel
Martial arts incorporate the term ryu. Ryu is a traditional system or style of martial arts that implies family. This means Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Kai members are a family of traditional martial artists with a soke (Head of Family). It is peace of mind we seek through martial arts training. "There are many paths to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, but only one peak".

Karate Aerial Photo by Soke Hausel
Traditional karate and other Okinawan martial arts were kept secret on Okinawa until the 20th century when karate was introduced to mainland Japan in 1922. Within a short time, the Japanese modified the effective self-defense art into sport. To this day, traditional Okinawan karate is still considered a weapon rather than sport (unlike Japanese karate). Traditional karate focuses on (1) junbi undo (warm-up and strength exercises), (2) kihon (basics), (3) shitai kori (body hardening), (4) kata (forms), (5) health, and (6) bunkai (practical applications) - but it's most important aspect is the perfection of its participants!

A bunch of Junk, by Soke Hausel




Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Arizona Karate Instructor - a Who's Who in Martial Arts, Science & Engineering, the World & a Little More


So, what does karate, kobudo, samurai arts, self-defense, art, martial art, writing, geology, public speaking and astronomy have in common? We can only think of two things - Grandmaster Hausel & Who's Who.

2017 was another good year for a valley martial arts instructor and geologist. Grandmaster Hausel of Gilbert was notified of selection for awards acknowledging his lifelong dedication to martial arts, geology, writing, and more! 

Along with General Colin Powell, Hausel was selected for the Albert Nelson Marquis Who’s Who Lifetime Achievement Award and with Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee, he was selected for Who’s Who in Martial Arts. 

Earlier, in 2017, the Hall-of-Fame martial arts instructor was notified of his selection to (1) Great Men & Women of Science, (2) the Cambridge Certificate for Outstanding Scientific Achievement and now for (3) Best Martial Arts Teachers in Phoenix for Expertise. And we can now add (4) Who's Who in Martial Arts, and (5) Who's Who Lifetime Achievements.

Grandmaster Hausel taught martial arts for more than 3 decades at the University of Wyoming prior to moving to the valley to teach at ASU before opening the Arizona Hombu dojo in Mesa. But overall, he has been training in martial arts for more than 5 decades and teaching for nearly five along with writing more than a thousand books, articles, professional papers, maps and scientific abstracts, presenting about 400 professional talks around the continent, sketching, lecturing about geology, martial arts, and astronomy. 

Hausel teaches karate, kobudo, self-defense and samurai arts to adults at the dojo at the 60 W. Baseline Center. Grandmaster Hausel began martial arts training in 1964 as a long-haired member of a rock n' roll band known as the Churchmen. Since he started training in martial arts, only a few days have passed when he has not trained or taught martial arts during the past 50+ years. Even when he was in the Army, he trained at night in the barracks, and when he worked as a geologist from a tent in Montana, Wyoming, Australia and Alaska, he still trained in karate.



He attended an international diamond exploration conference in the Western Australian outback and accepted a challenge from the Japanese geologists-martial artists to break tops off of silicified termite mounds using a classical karate chop known as 'shuto' - it was every termite for itself. 

In Alaska, training was challenging. At night, he would return to camp and practice kata until mosquitos covered him from head to toe. Never harassed by bears - but one other geologist was treed by a bear that ran off when another camp geologist shot it between the eyes with a .357 magnum. The bear left with a red streak and headache. 

Then there is the other side. The Hall-of-Fame geologist with 45 years experience found gemstones, gold and diamonds and authored hundreds of books, papers and abstracts. His geological expertise helps in breaking rocks and teaching his students about rocks and what types of rocks are breakable with the bare hands and which ones are not.

According the Hausel, "Ok, ok, I'm crazy about martial arts - I love to teach martial arts and it is rewarding to me to see  my students progress, and enjoy what they are learning. We have a fantastic group of adults at the Arizona Hombu dojo in Mesa that includes accountants, research professors, professors, scientists, engineers, school teachers, retirees, physical therapists,  nutritionists, personal trainers who range in age from young adults to retirees. All my life I've taught adults at four different universities".




In the 1980s, Hausel mapped 1,000 square kilometers
of complex geological terrain at South Pass, but in the
evening would return to his tent and practice karate.

Inducted into Who's Who Legends in Martial Arts
Hausel in 1988 in search of gold in Alaska. When he wasn't digging for gold
he was fighting millions of mosquitos just to practice karate every evening.
In the Australian outback, Hausel would compete with Japanese black belt-
geologist to see who could break the tops off these termite mounds in diamond
country.
In recent years, while exploring for gold and copper in the Silver Crown district of
Wyoming, Hausel found time in the evenings to train in karate.