Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Who's Who in Martial Arts in Arizona

Mesa Arizona Karate Instructor, Grandmaster Hausel was selected as Marquis Who's Who in America
and also Who's Who in the World for 2015. Grandmaster Hausel is also a member of 16 different Halls
of Fame for Martial Arts as an instructor, pioneer and grandmaster. Grandmaster Hausel, featured as
the top instructor in Mesa, Arizona by Thumbtack, is also featured by the Superior Martial Artist.
The Arizona Hombu Dojo (Arizona School of Traditional Karate) invites you to experience training with a great martial arts instructor located in the East Valley of Phoenix in Mesa, Arizona.

After more than 5 decades of martial arts training vested in his lifetime, Soke Hausel looks back on his experiences and training which resulted in some of the highest awards presented in martial arts, along with national and international awards.

Anyone can check the Internet and search for Soke Hausel, to find an extensive background and a long list of black belt students who trained with the grandmaster, and find information about his students who are not only successful in karate and other martial arts, but more importantly, are successful in their professions. The list includes many PhDs, university professors, school teachers, clergy, engineers, chemists, astronomers, geologists, anthropologists, biologists, physicists, military leaders, accountants, doctors, dentists, nurses, lawyers, psychologists, politicians, and law enforcement personnel. Teaching at four universities gave him the opportunity to reach many highly-educated people.

According to Soke Hausel, "I don't make money teaching traditional martial arts: it is a way of life that I will not walk away from. I intend to practice traditional martial arts until my last breath. Traditional karate has many super physical and mental benefits, and teaches people to respect one another".

When it comes to martial arts, many think of karate. When it comes to martial arts at the University of Wyoming, many think of Hall-of-Fame martial artist Grandmaster Hausel

In 2006, Soke Hausel, grandmaster of Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo, decided to retire from the Geological Survey at the University of Wyoming. He and his wife packed up bags, mats, hundreds of rocks and books and moved to Gilbert, Arizona and opened the Arizona Hombu in Mesa, Arizona. Soke was a research geologist, geological consultant, and published author of more than a 1000 books, papers and maps. At the same time, he taught karate, martial arts weapons known as kobudo, self-defense, samurai arts including the samurai sword, spear, halberd, and jujutsu, and taught classes and clinics in women's self-defense and martial arts history. Some of the martial arts he taught at the University included karate, kobudo, self-defense, jujutsu, iaido, sojutsu, naginatajutsu, hanbojutsu, hojojutsu, kempojutsu, shitai kori and others. Each week, Soke now teaches several classes in Arizona to adults and families at the Arizona Hombu at the 60 W. Baseline Center on the border of Mesa and Gilbert.

In 2014, Grandmaster Hausel was selected for Marquis Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World for accomplishments as a martial arts instructor, martial artist, and geologist. In 2015, he has selected for Marquis Who's Who in Science and Engineering, Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World. He was also selected for other prestigious awards including the Cambridge and DaVinci awards. Hausel indicates that he loves teaching martial arts as much as he loves hunting for gold and gemstones. In 2017, Soke Hausel was inducted in the American Martial Arts Alliance Who's Who in Martial Arts Hall-of-Fame with Korean Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee, the father of American Taekwondo and selected for the 2017 Albert Nelson Marquis Who's Who Lifetime Achievement Award along with the likes of General Colin Powell.

"Those seeking to learn more about the traditional martial arts will enjoy training at the Arizona Hombu dojo - where classes focus on adults and families.  "Classes typically have about 30% women, and recently a few classes had as many as 50% women". 

In traditional Okinawan karate, one learns to bow to emphasize respect and students are never subjected to competition. The late father of modern karate, Gichin Funakoshi of Okinawa emphasized, "The Purpose of Karate Lies Not in Victory or Defeat, but in the Perfection of Its Participants".

Training in Traditional Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo at Arizona Hombu, Mesa Arizona (Seiyo-ShorinRyu.com)

Training in kata (forms) at the Arizona Hombu Karate Dojo in Mesa Arizona.

The Arizona Hombu dojo - Best of Mesa
Arizona for 3 years in a row.
Sensei Ryan Harden at the Arizona Hombu dojo in Mesa trains in traditional Okinawan
karate and kobudo.
Amira, John and Suzette demonstrate hidari katana kata

The late O'Sensei Bill Borea, Soke Hausel's close friend and instructor at the
Arizona Hombu dojo.
Utah karate instructors Thadd trains with Luis applying choke hold
Training for the dentist office at the Arizona Hombu dojo.

Training in kama (kobudo) at the Arizona Hombu Dojo.
Dr. Adam trains with Ryan in hanbojutsu at the Arizona Hombu
Dr. Teule uses bo against tonfa during kobudo class at the Arizona Hombu
Suzette trains in iaido with the classical samurai sword (katana).

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Arizona Hombu - Top Karate School in Mesa, Arizona.

 The more you sweat now, the less you will bleed in combat later. Adults and families at the Arizona School of Traditional
 Karate train in Karate, Martial Arts weapons known as 'kobudo', Self-Defense and samurai arts.
Thank you for selecting the Arizona Hombu Dojo (a.k.a. Arizona School of Traditional Karate) as the Best of Mesa three years in a row.  Our martial arts school on the border of Mesa with Chandler and Gilbert works at being the best for adults and families by teaching them to be the best individuals they can be and providing them with a wide variety of traditional martial arts, philosophy, and teaching them to respect one another and respect martial arts.

Best of Mesa for Karate, Kobudo, Self-Defense
and Samurai Arts
Tuesday nights at the Arizona Hombu (aka Arizona School of Traditional Karate), students train in kata (martial arts forms)
All women should train in traditional martial arts for health, self-defense and physical fitness. Here, three of our female
black belts train in self-defense applications at the Arizona Hombu dojo in Mesa, Arizona.

Members of the Utah Shorin-Kai train in advanced karate techniques taught by Soke Hausel at the Arizona Hombu in Mesa.
Students from the Police DAV school in India, pose with Soke Hausel at the Arizona Hombu in Mesa, Arizona
Instructors from around the region train at the Arizona Hombu with Soke Hausel in Mesa, Arizona. L-R, Sensei Kyle Linton (3rd dan (or 3rd degree black belt)/Wellington, Colorado), Shihan Kevin Vance (5th dan/Laramie, Wyoming), Soke Hausel (12th dan/Gilbert, Arizona), Glenn Polk (4th dan/Cheyenne, Wyoming), Dr. Neal Adam (6th dan/Phoenix Arizona).
November 2014 group photo at the Arizona Hombu, Mesa-Gilbert Arizona
2014 Utah Clinic at the Arizona Hombu on the corner of Chandler, Gilbert and Mesa, Arizona
Senpai Kris Watson defends attack at the Arizona Hombu, 2014

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Two Things Women Can Do To Defend Themselves

There are two things women can do to defend themselves against an attack - carry a gun and learn to use it, or take traditional karate at a karate school and practice martial arts every week.

A problem with the run of the mill self-defense clinics at your local civic center or college is that learning self-defense in one evening leaves a person vulnerable. Centuries ago, Okinawan martial artists recognized the power of muscle memory to teach automatic reaction to attacks. And this is inherited only by constant and correct methods of training.

In traditional karate, women train weekly to acquire focus, power, muscle memory and instinct. During training, they also have the added benefit of making new friends, get some good exercise, muscle tone, lose weight, learn some Japanese language while keeping fit.

Outdoor training (Gassuku) attendees learn to use a
hanbo (3-foot stick) for self-defense.
Last week was 'WOMEN's WEEK' at the Arizona Hombu (aka Arizona School of Traditional Karate). Over the years, the instructors at the Arizona Hombu Dojo, who are referred to as sensei, taught many self-defense clinics for women at various universities, sororities, girl scout organizations, political groups, libraries, professional associations, and businesses. These end up being a great time for all, but one thing that always is lacking in these 2 to 4 hour clinics is the martial arts concept known as mushin! 'Mushin' is a karate mind concept that martial artists achieve in order to be able to automatically defend themselves. The karate mind is mostly muscle memory, but that muscle memory must be properly tweaked so the individual can react to an attack without thinking while focusing power to quickly end an attack. This cannot be done in a seminar or short course, so we try to get those who sign up for such seminars to continue training in 'Traditional' Karate so they can learn proper muscle memory. Otherwise, we highly recommend that if they take a self-defense seminar, that they write down the various techniques and practice (through shadow boxing) every week at home. Such seminars are also used to introduce common household weapons such as car keys, books, magazines, pens, pencils, kuboton (also known as a stick, pen or pencil), elbows and knees.

Another student trains with throwing stars
Women's week began on Saturday, August 2nd (2014), when one of the Shorin-Ryu Students from Utah was promoted to Yudansha Sho. Jasmina has been a long time student of Hanshi Rob Watson, 9th dan, who operates the Shorin-Ryu Karate dojo in Murray Utah. Jasmina successfully tested for black belt and was honored by presentation of her certificate by Grandmaster Hausel at the Utah Gassuku (outdoor training clinic) at the East Canyon Resort to the east of Salt Lake City. This promotion was celebrated by a Bosnian dinner at her family's home Sunday evening.

Soke Hausel returned to Phoenix on Monday and was greeted the next day by the return of one of the karate club's favorite martial artists: Sensei Paula Borea. Sensei had a knee injury that progressively got worse after training years ago in taekwondo, and finally had to be corrected. All were all excited to see her return to the dojo. Sensei Paula is a Japanese-America who wanted to return to her roots by training in traditional karate - Shorin-Ryu. Sensei Paula is also a real samurai of samurai lineage! As a result, she is a real tiger in the Samurai Arts and Okinawan martial arts weapons classes known as Kubodo. Few other people have such an extraordinary martial arts spirit and everyone in the dojo loves her! She is the heart of our martial arts school.

Sensei became a student at the Arizona School of Traditional karate in 2008 after Soke Hausel moved the world headquarters of Seiyo Shorin-Ryu known as a Hombu from the University of Wyoming to Chandler, Arizona. During this time, Soke taught classes in Tempe at Arizona State University, but decided to open a private training center on the border of Gilbert and Mesa rather than stay at ASU.

Last week, the karate club also received three new female students including Debora, Suzette and Rihanna. In addition, Megan returned from Japan after spending the summer with her grandparents and two of our students were promoted on Tuesday and Thursday of last week - both school teachers. Janet was promoted to 9th kyu and Alexi was promoted to 3rd kyu. The kyu levels in karate are known as colored belt ranks below black belt. Then we had another student from Idaho sign up - another Megan, who is training to be a bush pilot.

Sensei Paula Borea trains with husband, O'Sensei Bill Borea at the Arizona School of
Traditional Karate in Mesa, Arizona
Our martial arts association (Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Kai) featured one of our female martial artists in the 'Bushido' newsletter. Sensei Elena Finley from Casper, Wyoming finished graduate school at the Colorado Schoolof Mines in Golden Colorado and is in the final group for consideration by NASA for colonization on Mars! Wow, wouldn't that be a 'Kick' if she opened the first dojo on Mars! I'd bet there would be some serious jumping kicks!

As an update (12/2017) to Women in Martial Arts in Mesa, Arizona, the Arizona Hombu dojo welcomed Sensei Alexandra (3rd degree black belt & PhD) from Arizona State University (ASU) saw the return of Sensei Victoria (3rd degree black belt) after her visit to the Vatican in Italy, and promoted Amira, Harmony, Rihanna, Suzette to 1st degree black belt, and Janel to 2nd degree black belt, while Nancy was promoted to brown belt. At the Utah dojo, Kris was promoted to 1st degree black belt. We are all proud of the accomplishments and achievements of the women in our school.
At the Arizona Hombu Dojo - 2017
2017 photo taken at the Arizona Hombu Dojo 

Group of Wyoming martial artists include Hanshi Finley (Casper) in back.
 L to R in front are Uchi Deshi Heather From (Nebraska), Elena Finley
 (soon to be from Mars), and Dr. Florence Teule (France).

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Just for Kicks

Photo courtesy of Hanshi Andy Finley, 7th dan, Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo, Casper, Wyoming
Shorin-Ryu Karate & Kobudo are traditional Okinawan martial arts. The Chinese ideographs (kanji) used to write Shorin-Ryu translate in Japanese as "Pine Forest Style". In Chinese, this translates as "Shaolin Style" indicating the unique Okinawan martial art had ties to the Shaolin warrior monks.

In traditional karate classes, students learn a variety
of martial arts including basics, many forms (kata),
applications, self-defense, meditation, history,
some Japanese language, body hardening, and many martial
arts weapons. Here, our students and faculty train
with Okinawa sickles known as kama.
Karate was developed as a combat art designed for self-defense as well as self-improvement. It was never intended for sport. Thus the instructors at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate (60 W. Baseline Road) retain this philosophy by focusing on teaching adult and families the original art of karate that includes focus, power, balance and acceleration. Students are from Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Phoenix, Queen Creek, Tempe and Scottsdale.

In traditional Shorin-Ryu Karate known as Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo KaiTM, students have the opportunity to learn karate, kobudo (nunchaku, sai, kama, tonfa, bo, sansetsukon, kuwa, eku, ra-ke, tsue) self-defense, samurai arts (iaido, naginata, sojutsu, jujutsu, hanbo, kuboton, kibo), shitai kori (body hardening) all for one price. Grandmaster Hausel has been teaching martial arts for over 4 decades. After retiring from the University of Wyoming where he taught martial arts for 30 years, he has been teaching martial arts in Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa and Tempe for the past decade.

Soke Hausel, world head of Seiyo Kai Shorin-Ryu
Karate demonstrates white crane techniques at
Chinese New Year celebration at the University of Wyoming
Our classes include training in jujutsu and self-defense
Kobudo is an extension of karate. Sensei Paula demonstrates kuwa with Sensei Bill at
the Hombu in Mesa. So, don't ever be caught off guard while gardening again
(let alone shopping, jogging, etc).

Friday, February 7, 2014

Mesa Karate Classes - A Real Kick

A torii, or shinto gate stands in water.
At one martial arts school in Mesa, Arizona, a group of engineers, university faculty, students, scientists, teachers, accountants, lawyers, electricians, medical professions began their year by training in the Traditional Okinawan Martial Arts. The reason why this school attracts so many professions is due to the legitimacy of the martial arts association as well as the head instructor's affiliation with various  universities (he taught martial arts for nearly 40 years at four different universities).

On Tuesdays, our group of martial artists ranging from black belts to white belts train in basics and forms known as kata. In the later advanced class, the group is learning the Passai Dai kata while reviewing other kata. Wednesday evenings, the group trains in self-defense and bunkai (applications from kata) and we started focusing on defense against armed attackers. This early self-defense class is followed by a samurai arts where class attendees are focusing on naginata (halberd) and this is followed by Shitai Kori (body hardening).

Warming up at the Arizona Hombu dojo in Mesa Gilbert, Arizona
Thursday evening starts with Okinawan kobudo (martial arts weapons) and the group is currently learning bunkai for nunchaku and learning the complex Nunchaku Yondan kata. This is followed by a second kobudo class where the attendees are learning to use hanbo (half-pole) and nitanbo (two sticks).

Soke Hausel, the Arizona School of Traditional Karate's head instructor, celebrated a Golden Anniversary in Martial Arts in 2014. He began martial arts training in 1964 and was invited for induction to another Hall-of-Fame in 2014 and nominated for 2015 Marquis Who's Who in America and 2015 Who's Who in the World.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Traditional Karate Schools, Arizona

Japan, photo courtesy of Heather From

Traditional martial arts schools, like the Arizona School of Traditional Karate in Mesa, Arizona, provide a real punch for those wanting to learn a traditional karate. What do we mean by traditional? If you were to walk into a karate school (dojo) in Okinawa, the birthplace of karate, you would never hear rock n' roll music blasting in the background, see brightly colored karate uniforms, trophies littering windows, used car salesmen hanging onto you trying to get you to sign a contract, or belts (obi) with so many colored tabs that the look like a string of Tibetan Prayer flags. Remember the 1984 movie, the Karate Kid? Mr. Miyagi taught the traditional Okinawan way of karate, which included history, philosophy, kobudo, self-defense, lineage, respect, meditation and of course, devastating karate. This is what traditional karate is about - it is about learning traditional martial arts and applying these virtues for self-improvement.

When you walk into a traditional karate school, you will see evidence of certification of the karate instructors and lineage charts providing a succession of the various grandmasters and masters of the martial art typically leading back a few hundred years. The Arizona School of Traditional Karate is no different from other traditional Okinawa martial arts dojo in this respect. Traditional martial arts focus on self-improvement and self-defense and have nothing to do with sport martial arts or MMA, just like the traditional schools of Okinawa.

Dr. Neal Adam (Dai-Shihan) uses Okinawan sai during kobudo training while training
with Sensei Kathy who is using a bo.
No one in the school has ever attempted to win a trophy in karate, but still, the instructors and students have earned regional, national and in some cases international recognition for their martial arts, teaching skills and for their contributions to their professions outside the dojo. All of positive contributors to society in one way or another.

At the Arizona School of Traditional Karate on Baseline Road on the border with Gilbert, and just a mile down the street from Chandler and a few miles from Tempe, one of the friendliest groups of martial artists in the Phoenix Valley train in Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo. The only competition is with one self - not with others, and they have a large group of highly educated professors, teachers, engineers, health care workers, scientists, attorneys, accountants, electricians, secretaries, housewives, and Arizona State University (ASU), Mesa Community College, Gilbert-Chandler Community College, University of Phoenix and even Grand Canyon University faculty and students. Everyone supports everyone else. There are a lot of good natured people learning martial arts the old way, and we do not attend karate tournaments. The school focuses on martial arts education and help new students find a path in life - which is the purpose of traditional karate.

Sensei Paula Borea looks on as Sensei Kathy and Sensei Victoria practice karate applications
And like most traditional martial arts schools, the Arizona School of Traditional Karate is affiliated with a group of martial arts associations and federations including Seiyo Kai International, Juko Kai International, Zen Kokusai Soke Budo Bugei Renmei and others.
The Karate instructors have considerable experience. One instructor is a Hall-of-Fame grandmaster, another is a martial arts master, and they also have one who is of Japanese samurai lineage and two who spent time learning martial arts in Japan.

So if you would like to learn karate the Okinawan way without having to travel to Okinawa - the Arizona School of Traditional Karate in Mesa appears to have it all.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Mesa Martial Arts Schools

Just before we joined classes at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate on Baseline at the border of Mesa and Gilbert, my friend and I called to see if it would be OK to observe a class. Many Okinawan martial arts schools have a policy that does not allow visitors to watch training because of secrets taught to students. We were cheerfully invited to stop by Tuesday evening to watch a session and there were no salesmen trying to pressure us to join.

Driving east on baseline from Country Club, we spotted a sign 'Karate' over a doorway at the northeastern corner of Baseline and MacDonald. It was an unassuming sign, so we expected only the typical mall-type martial arts school, but we were surprised and impressed when walking into the karate school. We were met in the foyer by Sensei Borea. He looked like my grandfather and was extremely friendly and talkative. Mr. Borea told us that he had spent several years in Japan with his Japanese-American wife in the air force as a pilot and indicated the martial arts taught in this karate school on border of Mesa and Gilbert was the real thing. Comparable to anything in Japan. So we were excited to learn more.

Wednesday evening samurai arts class with Sensei Kathy
Sensei Borea took us into the training center after passing through a hall with diplomas and awards for Grandmaster Hausel, a former University of Wyoming professor of martial arts and internationally renown geologist. Grandmaster Hausel was also the world head of their martial arts organization. This was my first time seeing certifications written in Japanese with English translations displayed so anyone could inspect them. We entered the training hall and were greeted by all of the students who had great things to say about the class, training, and their grandmaster. I was surprised by the education level of everyone I met: PhDs, engineers, scientists, accountants, lawyers, teachers, health care technicians, dancers - it was much different than I had expected.

The training center was a real surprise. I was expecting a tiny room like most of the schools, but the facility opened up to a large training center with a wooden floor and matted floor. It looked traditional. We watched the class and were very impressed by the power that emanated from the students and grandmaster. This was the place! We signed up the next day and have now been training for a couple of years. If you are interested in mixed martial arts and tournaments, this is not the place for you. If you are interested in learning real, traditional, martial arts - this is your dojo!

Practicing kata on Tuesday nights led by Soke Hausel

Dr. Neal Adam and Dr. Naghmeh pose for photo.

Sensei Paula Borea and Sensei Bill Borea train with Okinawan weapons (kobudo) on Thursday evenings.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Wax On, Wax Off, Traditional Okinawa Karate in Mesa

"Wax On, Wax Off" - Mr. Miyagi

Who can forget that wonderful scene in the Karate Kid?  Mr. Miyagi took Daniel San to clean his old, classic car and at the same time taught him to block by waxing a car. But does this make sense?

Respect is paramount in karate. This is shown in many ways in the
traditional karate school. One notable way is that of bowing.
It does! Karate is about muscle memory, about rote and what we refer to as mushin. Mushin is a method of repetition to teach a student how to react without thinking. This is why Okinawa karate has been such an effective form of self-defense for hundreds of years.

As one progresses in martial arts, they start with no rank, known as mukyu in Japanese and wear a white belt to hold up their pants. But with each major step in karate training, they advance through the mudansha martial arts ranks (color belts). Hopefully, one day, after a few years of training, they will rise from mudansha (one without dan rank) to yudansha (one with dan rank) and put on the coveted black belt sought by all martial arts students.

Karate is about building life-long goals that also teach us to defend ourselves and at the same time teach us to grow as people. Respect and consideration of others is most important in this type of training in martial arts. We recognize this at our martial arts school in Mesa: the Arizona School of Traditional Karate.

Sensei Bill Borea prepares to practice kata (karate forms) at the Arizona School of
Traditional Karate in Mesa.
We have a traditional martial arts school in Mesa, Arizona. And we have our own version of Mr. Miyagi - our grandmaster who has been teaching martial arts for more than 4 decades.

So, if you would like to experience real traditional karate stop by and visit our classes on Baseline Road at the border of Mesa and Gilbert.