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 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. 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 very good exercise, lose weight, learn some Japanese language, and keep fit.

At one martial arts school in Mesa Arizona, traditional karate is taught by a grandmaster, who has been teaching for more than 4 decades. At the martial arts school in Mesa, Arizona, students are taught traditional karate (non-sport) which assists a person's reaction time and muscle memory. Without these, a women (and men) will likely need a gun.

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, known as sensei, have taught many self-defense clinics for women at various universities, sororities, girl scout organizations, political groups, libraries, professional associations, and businesses. These clinics 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 that martial artists achieve to be able to defend oneself. 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 with focus and power to quickly end the attack. This cannot be done in a seminar or short course, so we try to get those who sign up for these seminars to continue training in 'Traditional' Karate so they can learn proper muscle memory. But the seminars are also used to introduce the attendees to common household weapons such as car keys, books, magazines, pens, pencils, kuboton (also known as a stick, pen or pencil), their elbows and knees.

Another student trains with throwing stars
(shuriken)
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. She successfully treated 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, which finally had to be corrected. We were all excited to see her return to the dojo. Sensei Paula is a Japanese-America and wanted to return to her roots by training in traditional karate from Okinawa - 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 the Okinawan martial arts weapons classes known as Kubodo.

She 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 are 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 pilot.

Sensei Paula Borea trains with husband, 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!

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).