Tuesday, April 9, 2019

The Best Traditional Martial Arts School in the Valley - Arizona Hombu

Our martial arts school and instructors are certified through Seiyo no Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Kai, and Juko Kai International. We may not be best for everyone, especially those interested in sport karate, but if you are interested in learning traditions of Okinawa martial arts, and how to defend yourself, contact us at sokeshodai@yahoo.com and we'll send you a newsletter and other information. Currently, we have a close-knit group of men, women, and families ranging in age from 9 to 75, many of whom recently returned from special training in New Braunfels, Texas at the Juko Kai Hombu, where we trained in a variety of combat arts.

Because of the plandemic, we closed our Hombu at Baseline in Mesa in 2021, after operating at the same location for 13 years. Within a month, misinformation from social media and mainstream media resulted in 50% of our members quitting.  But not a problem, we still train every week at two private locations: (1) Tuesdays & Thursdays (6:30-7:45 pm) and the Randall dojo near Southern & 24th Street in Mesa, and (2) Wednesdays (6:30-7:45 pm) at the Durfee Dojo (Constellation & Guatalope) in Gilbert. The training fee is minimal after  accepted as a student of Soke.

Soke has nearly 6 decades of experience, and was a former martial arts instructor at Arizona State University, University of New Mexico, University of Utah and at the University of Wyoming. He is also one of the highest ranked martial artists in the country. 

Some of his schools and students ended up ranked number one. While at the University of Wyoming, Soke was recognized as the top grandmaster and top martial arts instructor by major martial arts associations and some Hall-of-Fame boards. Just recently, he was selected for a couple of the highest honors including Menjin Wajutsu which literally translates as 'martial arts genius'. He was elected Who's Who Martial Arts Legend, and selected by Marquis Who's Who for the Albert Nelson Who's Who Lifetime Achievement Award. Just try to find another karate school anywhere in the world, that will teach you to scientifically identify a rock before you break it with your bare hand!

Seiyo no Shorin-Ryu Karate, Mesa, July, 2022

Arizona Members of Seiyo Shorin-Ryu in Seguin, Texas, June, 2022.

July, 2022, Seiyo Shorin-Ryu Gilbert/Mesa

2020 Seiyo Shorin-Ryu, Gilbert Arizona.

2018 photo at the Arizona Hombu Dojo, 60 W. Baseline Road, Mesa

2018 photo, Arizona-Utah Shorin-Ryu karate kobudo clinic, Mesa, Arizona.

2003 photo, University of Wyoming

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Gilbert, Mesa and Chandler Martial Arts Classes

What is karate? Karate is the art of the empty hand - a method of self-defense created on Okinawa centuries ago and later adopted the rest of the world. But it is more than just empty hand self-defense. If taught as a martial art, it should provide fundamental ways to build self-confidence, self-esteem, and more important, respect for others. If it doesn't, than it likely is not a true martial art - but instead may be nothing more than MMA ore street fighting. Traditional karate provides some of the traditions and benefits of Christianity - thus, there are many karate ka, in America who are also active Christians.

As our students walk into the Arizona Hombu (world headquarters of Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Kai) on Baseline Road at the border of Gilbert and Mesa (one mile from Chandler), we greet one another with respect and as friends. Before the start of class, we smile at one another and checking to see how every one's weekend went. We are friends and we are also members of the Shorin-Ryu family, so we are concerned about each other.
Kyoshi Rob Watson (8th dan) and Hanshi Todd Stoneking (6th dan) present
gifts to Soke Hausel (12th dan) following a martial arts clinic in the East
Valley of Phoenix (photo courtesy of Nemec Photography, May, 2013).
As class begins, we show respect to one another, our instructor and to the martial arts by bowing in s short ceremony. Then we start stretching and warming up before beginning the evening's lesson. Tonight it could be basic karate, we may be learning a new kata, or we might be focusing on bunkai (self-defense applications of kata), or learning new self-defense applications against one person, two people, against an attacker with a knife, a club, a revolver, a rifle. We might focus on using everyday weapons for self-defense such as a book, a PC, car keys, belt, coins, pen, pencil, stapler, purse, stick, kobuton, cane, or hanbo.

Another night, we might train as samurai and focus on jujutsu the katana, naginata, or yari. We may learn a new kobudo weapon or a new kobudo kata. Or we may focus on kotekikai (extreme body hardening) or some other martial art taught at our martial arts school in Arizona. The martial arts education is nearly limitless with our grandmaster who has certifications in nearly 2 dozen arts.

We typically end the class after buring another 1,000 calories by ending with meditation and bowing to one another and telling each other to have another wonderful day or weekend. For us, karate is a path, it is a way to keep in touch with our closest friends. It is a way for us to share each others thoughts and concerns about our lives, families, martial arts, work and problems in the nation's capital. We support each other with positive thoughts and finish with "oyasumi nasai" or "domo arigoto gosaimasu". Martial arts is about being positive, helping one another, and just being members of a ryu, or karate family.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Traditional Martial Arts

In Traditional Martial Arts we absorb the philosophy of those great masters and grandmasters who are our teachers, both living and those who lived before us. We have roots in the Western US, but we have ties in Okinawa/Japan. The sokeshodai (first generation grandmaster) of our martial art known as Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Kai is Soke Hausel, who was provided the privileged and honor of developing his his own system of karate by Dai-Soke Sacharnoski, a martial artist considered by many to be the greatest living martial artist in the world.

The quick and the dead provide us guidelines for being better martial artists and better people. If our politicians were required to learn traditional martial arts, we would have a better society as honor, respect and honesty are required in traditional karate.

Here are some of our guides and thoughts.

  • “You Don’t quit karate because of age, You age because you quit karate” - Soke Hausel
  • "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." ~Thomas Jefferson 
  • You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves." ~ Abraham Lincoln 
  • A quick temper makes a quick fool
  • Do not worship great men of the past – seek instead to follow in their accomplishments” – Soke Hausel
  • "Nunchaku is like a snake - mistreat it & it will bite” - Soke Hausel
  • “With kama, you can cut weeds or cut those who plant weeds” – Soke Hausel.
  • Karate begins and ends with courtesy” - Gichin Funakoshi
  • "There is no end to learning martial arts - only a beginning".
  • "If there is no kata, there is no karate, just kicking & punching"Shoshin Nagamine (1907-1997)
  • "One who fishes with spear can get fish & defend his meal at same time" - Soke Hausel
  • There is a significant difference between softness and weakness
  • "The purpose of Karate Lies not in defeat or victory, but in the perfection of its participants" Gichin Funakoshi.
  • "My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference!” - Harry Truman
  • There are many paths to the top of Mt Fuji, but it only has one summit.
  • Fear is a darkness. Traditional karate brings one to light overcoming darkness by teaching self-confidence and respect for mankind.
  • "How does an adult defend against a child? With a lollipop. At the Arizona School of Traditional Karate we teach one to defend against adults"- Soke Hausel
  • "If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed.  If you read the newspaper, you're misinformed." -  Mark Twain
  • "Each kick, each block, each punch should be practiced as if they are your very last – this is how one achieves mastery of karate". Soke Hausel
  • "Everytime you punch or block without power & focus, you greatly diminish your potential to be a great martial artist. Think about it! You are teaching yourself to defend without power and focus". "Punch as if you are being attacked". - Soke Hausel
  • “If God wanted man to run, he would not have invented karate” – Soke Hausel
  • "Twirling is for marching bands & cheerleaders not for kobudo" - Soke Hausel
  • 'Karate is like the boiling water'- If you remove the fire, it will cool.
  • "For the beginner of Karate, everything is important. For the master, ‘nothing’ is important." Soke Hausel 
  • Search the eyes of all who pass by for their intentions.
  • Hitotsuki hitogeri “one punch, one kick”
  • “In daily life, one’s mind & body should be trained & developed in a spirit of humility and at critical times, be devoted to the cause of justice – this is true karatedo” Gichin Funakoshi

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Top-Rated School of Martial Arts in Gilbert and Mesa

Welcome to the Top-Rated Martial Arts School in Mesa, Gilbert and Chandler in the east valley of Phoenix. We look forward to meeting you when you stop in and visit our unique, traditional dojo (martial arts school). You should see a difference in the training and teaching methods and attitudes of all of our students and instructors. If you are a peaceful and honest person, you are most welcome to join our club. As stated by the great master of Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo, Gichin Funakoshi (1868-1957) ''The Ultimate Aim of Karate Lies Not in Victory or Defeat, but in Perfection of Its Participants".

Compare our club with any other school in the valley, let alone the nation. You should see the following differences: (1) First, we focus on adults and families, but go much further. We are a traditional style of karate and kobudo that accepts members as friends.

(2) We teach a very powerful form of Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Karate that includes Kobudo, Self-Defense, Jujutsu, Body Hardening, and Samurai Arts. No other school in the valley that we've seen offers as much. Many people do not realize, but karate was created on Okinawa hundreds of years ago as a method of self-defense and self-improvement. It was never intended to be a sport.

(3) Our head instructor has been awarded many honors that include regional, national and international awards for teaching. These translate into much better and competent students.
(4) Our head instructor is a grandmaster of Shorin-Ryu Karate. Before moving the Seiyo Kai International Hombu to Arizona, he was a Kyoju (Professor of Budo) at the University of Wyoming. Soke Hausel taught a few thousand students in the arts of karate, kobudo, jujutsu, self-defense, iaido, kenjutsu, sojutsu, naginatajutsu, hanbojutsu and other samurai arts, nearly all of his classes were filled to capacity - some with more than 100 students. He found these large classes made it very difficult to communicate to all of his students, thus today, he keeps his classes to a minimum of students - typically less than 25, following the philosophy of most Okinawan schools. This way he can focus on all of his students techniques.

(5) We have a group of very high-quality instructors and seniors in our dojo who, in total, have more than a century of experience.

(6) We do not compete in tournaments and instead follow the philosophy of all of the great Okinawan masters - we focus on basics, kata, kobudo, bunkai (applications), traditions and philosophy. Nearly all of the great Okinawan masters have stated that kata is more pragmatic (realistic) than kumite.

(7) Finally, we offer some of the lowest prices for classes in Arizona - and NO contracts.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Traditional Shorin-Ryu Karate & Kobudo In Mesa and Gilbert, Arizona

Traditional Martial Arts are quite different from sport karate or sport taekwondo. Traditional martial arts focus on the progress of the martial artist as a person rather than accumulation of trophies.  As stated by the great Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Karate Master, Gichin Funakoshi,

“Karate begins and ends with courtesy”. 

Traditional karate also focuses on self-defense rather than points. Who could forget the wonderful conversations between Mr. Miyagi and Daniel San in the classic movie the Karate Kid

Daniel San “All right, so what are the rules here?”
Miyagi “Don't know. First time you, first time me”.
Daniel San “Well, I figured you knew about this stuff. I figured you went to these before. Oh great, I'm dead. I am dead. You told me you fought a lot”.
Miyagi “For life, not for points”.

It is these kind of philosophies that we teach our students to ensure that they progress as positive members of society.

Okinawan Scholar Teijunsoku wrote:

‘No matter how you excel in the art of te (karate) and in your scholastic endeavors, nothing is more important than your behavior and your humanity as observed in daily life’.

Shoshin Nagamine (1907-1997), Grandmaster of Matsubayashi Shorin-Ryu wrote,

"if there is no kata, there is no karate, just kicking & punching"

And possibly nothing more succinctly describes the purpose of karate than another statement by Gichin Funakoshi,

"The purpose of Karate Lies not in defeat or victory, but in the perfection of its participants"

Yokosu - 'Welcome' to the Arizona Hombu - the world headquarters of Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Kai. We focus on training adults and some families and we look forward to introducing you to traditional martial arts.

Join us on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings as we train in the traditions of Shorin-Ryu Karate, Kobudo (weapons), Samurai arts and Self-Defense at 60 W. Baseline Road at the border of Mesa with Gilbert. We look forward to hearing from you.

Sensei Paula restrains Shihan Adam at a May 2013 traditional martial arts clinic at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate on the border of Gilbert with Mesa and Chandler (Photo courtesy of NemecPhotos).

Respect is a very important part of the traditional martial arts (photo courtesy of Nemec Photography, May, 2013)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Come train in our Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Karate Renmei classes and learn about traditions, history, self-defense, martial arts weapons & friendship. The world headquarters (hombu) is located at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate in Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler at 60 W. Baseline Road (NE corner of MacDonald).

We've provided just a few of the photos of a few of our students. Do you see your neighbor?