Friday, June 21, 2013

Traditional Okinawan Karate and Kobudo - A Lifelong Path

Me in a couple of more decades (sketch by Soke
"Many years ago" turned into "decades ago" (where has the time gone?) and my study of martial arts will reach the half century point this year (2013). I look forward to teaching traditional karate, kobudo and samurai arts for another half century and wish I could be reborn to teach another century or more, as traditional martial arts have provided me with a unique path. This path is Soke (grandmaster) of a Ryu (style or family). As the head of this association, I am concerned for my children and grand children, and also for my martial arts students who are also part of what I am - part of my martial arts family.

Sometimes I feel like a Shaolin monk and wish that my joss was favorable so I could win the next lottery. No, I'm not into fancy cars, just the perfect dojo (martial arts school). Whenever I visit the Japanese Friendship Gardens, I wonder if they would sell to me if I won the lottery?

Hey, while I was training at the Juko Kai International Clinic in New Braunfels, Texas last weekend one of my favorite people and best friend Hanshi Ron Smith, 10th dan, declared we were shaolin monks because of our lineage. And he's right. 'Shorin-Ryu' translates as 'Shaolin Style' and we are bringing a message of enlightenment to our students with the training of traditional karate and kobudo. (for those who lack enlightenment, 'traditional' suggests a method of martial arts training that have been taught for centuries and nothing like sport martial arts which leads to a different person altogther - remember the Karate Kid?). The only thing missing is living in a Shaolin temple so we can be influence by our surroundings 24-hours a day. Guess this is why the Japanese Peace Gardens of Phoenix are so attractive. But, when I win the lottery and buy the gardens, I'll move them to a mountain retreat away from downtown Phoenix and away the contrails from Sky Harbor and provide a sanctuary for all of my family members who would like to escape the rat race and begin a life of peace and a lifelong study of martial arts. But don't worry Phoenix, I don't buy lottery tickets - so you are safe for now.

Japanese Friendship Gardens. Imagine re-locating the Arizona Hombu here. Talk about a perfect setting to study
martial arts!
When I think of In/Yo (yin/yang to some of you), I am amazed that traditional karate and kobudo can lead to such peace of mind. These are opposites - fighting arts vs. peace of mind. I'm not sure how this works, but maybe each of these opposites satisfies different parts of our brains and our souls making us whole for a few moments in time.

Hanshi Ron Smith (10th dan) from Virginia and Soke Dan
Hausel (12th dan) from Arizona at the Juko Kai International
Clinic in Texas, 2013.

Soke Hausel operates the Arizona
Hombu on the border of Mesa with Gilbert and Chandler
where people can train in the traditional martial arts and
search for enlightenment. Politicians need not apply.
Personally, I get a little out of whack whenever I make a trip to Costco or Walmart with my wife where people act as if those grocery carts are weapons and threaten all who come near.

At one moment, when I am in the dojo and practicing kata, I'm at peace with the world. The next, I'm in Costco,and ready to produce impressions of grocery car rollers all of my opponents body. If only I had such a serene place to retreat as the Japanese Friendship Gardens, I might be able to be at peace with myself and the world and keep from practicing grocery cart kobudo on this next guy or house wife who refuses to yield space.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Web Award for Martial Arts

facts about martial arts

Ahhhh, what a lovely day.  I woke to another warm day in Gilbert Arizona to find this Blog had won the Award for 'Martial Arts'. Domo Arigoto (どうもありがとう). It is our goal to educate the public about 'Traditional Martial Arts' whether pragmatic or esoteric.

Like Us on Facebook to learn more about classes, styles and people in Shorin-Ryu Karate & Kobudo in Arizona as well as in the world.

You can learn more about the Arizona Hombu and our International Training Center in Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Arizona

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Thoughts on Martial Arts

Martial arts are considered a lifelong path for some of us to follow. If you have found your path, we would like to share some thoughts with you to help you along your way.

  • "Those who are skilled in combat do not become angered, those who are skilled at winning do not become afraid. Thus the wise win before the fight, while the ignorant fight to win." - O Sensei Ueshiba
  • You don’t quit karate because of age, You age because you quit karate -Soke Hausel
  • Karate and Kobudo can be likened to tires of a bicycle. Both are needed to make the bike move. 
  • 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
  • Through time, a white belt turns black with age. As time continues, black wears to white - Now the journey has begun.
  • Do not worship great men of the past – seek instead to follow in their accomplishment
  • 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.
  • You have a chance to train tonight and learn to be a better person – this is what should motivate us to train in karate.


Sensei Borea of Gilbert Arizona trains with Deshi Charles Jean from Chandler Arizona using kama and bo at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate in Mesa, Arizona


Monday, January 2, 2012


Dr. Neal Adam, Shihan/5th dan, follows up with strike using tonfa following attack with
a bo by Ryan Harden, 5th kyu 

Hakutsuru karate demonstration on Chinese New Year
by Soke Hausel
University of Wyoming Campus Shorin-Ryu Karate club with Soke Hausel
(center front), Soke-Dai Eric Hausel (3rd from left in front), and Hanshi
Andy Finley (end from left in front)


Saturday, August 21, 2010

What is a Martial Art?

Kobudo training at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate (Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Karate
Kobudo Kai Hombu) at the borders of Chandler, Gilbert and Mesa Arizona.

In 2004, I spoke to the Cheyenne Rotary Club about martial arts history, philosophy, and benefits to society. One question that arose was what was martial art? How does it differ from boxing? Actually, this could involve a long and involved answer. It could actually require a book to answer (and I am writing a book about this) but it basically gets down to the fact that boxing is a physical activity and sport with little to no redeeming social value.

Martial art is both physical and spiritual but the true value of traditional (non-sport) martial art is that its main purpose is to develop positive social values in the person while training in martial art. This is one reason why many sport martial arts are no longer true martial arts, as they have reneged on the spiritual side of martial art.

One very important part of martial arts is Rei, or bowing- this gentle gesture is cultivated in all traditional schools. Participants bow when entering or leaving a school (dojo) or training center, bow to one another at the beginning and ending of classes, and bow at the beginning and ending of all techniques to show respect, compassion, and gratitude to all members. We show respect to our teachers and seniors, compassion for our juniors, and gratitude for our parents and friends, and by all means to God.

According to the great karate legend and master of Shorin-Ryu karate, Gichin Funakoshi, one who truly understands karate-do is never easily drawn into a fight. Funakoshi placed no emphasis on competitions or tournaments (in fact he and other great Shihan of Okinawa opposed introduction of sport karate), but instead placed emphasis on self perfection & believed common decency & respect for other human beings were the highest precepts taught in karate. The bottom line of karate-do lies the wish for harmony among people. Such harmony is based on courtesy, and it is said that the Okinawan martial ways begin with courtesy and end with courtesy.

These concepts are emphasized in traditional Okinawa dojo kun or dojo precepts. The kun consists of character building, sincerity, effort, etiquette, and self-control. They are attributes one must constantly cultivate in the practice of martial arts.
Karate teaches effective self-defense (left) as well as zen, meditation and kata (see photo below).

To accomplish this there exists one simple vehicle. And if there is anything I can tell a new student of karate -

"That vehicle is kata", and it is the essence of karate. Kata embodies all the secrets, the mystery, the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual concepts of the masters. Kata is the key, the answer, the solution to everything we search for in karate. Kata is Zen. Kata is simple yet difficult. Like the wind, it is motion as in the physical performance, yet motionless. It is attainable yet unattainable. Once grasped it may slip away only to be grasped once again. It is a perfect imperfection. Kata is real yet a dream, a very possible dream. It shows our strength while making us aware of our weakness. It is a passive way to destroy and kill. It is brutal and vicious in a most humane way. Kata transforms destructive power into a flurry of beauty. To teach kata is to learn kata, and from that maxim applied to life an unbroken cultural chain is created and sustained. "This is karate-do".

We teach karate as a way of life, a way of peace, but if there is no choice, we teach karate to finish aggression. And here is the paradox. Karate is the art of peace, but it is also an art of peace-keeping.

We teach people to be respectful, but if all else fails we teach people to defend or defend others. Karate is not a sport, it is a way of non-corruption. One might note there are very few politicians and lawyers involved in daily practice of martial arts - one reason is that martial art teaches them to be ethical and show concern for others, something that has been eliminated by the majority of these people. And if they would practice TRADITIONAL martial arts, they would stand out as positive, honest, and ethical people - something this is very uncommon in politics, lawyers and judges.

This is how we teach karate in our Seiyo Shorin-Ryu style.
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Map to Dojo
Our center is open to the public - we focus on Adults and Families. Come learn the traditions of Okinawan Karate & Kobudo, where much of the class is conducted in Japanese and English to help students learn Japanese. We also teach meditation, philosophy and martial arts history interjected in karate classes. Check out our class schedule:

  • Shorin-Ryu Karate Kihon & Kata
  • Advanced Shorin-Ryu Kata & Bunkai
  • Private family Shorin-Ryu Karate & Kobudo
  • Family Shorin-Ryu Karate & Kobudo
  •  Shorin-Ryu Self-Defense & Jujutsu.
  • Samurai Arts (Iaido, Yari, Naginata, Hanbojutsu)
  •  Shorin-Ryu Kobudo & Bunkai
  •  Advanced Kobudo & Bunkai

No sign up fees. Start as soon as you pay for your first lesson or first month. You can pay either month by month or day by day - its up to you.

We can set up a special class just for your group or design a one day or one week clinic for self-defense training. Soke Hausel has taught women's self-defense classes for nearly 4 decades at various schools and universities. He combines humor and interesting stories with realistic and simple self-defense techniques. YOU and your daughters or you and your mother should take these classes.

Can you really survive without self-defense training? Learn how to use your hands, knees, elbows, car keys, glasses, cell phone, etc.

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About Us

"Those who are skilled in combat do not become angered, those who are skilled at winning do not become afraid. Thus the wise win before the fight, while the ignorant fight to win." - O Sensei Ueshiba

Karate and Kobudo can be likened to tires of a bicycle. Both are needed to make the bike move.

"Nunchaku is like a snake - mistreat it & it will bite" - Soke Hausel
"A traditional karateka is prepared at all times – for self-defense and courtesy!"

“With kama, you can cut weeds or cut those who plant weeds” – Soke Hausel.
"The enemy we train to face are uncertainties in life that confront us on a daily basis"

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer (Romans 12:12).