Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Traditional Jujutsu & Karate in Mesa, Arizona

Soke Hausel applies jujutsu restraint to Kyoshi Stoneking (photo courtesy of  Sensei Luis Juvier).

Karate and jujutsu continues to be an important part of my life as I continue down the karate (martial arts) path. On Okinawa, karate, or tode, originally incorporated throws, kicks, punches, chokes, pressure point strikes, intense body hardening, and tools as weapons and today, many of the traditional Okinawan styles of karate still incorporate all of these other aspects of self-defense. Thus it is not unusual to see Okinawan karate practitioners follow up with a powerful block on a pressure point with a devastating strike to another pressure point and finish with a throw and restraint or choke combination. 

Sometime after I was certified as sokeshodai (Grandmaster) of Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Kai (TM), I decided to incorporate much of my past karate and jujutsu training into my martial art. Shorin-Ryu Karate already included many techniques common in koryu jujutsu nage waza (combat throws) as well as waza developed against samurai and kobudo weapons. So instead of continuing to offer separate jujutsu certifications to my students at the University of Wyoming, I decided to incorporate all of my martial arts education into Seiyo Shorin-Ryu.

Lacy uses taiotoshi (leg drop) nage waza
to Shihan Adam
Seiyo Shorin-Ryu students, whether at the Arizona Hombu dojo (martial arts school) on Baseline Road on the border of Mesa with Chandler and Gilbert, or in Utah, Wyoming, Maryland, Southeast Asia, etc, focus on karate and kobudo, but they also are encourage to train in our samurai arts as well as learn many self-defense applications (bunkai) in our 70+ kata that include the traditional jujutsu throws, restraints and chokes. Now all of our students learn jujutsu along with karate, kobudo and the samurai arts which better prepares all of them for self-defense and provides a more rounded martial arts education.

Ude garuma (armbar) (photo courtesy of Sensei Luis
But it still remains the philosophy of our art to learn a one-punch or one-kick knockout strike used prior to any kind of nage waza. In Arizona, people sweat and are slippery and it is easy to lose your grip on a slippery person, so any kind of restraint or throw works much better with an added strike. And as always, we teach our students to defend rather than be aggressive.
Sensei Linton applies te kubu waza (wrist lock technique) during self-defense training at the Arizona Hombu.

Training at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate on Baseline Road near Country Club.
How to find our martial arts school in Mesa. Just click here.

Hojojutsu (restraining samurai arts) at the Utah Gassuku
Restraint applied to attacker following throw

Monday, July 9, 2012


In addition to empty hand jujutsu, several weapons are commonly employed with jujutsu including the hanbo (3-foot staff), manriki (rope or chain), hojojutsu (rope restraints), kobuton (short stick), kibo (expandable baton), tsue (cane), tanto (knife), katana (samurai sword), yari (spear), naginata (sword on a bo), bo (long stick or 6-foot staff).

These are taught to students in our Samurai Arts classes at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate in Mesa and Gilbert, Arizona, and are taught to students worldwide in the Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Kai system.  Soke Hausel, 12th dan, added these arts to the Seiyo Shorin-Ryu system over the past several years to be sure our students received a well-rounded education in martial arts.

Choke hold taught at University of Wyoming Clinic by Soke

Sensei Harden applies kubi waza on Shihan Adam at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate in Mesa
Grandmaster Hausel demonstrates restraint using hanbo at the
Arizona School of Traditional Karate (photo courtesy
of Nemec Photography (May, 2013).

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Arizona Martial Arts

Okinawan karate and kobudo is typically filled with many throws, foot sweeps, chokes, arm bars, joint locks - it is just that they are not as obvious in kata as kick or a block- but they are there. They are within the kata as a way to learn muscle memory of the techniques, one just has to recognize where they exist, and they visualize them every time you practice kata. 

At the Arizona Hombu Dojo - Students train in traditional Okinawan martial arts including karate, kobudo, and a variety of samurai arts that includes jujutsu and hanbo-justu. This is done to provide the students with a broad range of training. 

Kyoshi Stoneking applies ude garuma (arm bar) during training in the
Utah Mountains

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Finger lock applied with hanbo
Jujutsu is a combat art developed by samurai centuries ago. The martial art had an evolution separate from karate. Karate, which focuses on kicks and punches is indigenous to Okinawa and became combat form and later an art for peasants and Okinawan royalty. Jujutsu, indigenous to Japan, had a different purpose. It was designed as hand to hand combat to defend against a heavily armed samurai with armor. Punching an enemy wearing armor with bare hands and feet does not seem like a bright idea, thus the samurai developed throwing techniques (nage waza), foot sweeps (ashi barai) and trips to defend against other armored and armed samurai.

An armed samurai (Kyoshi Rob Watson, 8th dan) wearing
armor at the 2009 Utah Gassuku in East Canyon.
Along with throws, the jujutsuka learned unique strikes (atemi) to disturb the balance of the samurai (whether armored or unarmored). These atemi were designed to unbalance an opponent and generate a shock wave propagated through armor.

Today we recognized two general categories of jujutsu: (1) Koryu (ancient) traditional jujutsu which was designed to defend against armed samurai with or without armor, and (2) modern Gendai jujutsu that favors self-defense applications used in sport and modern combat martial arts. Many Gendai schools lack lineage and traditions (i.e., Brazilian jujutsu). Then there are arts, such as Juko Ryu jujutsu, that would have been at home on any Japanese battlefield

In both old style and modern jujutsu, atemi is important. Before one can effectively throw an attacker, the aggressor’s balance should be disturbed. In Arizona we find (thanks to a questionable grant - after all we did not need some government research project to tell us what we already know in Mesa and Gilbert in the East Valley of Phoenix) people sweat more than in any other state. To grab and throw someone in Arizona is much more difficult than in Wyoming (where it is dry and cold), simply because sweaty people are slippery and difficult to grasp. But then again, in Wyoming, throwing someone while standing on ice or snow may not be the best idea.

According to the Overlook Martial Arts Dictionary, atemi translates as "body strikes". It refers to "…a method of attacking the opponents pressure points". In A Dictionary of the Martial Arts there is a more detailed description. It states that an atemi is... "…aimed at the vital or weak points of an opponent's body in order to paralyze by means of intense pain. Such blows can produce loss of consciousness, severe trauma and even death…the smaller the striking surface used in atemi, the greater the power of penetration and thus the greater the effectiveness of the blow". This may be true in modern jujutsu, but in the ancient styles of jujutsu, pressure points for armored samurai were not important on a battlefield. A samurai covered with armor, had few if any exposed pressure points.

Today, atemi is used to provide a distraction leading to a throw, joint lock, or choke. This is done by redirecting an opponent into a throw through attacking vital points to cause pain or loss of consciousness. In other words, it is easier to throw an unconscious or disoriented aggressor and one who is already moving in the direction of the throw. One common atemi is a palm strike along the jaw line, ear (mimi) or neck (kubi). This also was likely used against armored samurai. Even with a helmet, a powerful open hand "teisho uchi" strike to the side of a helmet would ring one’s bell.
Hanshi Andy Finley is under arrest using the old samurai art of hojojutsu to produce an unusual
type of hand and leg cuffs at the Casper dojo.


The term jūjutsu’ was coined in the 17th century, after it became a blanket term for a wide variety of grappling combat forms. Jujutsu (柔術) translates as the „art of softness‟or „way of yielding‟. The oldest forms of jujutsu are referred to as Sengoku jujutsu or Nihon Koryu Jujutsu. These were developed during the Muromachi period (1333–1573 AD) and focused on techniques that assisted samurai in defeating unarmed, lightly armed, and heavily armed and armored samurai – thus a greater emphasis was placed on joint locks and throws.

Later in history, other koryu developed that are similar to many modern styles. Many of these are classified as Edo jūutsu and were founded in the Edo Period (1625-1868 AD) of Japan. Most are designed to deal with opponents without armor. Edo jujutsu commonly emphasizes use of atemi waza. Inconspicuous weapons such as a tantō( knife) and tessen (iron fans) are included in Edo jūjutsu curriculum.

Another interesting art taught in Sengoku and Edo jujutsu systems is known as hojojutsu. This involves a cord used to restrain or strangle an attacker. Such techniques have faded from most modern jujutsu styles, although Tokyo police units still train in hojojutsu and carry a hojo in addition to handcuffs.

Weapons training were extremely important to Samurai. Koryu schools included the bo (six-foot staff), hanbo (three-foot staff), jo (4-foot staff), tachi (sword), wakizashi (short sword), tanto (knife), jitte (short one hook truncheon), yari (spear), naginata (halberd), ryofundo kusari (weighted chain) and bankokuchoki (knuckle-duster).

Edo jujutsu was followed by development of Gendai Jujutsu at the end of the Edo Period. Gendai, or modern Japanese jujutsu, shows influence of traditional jujutsu. Goshin Jujutsu styles developed at about the same time, but the Goshin styles are only partially influenced by traditional jujutsu and have mostly been developed outside of Japan.

Today, many Gendai jujutsu styles have been embraced by law enforcement officials and continue to provide foundations for specialized systems by police officials. The best known of these is Keisatsujutsu (police art) or Taihojutsu (arresting art) formulated by the Tokyo Police.
Jujutsu is the basis for many military unarmed combat training programs for many years and there are many forms of sport (non-traditional) jujutsu, the most popular being judo, now an Olympic sport. Some examples of martial arts that have been influenced by jujutsu include Aikido, Hapkido, Judo, Sambo, Kajukenbo, Kudo, Kapap, Kempo and Ninjutsu as well as some styles of Japanese Karate, such as Wado-ryu Karate, which is considered a branch of ShindōYōhin-ryūJujutsu.

Special training in kiogajutsu. 
The training uniform (keikogi) provides an excellent indicator of traditions in a jujutsu dojo. Traditional schools wear plain white gi often with a dark hakama (the most colorful uniform might be plain black or the traditional blue of quilted keikogi. Lack of ostentatious display, with an attempt to achieve or express the sense of rustic simplicity is common in traditional arts. The use of the traditional (Shoden, Chuden, Okuden, Kirigami and Menkyo Kaiden) ranking system is also a good indicator of traditional jujutsu. These are parallel to the common dan-i (kyu/dan) ranking used in traditional karate.
Training with tanto (knife) at the
University of Wyoming. Hanshi
Andy Finley attacks Sensei Kyle Linton.


Ryan Harden applies yubi waza on Neal Adam

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    Melinda applies choke on Dr. Adam

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