Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween in Okinawa?

So what does a HALL-of-FAME samurai do on Halloween?




It’s Halloween; the season of ninja, the season of pumpkins, the season of samurai?  It’s all of these at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate at the border of Mesa and Gilbert on Baseline where things are always a little different. Different because the school stresses ‘traditional’ curriculum (remember Mr. Myagi in the Karate Kid?), and because classes are taught by Hall of Fame, Soke Hausel, 10th dan, a kojyu of budo (professor of martial arts) and world head of Shorin-Ryu Karate & Kobudo (Seiyo Kai) a traditional style of Okinawan martial arts. Classes are also taught by Shihan Neal Adam, 5th dan, a master of karate and kobudo and also an active professor at one of the local universities. But where does Halloween fit into traditional arts?

Soke Hausel love to teach martial arts.
Students of the Arizona School of Traditional Karate and Seiyo Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo not only train in traditional karate and kobudo, they also train in samurai and other arts, so they get a better, all-around martial arts and self-defense education. For example, Soke Hausel has certifications in 23 martial arts and takes advantage of this by teaching a diversified curriculum to his adult classes. Some of the arts taught by the hall of fame grandmaster include Okinawan karate, nunchaku, tonfa, kama, bo, hanbo, nitanbo (two sticks), sai, tanto (knife), yari (spear), naginata, manrikigusari (chain), gusarigama (sickle and chain), katana (samurai sword), kuwa (garden hoe), eku (okinawan oar), shuriken (star darts), jujutsu and other arts.

But imagine smashing pumpkins – not the famous alternative rock band, but rather smashing pumpkins with a karate punch, kick, or just slicing them with kama (Okinawan sickles) or katana, better known as a samurai sword.  Why would anyone do this? Because it is Halloween, it gives the students an opportunity to see how well their technique has developed, and most of all, it brings members together in friendship and works towards the ultimate goal of becoming more self-confident and better all-around members of society