Friday, October 28, 2011

Grand Canyon University Professor Earns Master Degree

SO How Does a PhD Earn a Master Degree? Easy! Join a Traditional Okinawan Martial Arts School.

Dr. Neal Adam is awarded both Godan (5th degree black belt)
and Shihan (Master Instructor) certificates by Soke Hausel at
the Seiyo Kai Hombu in Mesa.
Wax on, wax off.  It takes decades of dedication & training to master a martial art. When most people think of a master of martial arts, they often visualize an old, wise monk; or a faster than life karate master who is indestructible. But to be a true master of martial arts, one must not only master the physical skills of a martial art, but they must also master oriental philosophy, history and traditions.

It is also rare for a PhD to earn a Master Degree: not the master’s degree from a university, but a master degree in Shorin-Ryu Karate. Remember Daniel-san from the original Karate Kid?   Mr. Myagi taught Daniel-san Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Karate - the same art taught at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate in Mesa and Gilbert at 60 W. Baseline Road. Reaching the level of PhD and Professor requires dedication to a particular field of study and research leaving little time for anything else. And to do the same in martial arts is rare.

Dr Neal Adam, associate professor of biology at Grand Canyon University, has dedicated the past 30 years to learning karate while pursuing a career in science. His love for karate reached a high level of comprehension of Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Seiyo Kai Karate and Kobudo. To reach this level of expertise, one must understand the mechanics and physics of karate, they must comprehend the philosophy of the art, they must learn dozens of complex forms and be able to demonstrate these forms without thinking and with extraordinary power and focus, and they must master ancient weapons, and must learn to defend themselves effectively.

Mild mannered Dr. Adam in his traditional
university professor uniform
The Master degree is a measure of one’s expertise and translates in Japanese as Shihan. Dr. Neal Adam reached this level and was presented certifications of Shihan and Godan (5th degree black belt) after testing in front of Soke Hausel, world head of Seiyo Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo at the Hombu (world headquarters) in Mesa.

In addition to demonstrating an understanding of karate and kobudo, Dr. Adam was also required to develop new forms of kobudo. He created a new form of hanbo (3-foot staff) and applications for self defense, and also developed a new form using common everyday tools of his trade for self-defense: eye glasses, rulers, pens, belt, etc. The new form was named the Nerd-ja kata.

Grandparents Earn Black Belts at HOMBU in Mesa Arizona

Soke Hausel, Paula Borea and Bill Borea pose for FOX 10 news
interview and discussion of what traditional martial arts is all

The Arizona School of Traditional Karate, also known as Seiyo Shorin-Ryu Hombu, in Mesa, Arizona congratulated Bill and Paula Borea of East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona after successfully passing exams in Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Karate for nidan (二段) on September 8th, 2011. It's not rare for two people to earn black belts, but it is rare for a married couple who are also grandparents. Furthermore, the two earned 2nd degree black belts.

According to Grandmaster Hausel (十段) this is the first time he has ever heard of a married couple who are senior citizens earning black belts on the same evening. Hausel has taught martial arts for more than 40 years and promoted a Canadian couple to black belt during the same evening, but they were in their mid-20s. Another couple from the University of Wyoming earned 3rd degree black belts (三段) in the same year, and were later married. They were also in their mid to late 20s. As far as senior citizens, he did have one professor earn a 1st degree black belt (初段) in his 80s, but this is rare.
Sempai Paula Borea trains with the heart of
a samurai at the Mesa Hombu after receiving
promotion to nidan black belt. Actually, Paula
is of a samurai blood line.

Bill and Paula Borea underwent 1.5 weeks of exams in Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo (martial arts weapons). Both were required to demonstrate advanced forms (known as kata ), Okinawan weapons (known as kobudo 古武道) and Samurai Arts (known as kobujutsu 古武術). They also had to demonstrate karate (空手) & jujutsu (柔術) defenses against a variety of attacks including an assailant with a knife, gun and rifle. They were successful and promoted to Nidan (2nd degree black belt) in karate and kobudo at the Arizona dojo in Mesa (60 W. Baseline Road).
But there are even more unusual circumstances about this couple that is made for a movie script:

   Few ever reach the level of 2nd degree black belt in Okinawan Shorin-Ryu karate. This is because of extreme dedication and many years of training that are required.

•   Both Bill and Paula Borea have been training for years and each trained in Japan (日本) while Bill was stationed in the orient as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force.
Sensei Bill Borea trains with kobudo
class at the Arizona School of Traditional
karate. Here he trains in nunchaku-jutsu.

•   Paula Borea's story alone is the kind of stuff made for a novel or movie. She is half Japanese. After World War II, she was born to a Japanese mother and American serviceman. Being a child of two opposing cultures, much of her Japanese family disowned her and she was given up to adoption at the age of 5 (her life was threatened by one Japanese uncle).

•   Later in life, she returned to Japan with, where she met her mother for the first time since the forced separation and the two shared many tears.

   Paula is not only of Japanese descent, she is also of samurai () lineage and has always had an interest to her heritage. This led her on a search for a traditional martial arts school in Arizona that would bring her closer to her Japanese heritage. She found the Arizona School of Traditional Karate in Mesa provided her with that part of her life that was missing and started training under Grandmaster Hausel (宗家) in 2006.
Watch out Bill! Paula is showing her samurai lineage again!

•   Both Bill and Paula are grandparents who show that with the right attitude, anything can be accomplished.

•   Bill and Paula Borea show this everyday in their lives. People who claim they cannot work out because of physical limitations need to met these two extraordinary people - one recently had back surgery and the other open heart surgery. Both continue to train at the school in Mesa 2 to 3 times a week. Paula reports that the Arizona School of Traditional Karate is as traditional as anything she saw in Okinawa. Bill reports that karate training saved his life by greatly improving his health.

Sensei Paula Borea in traditional Japanese
Several months later, January 6th, 2012, Soke Hausel certified both Bill and Paula Borea to Sensei (先生). Most Sensei in the Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Seiyo Kai system are ranked at sandan. However, Soke saw that Bill and Paula were unique individuals who are also leaders and certified the two as instructors.

Chandler Librarians Use Books and Knees

Librarians at the Chandler Public Library in Arizona listen to
Hall-of-Fame Grandmaster Hausel discuss the use of library
tools for self-defense.
Imagine – you’re in-between bookshelves at the public library just before closing – someone sneaks up behind and grabs you. What do you do with that book in your hand?

Several librarians and staff of the Chandler Public Library were confronted with this and other imaginary scenarios at a recent seminar taught by Hall of Fame martial artist and grandmaster, Soke Hausel of the Arizona School of Traditional Karate in Mesa (60 W. Baseline Road, Mesa) and world head of Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Kai in Gilbert, an international association of Okinawan Karate and Kobudo. Kobudo is a martial art that teaches use of Okinawan farming and fishing implements, as well as modern garden and construction tools, as weapons of self-defense. Hausel was assisted by Senpai Charles Jean (nikyu brown belt and librarian).
During the seminar, Hausel taught the attendees how to escape from wrist grabs, lapel grabs and bear-hugs, by using their elbows, knees, feet and hands and how to use books, magazines, coins, pens, belts, and car keys for self-defense tools against aggressive attacks. The attendees were surprised to find they were working with potential self-defense weapons every day and even checking them out to the public. Who would have thought that a book or rolled up magazine could be so effective in self-defense.

Over the years, many librarians have taken up martial arts training with grandmaster Hausel. In fact, the University of Wyoming Campus Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo Club had some librarians in its group and the club is currently taught Shorin-Ryu Karate by a university librarian.

Hausel taught similar self-defense clinics and seminars to local political groups, EMT, university faculty and staff, military, scouts, teachers, women’s clubs, sororities, religious groups, martial arts instructors, etc. He is a professor of martial arts who taught at four universities in past years and currently teaches karate, kobudo and self-defense in the East Valley.
We thank Charles Jean (nikyu brown belt on the right) for setting up the self-defense clinic for the Chandler Public Library.
And what should a librarian know about their knees and feet?

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