Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Traditional Martial Arts Instruction at the Arizona Hombu


Few other places in Arizona offer Traditional Martial Arts Instruction - basically, the way martial arts have been taught for hundreds of years. Visualized Mr. Miyagi in the 1984 Karate Kid film classic, and you have a general idea about Traditional Martial Arts.

In 2006, it was decided to move the Hombu from the University of Wyoming to Arizona. Along with moving, the Hombu (world headquarters of Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Kai(TM)) was moved with our Grandmaster. We had hoped to re-establish the Hombu at Arizona State University, but our concerns were realized when we contacted Campus Recreation and found they had a MMA program. For a university of the caliber of ASU, this could be embarrassing, as the university has no martial arts education: MMA has little to do with martial arts. To be an art, it must offer esoteric value. There may be nothing wrong with MMA, just like there is nothing wrong with boxing, but neither are martial arts.

Thus the Hombu was finally established on the border of Gilbert and Mesa on Baseline Road only a mile from Chandler at the intersection with MacDonald. The new hombu was opened in 2008, almost on the day that the economy collapsed. We remember at about this time, prices were much lower - gasoline was selling for only $1.60/gallon in the valley, gold was selling for about $870/ounce, and there was a martial arts school on nearly every corner in the Phoenix valley.

It has now been 5 years since the Hombu was re-located to the border of Gilbert and Mesa. It is hard to believe time is moving so fast. The Seiyo-Shorin Ryu Hombu (also known as the Arizona Hombu), has now received a few hundred students. No where the amount seen while at the University of Wyoming, but we are slowly growing. Thus along with celebrating our 5th year anniversary at this location, we are also celebrating our 8th year since we relocated the Hombu from Wyoming to Arizona. We were pleasantly surprised to see that our Hombu was recognized by Mesa, when were were presented the Best of Mesa for 2013. This is also the 5th anniversary since our grandmaster was inducted into the 2008 USHOFMAA International Hall of Fame in Maryland along with appointment to the Supreme Elite Warrior's Council and appointment to the World Sokeship (Grandmaster) Council.

Part of our Hombu's operation is offering karate, kobudo, iaido, jujutsu and self-defense classes to the community. Thus, along with the hombu, we established the Arizona School of Traditional Karate (also referred to at the Arizona School of Traditional Okinawan Martial Arts). We were also excited to see that our Karate School had also won an award for excellence.
We have some other anniversaries and upcoming anniversaries. Our Grandmaster was notified last week, that this is the 10th year since he was initially inducted into Marquis Who's Who in the World. He has been highlighted in that biographical compendium for ten years straight. It is also the 10th anniversary since our grandmaster was inducted into the Latin America Society Worldwide Hall-of-Fame in Puerto Rico and the 10th year since he was awarded the International Grandmaster of the Year (2003).

It is also the 20th year since our grandmaster was first inducted into a Marquis Who's Who compendium. In 1993, he was included in Who's Who in the West and Who's Who in Science and Engineering.

In 2014, we will celebrate many more anniversaries including the 15th year anniversary of our grandmaster's appointment to the world head of Shoin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo (Seiyo-Kai). It will also be the 50th year since he began his martial arts training. For traditional martial arts instruction in the East Valley of Phoenix, the Arizona Hombu stands alone.

Seiyo Shorin-Ryu students with Soke Hausel and Hanshi Ron Smith at the 2013 JKI clinic in New Braunfels.