Friday, March 12, 2021

Top-Rated Okinawan Karate, Kobudo & Self-Defense in Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Arizona

Following decades of fulfilling a lifetime dream with the opening a commercial dojo to teach
others about traditions of Okinawa martial arts, Hall-of-Fame martial artist, Soke Hausel
had little choice but to close the Shorin-Ryu training center in Mesa Arizona on March 1, 2021.  

Following decades of training in traditional martial arts, Soke made a decision to close the Arizona Hombu dojo (Seiyo Shorin-Ryu Hombu dojo) after 60% of the members stopped training during the pandemic.
So, the facility closed in March, 2021, but we continue training at two private dojo in Mesa and Gilbert, Arizona. We hope to one day re-open a commercial dojo if the economy improves soon.

Rest in Peace
We lost three black belt members to the plandemic, who we all miss tremendously: Sensei Lenny Martin from Wyoming (Bushido Newsletter, 2021, v. 81, no. 4), Sensei Corey Westbrook from Murray, Utah (Bushido Newsletter, 2021, v. 81, no. 3) and Sensei Alex Hurowyj from Mesa, Arizona (Bushido Newsletter, 2020, v. 17, no. 4). May their souls rest in peace in the presence of God. 

But, we are not finished. Even though dozens of dojos in the Phoenix valley closed, three of our absolutely incredible members offered training facilities to keep us going, which we are so grateful for.

2019 group photo at the Arizona Hombu (Seiyo no Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Kai) in Mesa, Arizona

In June, 2022, some of our remaining members of the Hombu dojo traveled from the East Valley of Phoenix to Seguin, Texas to train at the Juko Kai International annual clinic - which we've made this an annual event since 1992. The JKI training focused on combat arts including defense against an attacker armed with a gun and with a knife.

Arizona Karate & Kobudo practitioners in Sequin, Texas for Juko Kai National Clinic, 2022.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Best Karate School in Arizona

Our dojo remains as one of the top martial arts educational schools in Arizona. During the past seven years, the Hombu dojo has been recognized as one of the better schools in Arizona for traditional karate, kobudo, samurai arts and self-defense for adults and families. This year is no exception, as the Hombu was recognized again, as one of the better schools in the Phoenix valley. 

Prior to moving the dojo to Arizona, Soke Hausel (grandmaster), had established a Hombu at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, and taught many classes in karate kobudo, self-defense, samurai arts, jujutsu and others over 30 years. While at the university, both the Hombu and Grandmaster received regional, national and international awards for the best martial arts program and the best instructor in the country. 

Check us out on the Expertise website. While you are at it
check out the credentials of our grandmaster. We
recommend that you google Soke Hausel.

Letter from the University of Wyoming president
recognizing Hausel

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

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Best Martial Arts School in the Phoenix Arizona Valley

Grandmaster Hausel continues to receive national & 
international recognition in expertise in martial arts &
teaching abilities
The Arizona Hombu Karate Dojo is the best martial arts school in the Phoenix Valley, of Arizona, based on 'Expertise'. 

This relates to expertise of martial arts instructors, outstanding students, and traditional Okinawa martial arts curriculum that is unmatched in the state. The school in Mesa in the east valley of Phoenix, offers classes in Karate, Kobudo (these are the well-known martial arts weapons from Okinawa), Samurai Arts, and Self-Defense. But in each of these categories and many different martial arts taught at the school. For instance, Kobudo includes many arts such as bojutsu, nunchakujutsu, tekkojutsu, saijutsu, tonfajutsu, ekujutsu, and several more. Then, samurai arts are the classical arts of Japanese samurai which includes bojutsu, iaido (samurai sword), sojutsu (spear), naginatajutsu (pole arm), hanbojutsu (half-bo) and many more arts.
Dr. Florence Teule (France), recently
appeared on Stan Lee's Super-humans.
Here she practices kenjutsu taught by
Who's Who in Martial Arts Legend, Soke
Hausel at a clinic in Gillette, Wyoming

The karate dojo focuses on  adults, families, and traditions. While many classes around the Phoenix Valley are taught by teens with little expertise, the Hombu karate school has highly educated instructors and students. Where else can you find a martial arts school filled with university faculty, school teachers, engineers, rocket scientistsscientists, authors, accountants, musicians, lawyers, nurses, pilots, computer techsdoctors, including a Hall-of-Fame geologist, and a couple of Hall-of-Fame martial artists. In fact, the dojo is operated by a Hall-of-Fame martial artist who is also a Who's Who in Martial Arts Legend and was presented one of only a handful of awards recognizing him as a martial arts genius! So, you decide: - (1) take martial arts from a teenager, or from a school with adult instructors that have more than 2 CENTURIES of combined martial arts experience.  Currently, the martial arts school attracts about 30% women as well as young adults and senior citizens and some families.

The Hombu Dojo has been around for many years and was initially established at the University of Wyoming. The Hombu moved to Arizona in 2006 from the University of Wyoming, where the school was initially established as a dojo on campus for 30 years after moving from the University of New Mexico and from the University of Utah

Much of the curriculum at the Arizona Hombu Karate Dojo (aka Arizona School of Traditional Karate) focuses on the traditional Shorin-Ryu martial arts. Shorin-Ryu was developed on Okinawa and has origins in the Chinese Shaolin martial arts.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Arizona Karate Grandmaster Looks Back at Golden Anniversary

Soke Hausel celebrated 50 years of
 martial arts training. O'Sensei Bill Borea (right) presents plaque from the student body to Grandmaster Hausel 
in recognition of his 50 years of training. Soke Hausel has been inducted in more than a dozen Halls of Fame
 around the world and taught martial arts at four different universities.
Karate, Kobudo and other traditional martial arts have been part of Soke (Grandmaster) Hausel's life for more than 50 years! This love of traditional martial arts began in 1964 after the Beatles invaded the US. For those who are too young to remember the invasion - it had a profound effect on most teenagers.

On Sunday nights, families religiously watched the Ed Sullivan showIn those days, most only had three black and white channels, no play back, and yet it was more entertaining than cable or satellite TV today. According to Soke Hausel, "We had no idea who these four British musicians were or what they were about, but they changed many people over night". As Soke tells the story...

The Churchmen, Rock n' Roll Band, about 1964. Left to right -
Jan Hart, Steve Paulos, George Allen and Dan (Soke) Hausel
"When I attended school the next day, everyone was talking about the invasion. I wanted to be a musician - just like millions of other kids around the world. So, I took up the guitar. I purchased a Gibson Firebird - can you believe it, I just saw a similar guitar selling for $28,000 on ebay. I paid a little over $100 for mine! Later, three other guys (Steve Poulos, Jan Hart, and George Allen) found me and we formed a band called the 'Churchmen". We became very popular in Utah and started playing at concerts and parties every weekend but soon we realized having long hair had drawbacks - rednecks wanted to shave our heads and rough us up because we were different. Today, I have no problem with rednecks - some of my heroes are rednecks.

Luckily, right next to my former junior high school was a karate dojo - the Black Eagle Federation - so we all signed up for kyokusinkai karate and trained with Sensei Tom Anguay. That was my start in martial arts. More than 50 years later, I've trained in several martial arts. Many doors opened for me because of my affiliation with the University of Wyoming where I taught martial arts classes and clinics for more than 30 years, and because of my association with Juko Kai International. 

The Churchmen became a very popular
band at the Terrace Gardens in Salt
Lake City in the mid to late 1960s.
A few years later, the Churchmen broke up and I joined another band - the 12th Night, but it wasn't my kind of band. We played for university venues and in pubs, but I didn't like playing in night clubs. About that time, I started teaching guitar at the Music Center. But one day, I had enough and gave up my career as a professional musician and sold my Firebird for a few hundred dollars and started working as a tour guide and astronomy lecturer at the Hansen Planetarium. I had stars in my eyes.

Today, I train 5 to 6 days each week in martial arts (you've probably seen me at your gym in Gilbert, Mesa, or Chandler and teach 8 classes each week. When I was a professor of martial arts at the University of Wyoming, I taught a few thousand students karate, kobudo, jujutsu, samurai artsself-defense, martial arts history and women’s self-defense while developing a prestigious martial arts program at the University from 1977 to 2007. Previously, I had taught at the University of New Mexico and University of UtahWhen I moved to Arizona, I taught a few classes at Arizona State University in 2007 but then opened a martial arts school (or Hombu dojo) on the border of ChandlerGilbert and Mesa. And, I started teaching Zonies to break rocks with their hands, rather than a rock hammer.

Steve Paulos and Dan Hausel (Desert News photo)

More than 50 years ago, karate was different as were the instructors (sensei). In 1964, bullying was encouraged and karate training was brutal - but at least no one ever took a bullet even though guns were very common and often seen in many teenager's truck windows in the parking lot on campus. We even had a target range under the high school where members of ROTC trained with .22 caliber rifles. 

I elected to continue martial arts for the rest of my life. Traditional martial arts should be a lifelong commitment - not a fling, but it is rare to find anyone who can make that kind of commitment. 

Traditional karate provides opportunities to get in shape, meet others with like minds, make lifelong friends, and learn pragmatic self defense. Traditional martial arts are about earning everything. One major difference between traditional and sport martial arts was pointed out in the original Karate Kid movie. Remember Miyagi-Ryu Karate (traditional) and Cobra Kai Karate (sport)? Traditional karate is about courtesy, self-respect, and respect for others. Those who train in traditional karate practice it as if it is a weapon and we all learn self-confidence. Every single person I trained in traditional karate came out much more positive and self-confident. Those in sport karate train as if it is a sport or game. Personally, I have no problem with sport, but after 50 years I understand this significant difference that is unrecognized by the layman. There are some good sport karate schools and organizations, but this form of karate does not be focus on self-defense but rather on trophies, sparring, and periodically bullying - but there are both good and bad sport practitioners - just like we see in the NFL and in other sports. Unfortunately, there are a lot more sport karate schools and this has resulted in scam artists opening martial arts schools - many purchased diplomas or fabricated their own. In traditional karate, most everyone knows everyone else and everyone's instructors, so legitimacy is everything and it is very difficult for a politician - err I mean scam artist, to sneak into the system.  On Okinawa, the birth place of karate, nearly all karate schools are traditional.

Today, I teach karate classes and other martial arts to adults and families at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate (aka Arizona Hombu) on the border of Gilbert and Mesa. We have may students scattered worldwide: many are university professors, teachers, engineers, scientists, doctors, lawyers, social scientists, law enforcement agents, artists and some are common laborers. My son Eric, daughter Jessica and grandsons are all proficient in karate. It is my hope that you too will follow the karate path."

The 12th Night Rock n' Roll Band with Dan (Soke) in front center about 1970 (Photo courtesy of University of

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Best Karate & Kobudo Instructor In Phoenix, Arizona Valley

"Domo Arigato Gozaimasu Phoenix, Arizona" - Thank you Phoenix!

There are many great martial arts instructors in the Phoenix Valley; thus it is an honor to be considered as the best in the valley based on 'expertise'. In 2017, Soke Hausel, world head (grandmaster) of Shorin-Ryu Karate & Kobudo (Seiyo Kai) and Juko Kai International Shihan (master instructor) was selected as best in the category of Expertise.

Soke Hausel began his martial arts training in 1964 after growing long hair and joining a garage rock n' roll band. Because of the lack of tolerance for long hair in 1964, all four members of the band signed up for Japanese (kyokushin kai) karate for self-defense

In 2017, Soke was elected to Who's Who in Martial Arts and selected for the Albert Nelson Marquis Who's Who Lifetime Achievement Award. His dojo (martial arts center) was also selected for the 2017 Mesa, Arizona Small Business and Excellence Award as well as for the past four years.

Grandmaster Hausel is a distinguished polymath and received national and international awards not only in martial arts but also in geological sciences, art, writing and public speaking

Through the years, Soke taught hundreds of students, faculty and staff members self-defense and traditional karate. While at the University of Wyoming for 30 years, he developed one of the more diverse traditional martial arts programs as Kyoju no Budo (professor of martial arts). He has taught self-defense to many adult groups including Christian, boy scouts, girl scouts, military, professional, librarians, women's clubs, martial arts groups and more. He loves teaching martial arts and enjoys the people he works with.

Soke Hausel gives credit to Dai-Soke Sacharnoski who has been his personal instructor and mentor since 1993 for his abilities in martial arts. Hausel state's that "Dai-Soke Sacharnoski is the best martial artist I have ever seen and has provided me with a great model and path to follow".

Hausel says he is also grateful "God has blessed me with all of his accomplishments as a person and polymath". In his early life, Hausel had more or less been thought by some (including his high school counsellor) to have been the least likely to succeed.

Today, Soke Hausel teaches a variety of traditional martial arts to adults and families.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Best Karate School of Mesa, Arizona

Karate, Kobudo, Self-Defense and Samurai arts  classes at the Arizona Hombu Dojo. "Thank you" again for selecting the Arizona Hombu (Arizona School of Traditional Karate) as the "Best Karate School in Mesa" in 2013, 2014 and in 2015. We work hard to be the best karate school in the West.

The name of our school - Arizona Hombu comes from Japanese which means world headquarters, or administrative headquarters for Shorin-Ryu Karate. To have a hombu dojo implies that the school is home for a grandmaster. Our grandmaster, known as Sokewas also selected for international recognition this summer for martial arts and geological sciences.

The more you train now, the less you
will bleed when it really counts!

Group training in kata (forms).

Bunkai training (applications from kata).

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Traditional Karate

Torii gate in Japan
One would need to search the corners of the Earth to find anyone who has not heard of karate. Karate was created on a tiny group of islands known as Okinawa. Because of pragmatic combat effectiveness, karate spread throughout the world in the 20th century after it had been revealed to the public such that today, almost every person has a general idea of what karate is.

Many fighting sports in the world try to mimic karate and incorporate karate-like techniques; but just because someone kicks and punches does not imply they know karate let alone understand martial arts. Any school boy or girl will kick and punch under certain circumstances, but this does not mean they are karate practitioners. Unfortunately, few people understand the difference between sport karate and traditional karate. Even those who practise karate, most do not understand there is a dramatic difference between sport and traditional.

'Aerial Karate' - color pencil sketch by Soke Hausel
Sport Karate, as pointed out by Tsuneo Kinjo from Okinawa, has two branches - kata and kumite. In sport Karate, kata is practiced more like a dance contest with a fashion show - performed for trophies with a general lack of understanding of bunkai (pragmatic self-defense applications). Kumite (sparring) in sport karate is also about winning and losing. Those who train in sport karate wear padded gloves and try to out-score each other requiring many unfocused techniques. The Father of Modern Karate, Gichin Funakoshi of Okinawa wrote, "The purpose of Karate lies not in defeat or victory, but in perfection of its participants".

Traditional Karate is very different. It is about perfecting oneself and as stated by Chojun Miyagi, it is also about "... training oneself to be able to overcome an opponent with a single technique". This is why those who train at the Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Kai hombu in Mesa, Arizona, are taught to develop maximum focus and work towards a skill of a one-punch knockout: not a knockout in a ring or cage, but a knockout that may save your life during an aggressive attack on the street. If a person has to use more than one technique in self-defense, they stand to lose the battle and possibly their life.
Gichin Funakoshi, pencil sketch by
Soke Hausel

By definition, a martial art requires not only martial combat technique, but also esoteric value to guide a martial artist along an ethical and moral path. Think about it for a second. How many politicians are you aware that train in traditional martial arts? 

But traditional martial and politics are antipathetic towards one another. Traditional martial arts requires honesty, ethics and morals. Politics requires a broken polygraph, which is why politicians are rarely seen in a traditional martial arts dojo.

'Okinawan sunrise', pencil sketch bo Soke Hausel