Thursday, January 14, 2016

Self-Defense on a Stick - Hanbo

Sensei Paula Borea applies kote jujiki waza to Sensei Bill Borea's fingers using hanbo at the Arizona
Hombu in the Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa dojo. 

The hanbo (半棒), or ‘half-bo’ is a practical martial arts weapon   since anyone can carry a stick, even on commercial flights. 

Similar to  hanbo is the  'bo'. The bo is a 6-foot staff (or stick) used for transporting goods over one's shoulders in many regions of Asia; thus the hanbo represents a stick half the length of a bo. Both are considered traditional martial arts weapons and the bo is employed in the martial art of bojutsu (棒術) which is part of kobudo and part of nearly every traditional Shorin-Ryu karate school.

Hanbo, however, is not part of most Shorin-Ryu karate and kobudo curriculum, but usually is part of traditional jujutsu and ninjutsu systems. But because of Soke Hausel's past experience, hanbo was added to the kobudo curriculum of Seiyo Shorin-Ryu karate and kobudo. Hanbo also goes hand in hand in training with the ASP (kioga) and cane (tsune) and many of the same techniques can be applied to each of these weapons - so when you learn one, you learn all three.

Legend suggests that during a battle between Kuriyama Ukon and General Suzuki Tangonokami Katsuhisa in 1575 AD, Kuriyama was armed with yari (spear) and Suzuki with katana (sword). During the battle, Suzuki sliced Kuriyama’s spear cutting it in half, but Kuriyama was able to continue the battle and overwhelm Suzuki with the remaining spear handle or hanbo (Kukishin Ryu).

Thus, Kuriyama realized the importance of a short staff for self-defense. Hanbo has now been incorporated into several martial arts including taijutsu (体術). Taijutsu is a term used interchangeably with jujutsu and most koryu (old) jujutsu systems use arresting techniques developed for law enforcement. In particular, munadori waza (lapel grab techniques) are the focus of many.

Hanbo traditionally measures three shaku (35.8 inches) in length, or essentially half the length of a traditional bo, which is roku-shakubo, or a stick of 6 shaku. Shaku is the archaic unit of measurement used in Japan until the metric system was adopted in 1961. Prior to 1961, shaku was a common unit of measure equal to 11.93 inches, or nearly one-foot. The shaku was derived from nature and is the average length between mature bamboo nodes.

But the Japanese also had another shaku which confused things. This latter shaku was equal to 14.9 inches or the length of an average whale whisker and was adopted in 1881 to measure cloth. To distinguish between these two, the cloth shaku was referred to as kujirajaka (kujira meaning whale); and the bamboo shaku was referred to as kanejaku

The hanbo is still used in training by many Japanese law enforcement agents and became prominent during the late 19th Century in the Edo Period, when some law enforcement officers were armed with wooden staffs and responsible for disarming samurai. These people worked in teams and attacked criminals simultaneously to disarm and restrain them with a rope - another art taught at the Arizona Hombu dojo - hojojutsu.

In 1868,  the Meiji Restoration began and Japan entered  the modern era. During the previous Edo period, samurai were still privileged. But a chain of events led to major changes in the political and social system in Japan resulting in opening the door to gaijin of the Western World. Thus, during the Meiji, members of the samurai class were eliminated and the honor of wearing swords was prohibited. 

Ben performs kubi waza on Sensei Bill Borea at the Ariona Hombu dojo, Mesa, Arizona
These events caused considerable unrest with samurai, who prior to this event, were allowed to bear arms – unlike peasants. A samurai rebellion resulted and many hanbo waza were developed at this time to evade strikes by katana that were followed with strikes to head or sword hand, or thrusts to the attacker's body. Included in this were many take downs followed by devastating restraints.

Members of Arizona Hombu Dojo, also known as the Arizona School of Traditional Karate on the border of Chandler, Gilbert and Mesa, learn to use the hanbo. They practise against an uke (partner) with samurai sword as is tradition (as well as against an attacker with other weapons such as tanto [knife]). As they progress, they work up to juji-kumite to develop spontaneity and accuracy of action - in other words, to learn how to react. Restraints are also taught so that the hanbo can be used as a pragmatic instrument for law enforcement. The classes are open to the public at the 60 W. Baseline Center near the Cross Roads of Baseline and Country Club.

The HanboKioga (expandable police baton) and Tsune (Cane) are now taught Wednesday evenings at the Arizona Hombu beginning in 2016. An interactive map on our website will help you find our dojo (martial arts school).

In Seiyo Shorin-Ryu, to progress in hanbojutsu, students demonstrate basic strikes, blocks and stances and several self-defense ippon kumite against unarmed and armed assailants. They also learn very restrictive juji-kumite or sparring with the weapon. The kumite must be controlled with safety in mind. In the traditional martial arts - there are no contests - only self-improvement.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Sticks and Stones May Break my Bones, but an Hanbo can also Throw Me

From node to node in mature bamboo is
considered to be 1 shaku - a Japanese measurement.
Hanbo is considered to have a length of 3 shaku.
A daughter trains with her father at the Utah Gassuku.
The Hanbo (half-bo) is a Japanese weapon of self-defense considered to be 3 shaku in length (about 3-feet). At the Arizona Hombu dojo in Mesa, we purchase hanbo from Lowell's and look for strong Oak dowels or other wood (such as purple heart) that will take a series beatings and not break. So if you buy a hanbo from a lumber store, check the wood thoroughly, because those pine sticks will easily break.

The origin of the hanbo is related to traditional Japanese jujutsu and ninjutsu martial arts. Traditional martial arts are those that have been around for centuries and have a good lineage that demonstrates their effectiveness in combat, unlike many modern jujutsu schools and MMA.

The hanbo is a weapon that can be taken anywhere and essentially all techniques for a hanbo can also be applied to cane (tsune), umbrella, expandable police batons and similar weapons. 

 The hanbo is used for blocking, striking, sweeps, throws and chokes and is effective against an assailant with a knife, club or bare hands. Over the past few years, Hausel, Soke taught hanbo clinics at the Arizona Hombu dojo at the border of Chandler, Gilbert & Mesa, Arizona as well as at dojos in Utah, Wyoming and at the University of Wyoming. Soke Hausel was introduced to the hanbo  by Dai-Soke Sacharnoski and also by one of Soke Hatsumi's instructors from Canada. Over the years, Hausel taught hanbo to hundreds of students at the University of Wyoming as well as other martial arts students from Casper, Cheyenne, Gillette, and Saratoga Wyoming, Murray Utah, and at Arizona State University, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa and Phoenix Arizona.

Grandmaster Hausel indicates he likes the hanbo because you can carry a hanbo (or a cane or umbrella) anywhere, find a good stick most anywhere, and striking and blocking techniques are simple. Many of the throwing techniques with hanbo are challenging to beginners, but in most cases they are not necessary because nearly every technique begins with a block followed by a strike to the ribs, knees, body or head with either the hanbo or the hand, which should incapacitate any attacker. Nearly all restraints, throws and chokes are all added after a strike. So, just imagine someone striking you in the ribs, face, shin, foot, hand or groin with a stick. Most likely you will be very compliant to any follow-up restraint or throw.

Grandmaster Hausel explains the subtleties of using hanbo for arm bars.
So, even though he teaches mostly Okinawa karate and kobudo at the Arizona Hombu dojo, with his considerable background in martial arts, he also teaches his students other traditional martial arts including hanbojutsu, sojutsu, iaido, iaijutsu, jujutsu, etc. At the Arizona Hombu Dojo the philosophy is that there is no end to learning.
Kris applies armpit throw to Renshi Stoneking at the
2015 gassuku in East Canyon near Park City.
After teaching hanbo to the Utah Shorin-Kai at a 2015 gassuku at the East Canyon resort between Salt Lake City and Park City, Soke Hausel also reintroduced his students at the Arizona Hombu in Mesa to this weapon in his Self-Defense classes.

Jeff applies arm bar at the Arizona Hombu in Mesa after throwing opponent.
Group photo at the 2015 gassuku at the East Canyon resort, Utah.
Members of the 2015 Arizona-Utah karate and kobudo clinic at the Arizona Hombu in Mesa, Arizona.

Thadd applies arm bar (ude garuma) while foot sweeping (ashi
barai) his training partner - Sensei Bill
Ryan applies yubi waza (thumb restraint) on Rick at the Arizona Hombu dojo
Bet that hurts! Dr. Bergkamp applies restraint on Luis at the Arizona Hombu dojo
while resting his knee on the hanbo.
Amanda applies hiza waza to her husband's knee (Ryan) during hanbo-jutsu class
at the Arizona Hombu dojo.
Todd applies restraint followed by takedown to Luis using hanbo at the Arizona Hombu dojo

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Arizona Martial Artists Learn Martial Arts Weapons



Torii gate to Shinto shrine in Japan (photo courtesy of Heather From).  
It was brutal - well, not really, but during exams for Seiyo hanbojutsu certifications at the Arizona Hombu, those martial artists testing for certification had a enjoyable time demonstrating their abilities to fend off armed and unarmed attackers.

Following the tests, one small group of martial artists from Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Phoenix and Tempe were certified in hanbojutsu by Soke Hausel, grandmaster of Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo.


Sensei Paula Borea defends hanbo grab by Sensei Bill Borea. In back-
ground, Scott Pritchett defends against Adam Bialek.



Sensei Thadd Barrowes from the Utah Shorin-Kai applies ashi barai (Foot sweep) to Sensei Bill Borea at the Arizona
Hombu in Mesa during annual Arizona-Utah clinic taught by Soke Hausel.

Ouch! Sensei Bill Borea smashes toes of Ryan Harden
during hanbo training at the Arizona Hombu.


Members of the Arizona Hombu in Mesa test for certification in Hanbojutsu in Mesa Arizona. L-R Sensei Ryan Harden,
Adam Bialek, Ben Moeur, Sensei Patrick Scofield, Sensei Bill Borea, Sensei Scott Pritchett, Sarah, and Gavin Skarphol

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Big Stick for Martial Artists


Karate students at the Arizona Hombu and members of Seiyo Shorin-Ryu find a large arsenal of martial arts weapons available to them. Not only do we train in most of the traditional Okinawan kobudo (martial arts weapons), but we also trained with a variety of modern garden and fishing implements - such as weed diggers, hoes, rakes, hammers, hooks, hatchets, etc.
Using hanbo for self-defense at the Arizona School of
traditional karate in Mesa.

Currently (2013), our karate students are studying two martial arts weapons during kobudo classes for our Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa and Phoenix students. They are focusing on the sai, a distinct weapon from Okinawa, and hanbo, a martial arts weapon often associated with jujutsu. Last year, most of our karate students certified in tonfa and kuwa after months of training in the kata and applications of these two martial arts weapons. Later in 2013, we plan to focus on other kobudo weapons including nunchuku and bo.

But for now, our Arizona Martial arts students are learning to use a nifty martial arts weapon known as the hanbo. This 3-foot baton or stick, can be carried anywhere and other martial arts weapons can be adapted to the same techniques including tsune (cane or walking stick), kibo (expandable law enforcement baton), kobuton (short stick), nitanbo (two sticks), tonfa (side handle baton), and even manrikigusari (chain) and hojo (rope) Our Arizona karate students learn how to interchange all of these martial arts weapons with lectures and demonstrations by the Grandmaster of Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Kai, Soke Hausel




Ryan restrains Justin during hanbo-karate classes in Mesa


Learn more about classes, styles and people in Shorin-Ryu Karate & Kobudo in Arizona as well as in the world.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Arizona & Utah Martial Artists train in Samurai Arts in Mesa, Arizona

Members from the Utah Shorin-Kai Karate Club in Murray Utah and from the Arizona School of Traditional Karate in Mesa, Gilbert and Chandler, Arizona, trained in Hanbojutsu techniques using a 3 foot stick at the Arizona Hombu in Mesa.  The clinic was taught by Soke (Grandmaster) Hausel between April 12th to 14th, 2012. The clinic included training in Shorin-Ryu Karate and also iaido (sword) and kenjutsu (samurai sword applications).

Application of ago senage with hanbo



Ryan trains with Shihan Adam


Friday, December 9, 2011

Hanbo (Half-Staff) Clinic At Arizona School of Traditional Karate in 2012


One of many Okinawa/Japanese weapons taught to students at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate is hanbo (half-bo). People from Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler of the east valley of Phoenix in travel to the Arizona Hombu to learn these many weapons. The hanbo is a great weapon to learn as it can be used for devastating blocks, strikes, pressure point activation and restraints. This classical Japanese weapon has been taught in classes at the Hombu, as well as to members of Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Kai at various clinics around the world.


 
 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hanbo - A Self-Defense Tool



Even though our main focus is on Shorin-Ryu Karate & Kobudo at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate in Mesa and for all of our members of Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Kai, we not only teach karate, but we also train with many weapons including hanbo (or short staff). Similar weapons to the hanbo that our students learn to use include kioga, or expandable baton, tsune (cane), kobuton (short stick) and manrikigusari (chain or rope).

The Hanbo and the Kioga are common weapons used by a number of police departments around the world, and it is surprising we do not see more members of local police departments seeking out training of these weapons beyond their normal training. As a Kyoju of Budo (professor of martial arts) at the University of Wyoming, we had several law enforcement officers train in these arts. But, you don't need to law enforcement officer to learn to use these valuable weapons.


In the above video, Ryan told Amanda that he could easily escape from a restraint we lovingly nicknamed the Okinawan Pretzel. Unfortunately, I missed recording the dare and takedown, but grabbed my camera to catch the final seconds of the restraint. Decide for yourself if Ryan could get out of this restraint.

At the Arizona School of Traditional Karate we focus on training 3 nights a week (with additional clinics). The evenings begin at 6:45 pm at 60 W. Baseline Road in Mesa. We have an interactive map on our website.

Soke Hausel demonstrates kote uchi (two-handed
strike) with hanbo at Utah Gassuku (outside 
training) near Park City.
The hanbo (半棒) is considered to be a ‘half-bo’ and is taught in several traditional jujutsu and ninjutsu styles in addition to Seiyo Shorin-Ryu karate. This weapon was added to the kobudo curriculum of Seiyo Shorin-Ryu because it is such a practical weapon and is an extension of many of our empty hand self-defense techniques. Hanbo also goes well with kioga and cane and many techniques are similar between these weapons - so when you learn one, you are essentially learning all three.

In Seiyo Shorin-Ryu, to progress in hanbojutsu, students demonstrate basic strikes, blocks and stances and several self-defense ippon kumite against unarmed and armed assailants. They also learn very restrictive juji-kumite or sparring with the weapon. The kumite must be controlled and done with safety in mind.

Kyoshi Rob Watson, 8th dan explains use of katana at Gassuku.
The origin of the hanbo is uncertain. Some researchers suggest it originated quite by accident. According to a summary on Kukishin Ryu, legend suggests that during battle between Kuriyama Ukon and General Suzuki Tangonokami Katsuhisa in 1575, Kuriyama was armed with yari (spear) and Suzuki with katana (sword). During the battle, Suzuki sliced through Kuriyama’s spear cutting it in half, but Kuriyama was still able to overwhelm Suzuki with the remaining spear handle.

Kuriyama realized the importance of the short staff for self-defense and developed hanbo-jutsu. Our members also train in katana and yari and learn these weapons along with many traditional Okinawan kobudo weapons such as nunchaku, sai, tonfa, kama, bo, and others.

Hanbo has been incorporated into several martial arts including taijutsu (体術). Taijutsu is a term used interchangeably with jujutsu. Most koryu (old style) jujutsu styles use arresting techniques for law enforcement. In particular, munadori waza (lapel grab techniques) are the focus of many of these arts.

Hanbo is a half bo and is traditionally three shaku (35.8 inches) long, or essentially half the length of a traditional bo. A bo can be referred to as roku-shakubo, or a stick of 6 shaku.

Shaku is the archaic unit of measure used until the Japanese adopted the metric system in 1961. Prior to 1961, shaku was a common unit of measure equal to 11.93 inches, or nearly one-foot. The shaku was derived from nature and is the average length between mature bamboo nodes.
Note the bamboo fence. A shaku was equal to the distance between bamboo 
nodes (or growth nodes). Many of these  pickets would make very good 
hanbo as they are between 3 and 4 shaku long

But the Japanese also had a second shaku - to make things confusing. This latter shaku was equal to 14.9 inches or the length of an average whale’s whisker which was adopted in 1881 to measuring cloth. To distinguish between these two, the cloth shaku was referred to as kujirajaka (kujira meaning whale); and the bamboo shaku was referred to as kanejaku. For me, I was surprised to find out that whale's had whiskers.

The hanbo is still used in training by many Japanese law enforcement agents. And it became very promintent during the late 19th Century during the Edo Period, when some law enforcement officers were armed with wooden staffs and were responsible for disarming samurai. These people worked in teams and attacked criminals simultaneously to disarm and restrain them with a rope - another art taught at our dojo - hojojutsu.

Hanshi Finley, 7th dan from the Casper Seiyo Shorin-
Ryu dojo, is retrained with hojo (rope) at a Seiyo
samurai clinic.
Following the Edo period, the Meiji Restoration began in 1868, known as the beginning of the modern era of Japan. During the Edo period, samurai were still important and privileged individuals. But a chain of events led major changes in the political and social system in Japan resulting in opening their door to gaijin of the Western World. During the Meiji, members of the samurai class were eliminated and the honor of wearing swords was prohibited. This was followed by all Japanese males being required to serve in the military for 4 years.

These events caused considerable unrest with samurai, who prior to this event, were allowed to bear arms – unlike peasants. A samurai rebellion resulted and many hanbo waza were developed at this time to evade strikes by katana followed with follow-up strikes to head or sword hand, or thrusts to the attacker's body. Included in this were many take downs followed by devastating restraints.

Demonstration of take down using hanbo at the Arizona Hombu Dojo 
in Mesa, Arizona
Members of Arizona School of Traditional Karate in Mesa, learn how to use the hanbo in dozens of different situations for the street. But they also practice against an uke (partner) with a samurai sword as is tradition (as well as against an attacker with other weapons such as tanto [knife]). As they progress, they work up to juji-kumite to develop spontaneity and accuracy of action - in other words, to learn how to react without thinking. Restraints are important so that the hanbo can be used as a pragmatic instrument for law enforcement.



Classes are open to the public at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate in Mesa, Arizona at 60 W. baseline Road, across the street from SunDevil Auto and learn this and other weapons.
















Not receiving enough hugs? In our classes we make sure that everyone receives many hugs.