Thursday, October 8, 2015

Arizona & Utah Martial Artists Train with Sticks for Self-Defense

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 gets even 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). We typically purchase hanbo from Lowell's and look for strong dowels made from Oak or other wood that will take a beating. The origin of the hanbo is related to traditional Japanese jujutsu and ninjutsu unlike non-traditional jujutsu schools that focus on wrestling techniques. It is a weapon that can be taken anywhere and essentially all of its techniques can be applied to cane (tsune), umbrella, expandable police batons and similar weapons.

Several years ago, Soke Hausel, the first generation grandmaster of Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Kai decided to include this weapon into his kobudo curriculum of weapons for the traditional Karate system after learning techniques from Dai Soke Sacharnoski of Juko Kai International as well as techniques from Soke Masaaki Hatsumi's system and from Soke Shoto Tanemura's system. The hanbo is used for blocking, striking, sweeps, throws and chokes and is very effective against an assailant with a knife, club or bare hands.

Training with the hanbo can be dangerous, but also fun if
done properly (photo from the 2014 Utah gassuku at East
Over the past few years, Soke Hausel has taught hanbo clinics at the Arizona Hombu dojo in Mesa, Arizona as well as in Utah, Wyoming and at the University of Wyoming. After teaching hanbo to the Utah Shorin-Kai at a 2015 gassuku at the East Canyon resort between Salt Lake City and Park City, he decided to reintroduce his students at the Arizona Hombu in Mesa to this weapon in his Self-Defense classes on Wednesday evenings this fall and winter.

If you have never tried using the hanbo, for those who live in the Phoenix Valley, the Salt Lake Valley, Casper Wyoming, Gillette, Wyoming and at the University of Wyoming in Laramie - this is a great opportunity to learn this brilliant weapon of self-defense. Just contact the Seiyo Shorin-Ryu Karate school near you. Remember, no experience is necessary as we all start out with no experience.
Soke Hausel demonstrates kote ichi with the assistance of Renshi Stoneking
at the 2014 Utah Gassuku. The stick is longer than the arm.
Using ude garuma (armbar) with hanbo at the 2014 gassuku in Utah.
Kris Watson applies armpit throw to Renshi Stoneking at the
2015 gassuku in East Canyon near Park City.
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.
Jeff knees Luis during the 2015 Arizona-Utah clinic at the Arizona Hombu
in Mesa Arizona.
Members of the 2015 Arizona-Utah karate and kobudo clinic at the Arizona Hombu in Mesa, Arizona.

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 wonderful 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

Thadd applies arm bar on Bill followed by foot sweep during martial arts clinic in Mesa at the Arizona Hombu.

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 School of
Traditional Karate in Mesa.

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.
Hanbo restraint
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.