Friday, May 25, 2012

Mesa Arizona Students Certify in Martial Arts Weapon known as Tonfa

I continue to find the greatest students in the world. Or do they find me? Must be karma.

Anyway, at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate in Mesa - within 30 feet of Gilbert and about a hundred+ yards from Chandler, our students continue to perfect technique. For me, I love to watch them progress. I've been a martial arts instructor for more than 4 decades and taught a few thousand students at a few universities in the past, and each year my students get better and better and better. Not only here in in the Phoenix Valley, but also all around the US, India, Japan, Vietnam, Middle East, Canada, China, Great Britain, and Switzerland. I have lost touch with most and wish I knew how they were all doing and what they were doing with their lives, and if martial arts helped them in their path in life.

Kyoshi Neal Adam, 7th dan, defends attack by Sensei Bill Borea, 3rd dan.
As the Soke of Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo (Seiyo Kai), I look to teach my students a large variety of martial arts that mostly fall under Okinawan and Japanese Shorin-Ryu Karate, Kobudo, Self-Defense, and Samurai Arts. These include iaido, iajutsu, jujutsu, hojojutsu, naginatajutsu, yarijutsu, hanbojutsu, tanto, ra-ke, tsue, kuwa, manrikigusari, gusarikama, shurichin, nunchaku, sanchuku, kama, sai, tanto, bo, jo, nitanbo, kobuton, and tonfa (and a few others).

Thus this week, a few of our Mesa Students who have been at the dojo almost every kobudo night (Thursday night) since I introduced the tonfa last year, got the chance to prove their ability with this weapon. The tonfa, the classical night stick also referred to as the PR-24 and side-handle baton, has been used by many law enforcement agencies around the globe, but few officers really know how to use this baton.

In most Okinawa baton training, students use two tonfa unlike law enforcement. Even so, our students learn to use just one tonfa as well as two. A small group of our students who tested for certification (meaning they have reached a level of expertise with this weapon that is considered expert) have shown they understand kihon (basic strikes, blocks and throws), they demonstrated all three of our Seiyo Shorin-Ryu tonfa kata, demonstrated bunkai (applications from the kata), used to tonfa as a self-defense weapon against attackers armed with clubs, poles and knives, and also demonstrated kumite (sparring) defending with a pair of tonfa against attackers wielding a bo (6-foot pole). Imagine, fighting another martial artist with these wooden weapons and having no protective gear. 

Following exams, I am happy to say the I've certified five martial artists in Arizona in tonfa. Congratulations to Adam Bialek, Patrick Scofield, Sarah Kamenicky, William Borea and Ryan Harden. They all came out of the exams with only a few minor bruises.

Patrick and Adam train in bunkai with tonfa and bo.

Dr. Teule trains with tonfa at the Arizona Hombu