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 Hombu Dojo (aka Arizona School of Traditional Karate) in Mesa - within 30 feet of Gilbert and about a hundred+ yards from Chandler, students continue to perfect their karate and kobudo 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 four universities, 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 doing and what they were doing with their lives, and if martial arts helped them in their path in life.

As the Grandmaster 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).

The tonfa, the classical night stick also referred to as the PR-24 and side-handle baton, has been used by 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 also learn to use just one tonfa. 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 with no protective gear. 

Following exams, five martial artists in Arizona in tonfa including Adam Bialek, Patrick Scofield, Sarah Kamenicky, William Borea and Ryan Harden. They all came out of the exams with only a few minor bruises. And that is because they have all learn self-control. These people are all great individuals as well as outstanding martial artists.

Patrick and Adam train in bunkai with tonfa and bo.
Dr. Teule trains with tonfa at the Arizona Hombu