Thursday, May 3, 2012

Kata (Forms) for Seiyo Shorin-Ryu Sai

It's Thursday evening - time for Traditional Kobudo Classes at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate at the border of Chandler, Gilbert and Mesa, Arizona. Class starts at 6:45 pm and continues until 7:45 pm. This is followed by a second 30 minute advanced kobudo class. Make no mistake, this is not twirling seen in some of the McDojo around town. Here you learn the way of the art (kobudo) as well as the combat arts (kobujutsu).

Arizona martial artists from Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Phoenix, Tempe and Scottsdale train in the ancient Okinawan art of Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo at the Arizona Hombu in Mesa. Part of the training involves traditional Okinawan weapons, such as the sai.

Adam (left) trains with Sensei Patrick using sai during kobudo classes at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate in the East Valley of Phoenix in Mesa, Arizona. Every Thursday Evening is Kobudo (weapons) night.
The Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Karate Renmei (西洋少林流空手古武) system incorporates many Okinawan and Modern weapons into its kobudo (古武道) system. The sai () is an example of one ancient weapon that has some modern equivalents found in many garden shops.  The sai is considered to be an Okinawan weapon and in Seiyo Martial Arts we have a group of six kata (). These kata all employ a variety of blocking, striking, hooking, choking, capturing and throwing techniques and assist the Shorin-Ryu martial artist with proper application, stances and ma (timing).

Thus after one learns to use the sai, they must learn the bunkai (分解) of all techniques in the kata and learn them with full power and focus. This requires considerable expertise as it is easy to hurt one's knuckles during bunkai because of the nature of the weapon. But after considerable training, one tends to block out the pain of being struck on the knuckles. Our kata are simply numbered as Sai Shodan (初段), Sai Nidan (二段), Sai Sandan (三段), Sai Yondan (四段), Sai Godan (五段) and Sai Rokudan (六段).

The Sai - sketch by Soke Hausel
Dr. Adam (Professor at Grand Canyon University & 5th degree black belt) trains with Sensei Borea (retired air force pilot) during kobudo class at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate
at 60 W. Baseline road, Mesa, Arizona.
Soke-Dai, Eric Hausel, trains with sai at the University of Wyoming Campus
Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo Club in Laramie.
Adam (left) blocks Patrick's strike with hanbo using his sai during Kobudo Training at the
Arizona School of Traditional Martial Arts in Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Phoenix, Arizona

Sarah trains with Shihan
Adam in Mesa, Arizona

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You can learn more about the Arizona Hombu and our International Training Center in Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Arizona