Friday, December 21, 2012

Women In Traditional Okinawa Karate In Arizona

Women's Karate at the Arizona Hombu Karate Dojo
Should women train in Karate and other Martial Arts? What kind of question is this?

According to Grandmaster Hausel, world head of Seiyo no Shorin-Ryu Karate, many of his toughest karate and jujutsu students over the decades have been women. Take for instance Katie (see photo near bottom entitled 'Katie works over Kris'). Katie enjoyed choking & applying joint locks to all of the macho guys in jujutsu classes at the University of Wyoming. According to Professor Hausel, she gave them a feminine smile before taking her partner to a tolerance limit in pain. We even had a few burly guys quit jujutsu to avoid her.

But there was a fairly tale ending for this black belt martial artist. Katie ended up marrying Kris (the guy she was beating up in the photo at the University of Wyoming). After graduating from college and both earning black belts in Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo, the two moved to Cody, and later to Casper Wyoming where they are now raising a family. Over the years, we had many students end up marrying one another - and no, we were not running a dating service - it was just a great way for students to socialize and learn to defend themselves.  

Training in bunkai (self-defense applications), should provide lifelong friendships.
Then there was Sensei Gillespie. Donette loved to punch. In one demonstration she kicked Soke Hausel in the ribs with a karate kick at half time at a university basketball game with a thump that echoed throughout the arena. Few people could believe the power she had in her kick. Then she kicked him in the groin (unprotected) and lifted him up onto his toes with another loud whomp! It brought the crowd to their feet with cheers!

In addition to power & focus of karate, there is also beauty in karate. In karate, there are kata (forms) that contain history, tradition, training technique, self-defense, jujutsu throws, timing, balance, strength, power, Zen and more. Kata are like traditional Okinawan dances and require balance, timing, strength and more.

So, should women be in Karate Classes? The answer is a definite YES! In fact, no woman (or school teacher) should be without karate or self-defense training in this day and age. It will not only help maintain body weight, but it is also healthy and provides people with the best tools for self-defense.

Dr. Teule from Utah State University defends attack.

Katharina from Germany trains with Sarah from Dallas in Arizona
Kathy and Victoria train in bunkai (self-defense applications).
Sensei Paula Borea from Japan practicing Kihon (karate basics). Sensei Borea is of samurai
lineage and a very important part of our organization.
Dr. Neal and Dr. Naghmeh
Lacy trains with Katharina
Amanda trains with Patrick
Yam Ma demonstrates Pinan Godan kata.
Katie works over Kris at the University of Wyoming during jujutsu class.

Heather works with Charles during kobudo class
Some of our favorite martial artists.
Donette kicks Soke Hausel in ribs with full force strike at basketball half-time
karate demonstration (Courtesy of University of Wyoming Photo Service).
Donette Kicks Grandmaster Hausel right in the ... well you know.  (Courtesy
of University of Wyoming Photo Service).

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