Wednesday, August 31, 2011

TONFA at the Arizona Hombu Dojo, MESA, GILBERT, CHANDLER Arizona

Rich from Mesa uses bo during kobudo training at the Arizona Hombu dojo
 in Mesa, while Dr. Adam from Grand Canyon University uses tonfa.
Tonfa is one of the favorite Okinawan weapons taught at the Arizona Hombu Dojo. At first it is a challenging tool to learn as a self-defense weapon, but once the students realize it is nothing more than an extension of their karate, they start getting the hang of the weapon. Historically, on Okinawa, the weapon could have been a mill handle or some other tool that was quickly converted to a weapon on a moments notice. 

Some members of the Arizona Hombu dojo are currently (2016) learning this tool in their Wednesday class, while others are learning to use nunchaku and bo in their Thursday evening class. This weapon is so effective that it was once employed by nearly every law enforcement agency in the world.

Members (deshi) discovered that these weapons are very similar to their empty hand (kara-te) techniques with all of the typical blocks and strikes. In the forthcoming weeks, they will learn to use these weapons with different grips as well as learn three Tonfa kata (forms) and all of the bunkai (applications).
Dr. Adam follows up block with strike using
tonfa against Ryan's attack with bo.

The origin of the tonfa cannot be established beyond question, but some researchers assume the tonfa were originally rice mill handles that were removed from a rice grinder in Okinawa at time of need for self-defense against marauding Japanese samurai. The weapon was so effective that after karate was introduced to Japan in the 1900s, many police departments adapted the weapon for use as a night stick worldwide. But unlike law enforcement, our students learn to use two tonfa rather than one and learn to use them effectively for blocking, striking, hooking, choking, and even some throws.

Look for the 'KARATE' sign above
our door on MacDonald at the corner
with Baseline Road (NE corner).

The Arizona Hombu dojo accepts adults into its program with or without formal training in martial arts and the school offers some of the more diverse training in Okinawan and Japanese karate, kobudo and samurai arts in the state. Unlike other schools, you do not pay additional fees to learn kobudo and you start learning kobudo at the same time as karate.

We typically have a 30:70 ratio of women to men (although a few nights women have out-numbered the men who look forward to being educated in karate, kobudo, self-defense,  samurai arts, martial arts history, and philosophy. We are all friends at our dojo in Arizona.

Classes are held at the Seiyo Kai Hombu on the border of Mesa, Gilbert and Chandler. The easiest way to get there is to drive east on Baseline from Walmart at Baseline and Country Club (Arizona) Road. When you come to the second traffic light, turn left onto MacDonald and right on the northeast corner you will see a group of businesses with one labeled "KARATE" above the door - you found us!  Call if you have problems.

Along with kobudo classes, we also provide some acting classes (not really). 
Here Neal  from Phoenix trains with Rich from East Mesa.
Sensei Borea (with kama) defends against Charles (with bo).
Dr. Teule from France trains with tonfa at the Hombu. Here she demonstrates a reverse grip

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