Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Kobudo (Martial Arts Weapons) Classes and Schools in Arizona

Few in Arizona know what kobudo (and its counterpart – kobujutsu) is. This alone suggests how difficult it is to find a martial arts school that teaches and stresses kobudo, or basically, Okinawan martial arts weapons. When one learns about the history of martial arts and karate, it is puzzling as to why it’s a secret in Arizona.
Ryan Harden from Mesa trains with tonfa at the
Arizona School of Traditional Karate.
Karate and Kobudo were blended into one martial art centuries ago, and only recently in the 20th century, some Japanese forms of karate elected to eliminate kobudo. And when karate was introduced to the US, even more schools chose to eliminate kobudo from the curriculum. Yet, one Okinawan master of martial arts stated that the two were intertwined, Karate and Kobudo can be likened to tires of a bicycle. Both are needed to make the bike move,” and should not be separated.

Kobudo employs a variety of Okinawan farming & fishing implements as weapons including nunchaku, nitan bo (batons), kama (sickles), short staff (hanbo), tsue (cane), bo (long staff), iiku (oar), ra-ke (rake), kuwa (hoe), surichin (weighted rope), tanto (knife), fish hook, short rakes, rope, weighted chain & more.

It is assumed that Kobudo became part of the Okinawan culture in the 15th century. In 1480 AD, King Shoshin of Okinawa outlawed bladed weapons due to his non-violent Buddhist belief; however, most Okinawan peasants were concerned for their safety & developed the art of kobudo in secret. Then the inevitable happened, Okinawa was invaded in the early 17th century by well-armed samurai from Japan. As a result, Okinawa continued to develop kobudo and karate in total secrecy for self-defense against Japanese occupation forces.

Dave Hargreaves block bo attack by
Patrick Scofield at the Arizona School of
Traditional Okinawa Martial Arts in Mesa.
Some weapons of kobudo:

  • Bo (6-foot staff).
  • Nunchuku (rice flails).
  • Tonfa, Tuifa (rice grinder handles/baton)
  • Kama (sickles).
  • Kusarigama (weighted sickles).
  • Manrikigusari (weighted chain, rope).
  • Hanbo (3-foot staff).
  • Surichin (weighted rope)
  • Nitanbo - two sticks
  • Keibo, Kioga (expandable telescopic baton)
  • Tsue, Jou (cane)
  • Kobuton, Tanbo (short stick)
  • Nireiki (two rake)
  • Eku (oar, paddle)
  • Tanto (knife)
  • Hari (Fish Hook)
  • Katana (samurai sword)
  • Naginata (halberd, polearm)
  • Yari (spear)
  • Kuwa (hoe)
  • Kumade, Ra-ke (rake)
  • Teko (Knuckle Duster, Okinawan brass knuckles)
  • Hojo (Rope)
  • Konobo, Konsaibo, Tetsubo (Club)


Black belts and students train with okinawan nunchuku at
the Arizona School of Traditional Karate at Mesa-Gilbert,
Arizona
Kobudo should be very practical and also provide an extension of karate techniques.  The twirling of martial arts weapons makes a mockery of the martial art. Students (deshi) should learn to use such weapons as weapons of power and focus, along with kata for kobudo weapons and bunkai (applications) kumite (sparring) for both kobudo and kobujutsu weapons. Sparring must be kept to a minumum and controlled.
 
In seaching Arizona for classes and schools in kobudo, one will likely find kobudo practiced at most Shorin-Ryu and Shito-Ryu martial arts schools. If a martial arts school has Okinawan influence, then kobudo should be a very important part of the training.

    
Next time you are in the Sears, Home Depot or Lowells garden center, look at all of the
kobudo weapons on display. And you thought they were for gardening. Here, Sensei
Paula Borea from Japan trains with kuwa (garden hoe) with husband Bill Borea who has
a bo (6-foot dowel).


Friday, March 22, 2013

Arizona Police Baton Training


Luis (from Cuba) applies kubi waza to Todd (from Utah) at a night-stick (hanbo) clinic at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate on the border of Mesa and Gilbert, Arizona.
A common tool used by law enforcement personnel is a night-stick, also known as expandable baton, asp, telescopic baton, collapsible baton, tactical baton, kibo, kioga, etc. Similar tools used in law-enforcement include the side-handle baton (tonfa), billyclub, hanbo, and other batons. We even found a few sheriff departments that use nunchaku in place of a night-stick.
 
Training to use these weapons for law enforcement or for the general public is typically limited to a brief introductory course. If an officer would like additional training, he or she is limited to finding a gun dealer or security consultant that provides more basic introductory courses on how to use asp. Otherwise they must seek a qualified traditional martial arts school. We were surprised to find very few martial arts schools in Arizona provide intermediate and advanced training in these tools, even though these are commonly associated with Okinawa Karate and traditional Japanese Jujutsu. The only school we found that offers training in hanbo (taijutsu) and asp is the Arizona School of Traditional Karate on the border of Mesa and Gilbert.
 
One weapon known as a hanbo (半棒) is basically a stripped-down version of a night-stick. This tool for martial artists is a half-bo (one-half of a bo staff). A similar Japanese weapon is known as jo, which is used in many jujutsu and iaido martial arts schools. The jo (4-feet in length) and hanbo (3-feet in length) have different lengths and are used differently. Other similar weapons include nitanbo, bokken and tsue (martial arts cane).


Soke Hausel from Gilbert, Arizona instructs martial artists at the University of Wyoming in Laramie in use of the expandable baton (asp).
This hanbo is very simple but to use it effectively, some techniques can be complex, thus to be good at this weapon, just like any martial art, one must reach a level of mushin from constant practice.  Hanbo is taught in many traditional jujutsu and ninjutsu (ninpo) systems.
 
The origin of the hanbo is not known with certainty. It has been suggested that Kuriyama Ukon introduced the weapon to the Kukishin-Ryu (九鬼神流) school in the 16th century. In one account, it is reported that Kuriyama fought against General Suzuki Tangonokami Katsuhisa at the Nagashino castle in Japan in 1575. During this battle, Kuriyama armed with a yari (spear) fought General Suzuki who was armed with katana (sword). Suzuki sliced through Kuriyama’s spear cutting it in half, but Kuriyama was able to overwhelm the Suzuki with what remained of the handle of his yari. After this battle, Kuriyama developed the hanbo into an art that became part of taijutsu (体術). Taijutsu is a term often used interchangeably with jujutsu, and uses many arresting techniques in law enforcement, in particular, munadori waza (lapel grabs).
 


Officer Brett Philbrick of the Laramie Police Department uses restraint and asp on Kyle Gewecke from Gillette, Wyoming at martial arts clinic.
Other historians suggest taijutusu was part of Kukishin-Ryu since the 14th century.  Today, a hanbo is considered as a half stick that traditionally is three shaku (90.9 cm or 35.8 inches) long, or essentially half a length of a traditional bo. A bo is sometimes referred to as roku-shaku-bo, or a stick of 6 shaku.
 
Shaku is an archaic unit of length used until the Japanese adopted the metric system in 1961. Prior to 1961, a shaku was a common measurement that equaled 30.3 cm (11.93 inches), or nearly one foot in length. The shaku was derived from nature and is the average length between mature bamboo nodes.
 
Confusion arose because another measurement was in use in Japan that was also known as shaku. This latter shaku, was used to measure cloth and was equal to 37.9 cm (14.9 inches) in length, or the length of an average whale’s whisker. This latter shaku was adopted by law in 1881 for measuring cloth. To distinguish between the two shaku, the cloth shaku was referred to as kujirajaka (kujira meaning whale); and the bamboo shaku was referred to as kanejaku. The use of shaku ended in 1961, but periodically appears in traditional Japanese carpentry.

The hanbo has been used as a defensive and arresting instrument by Japanese law enforcement officials in the past. During the late 19th Century, low-ranking officers of the Edo period were armed with these wooden staffs. Such non-samurai police typically worked in teams attack simultaneously from all sides until they could disarm and restrain the individual with a rope. The Edo period occurred from 1603 to 1868, and is known as the beginning of the early modern era of Japan, and was a time of stability. It ended with the Meiji Restoration.  During the Edo period, samurai were important officials with many privileges. The Meiji Restoration included a chain of events that led to major changes in the political and social system in Japan, and was a result of the opening of Japan due to the arrival of Commodore Perry.

Dr. Teule trains with side-handle baton (tonfa) at the Arizona Hombu
in Mesa
During the Meiji era, the samurai class was eliminated and the wearing of swords prohibited. Additionally, all Japanese males were required to serve in the military for 4 years, which caused unrest with the samurai, who prior to this event, were allowed to bear arms – unlike peasants. As a result of the Meiji Restoration, samurai were no longer allowed to carrying swords, which was considered to be a very significant status symbol, and this led to a rebellion by the samurai, and to civil war.

Most hanbo kata have evasion techniques designed to avoid strikes by a sword followed by fast strikes to head or sword hand, or thrusts to the attacker's body. Not meeting the sword attack directly is characteristic response to an attack with a hanbo.

Randori typically involves two practitioners who actively spar, attempting to defend against incoming strikes from an "opponent." Such sessions are great refiners of applicable techniques, and excellent training for coordination, speed, and timing.

What matters most in the use of hanbo in randori is development of a spontaneity and accuracy of action. In modern taijutsu, members typically train to defend against an unarmed attacker or against an attacker armed with a knife or club. Defense techniques are often completed with blocks, strikes, throws and finished with restraints.
 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Judo in Arizona


"Those who are skilled in combat do not become angered. Those who are skilled at winning do not become afraid. Thus the wise win before the fight, while the ignorant fight to win." - O Sensei Ueshiba
This lady use to scare some of the men in the jujutsu
classes at the University of Wyoming with her
 powerful technique.
Many of us visualize judo as two sweaty people wearing heavy, white uniforms grabbing at each other’s uniform to foot sweep or throw in a dazzling display of the art. Judo reminded me of wrestling when I was young, but with different rules and a different uniform. It was suppose to be a self-defense, but I was a bit confused in my youth because it looked more like a sport or contest than self-defense.

Some judo was taught in the US military for combat even though that which was taught, had little practical application.


Judo (柔道) translates as ‘gentle way’. Based on history, judo is a relatively new martial art compared to most traditional arts and most varieties of judo are practiced as a combat sport: only a few traditional judo clubs focus on judo as self-defense (the way it was intended) rather than sport. And is a soft art? Far from it! It is brutal and requires incredible endurance.
Demonstration of yubi waza (thumb throw) on Brett Philbrick
at the University of Wyoming Campus Shorin-Ryu Karate club.
Judo had origins in Japan in the late 19th century. Its most distinctive characteristic is the majority of practitioners compete. Judo was introduced as an Olympic sport in Tokyo in 1964, and at that time, competitors were separated into 4 weight classes. The object of the contest was to throw, immobilize, subdue an opponent through grappling, or to force an opponent to submit by applying joint locks, or execute a choke restraint to get your opponent to submit.

Although most are familiar with throwing and grappling in judo; judo also includes self-defense applications such as hand strikes, kicks and even weapons. But the strikes in the sport are used only in kata and are not part of competition or randori (judo free sparing) which has a tendency to lessen the value of Judo as a self-defense. However, the practice of randori is beneficial in providing practitioners a method for building timing and reflexes and to teach to react to attacks, rather than think about the attack. If judo practitioners provided equal time to randori and self-defense applications, judo would be an excellent self-defense – but the majority of judo practitioners focus on competition and little time on self-defense.

As a young adult, the creator of judo, Jigoro Kano did not weigh more than a hundred pounds; thus he was bullied and decided to pursue jujutsu at the age of 17. At Tokyo Imperial University, he studied martial arts and literature and eventually received a referral to study Tenjin Shin'yō-Ryu: a jujutsu style that emphasized technique over formal exercise.

The early history of judo cannot be separated from its founder: Jigoro Kano (1860–1938). Kano was born into a well-to-do Japanese family: his father was a Shinto priest. Kano initiated a major reformation of jujutsu and included techniques that emphasized development of the body, mind and character. At 22, he began studying jujutsu at the Eisho-ji Buddhist temple in Kamakura. This became known as the Kodokan, or "place for teaching the way". Today, the Kodokan Institute for Judo is in Tokyo and is the official headquarters of the judo world that was established in 1882 by Kano.
The primary focus on Judo is throwing (nage-waza) and groundwork (ne-waza). Sparring in judo known as randori means ‘free practice’. Randori involves two practitioners who continuously attack one other with any judo throw or grappling technique in their arsenal. Striking techniques (atemi-waza) such as kicking and punching, along with knife and sword techniques are retained in judo kata but not in randori. For reasons of safety, chokeholds, joint locking and sacrifice techniques are subject to age and rank restrictions.
 
Kano saw jujutsu as a group of disconnected tricks and he wanted to connect these, eliminate useless techniques, and make his art flow like water. His reformation of jujutsu discarded techniques that relied solely on superior strength and adapted techniques that redirected an opponent's force to make use of superior leverage. Judo was originally called Kano Jiu-Jitsu and later called Kodokan Jiu-Do or simply Judo. The word ‘judo’ shares the same Chinese root ideogram as "jujutsu": "jū" (). This kanji refers to ‘gentle’, ‘soft’, or ‘supple’ depending on context. The use of jū is an explicit reference to the martial arts principle of the ‘soft method’, characterized by the indirect application of force to defeat an opponent. It is the principle of using an attacker’s strength against himself.

 The second Chinese character used for judo and jujutsu differ. In jujutsu (柔術), this means "art" or "science" of softness. In judo (柔道), it means ‘the way’, ‘road’ or ‘path’, which has philosophical overtones which was Kano’s intent. This is the same kanji also used to distinguish budō from bujutsu and karatedo from karatejutsu. Use of do was a deliberate departure from the ancient combat martial arts, whose sole purpose was for killing. Kano saw judo as a means for governing and improving oneself physically, mentally, emotionally and morally.



Wrist restraint - any law enforcement agent would do well to train hard and constantly in jujutsu or judo. The public has a strange perception that jujutsu is not as violent as karate. But that's only because they have not seen the throws and restraints used by the greatest living martial artist - Dai Soke Sacharnoski. It is enough to put fear in any person. In this photo, Shihan Dai Kyle Gewecke of Gillette applies wrist restraint on Sensei Brett Philbrick of the Laramie Police Department during a police baton (kioga) clinic at the University of Wyoming.

Judo practitioners traditionally wear heavy, white uniforms called jūdōgi, or ‘judo uniform’. The jūdōgi was created by Kano in 1907 and similar uniforms were later adopted by many martial arts groups. The modern jūdōgi consists of white drawstring pants with a matching white jacket that is fastened by a belt (obi). The jacket is intended to withstand the stress of grappling, and as a result, it is much thicker than a karate uniform (karategi).

Most judo today is sport, thus in randori when an opponent successfully executes a chokehold or joint lock, the other will submit, or ‘tap out’. When this occurs the match is over, the tapping player has lost, and the chokehold or joint lock ceases. Judo is also a self-defense art and uses forms (kata) that are pre-arranged patterns of attack and defense, which in judo are practiced with a partner for the purpose of perfecting technique. Knowledge of various kata is a requirement for the attainment of a higher rank.

 

Randori assists in tuning reflexes and the ability to respond to attacks without thinking, making this a relatively effective method for self-defense practice. Many forms of jujutsu focused on individual techniques in self-defense applications that were choreographed without randori. But through time, most jujutsu styles have adopted randori into their training regimen.

 Seven judo kata are recognized by the Kodokan. In addition, there are a few kata not officially recognized but practiced by some Judo clubs.
 

Grandmaster Soke Hausel applies te waza (hand
technique) with foot choke on Shihan-Dai Kyle Gewecke (4th dan)
from Gillette, Wyoming during a self-defense clinic at the
University of Wyoming in Laramie (2004)
 
Joint locks (kansetsu-waza) are effective combat techniques because they enable a jūdōka to control an opponent through pain, or if necessary, to cause separation of the locked joint. Chokes and strangulations (shime-waza) enable the person applying the choke to force the adversary into unconsciousness. In competition, the jūdōka wins if his opponent submits or becomes unconscious. Rules in judo are intended to avoid injuries and ensure proper etiquette.

Applying wrist lock on Wade Stenger from
Albuquerque at University of Wyoming
class (about 1990).
Judo has three categories of points: ippon, waza-ari and yuko. An ippon means one point and wins a match. An ippon is awarded for (1) a throw that lands the opponent on their back in a controlled manner with speed and force; (2) for a mat hold down (or control) of sufficient duration (25 seconds); or (3) for opponent submission. A waza-ari is awarded for a throw that does not quite have enough power or control to be considered ippon; or for a hold of 20 seconds. A waza-ari is a half-point, and, if two are scored, they constitute the full point needed for a win. Yuko is a lower grade score, and is only considered as a tie-breaker; it is not cumulative with one another. Yuko points are scored for a 15-second hold down. If the person who secured the hold down already has a waza-ari, they only need to control a hold down for 20 seconds to score ippon by way of two waza-ari. Throws lacking the requirements of an ippon or a waza-ari might score a yuko.

Judo has formed the basis for military training around the world. The Japanese police have trained in judo since 1886, when judo (at the time known as Kano Jujitsu) defeated several established schools of jujitsu in a tournament.  Judo's lineage in traditional jujitsu combined with police and military applications, has resulted in kata specifically designed to teach technical principles for self-defense.


Soke Hausel instructs members of the military in self-defense.
 
 There are several judo clubs listed in Arizona and for those interested in learning judo, it would be recommended to look for a classical judo club (note - MMA is not judo, nor is it a martial art) with has ties to the Kodokan of Japan. Most universities have judo clubs - many are not only open to the student population, but also to staff, faculty and often the general public. Lists of judo clubs in Arizona are found on the web. If you want to get in great shape - try judo.

Check out these judo clubs and links in Arizona
Arizona State Judo
Judo Talk
Scottsdale Judo
Southwest Judo (Mesa)
The Judo Club
Judo Mesa

 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Earning a Black Belt in Martial Arts in Arizona

Most novices and martial artists (deshi) in Arizona think of black belt (yudansha) as a symbol of the highest level of martial arts. But, it's simply another step some people reach in martial arts training in Arizona and only represents a beginning – meikyo okuden – of the entrance to the secrets of martial arts. For a martial arts instructor (budo sensei) it is a time of joy as we reward a martial artist for their commitment and accomplishments; but at the same time, it is a very sad time.  As instructors, this is also a time we say goodbye (sayonara) to many martial artists as we may never see them again.

The black belt represents a quandary to the awarding martial arts instructor (sensei). What will be the path of this student in the upcoming days? Will they decide to end their path in martial arts? It is a real problem because most people quit at this point, yet they have only reached the beginning in their martial arts training.

In legitimate martial arts schools, one does not buy a black belt. However, there are many mall-type schools that require a contract guaranteeing a black belt rank at the end of the contract. In traditional martial arts, one must earn rank - not buy it. One of my students recently told a story about a student who signed up for karate. This student was surprised he could just buy a black belt (yudansha obi) at the local martial arts school. When he inquired about buying one, he was told that he would have to fight the head instructor. It sunk in - he would have to train like everyone else to be certified as a black belt.

The amount of time it takes to earn a black belt depends more on the individual. Some can earn the rank in 2 years, others could take as much as 5 years or more. So one must be dedicated. But not only is it a great workout, it also leads one to develop skills for self-defense and positive thinking.

Unfortunately, the shodan (1st degree black belt) certificate often comes with invisible “STOP” sign to signify the end of a person's martial arts training. But this is not what it is suppose to be, it is suppose to be the beginning.

Martial arts should be a lifetime investment. Even at the 3rd and 4th degree black belt level, one still has much to learn. When one reaches Shihan (master of martial arts) level at 5th and 6th degree, one becomes smart enough to recognize they have a lot to learn: at higher levels you start to grasp how much you don‟t know.

"There is no end to learning martial arts - only a beginning".

We all know someone who was awarded a black belt and we see them for one or two more classes before they disappear. For those of us in Arizona, we've seen too many examples. It's such a problem that I even know of one major martial arts association that now provides expiration dates on all black belt diplomas simply because they believe a person cannot be a black belt unless they are training and/or teaching. I don't believe this is the answer. The answer lies within.

Some estimates suggest handing out a black belt certificate ends a career of 50% of all martial artists – it's a disease. The cause of this I believe occurs when one sets a goal to “earn a black belt” . This is a ticking time bomb to end a martial arts career!

"There are many paths to the top of Mt Fuji, but it only has one summit"

As a youth, I was completely bored in school. So bored I accidentally stumbled on a method of affirmation and goal setting. I would stare out the classroom window all day and day-dreamed about doing things, being someone. As you can imagine, I ended up on the teacher's naughty list with grades reflecting a lack of interest. I would place myself in imaginary roles. It was the only way I could get through the suffering of boredom. By the time I got to high school, some of my daydreams began to lead me by the hand.


My 60s rock n' roll band
The Beatle's invaded America: I imagined myself in a popular rock n‟ roll band. Another week or another day, I was an astronomer investigating the universe. I signed up for karate lessons and while bored in school, I dreamed of being a martial arts instructor. In these dreams, I was a 3rd degree black belt (sandan) (this was because my first two instructors were sandans). In other day-dreams, I was a prospector who explored old mines and ghost towns. It was the typical dreams of many kids, but the difference - I was so bored that my dreams came back every day as an escape, and slowly developed into affirmations and life long goals without my realizing it. They gave me a direction.

Later in life, a friend lent me some tapes entitled “Investment in Excellence”. It was a self-help program for goal setting. What I had done throughout public school was exactly what this person was promoting as goal setting. I had set up positive affirmations of what I wanted to do and these affirmations and visions worked their way into my subconscious until they actually starting guiding me towards those goals. I had accomplished essentially everything I wanted to accomplish in life because of the day dreams.  I became a professional musician, an astronomer, a writer, a geologist, an artist, a public speaker and a martial arts instructor.

Teaching Karate at the University of Utah
Martial arts captured many day-dreams. I wanted to be like my instructors (3rd degree black belts/sensei). This is where I realized goal setting can limit accomplishments, so be careful of what you dream.

By placing a goal dreams of achieving a 3rd degree black belt, this provided a STOP sign that I could not get pass until I met a martial arts grandmaster while I was teaching at a university! I believe this is the problem for the majority of people who receive 1st degree black belts. Many set the goal of achieving a black belt. Once this is accomplished, they have made their goal and they done. So one must set a much higher goal - such as reaching the level of martial arts instructor or shihan (master instructor).


Karate at the University of New Mexico
After I was promoted to sandan in the '70s, I had little reason to achieve anything else in martial arts other than the dream of teaching martial arts. I taught martial arts at four universities, and it wasn't until I met this grandmaster (soke) in 1990 that I discovered I had attached a STOP sign to my goal. This martial arts instructor gave me new goals and when I was promoted to yondan (4th degree black belt) the flood gates opened. I had a new path.

The Investment in Excellence program was a method of goal setting I already had been following without realizing. Still, the program provided me a means to write down goals. When there were roadblocks I had no control over that forced me to re-evaluate some personal goals, such as my rock n' band falling apart, and later in life, working for a full-blown psychopath at the Wyoming Geological Survey. I had to change my goals (this was not easy), but I found new paths.

Is your martial arts path leading you to an open or a closed gate?
We can't always control our path, but we can create goals to help us find a path or a new path around a road block. You don't need to plan how to get to those goals, you just need to provide the point you are looking to reach and then just let your mind find the to that end point over time.

Visualize what you want to be and don't place limits. Write down your goals and revisit them often until your subconscious achieves them (it can take a year or a several years, but it will happen if you set the right positive goals).

As a martial artist, do not set a goal to achieve a black belt. If this is your goal and once achieved, your mind will think you are done. Instead visualize being a master instructor (shihan) or higher. Write down a positive affirmation such as “I am a shihan and 5th dan black belt and operate a very successful martial arts school”.

University of Wyoming Martial Arts, 1999.
Another goal you should set for yourself is to teach martial arts. You cannot even grasp martial arts until you teach them. This is a major step in martial arts education that requires one to be able to take apart techniques and understand them. It is a time of martial arts enlightenment.

Open a martial arts school. Unless you are a wizard at business, you might rent space at a local church, school, college, or gymnasium. I taught martial arts at four universities, but also taught at several gyms. Gyms are a good place to start, but there are many uncontrollable problems (as there are at universities and colleges). Most have little regard for martial arts programs and consider then very low priority. You will seldom get help from management unless the manager sees potential for bringing in new gym members. If you are at a university, you chances of survival can be good unless you find a director of martial arts clubs who loves being in control, or doesn't care about your program. No matter where you teach, it will take 4 to 5 years to build up a good group of students. After you have a place to teach, have liability insurance, and liability forms, start with 1 or 2 classes per week - don't feel let down when no one shows up – it happens. I tried teaching at Arizona State University, and found the bureaucracy was a roadblock, so I leased a building on the border of Mesa and Gilbert adjacent to Chandler and opened the Arizona Hombu (also known as the Arizona School of Traditional Karate).

When I first started teaching, there were nights that I was the only person. But it gave me personal time to train. I also trained where in gyms where there was high visibility as a way to advertise and resulted in potential students asking about martial arts. When I taught at the University of Wyoming a few years ago, I was able to build up the group to more than 150 members and received national and international awards. But this took 20 years. Offer to teach public self-defense seminars to get recognition (at a modest fee). Look for any reason to send out a press release on activities.

Build a website. Find other outlets, and don't give up. You can supplement your martial arts school with a wholesaler license from a martial arts supplies outlet. Nearly all are willing to give wholesaler discounts.

Be a dreamer!

Induction into another martial arts Hall of Fame