Arizona School of Traditional Karate & Kobudo at the Arizona Hombu Dojo
ARIZONA SCHOOL OF TRADITIONAL KARATE. The Arizona School of Traditional Karate (a.k.a. Arizona Hombu) is a traditional martial arts school on the border of Mesa Arizona with Gilbert and Chandler. The focus of our school is traditions, respect, self-esteem & self-defense while building God-fearing martial artists to continue our karate lineage. It is a martial arts (karate) school for traditional karate & Kobudo, for self-defense and for self-improvement.
On Okinawa, dojo is a gym & may include martial arts facilities for karate, kobudo, jujutsu and other martial arts. In the West, dojo is restricted to martial arts. North Americans are familiar with sport karate facilities which focus on picture windows to advertise and give the public a full view of classes. Remember the Cobra Kai dojo in the Karate Kid (1984) movie was designed to portray sport karate. In the East, a dojo designated for martial arts is almost sacred. Traditional martial arts dojo have rituals and include secret arts only taught to members; hence there are no picture windows in traditional schools.
Dojo (道場) means "place of the Tao". For those not familiar with Tao (道), this is a concept of Taoism and Confucianism. The kanji translates as "way" or "path" and loosely as "doctrine" or "principle." Tao is often expressed through in-yo (yin-yang) where every action creates a counter-action (Newton's third law of motion). When we punch in karate, we withdraw the other hand with equal velocity to maintain power and balance. Many Westerners confuse Japanese, Okinawan, Chinese, Korean and sport street fighting facilities as dojo. Dojo is strictly Okinawan/Japanese. A traditional martial arts dojo is special. It is the members' facility, not any one individual’s facility.
In traditional karate dojo dues are donated or set at a minimum even though the quality of instruction is usually orders higher than in sport schools. On Okinawa, it is traditional that members support karate dojo by paying whatever they can. Imagine your life without your karate dojo. When a dojo closes, it is usually for good. Over the years, we've had many students tell us (after they had graduated from college and moved elsewhere) that they didn’t realize how good they had it in our karate dojo until they began to search for another.
A hombu (or honbu) dojo is the administrative world headquarters for a particular martial art. Hombu are not necessarily large or ostentatious: most are small. All members of a traditional karate ryu (style) support their hombu financially. Hombu are very important as all training and certifications originate from a hombu and its Soke. A hombu provides credibility for all members in a martial arts system, but few Soke are businessmen. Rare exceptions included the late Mas Oyama and late Ed Parker, both built international empires for their karate ryu.