Arizona Hombu Dojo & Arizona School of Traditional Karate & Kobudo
We focus on traditions, respect, self-esteem & self-defense in the hope of building God-fearing martial artists to continue our karate lineage. This is a traditional martial arts school for adults - it is not sport karate.
On Okinawa, dojo is a gym & may include facilities for karate, kobudo, jujutsu and other martial arts. In the West, dojo is restricted to martial arts. North Americans are mostly familiar with sport karate facilities with picture windows in full view of the public. Remember, the Cobra Kai dojo in the Karate Kid (1984) movie. The Cobra Kai school was designed to portray sport karate, while Miyagi-do Karate was designed to portray traditional martial arts. Traditional martial arts have rituals and include secret arts only taught to members; hence there are no picture windows in traditional schools. Emphasis in traditional schools is self-improvement and self-defense.
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 denotes "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 are strictly Okinawan/Japanese. A traditional martial arts dojo is special and belongs to all who train in the dojo.
In traditional karate, dues are set at a minimum even though the quality of instruction is usually orders higher than sport schools. Over the years, we've had many students tell us (after they had graduated from college and moved elsewhere) they didn’t realize how good they had it in our karate dojo until they began to search for another.
All members of a traditional karate ryu (style) support their hombu. Hombu are very important as all training and certifications originate from a hombu and its Soke. A hombu provides credibility for members in a martial arts system, but few Soke are businessmen. Rare exceptions include the late Mas Oyama and late Ed Parker, both built international empires for their karate ryu. Many sport facilities do well, but they also take advantage of their students by requiring long-term contracts, many equipment purchases etc - something unheard of in traditional martial arts.