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 Dojo) is a traditional martial arts school at the border of Mesa, Arizona with Gilbert and Chandler. We focus on traditions, respect, self-esteem & self-defense while building God-fearing martial artists to continue our karate lineage. This is a traditional martial arts school for karate & kobudo, for self-defense, samura arts, and for self-improvement - it is not a sport karate school.
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 mainly familiar with sport karate facilities which focus on picture windows to advertise 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. Traditional martial arts dojo have rituals and include secret arts only taught to members; hence there are no picture windows in traditional schools - the emphasis for 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 translates 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 are strictly Okinawan/Japanese. A traditional martial arts dojo is special and belongs to all of those 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. Donations are always welcome as most traditional schools are lucky to break even. On Okinawa, it is traditional members support karate dojo by paying whatever they can. 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. For instance, Soke Hausel maintained the Hombu dojo at the University of Wyoming over 3 decades prior to moving to Arizona and we still hear from students around the world who have had a difficult time finding a dojo as educational and pleasant.
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, and 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 - something almost unheard of in the traditional martial arts.