|Posted by Dan Hausel, Soke on May 27, 2012 at 12:25 AM|
Mesa, AZ, May 26, 2012: Martial artists from Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Scottsdale, Phoenix and Tempe completed a year of training with Okinawa tonfa at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate in Mesa. The Okinawa tonfa is thought to have originated as a farming implement and likely originated from a wooden frame or handle of a millstone. It has been nicknamed the ‘millstone handle’.
Many law enforcement agencies use a baton modeled after the tonfa, or have used it in the past, but law enforcement only train with one baton unlike martial artists. In addition, law enforcement officials typically receive only cursory training in the weapon, unlike Shorin-Ryu martial artists who train with it constantly. It is known as the side-handle baton in law enforcement, or PR-24.
After a year of training, a small group of martial artists from the Phoenix valley were certified in Okinawa Tonfa by Grandmaster Soke Hausel, 10th dan. To demonstrate their expertise in this weapon, students had to perform basic blocks and strikes known as kihon. They further had to test in three kata (forms) and demonstrate understanding of the forms in a group of self-defense applications known as bunkai. Such forms were created by Okinawan body guards and peasants centuries ago as living encyclopedia of self-defense applications.
Finally, the group tested using tonfa in kumite (sparring) against other martial artists with Okinawa bo (6-foot long staff or pole). During kumite, students (deshi) do not wear protective equipment other than safety glasses. Overall, the group showed expertise in the weapon and five were certified. Those receiving certifications in Okinawa Tonfa on Tuesday, May 29th, will include Adam Bialek, Patrick Scofield, Sarah Kamenicky, William Borea and Ryan Harden.
Members of the Kobudo Class will continue to train with tonfa learning focusing on one tonfa (as well as two tonfa) and train to use the weapon against attackers with clubs, knives and learn a variety of restraints and jujutsu throws with the weapon. In addition, the group started to learn use of the Okinawa sai.
For more information, refer to Arizona Classes.).