We bow (rei) at the beginning of karate and kobudo kata and we bow at the end of kata just as we do at the beginning and ending of our martial arts classes. This emphasizes respect for one another and provides an unspoken contract that we will humble ourselves to learn from our Sensei (martial arts teacher). The more you train in traditional karate & kobudo, bowing stimulates your subconscious telling you to respect, act with good manners, be non-violent, set goals to be a better person, etc, simply because you learn to affiliate these positive thoughts and philosophy with bowing in martial arts.
|Gichin Funakoshi pencil sketch by Soke|
|Master Cho, copyright pencil sketch|
by Soke Hausel
Today, most traditional martial arts in the world (and Arizona) are a discipline with esoteric benefits for the mind and spirit and physical benefits for the body.
It doesn’t take a genius to see some influence of Buddhism and Shinto in martial arts, but even so, martial arts are not a religion and the influence is philosophical. For example, we do not have to practice martial arts to go to heaven nor we do not have to practice martial arts to be a good person. It’s just a tool to help us become more confident and better members of society. It teaches us valuable lessons in building affirmations (or goal setting). By following a martial arts path, one can improve no matter what their beliefs or practices. Martial arts should complement one’s religion, unless that religion is based on evil. The majority of our students worldwide are Christians as is our Soke (Grandmaster), but our association also has a large number of Mormons, along with some Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and agnostics. Through martial arts, we build positive relationships.
|Nunchaku kata training in Mesa, Arizona - Sensei Bill Borea, a retired air force pilot trains in|
|Sensei Patrick Scofield, an engineer, trains in kobudo at the Arizona|
|A similar weapon to the nunchaku taught at the Arizona Hombu dojo in Mesa is that of sansetsukon - or three sectional staff. Sensei Pillow defends attack with tonfa by Suzette during kobudo class at the Hombu.|