Wednesday, August 25, 2010


In 1999, I traveled to Murphy, North Carolina where I was granted license as Soke of Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Kai by Dai-Soke Rod Sacharnoski. This was one of the greatest moments of my life, as I had never imagined I would achieve the level of Soke. It was doubly exciting as it was presented to me by the greatest martial artist I have ever known.

At this particular clinic, I also discovered I was Tai Chi challenged. Prior to the clinic, I had been somewhat interested in Tai Chi. In 1986; I had traveled to the outback of northern Australia, and camped along the Fitzroy River with several other diamond research geologists as part of a conference. One morning, I woke early and climbed from my tent to watch kangaroos hopping around the spinifex grass, periodic emu rushing through the brush and a Chinese delegate practice tai chi with the sunrise. I watched this performance of grace and balance to the song of a mocking bird singing from a perch in a nearby boab tree - it made me want to learn tai chi. Sketch by Soke Hausel (Tai Chi lady)..

Karate on the Rocks - 1985
As graceful as the tai chi dance is, I found we were incompatible many years later in Murphy. Tai chi contains continuous, graceful, slow, and unfocused kung fu movements that are unlike the powerful focused strikes and kicks of Okinawa karate. At the time of the clinic, I had more than 3 decades of karate practice under my belt. I found myself trying to mold the graceful movements of Tai Chi into focused strikes, kicks and blocks typical of karate. On that day, Tai Chi defeated me. I could not de-emphasize 30+ years of karate.
Today (2010) in Arizona we have a group in our dojo that rents time to train in Tai Chi. The Tai Chi Academy people are super and wonderful people and if I had the time, I might give it another try as it is a beautiful art to watch.

Join us at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate in Mesa - we are a martial arts school located across the street from Gilbert that is for Adults and Families.  Traditions are important and we do not compete!

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