|Bamboo posts and fences seen in this Japanese garden could potentially|
be used as bo, hanbo, jo and even nitanbo.
Kobudo was taught along with traditional karate by Professor of Budo Soke Hausel. It was relatively inexpensive martial arts weapon for students to purchase from local lumber or hardware stores: all that was needed was a 6-foot wooden dowel or closet rod. But most dowels are made of pine and can not be used safely for bunkai (practical practice): most snap when struck with force. Thus university students, staff and faculty were asked to purchase Oak or a similar hardwood dowel. On Okinawa, martial artists attain bo from backyards using kama or katana and cut a bo from a bamboo garden - but not in Laramie where temperatures periodically exceed -30oF in winters.
|Professor Hausel accepts a full force kick from|
Sensei Gillespie at a UW basketball game.
Okinawan Karate and Kobudo Demonstration
(University of Wyoming Photo Service).
It was a challenge keeping everyone in one piece in these classes; so Professor Hausel spaced the students with strict orders for no one to practice by themselves for fear that someone might accidentally walk into a bo. Everyone carried their bo in a vertical position held against the right (migi) shoulder. In this way, the Professor Hausel was able to keep everyone safe from a rogue swing. The classes focused on basic strikes (uchi), blocks (uke), forms (kata), and a few applications (bunkai) on crowded kobudo nights, and all classes ended without a bo imprint on the side of anyone's head (atana). This went on for more than 3 decades as students, staff, faculty and the community were exposed to a large variety of traditional martial arts. Thousands of university and Wyoming community members participated in karate, kobudo, self-defense, jujutsu, samurai arts, women's self-defense, sorority, martial arts history, Christian, Institute of Religion, Chinese New Year and International Community classes, clinics, and demonstrations during this time. Professor Hausel brought the Okinawan martial arts to the University of Wyoming in 1977 and classes and clinics continued over the next 35 years. Professor Hausel donated time to teach most martial arts classes and clinics, and he had other duties on campus related to geological research and writing.
|Dr. Amit, Electrical Engineer & martial arts|
student, demonstrates bo. University of Wyoming
Campus Shorin-Ryu Karate & Kobudo Club.
|Nodes (shaku) are visible in the bamboo fence|
|Bo kumite (sparring). Sensei Paula attacks Shihan (Dr Adam)|
| Senpai Dennis holds|
bo near the end of the stick
to take advantage of reach.
Some time ago, at a Juko Kai International kobujutsu clinic, members trained in samurai bojutsu arts at Scott Air Force Base near St. Louis. The hanger was filled with black belts ranging from 1st dan to 12th dan. Like most Shorin-Ryu systems, no one wore protective gear. It was every karate-ka for himself and herself. Attendees had to be on lookout for anyone near them as everyone and everything was fair game. Often people ended up defending against 2, 3, and sometimes 4 and 5 opponents at once. Talk about fun. Most people would think this would lead to serious injury, but all were well trained and love martial arts and the only injuries were bruises to fingers because of misplaced blocks.
|Amira defends attack by Suzette during kobudo class. Note that Amira holds|
her hands in a position that equally divides her bo into three parts.
|Soke Hausel teaching black belt clinic in Corbett Gym at the University of|
Wyoming (University of Wyoming Photo Service).
More information about the bo and bojutsu are available at: Shorin-Ryu Bojutsu, Kobudo and Arizona Kobudo.