|After I piled up rocks for my students at the University of Wyoming Campus Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo Club,|
the Casper Dojo and Gillette Dojo, I explained to them the philosophy of breaking, how to break and then
demonstrated using the largest rock. Few, if any believed this could be done. After I broke the rock, gave
them an opportunity to break, they were all successful.
|Donnette Gillespie, white belt, breaks her|
first rock at the Laramie Bushido Dojo in
Wyoming (about 1977). Donnette retired
from Karate and moved to Alaska many
years later after first earning a 3rd degree
(1) developing self-confidence as there are few people if any, who believe they can break a rock when I first show them the specimens, and
(2) entertainment for martial arts demonstrations.
Because of this, we instructors tend to give the public the wrong idea of what karate is all about.
|George Chakmakian, 1st dan, breaks rock|
at the University of Wyoming Education
Building Gym during training at the Campus
Shorin-Ryu karate club.
I like to teach them to break rocks. The reason for this is rocks are many times more challenging than the run-of-the-mill rebreakable boards, wooden boards, tiles and cinder block. And everyone (particularly boys) has experience getting hit by a rock as a kid, and we know how hard these can be. So it can be a real self-confidence booster and also results in good word-of-mouth advertising from our students and those who participate as part of an audience.
How difficult is it to break rocks - very. But the benefits are good. And during my more than 40 years as a karate instructor, I've only had one person who was unable to break a rock who tried. But she had built a barrier in her mind which made the rock to be much harder that it was. This psychological barrier was impenetrable for her even though she had the ability to break it. So the statistics are on the side of those who try to break rocks with proper instruction.
|Termite mound (foreground) in |
Ellendale Field of Australia.
|Sensei Lenny Martin breaks his first rock |
at the University of Wyoming
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|Jessica Ricks (now Nidan) prepares to break rock. |
In the following photo, she hit this piece of Forelle
Limestone with so much force it crushed the rock!
|Eric Hausel tries a rock and breaks it at the University of|
|Breaking a rock while others stand around to discuss their breaking successes.|
Rock breaking at the University of Wyoming Geology 101.
|Kyle Gewecke, 4th dan, from Gillette, Wyoming prepares to break rock|
|Karate demo from 1976 where I break cinder blocks with head.|
Arizona School of Traditional Karate, Mesa, Arizona.
|1976 Demonstration of breaking roofing tile with fist (tsuki). Arizona|
School of Traditional Karate Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert, Tempe, Phoenix Arizona
|Soke explains to Mesa-Gilbert martial artists about the technique|
of rock breaking.
|Patrick breaks rock on first attempt|
|Te, the art of the empty hand - sketch by Soke Hausel of Phoenix Arizona.|
|1985 photo of Soke Hausel from Mesa, Arizona, demonstrating side karate kick at 9,000 feet in Happy Jack, Wyoming while standing on 1.4 billion year old Phanerozoic Sherman Granite.|