Saturday, April 5, 2014

Arizona Grandfather Breaks Rocks for Golden Anniversary

Can your grandfather break rocks with his hands and head? Ours can!

After training in traditional martial arts for 50 years, Grandmaster Hausel of Gilbert still practices 5 to 6 days a week and teaches 10 classes 3 days a week with periodic weekend clinics. The former professor of martial arts taught many hundreds of students karate, kobudo, jujutsu, samurai arts, self-defense, martial arts history, and women’s self-defense classes while at the University of Wyoming from 1977 to 2007. After retiring from the university, he moved to Gilbert and opened a martial arts school on the border of Chandler, Gilbert and Mesa and has students who travel from as far as Phoenix, Scottsdale, Queen Creek and Tempe three times a week and others who periodically travel from as far as Colorado, Massachusetts, Maryland, Nebraska, Utah, Wyoming, India and Vietnam to train at the Arizona Martial Arts center. He kicks and punches most every day except when he is searching for gemstones and gold and writing books.
In 1976, Soke Hausel broke roofing tiles with
his head for karate demos. While at the University of Wyoming, he actually
broke slabs of rock quarried north of Laramie at half-time demonstrations at
University of Wyoming basketball games.
Fifty years ago, Grandmaster Hausel played guitar in a rock n’ roll band when the band decided to take classes at a local karate school because long hair was not popular. In 1964, if one had long hair, people actually restrained the person to cut their hair. So the band learned self defense. Even his high school administration bullied and discriminated against kids with long hair, so he took matters in his own hands, so to speak.

It was a different time. In 1964, bullying was encouraged. “But I highly recommend it. One had to learn to stand for what they believed in; unlike today, where adults cry over anything that doesn’t go their way. Our society has really wimped out over the past few decades”.  The Hall-of-Fame martial artist began when karate training was brutal. Even so, he elected to continue martial arts for the rest of his life. Martial arts should be a lifelong commitment - not a fling.
Soke Hausel taught rock breaking to UW students every spring.
Traditional arts provide opportunities for people to earn rank and learn to defend themselves. Unfortunately, there are many schools in Arizona that require 6-month, very expensive contracts in order to receive a black belt at what is known as a McDojo or a diploma mill, whether you can defend yourself or not. Traditional martial arts are about earning everything and are inexpensive!

“I feel like a 30-year-old in a 60-year-old body. I have more power and acceleration in my punches, kicks and blocks than at any other time in my life. Martial arts have kept me healthy even though I have a few back problems – but those were all related to younger times when I tried to lift too much weight for a skinny guy.”

Soke Hausel teaches martial arts at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate (aka Arizona Hombu) on the border of Gilbert and Mesa. He has a few thousand students scattered worldwide: many are university professors, teachers, engineers, scientists, doctors, lawyers, social scientists, law enforcement agents and artists. His son, daughter and grandsons are proficient in martial arts.

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