Sunday, June 22, 2014

Martial Art in Arizona

Train hard and sweat  now -
for sometime later, you will likely be attacked on the street.
The origin of martial arts colored pencil sketch
It was about 1989 or 1990. I was finishing a five-year research project related to gold at South Pass Wyoming and submitted a group of eight 1:24,000 scale geological maps for publication including a compilation map at 1:48,000 scale for the entire greenstone belt and its gold districts. Our draftswoman, Fiddy, who was a very good artist suggested I would be a very good artist based on my maps. Huh? Me?

I laughed at her comment and indicated I was challenged by 'stick figures'. She followed up with a comment that seemed to have kick-started an unused part of my brain - "You should try sketching like you map, focus on details in small areas and let it grow into a larger picture."

That seemed to make sense - so I tried and was shocked that hidden in my brain, were the tools for sketching. Thank you Fiddy! So, I decided to do a variety of sketches of things that interested me. And of course, some were related to martial arts and in particular to Shorin-Ryu Karate, Kobudo, Samurai arts and self-defense.

So, while growing up, going to college and working as a professional musician, astronomer, geologist, author, martial arts instructor and professor, I had no idea that this talent lay hidden within me.

Okinawan sunrise sketch
In 2013, I was presented a special award at the Juko Kai National Clinic in Texas. I was presented the honorary title of Meijin Wajutsu. And in my opinion, Juko Kai International is the most prestigious martial arts association in the world, so this was a great honor. 

At first I was taken back by this title. Me a genius? I never received very good grades in school, but the more I thought about it, the more I started to feel comfortable. Yes, I was creative in music, geology, art, writing and martial arts - so isn't this what genius is about? It was clear many martial arts groups and associations as well as geological groups had also recognized this characteristic in me. Over the years, I had been inducted into several Halls-of-Fame for martial arts and geological research. In the martial arts, I can visualize techniques before anyone tries a new technique and I can vocalize how to do these techniques. So for me, a person who is engineering-challenged, martial arts have been perfect because of its artistic overtones. But I think, at least for genius, when applied to me it relates to interest and how I pursue that interest - it has little to do with IQ.

Stop in our dojo and say 'konnichi wa' . You can check out our martial arts and some of our martial art in the dojo. We are located on Baseline Road between Chandler, Gilbert and Mesa, Arizona. Just click on

Hi Seas pencil sketch

What I hope to see in my backyard sketch