Thursday, May 18, 2017

Okinawan Karate & Kobudo at the University of Wyoming

Two general categories of karate evolved from Okinawa after it was introduced to mainland Japan in 1922: (1) Sport and (2) Traditional Karate. Most are familiar with sport - fighting for trophies in an arena and winning at all costs. But then there is the more peaceful side of karate - the original Okinawan karate developed as a way for self-improvement, designed as a weapon only to be used when there is no other option. We've all seen this concept before - Cobra Kai karate vs. Miyagi-Ryu in the movie classic the 'Karate Kid'. It is ironic, that sport karate developed from traditional Shorin-Ryu Karate which was introduced to Japan by Gichin Funakoshi who stated "the purpose of karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of its participants"

Karate had been part of the University of Wyoming curriculum for years. In the early 1970s, Okinawa Te became part of the University environment - then disappeared. Then, Professor Hausel stepped onto the University of Wyoming grounds in 1977, when hired as a research geologist. Over the next 3 decades, he changed our understanding of Wyoming's geology. Mapping more than 1,000 square kilometers of complex Precambrian geology in old mining districts and mapping the largest known kimberlite and lamproite districts in the US, his work brought Wyoming to the forefront of economic geology and hundreds of mining companies started to visit Wyoming to search for mineral deposits based on the work of Dr. David Love of the US Geological Survey and on the work by Professor Hausel.

Inducted into more than a dozen Halls-of-Fame worldwide, Soke Hausel
was more than once inducted into 2 halls of fame in one school year while
at the University of Wyoming.
When Hausel focused on gemstones in the Cowboy State, he discovered all kinds of gemstones previously ignored or unrecognized by other geologists including iolite, chromian diopside, pyrope garnet, spessartine garnet, almandine garnet, opal, ruby, sapphire, helidor, peridot and many more. He found so many gemstone deposits that it was proposed that Wyoming be renamed the 'Gemstone State' and wrote about the gemstones in many professional papers and several books. He found dozens of gold, diamond and colored gemstone deposits and became the most decorated geologist in the history of the Wyoming Geological Survey at the University of Wyoming. A few of the major mineral deposits he found included gold in the Rattlesnake Hills, the largest iolite gemstones and gemstone deposits known on earth, and as a member of a 7-man discovery team which included two other Wyomingites, found one of the largest gold deposits in history at Donlin Creek, Alaska. 

Professor Hausel taught many groups self-defense over the 
years including Air Force ROTC cadets, religious groups, 
sororities, scouts, professional associates, women's groups
other martial arts associations and clubs (photo courtesy
of the University of Wyoming Air Force ROTC). 

In 1977, when he joined the Wyoming Geological Survey, he was a certified sensei in karate and had previously taught karate at the University of Utah and University of New Mexico. To follow his interest of martial arts while researching Precambrian geology, mineral deposits and mining districts, he taught karate, kobudo, samurai arts, self-defense and jujutsu at the University of Wyoming in the Department of Continuing Education, Department of Physical Education, Department of Kinesiology, and University Club Sports. It wasn't long until the university began receiving applications from some students to attend college because of their academic excellence and also because of the martial arts program.

Hausel continued his own martial arts education and became an active member of Juko Kai International and a personal student of the great Dai-Soke Sacharnoski. He continued to advance in martial arts until promoted to 9th dan and certified as the Soke (grandmaster) of Seiyo no Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Kai in 1999. He affiliated with Zen Kokusai Soke Budo Bugei Renmei. In 2004, he was promoted to 10th dan in Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo.

Soke Hausel taught martial arts to hundreds of students, faculty, and staff. Over several years, he operated the largest, active club in the university Club Sports system, often teaching martial arts to a few hundred students each year. The club was considered the top club in the university because of student attendance and extra circular activities by the students. This was a very impressive record for the only member of club sports that did not compete. Being a traditional martial art, martial arts were taught for self-improvement rather than competition. The other benefit of the martial arts club was that it also provided a vehicle for Soke Hausel to teach his own daughter and son. Both Jessica and Eric trained with the club over the years making this not only a karate family, but also a family affair for Professor Hausel. The club also produced many black belts who are scattered across the world. Some are professors, teachers, engineers, scientists, soldiers, law enforcement agents, and more.

Soke Hausel teaching jujutsu at UW.
Photo courtesy of UW Photo Service.
Soke Hausel retired from the Wyoming Geological Survey and moved to Gilbert Arizona in 2006 where he continues to teach martial arts, write, and search for mineral deposits.

Soke Hausel at the Arizona Hombu in Mesa, Arizona in 2017

Kyoju (Professor) Hausel with Sensei
Donnette Gillespie at the University
basketball area presenting half-time
entertainment (Photo courtesy of UW
photo service).

Soke Hausel answering questions about the origins of
traditional martial arts at a international students karate
demonstration (UW photo). 

Soke Hausel with Sensei Gillespie at
another of many demonstrations
presented at the Mens and Women's
basketball games (courtesy of UW
photo service)
Soke Hausel performs rare white
crane kata that came from China at
Chinese New Year celebration at UW.