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Meet Dan Hausel of Arizona Hombu Dojo – School of Traditional Okinawa Martial Arts in Mesa

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dan Hausel.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Dan. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
In 1964, the Beatles invaded the US. The invasion affected many teens including myself, and within a short time, I joined a rock n’ roll band called the Churchmen. We soon discovered wearing our hair like the Beatles produced negative feedback with some people not ready for a change. Thus, all four members of the band (including myself) signed up for karate lessons at a local dojo (martial arts school) next to my junior high school in Salt Lake City so we could protect ourselves… The bands lasted for several years, and my fascination with martial arts lasted all of my life.

While attending the University of Utah, I trained in martial arts and branched out into other interests including geology, astronomy and writing. I graduated from the University with BS and MS degrees in geology, and spent many summers in the wilds of Wyoming, Alaska, Montana searching for gold, diamonds and colored gemstones. In Alaska, I continued martial arts training dripping in Deet, while being harassed by thousands of mosquitos. In Wyoming, I found time to practice karate in front of audiences of coyotes and mountain lions while being assaulted by ticks and mosquitos. On one sojourn to the Australian Outback to study some newly discovered diamond deposits, I found myself involved in a contest with some Japanese geologists/martial artists breaking the tops of silicified termite mounds with our bare hands.

Over the years, I taught karate, kobudo (Okinawa weapons), samurai arts and self-defense at the University of Utah, University of New Mexico, Arizona State University, and for 30 years at the University of Wyoming prior to opening a private martial arts school in Mesa.

I never gave up on geology and found rocks to go hand in hand (so to speak) with karate. Thus, I teach martial arts students how to identify rocks and how to break rocks with their bare hands. I still find considerable time to train in martial arts along with geological consulting and writing.

2018 is my 54th anniversary in the martial arts. My love of teaching martial arts led me to induction into several martial arts halls of fame around the world and I’ve been inducted into other halls of fame for prospecting and geology. I am included in many Who’s Who compendiums including Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World, and Who’s Who in Science and Engineering. In 2017 I was selected as a Who’s Who in Martial Arts Legend and inducted into the Who’s Who’s in Martial Arts Hall of Fame in Washington DC, and selected for the Albert Nelson Marquis Who’s Who Lifetime Achievement Award.

Personally, I feel I’m a good martial artist, but I believe I am a much better martial arts teacher. I’ve been awarded ‘Instructor of the Year’, ‘International Instructor of the Year’, and ‘Grandmaster Instructor of the Year’, by various martial arts associations. In 1999, I was presented grandmaster certification of Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo (Seiyo-Kai) and awarded 9th degree black belt through by Juko Kai International and Zen Kokusai Soke Budo Bugei Renmei. Since that time, I’ve been promoted to 12th degree black belt and presented a very unique award: Menjin Wajutsu. This translates as martial arts genius. I am only one of a handful of karate practitioners in the world to ever be awarded 12th degree black belt.

People have searched for the fountain of youth for centuries, but I found it in martial arts and share this fountain with my adult and family students not only in Arizona, but also with my students scattered around the world. My students range in age from 10 to 90 years in age and I teach classes 3 nights a week, along with periodic clinics, and spend 4 days a week at the gym.

To me, karate is a way of life. It is not only an effective self-defense discipline, but it is also a philosophy. Possibly master Gichin Funakoshi from Okinawa said it best – “the purpose of karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of its participants”.

Has it been a smooth road?
There are always struggles in life and I’ve had my share. Trying to schedule karate classes and training around my geological profession has been challenging. And earlier in life, when I graduated from college with a BS degree, I was available for the draft and spent time in the US Army. Even in the army, I found considerable time to train in martial arts, such that while I was stationed at Fort Polk, LA, I was in a company that included several soldiers from Hawaii – all were martial artists so we were able to train together and exchange ideas.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Arizona Hombu Dojo – School of Traditional Okinawa Martial Arts – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I specialize in traditional (non-sport) Okinawa martial arts. In karate, there are traditional martial artists who practice martial arts for self-defense and self-improvement – basically the way it has been done for centuries, and then there is another group known as sport martial artists who train for contests – this latter group is relatively new (but popular) and has its origins in mainland Japan sometime after 1922.

While I was a professor of martial arts at the University of Wyoming, I taught classes and clinics in karate, kobudo, self-defense, jujutsu, martial arts history and samurai arts for 30 years. I still teach all of these at my martial arts school.

I suspect what sets me apart from others is my experience, large variety of martial arts I teach, my rank, and my extraordinary students. My students include a few thousand professionals around the world who are mostly highly educated as university faculty, school teachers, engineers, scientists, doctors, nurses, lawyers, accountants clergy, law enforcement, personal trainers, nutritionists, and soldiers.

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