We had the good fortune of connecting with Dan Hausel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dan, we’d love to hear more about your end-goal, professionally.
Teaching Karate, Kobudo (Okinawan weapons), Samurai Arts and Self-Defense is embedded in my DNA. In 2008, I opened the Arizona Hombu Karate School in Mesa, after teaching karate at ASU and Gold’s Gyms in Arizona, so I could share my interest in martial arts with Arizonians. At a early age, I had recurring day-dreams, which drove me to follow them. It wasn’t until later in life that a friend loaned me a copy of “Investment in Excellence”, a motivational seminar that explained how my day-dreams were essentially affirmations. Affirmations are present-tense, positive thoughts, designed to change one’s life, or goals. These affirmations led me to a variety of jobs and careers including teaching, music, art, public speaking, geology, astronomy, writing, and martial arts. In 1964, I took my first karate lesson, and began day-dreaming about standing in from of a dojo teaching classes. After years of training, I taught karate at the University of Utah, University of New Mexico, Arizona State University, and also taught karate, kobudo, samurai arts, self-defense, jujutsu and martial arts history at the University of Wyoming for more than 30 years, along with geological research. Half-way though my career at UW, I stagnated at the rank of 3rd dan (3rd dan = 3rd degree black belt) until I realized this was caused by my affirmation. I had been day-dreaming of walking in the footsteps of my past instructors, all of whom were 3rd dan. So, I upgraded my affirmation and applied to the Juko Kai International martial arts association; and in 1992, was accepted after testing in front of soke (grandmaster) Sacharnoski (12th dan), who became my personal instructor, and renewed my martial arts spirit. Over the next several years, my affirmation took on a life of its own. More than a dozen Halls-of-Fame sent invitations; I was certified as 9th dan and awarded soke of Seiyo no Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Kai in 1999. Five years later, in 2004, I was awarded 10th dan (the highest rank in Okinawa karate). In 2012, I was promoted to 12th dan (the highest rank in many Japanese martial arts). I’ve been training and teaching martial arts for a half of a century, and instead of just teaching college students and faculty, I’ve taught my son and daughter and some grandkids traditional karate. Now, I visualize myself teaching adults, seniors, families and religious groups, until that day that God calls me home.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Berated in public schools for day-dreaming and not paying attention. Through time, my dreams became affirmations and evolved into reality. I thank God every day for these gifts”. Elected to several Halls-of-Fame; selected for Who’s Who in Martial Arts Legends & awarded the Albert Nelson Marquis Who’s Who Lifetime Achievement Award. Recipient of national & international awards in geology, public speaking, art, mineral discoveries, exploration, education, teaching, martial arts & writing. Awarded Grandmaster of the Year, International Instructor of the Year and Instructor of the Year in martial arts and Thayer Lindsley Award in Economic Geology, and certified as Grandmaster of Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Kai by Zen Kokusai Soke Budo Bugei Renmei. Many awards and certifications are listed on website at https://seiyo-shorinryu.com/grandmaster-hausel-arizona.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Would take him to visit my Hombu dojo (martial arts training center) in Mesa, Japanese Friendship Gardens in Phoenix, Goldfield at Apache Junction, mining museums in Jerome, Tombstone, and visit the copper deposits nears Superior, gold and silver deposits between Pierce and Gleeson, visit the old mines, ghost town and museum at Castle Dome near Yuma, visit the town Oakland and nearby gold mines, and also visit Lake Havasu. I love to share my martial arts experiences, but also share my interest in old mines and prospecting.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Dai Soke Rod Sacharnoski, 12th dan, my personal instructor as well as Juko Kai International.
Images by W. Dan Hausel