Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Arizona Karate Instructor Nominated for Top Scientist

It's not everyday a Hall-of-Fame Grandmaster and instructor of Karate and Kobudo is considered as a Top Scientist. That's right, it just never happens! Well, almost never. But, why a top scientist? Is karate now a science?

Soke Hausel, an Arizona martial arts instructor, is also a Hall-of-Fame geologist as well as a Hall-of-Fame Martial Arts Instructor. Combining these skills helps him select rocks for his students. No, he doesn't try to convert them to rockhounds, instead he teaches them a little about the toughness of various rocks so they can break them with their hands (and sometimes with their heads). For instance, a friable sandstone is the easiest to break (but will leave grains of sand stuck in your head or hand) and along with this type of sandstone, there are shales that are relatively easy to break - but he tells his students to avoid shale simply because it often breaks with a conchoidal fracture similar to glass and potentially can severely cut the student. But if you are from certain parts of Canada or Colorado, you may be stuck with oil shale. It smells, but what the heck!

Soke Hausel teaches students at the University of Wyoming
the proper way to break rocks. Here, they are learning about
limestone. If you try this without proper instruction and 

training, you will break your hand.
Then there are other rocks. Soke Hausel likes to break limestone, recrystallized or lithified sandstone, dolomite or quartzite as these provide excellent resistance. Limestone is basically mother nature's concrete. But in the Phoenix Valley in Arizona, such rocks are not easy to come by because of all of the past volcanism. The valley is filled with rocks like rhyolite, andesite and basalt. Some of these are very, very hard. For instance, rhyolite is the fine-grained equivalent of granite - and we all know how hard granite is.

After working at the Wyoming Geological Survey and the University of Wyoming as a research geologist, consulting geologist and martial arts instructor, Soke Hausel got to know a lot of difficult rocks. For instance, he mapped more than 1,000 km2 of complex Precambrian terrain covered with metamorphic rocks: metamorphic rocks, like volcanic or igneous rocks, are very, very uncooperative. He doesn't recommend schist or gneiss as they have a fabric, much like plywood that will tend to resist breaking. And Wyoming - the Jade State, of course has some jade deposits - don't even consider jade - it is one tough gemstone.

Governor Mike Sullivan congratulates Soke Hausel
Soke Hausel is also an author and wrote many books and papers on geology and rocks. So, if you want more information, have a look at some of his books. And if you decide to try breaking rocks with your hands or head - remember, you should have professional training first - by someone who has done this before, otherwise you will break your hand - rocks do not cooperate like boards.

Finally, back to the Top Scientists. In a letter from Nicholas Law, Director General with the International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, England to Soke Hausel, he writes: "You are to be congratulated. As a noted and eminent professional in the field of science you have now been considered and nominated for recognition by the IBC. Of the many thousands of biographies from a wide variety of sources investigated by the research and editorial departments of IBC, a select few are those of individuals who, in our belief, have made a significant enough contributions in their field to engender influence on a local national or international basis. Ratification of your nomination by the Awards board is now complete and it is therefore my great honour to name you as a member of the IBC Top 100 Scientists - 2016. As a holder of this distinction ....."

So what makes Soke Hausel unique as a scientist - all of the gemstone, gold, mineral and rock discoveries. These can only be matched by a handful of people in history. But will he accept this award? Probably not. "It is always nice to be recognize for my work, but I don't need awards anymore - I have plenty buried in my closet".  "When I left the University of Wyoming, I also dumped a bunch of them on a shelf, as there were too many to transport to Arizona".

One of the greatest achievements - discovery of a
giant, world-class gold deposit

Soke Hausel inducted into two Halls of Fame at the same time - one for geology, the other for martial arts.


Saturday, May 28, 2016

Valley University Professor Receives Martial Arts Promotion

Dr. Neal Adam promoted to shichidan (7th degree black belt) 
by Soke Hausel. Few martial arts sensei are as
creative and dedicated as Kyoshi Adam. We all have a great
time training with him at the Arizona Hombu.
On Thursday, May 26th, 2016, Dr. Neal Adam of Phoenix, Arizona was promoted to one of the highest ranking members of Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Kai after demonstrating karate (empty hand) and kobudo (ancient traditional Okinawa weapons) along with developing new bunkai (pragmatic applications) for kata. Dr. Adam was promoted to 7th dan (7th degree black belt) and awarded the honorary title of KyoshiIt is extremely rare for anyone to achieve such a high rank in a traditional martial art. It is estimated that less than 1% of martial artists ever reach such a high level of expertise. In Seiyo Shorin-Ryu it is even more uncommon as less than 0.1% of members have ever been promoted to such a high rank of expertise

Possibly more significant is that only two people: Andy Finley from Casper, Wyoming and Neal Adam from Phoenix, Arizona remain in the running to receive certification for Menkyo Kaiden - a license of total understanding of the Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo martial art


Old photo of Dr. Adam at the University of Wyoming. Kneeling on the left. Photo taken about 1990.
Few people are as ethical as Dr. Adam and he is a very important representative of Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Kai. His integrity exudes in martial arts, his daily life, his religion and in his profession as a professor at Grand Canyon University. Soke Hausel, the grandmaster of Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Kai expressed his admiration for Dr. Adam, "I feel lucky to have him as a long time student of mine. He first joined my organization at the University of Wyoming more than 25 years ago while working on a post doc in the UW Agricultural Department.

Dr. Adam (far right) at the Arizona Hombu dojo, Mesa Arizona

Ok, is he from Hooker, OK, or did he decide to take
up a new profession?

Dr. Adam demonstrates a kata for professors he created and demonstrated at the dojo
The kata is known as the Nerd Kata.

Dr. Adam training in Kobudo at the Arizona
Hombu dojo

Kobudo (Okinawan martial art) at the Arizona Hombu

Dr. Adam entertains members of the Arizona Hombu Dojo with his interpretation
of Nebraskan kobudo 

Karate training at the Hombu dojo, Gilbert, Arizona. Kyoshi Adam with
Sensei Bill Borea

Hands up!

Okinawan kobudo is about applying martial arts techniques
to tools - Here, Dr. Adam demonstrates the use of a modern
hoe, known as kuwa in the Okinawan language.