Danzan Ryu Jujitsu
Danzan Ryu Jujitsu is a combination of many different fighting styles and techniques as well as oriental healing methods. Okazaki mastered Karate, Judo, Filipino knife fighting, the Hawaiian art of Lua, Kung Fu, French foot fighting, many schools of Jujitsu, and even American boxing and wrestling. In addition, Okazaki studied the healing arts of Kappo and Seifukujitsu and came up with his own unique healing form known as the Okazaki Restoration Massage.
For those who may be new to martial arts, each of the systems listed on the left represents a unique style of fighting. Jujitsu is one of the oldest forms of martial arts and tends to focus on escapes, grappling, and mat work. Judo is identified with various throws, pins, and joint locks. Karate is what most people tend to think of when they hear the words “martial arts” and it is an art of punching, kicking, and striking. Kung Fu is another of the oldest martial arts and is the birthplace of many of today’s arts. It uses a combination of punching, kicking, striking, takedowns, and weapons. Kendo is the art of the sword. Lua is a very rarely known martial art taught long ago in Hawaii. It is the art of life and death and was used against the enemies of some of the indigenous tribes before that enemy was consumed. Filipino knife fighting is, as it sounds, the art of using a knife. This is taught in both defensive and offensive capacities in Danzan Ryu.
The healing arts are an integral part of Danzan Ryu Jujitsu and are what sets it apart from other martial arts. Thus, training in them begins on the first day. The beginning student will learn how to perform the basic Okazaki restoration massage. This includes how to massage around the cervical and thoracic vertebrae, along with some basic acupressure points. As the student progresses through the ranks, he or she will learn different methods of massage for the back, how to massage the lumbar area, and how to recognize and correct spinal misalignments. Eventually, the student is taken through the Okazaki Long Life massage, which is a very powerful full body massage that stimulates all of the major meridians in the body.
Okazaki was well known for his healing practices while he was in Hawaii and he had many celebrity patients—not the least of which was US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as pictured Above.
How We Teach
Kodenkan is Okazaki's school meaning "the school of ancient tradition". That is, senior students are expected to give feely of their time by assisting the junior students in their training. This allows students to learn in small groups and establishes leadership qualities in the senior students.
A typical 2 hour class in Danzan Ryu begins with warm up exercises and stretching followed by practice with rolls and falls. The class is then broken into small groups to work on rank appropriate arts. The class may be regrouped as the evening progresses to practice forms (katas), karate or judo sparring, or for special techniques. New students are given special attention for the first few classes so as not to feel intimidated and also for the safety of themselves and others. After the physical work out, students lie down on the mat to practice massage. Any sore or tender spots are tended to by the senior ranks and sensei so that students may go home feeling rejuvenated.
Due to the comprehensive nature of Danzan Ryu Jujitsu, students are encouraged to keep and maintain a notebook describing the arts. As the student progresses through the ranks, the notebook will serve as a reference and may be used to write down notes during class. Danzan Ryu is one of the hardest classes offered because it stretches students physically, mentally and spiritually. However, it has been designed in such a way that anyone can participate. Okazaki prided himself on teaching arts that were so simple and effective, that the smallest defender could thwart the largest aggressor. As such, women are strongly encouraged to take this class.
When you join Danzan Ryu, you become a part of something bigger--the Danzan Ryu family. Classes are taught in a non-competitive, friendly atmosphere, where students can interact with their teachers and each other while learning at their own pace. Every class at the Jujitsu Club is taught in the spirit of Kokua. “Kokua” is a Hawaiian word meaning a sense of brotherly love and support. Everyone is there to help each and every student achieve his or her potential both in and out of class. It is not uncommon for students to meet and become best friends on a Danzan Ryu mat.
Students learn in small groups and progress at their own pace. The beginning student will learn basic warm up exercises, how to roll and fall safely, a list of hand techniques (Yawara), throwing and pinning techniques (Nage/Judo), the basic Okazaki massage and shiatsu, Striking/Blocking techniques and stances (Kempo), concentration and breathing techniques, as well as basic CPR. All of this will begin at the white belt level and be built upon as the student progresses through the ranks of Shoden (beginning level). Intermediate instruction focuses on teaching and establishing leadership qualities. Senior students must not only master and teach the arts in turn before being taught the next, but keep a notebook in which they write up their own description of each art. The intermediate (Chuden) arts Include the basic control and constriction techniques (Shime), the deep forms (Oku), advanced hand techniques (Jokyu Yawara), weapons defense and offense techniques (Kiai no Maki), as well as variations on all previous arts and the addition of more advanced healing arts.
Danzan Ryu Students begin their mental training from day one. Methods in concentration and breathing are taught at the white belt level and continue through black belt. Students are taught to keep a relaxed mind without preconceived thoughts so that the student can react spontaneously and naturally while applying the esoteric principles of Jujitsu in any situation. Only with a still mind can the student be aware enough to find a non-violent solution to a given situation or discern whether physical response is necessary.
By example and precept, contest, demonstration, and examination, as well as in the routine of class instruction and promotional ritual, a foundation is laid for the development of those character traits which Professor Okazaki set forth in the "Code for a Judo Rank Holder": courtesy and humility, faithfulness and loyalty, bravery, and responsibility. As a converted Christian, Okazaki lived and taught by example the highest of Christian ethical standards. "Perfection of Character" may be regarded as one of the highest aims of the Danzan Ryu system, and promotion through the grades to black belt is as dependent upon character as upon technical mastery of the arts. (See Philosophy)