Shodai Soke Okuyama Ryuho

Born the 21st February 1902,

 

Okuyama was an instructor of Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu which he studied from two people: Kyoju Dairi Matsuda (Toshimi) Hosaku and later Takeda Sokaku himself. In 1938 Okuyama finished his studies with Takeda and published a martial art text called Daito-ryu Goshinjutsu (The Daito System of Self-Protection), later founded the Dai-Nippon Shidokai (Greater Japan Way of the Samurai Association) and began teaching what he called Daito Hiden Shido (Secret Daito-Ryu Way of the Samurai). Okuyama's first Dojo was located in Asahikawa and was called Nippon Shidokai Ryubukan. In 1939 he moved to Kanda and opened another dojo called Dai Nihon Shidokai. This marked the beginning of the split from Daito-ryu, as by this time Takeda was very old and his son Tokimune was still very young. Seeing no place for advancement in the Daito-ryu school, and being a skilled medical and martial person, Okuyama began to form his own system based on Daito-ryu Jujutsu and Daito-ryu Aiki no jutsu as well as his experience in other forms of bujutsu.

The Hakko-ryu Kaiso Hokokusai (ceremony proclaiming the founding of Hakko-ryu) was held on June 1, 1941 at the Shiba Tenso Jinja (Shinto shrine in the Shiba district of Tokyo). On that date Hakko-ryu was formed and Okuyama took the pen name Ryuho (spine of the Dragon). The Hakko-ryu Kobujuku (private school for Hakko-ryu study) was located in Kanda district of Tokyo. During World War II the allied Bombing grew close; Okuyama and his family fled and joined the Mount Haguro sect of Shugendo (a mixture of Buddhism and Shintoism) in Yamagata Prefecture. The Hakko-ryu Kobujuku burned down during the bombing of Tokyo. In 1947 he moved to Omiya City (Saitama City) and founded the Hakko-ryu So Hombu Dojo (Hakko-ryu Juku Hombu Dojo). This is the home city of Hakko-ryu today.

While Hakko-ryu techniques are closely related to Daito-ryu, it is the influence of Oriental medicine and a strict moral code that distinguishes the style. The Koho Igaku Shiatsu system is taught to its members at all levels and is a requirement for those holding Menkyo Shihan and higher licenses. The jujutsu system's emphasis is placed on pressure points and manipulation of the opponent's body through both the skeletal structure and the body's meridians; this helps give Hakko-ryu its trademark of appearing weak but being powerful in application.

The techniques of Hakko-ryu are passed on in the form of kata or waza sets known as Gi. Each kata has a number of Omote (surface) techniques that must be learned before the student can progress to the next level. Each level also contains Kihon waza, which introduce the core principles of Hakkoryu to the student; the Omote techniques are not to be changed but handed down to the next generation, and so forth. They are as follows:

  1. Shodan-Gi
  2. Nidan-Gi
  3. Sandan-Gi
  4. Yondan-Gi

Besides the Omote, Kihon, and Gensoku Of Hakko-ryu, some subjects taught include concepts such as:

  1. Kamae (combative engagement posture/stance)
  2. Hara/Tanden/Ki (center of gravity, how it may best be concentrated)
  3. Kime (focus)
  4. Tsukuri/Kuzushi/Kake (preparing/off balancing/executing)
  5. Ma ai (combative engagement distance)
  6. Sen (combative initiative or "timing")
  7. Suki (detecting weaknesses/openings)

After Yondan the system uses the older Koryu Menkyo licenses. A student must be invited by Okuyama to train with him in the upper waza. To obtain an invitation the student must be referred by a Shihan in good standing with the Hombu. Upon receiving the invitation, the student may travel to Japan and stay with the Okuyama family for a period of time for training or receive training from him during his visits outside of Japan.

The techniques of Hakkoryu are nothing but the pure self-protection instinct that prepares your spirit to face urgent matters of life and death. That is, when one encounters violence, it can be said that Hakkoryu provides natural, simple, and practical methods that enable one to calmly face imminent peril and move on without hesitation to capture and punish assailants reasonably and easily in an instant. The mere practice that results in the wearing out of practice uniforms does not give birth to the kind of self-protection arts that will be helpful at such critical times.

Introdution from the founder of hakkoryu     

Our Hakkoryu Shodan-gi are designed to prepare one with basic rules to firmly put down such general assaults. Furthermore, as one makes progress through the Nidan-gi, Sandan-gi, and so forth, the techniques naturally increase in their punishment and severity. We can say that the state which ensues from immersion in Hakkoryu is the same as “priming water” (that is, putting water under great pressure) which develops instincts that can explode in an instant. The advanced teachings of Hakkoryu allow for the free control of life and death. But such a choice is up to man. The holy heart grows from the natural posture of righteousness. Therefore, dismiss evil in your heart. Only then will you be ready to learn our secrets. Relax and focus your tanden. Disinterest yourself. With the mind of Hakkoryu, your protection techniques will spontaneously and readily come out without thinking. Calmly focus your spirit, attack the mind of the opponent and shatter his will to its depth. Hakkoryu belongs to the world where spiritual action is given priority over form and style. In Hakkoryu, there is indeed no technical skill without a spiritual determination to carry on without hesitation to life or death. Hakkoryu, therefore, is mainly for the preparation and training of the mind. Understanding these concepts, learn and practice the spirit and techniques of Hakkoryu until they lead you to a clear perception of your wholeness. Only then can you correctly choose how best to preserve justice and humanity. Moreover, the power of one finger through Hakkoryu Koho Shiatsu can surely save man from another kind of violence emanating from deep within – illness, disease, and injury. Suddenly, these too may deprive you of your natural freedoms.

I have been preaching through the experience of thousands of people that these two violence’s, one coming from the outside and one coming from within, can be easily shut out by the proper use of a single finger. The first I have named Hakkoryu Goshin Jutsu and the other, Hakkoryu Koho Shiatsu Igaku. When I reflect on my life, I can conceive of no greater gift of wisdom to mankind and cannot help to shout out loudly, “COME OUT GREAT MAN!” because of my strong love toward my native country, Japan.”

Writings of Shodai Soke Okuyama Ryuho (1901-1987)
Composite Translation From
Okuyama Ryuho Tabinikki, Hakkoryu Ryushi Journal, Hakkoryu Higishi

 

Lloyd Allum Menkyo Shihan is the Hakkoryu Kotokukan Dojo Chief instructor the Dojo has been issued with an official Licence-number #53101

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