Kotokukan Budo Rengokai 古徳館武道連合會
" Hall of classical virtue martial arts association"
Hakkoryu Kotokukan Dojo
Overview and History of Hakkoryu Jujutsu
Nestled along a back streetin a town one hour northwest of Tokyo by train is a Dojo (Hombu Headquarters School of the Eighth light Tradition) that was founded by Shodai Soke Ryu Ha Okuyama this dojo provides training in the arts of Hahhoryu Jujutsu a Japanese system of self protection and Hakkoryu Koho igaku Shiatsu which is a traditional medical therapy using finger pressure. Following the retirement of Shodai Soke in 1986 his son Okuyama Toshio assumed the responsibilities of the school. At that time Waka sensei as Okuyama Toshio was then known took his fathers pen name Ryuho and with it the title of Nidai Soke (second generation Head) Nidai Soke Okuyama Ryuho now directs and has total authority over all Japanese dojo and branch organisations worldwide. Shodai Soke passed away in November 1987.
Shodai Soke Okuyama Ryuho
Shodai Soke was born in1901 in Yamagata prefecture. His given name was Okuyama Yoshii. He graduated from the Tokyo Seiji gakko (Tokyo school of poitical science) and in 1927 moved to Asahikawa Hokkaido where, along with Mr Namikoshi Tokujiro he established a medical clinic ( Mr Namikoshi was later to establish the now famous Nihon shiatsu school in Tokyo). During his early life Shodai travelled extensively from his base in Asahikawa studying many of the martial and medical systems of his day. During this period the best way to find qualified teachers of Jujutsu was to find good doctors of oriental medicine.
Included in his martial studies were Daitoryu Aikijutsu (whch he studied in Hokkaido primarily from Kyoju Dairi Matsuda (Toshim) Hosaku and later for a short period from Daitoryu Soke Takeda Sokaku. He studied Seigoryu Jujutsu in Kyoto, Hasegawakoryu Kenjutsu in the Kumamoto hot springs area, Sojutsu spear combat in Yamagata prefecture, Jojutsu in the mountains of Nigata, Kyujutsu archery in Yamagata prefecture,Shurikenjutsu throwing weapons as well as other lesser known systems. In all he studied under twenty teachers of various Bujutsu ryu.
At the same time he had the opportunity to study with leading masters of traditional Japanese medicine including circulation (meridian in- yo) theory, finger pressure medicine, accupuncture, massage and traditional herbs and diet. He eventually became an instructor of Daitoryu Aikijutsu, but in 1939 he broke away from Takeda Sensei calling what he taught " Meishido".
The founding of Hakkoryu Jujutsu
Finally on 1st of June 1941 he held the "Hakkoryu Kaiso Hokokusai " (ceremony proclaiming to the Kami (Gods) the founding of Hakkoryu). Hakkoryu was born on this day. Moving to the Kanda district of Tokyo he established the Hakkoryu Kobujuku (private school for the military art of Hakkoryu) where he operated a popular training hall while also providing direct instruction to the police and military. When the allied bombings of Tokyo became too severe he and his followers fled the city and joined the Mount Haguro sect of Shugendo (a mixture of esoteric Buddhism and Shintoism) in Yamagata prefecture. There he was to stay, study and teach until around 1947 at which time he moved to the city of Omiya Saitama prefecture and established the Hakkoryu so Hombu Dojo, sometimes referred to as the Hakkoryu Juku Hombu Dojo. The dojo has been in this location ever since.
The name Hakkoryu is based on a philosophical Japanese view of the colour spectrum as being divided into nine bands of light. The eighth shade is infrared which is invisible to the naked eye but is extremely powerful, both characteristics apparent in the techniques of Hakkoryu. The number eight in Japan is also associated with numerous philosophical and religious meanings.
Hakkoryu Jujutsu training and certification
Little known and often misunderstood outside of Japan Hakkoryu is a Jujutsu system which uses the bodies meridian system t create varying amounts of pain to control an attacker without neccessarily causing serious injury. Japanese and traditional oriental medicine teaches that Ki one of the non physical aspects of life flows through the Keiraku f the body. Certain Tsubo (special points) along the Keraku are sensitive to touching or striking and cause a sharp distracting pain, but do not necessarily damage bones, joints or other body tissue. These are the focal points of Hakkoryu Jujutsu techniques that a trained exponent uses to distract or subdue an attacker. Because of the non - injurious nature of of theses techniques Hakkoryu can be considered humanitarian in nature. The primary mean of instruction in Hakkoryu is through choreographed combat sequences known as waza in whch the principles of Shodai Sokes system are introduced. A thorough grounding in omote (surface techniques) is taught to all students.There are four basic waza sets: Shodan, Nidan, Sandan and Yondan which correspond to the black belt level a student holds. (Shihan and above levels are achievable once these basic level techniques have been learnt to a high standard, advanced levels require a deeper understanding of the Hakkoryu Koho Igaku Shiatsu system). Once a student has learnt the waza well he or she is able to use the principles to develop their own combinations or unique applications of the Hakkoryu Jujutsu principles for an infinite number of circumstances. This allows the student to create techniques and applications suited to ones own needs rather than blindly memorising the techniques taught by instructors, with Hakkoryu Jujutsu one achieves the ability to create rather than merely imitate. Hakkoryu Kotokukan dojo classes are taught by licensed master instructor Lloyd Allum Shihan.
Classes are small in nature which allows the Shihan to make immediate comment or correction on a students technique, this traditional Japanese approach ensures a high level of excellence in exponents, at the Hakkoryu Kotokukan Dojo it is the quality of the students and their capabilities that are most important rather than the number of students in a class. The reputation of the Hakkoryu Jujutsu schools depend on the character and abilities of its students. Constant throughout Hakkoryu Jujutsu training is the of abandoning force, muscular strength is not required in Hakkoryu, instead the techniques relay mainly on an understanding of anatomy and physiology, (both the exponents and the attackers). There are no sporting applications in Hakkoryu as this detracts from the purpose of learning Hakkoryu Jujutsu and serves only to foster competition between students it also helps build large ego's rather than create an atmosphere of helpfulness, friendship and understanding.
Hakkoryu Shihan master instructor level.
The original set of advanced instruction is for the title of shihan (master instructor) this advanced training is carried out personally by nidai Soke Okuyama at the Hombu in Omiya, Japan. During this time the hombu is closed during the day to all visitors except those ranked shihan or above who are directly assisting Nidai Soke in his teaching. It is during theses training sessions that the Higi (hidden points) and okuden (secret techniques) are imparted directly to the Jiki Deshi by the Soke giving depth, finesse and personality to the exponents techniques. This teaching process is termed Jikiden (direct transmission). Should he or she pass an examination given before a gathering of Hakkoryu shihan he or she is given the Makimono/Densho (hand scroll) for shihan, the Hakkoryu Hombu certificate of shihan training the Menkyo (teaching licence) and is awarded a Hombu purple belt, the Imperial colour of Japan. All Hakkoryu shihan undergo training in koho shiatsu as this is an important aspect of understanding the results of the arts other more strictly martial applications.
Class times and venue
Saturday morning at 10 am until 12 pm St Mary Magdalen Church hall , Highfield approach, Ipswich Suffolk. These classes are open to all, Beginners are most welcome at any time.