Welcome to The Danzan-Ryu Jujutsu Homepage!
Since its origin in July of 1995, this page has become the world's most popular source for accurate information regarding the martial and healing arts of Prof. Henry Seishiro Okazaki.
This web site is divided into the following search areas:
The following is a list of interesting questions and answers about Danzan-Ryu Jujutsu and Seifukujutsu. This list will grow over time, so check in often. Also, if you have questions you'd like answed on this page, you can write me at DanzanRyu@Rocketmail.com.
What does Danzan-Ryu mean?
Generally, it means "Hawaiian style". The individual Japanese terms are: Tan/Dan, which means "sandlewood"; San/Zan means "mountain" and Ryu means "stream", "sect" or "cult". Taken together, Danzan is the term that Chinese people use for Hawaii. (In Mandarin, it is pronounced T'an Shan. Hawaii is also sometimes called, T'an Heung Shan, which means "sandlewood scented mountains".) Danzan-Ryu Jujutsu founder Prof. Henry Seishiro Okazaki named his system in this way to honor his Chinese martial arts teacher, Wo Chung.
What does Kodenkan mean?
This term literally means "ancient tradition school". This was the name that Prof. Okazaki gave to his Jujutsu training hall, or Dojo. The term Kan, in this instance, means a physical building. The Kodenkan stood at 801 South Hotel St. in Honolulu, T.H. This was also the location of the Nikko Restoration Sanitorium in which Prof. Okazaki practiced his Seifukujutsu restoration therapy. The original building was razed many years after the Professor's death in 1951 and replaced by a more modern building. This building now houses the Nikko Restoration Clinic of Prof. Okazaki's son, Hachiro.
Should the Okazaki Jujutsu system be called Danzan-Ryu or Kodenkan?
The system is correctly called Danzan-Ryu, since Ryu means "style" and Kan means "building". There are many non-Japanese people who refer to this style as Kodenkan Jujutsu, because that was the place in which they learned the style. It is clear, however, that Ryu in this case (as it does with martial systems such as Daito-Ryu, Goju-Ryu, Tenjin Shinyo-Ryu, Kosogabe-Ryu, etc.) refers to the style. The best authority on this, of course, is Prof. Okazaki himself! He writes in his 1929 book, The Science of Self-Defense for Girls and Women, that his Jujutsu style is called Danzan-Ryu.
What is the ranking system used in Danzan-Ryu?
Prof. Okazaki used four colors of belts in the Kodenkan Dojo: White, Blue, Brown and Black. His black belt ranks only went up to Fifth Rank. (There were unconfirmed reports of Seventh Rank given to the Professor prior to his death.) Today, there a host of different belt ranking schemes, depending on the organization or dojo.
What is the Professor rank?
Originally, Seishiro Okazaki was called "The Professor" as a term of endearment by those who respected him and knew of his selfless giving to the community. It originally held no titular significance to Jujutsu. During his lifetime, there were no other people called Professor; he was the only one. After Prof. Okazaki's passing, his organization, the American Jujitsu Institute (AJI) held an election in 1952 to select a replacement Professor. The candidates were William Ah Moo and Sig Kufferath. (John Cahill was also an original candidate, but he was deemed to be ineligible since he no longer lived in the islands.) Kufferath won the election by a large margin. He remained the only Professor until the late 1950's and early 1960's when others were given this title. Today, the title is awarded to those people of high rank (5th through 7th Dan depending on the organization) and have made exceptional contributions to the art.
What are the different Danzan-Ryu organizations?
The original Okazaki organization was called the American Jujitsu Guild, in 1939 changed its name to the American Jujitsu Institute (AJI). It became officially incorporated on July 29, 1947 in the Territory of Hawaii. In 1958, four Okazaki students: John Cahill, Merlin "Bud" Estes, Ray Law and RIchard Rickerts who had moved to the mainland incorporated the American Judo and Jujitsu Federation (AJJF) in the state of California. In 1978, Prof. Wally Jay, Prof. Willy Cahill, Prof. John Chow-Hoon, Prof. Carl Beaver and others, broke away from the AJI to form Jujitsu America. (This term was coined by Prof. Willy Cahill.) Other Danzan-Ryu related organizations which have been formed include: Kodenkan Yudanshakai (Prof. Joe Holck), Southern California Ju-Jitsu Association (Prof. William Randle), Shoshin-Ryu Yudanshakai (Prof. Michael Chubb), Hawaiian Jiu-Jitsu System, Inc. (Prof. Bill Beach), Jujitsu Institute of America (Prof. William R. Beach), Kodenkan Danzan-Ryu Jujitsu Association (Profs. Sig Kufferath, Lono Ancho, Tony Janovich and Doug Kiehl), Small-Circle Jujitsu International (Prof. Wally Jay).
What is Ohana?
This is an Hawaiian term which means "Family". The way the term relates to Danzan-Ryu is that since 1990, a multi-organizational convention has been held every two years to honor Prof. Okazaki and his martial and healing systems. These conventions consist of seminars, tournaments, banquets and lots of sharing. The first Ohana celebration was hosted by Prof. Mike Chubb and the Shoshin-Ryu Yudanshakai in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Prof. Okazaki's birth. Subsequent celebrations were held in 1992, 1994 and 1996. The 1998 Ohana will be sponsored by the AJJF in San Ramon, CA.
What is Seifukujutsu?
This term Seifukujutsuliterally means "adjustment and restoration techniques". It is often referred to as "massage", but it is much more than that. A typical Seifukujutsu treatment begins with a full-body, deep tissue massage which is primarily done with the therapist's elbow crux. The main idea here is to 1) balance the major energy flow lines of the body and 2) break down muscle tissue so that it may build itself up stronger over time. In addition to this basic treatment, Seifukujutsu includes therapies for specific ailments.
Although he is oftened remembered for his martial arts, Prof. Okazaki made his living as a massage therapist. In fact, his clinic was at the front part of the building that housed his Kodenkan Dojo. Today, that building has been replaced by a more modern one and the family business is carried on by his son, Hachiro.
Important Note: The correct term for this method is Seifukujutsu, or simply Restoration Therapy. Since the Okazaki family still runs their business, use of the Okazaki name in reference to massage should only refer to the clinic at 801 S. Hotel St. in Honolulu, HI. Other Seifukujutsu programs should not use the Okazaki name, since it implies affiliation with the Okazaki's family business.
Last updated: March 20, 1998.
This page maintained by George Arrington.
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Copyright © 1995, George E. Arrington III