Jujitsu

The art of grappling goes can be traced back as far as 3400 BC with the Egyptians. These recorded images of grappling can be seen on the tomb walls of Beni-Hasan in Egypt. Some of the exact techniques used in today's many grappling styles are on these walls.  Grappling was also described in bible stories. Prophets & Angels wrestled with beasts. Genesis 32 describes that Jacob was left alone to wrestle beasts or man until the breaking of day.

Jujitsu, translated as gentle art, is an ancient Art of self-defense from Japan. The secrets of Ju-Jitsu involved understanding the dynamics of your opponents motion and force, as well and understanding the physiology of his body. The practice of Jujitsu goes back as far as 2500 hundred years in feudal Japan. The early roots of Jujitsu are somewhat clouded. The most common credited date of which Jujitsu originated was in 23 B.C. when the combat form of Sumo, or Sumai (to struggle) was developed. Sumai quickly developed into other forms of empty hand combat and the early roots of the Samurai Arts were among these. These arts developed further with the use of various weapons, bow (dai-kyu / yumi)and arrow (ya), spear (yari), and the sword (daito / tachi / katana / wakizashi / no-dachi). The Samurai also used throwing stars (shuriken) or spikes. The Samurai were also skilled in the art of Hojo-jitsu, rope tying. These skills were used to restrain prisoners. The rope was traditionally about 6-9 meters long and worn around the waist and over top of the armor (kikou) or inside the jacket (kimono). The Samurai used these skills on the battlefields. These skills are still used by the Tokyo Riot Police and the armed forces of Japan. Professor Okazaki incorporated a rope tying art into Shinyo No Maki called Haya Nawa. The philosophy behind Jujitsu is very rich in its own unique way. The Samurai followed a very strict code of discipline called Bushido, which is translated as the way of the warrior. The seven codes of Bushido are as follows: justice (gi), bravery (yuu), benevolence (jin), veracity (makoto), honor (meiyo), loyalty (chuugi). The Samurai followed these codes in battle and every day life. Bushido played an integral part in the Samurai’s jujitsu training. Shinra Sabura Minamoto Yoshimitsu (1056-1127) founded one of the first and most organized Jujitsu schools, Diato-ryu Jujitsu. Diato was Yoshimitsu summer residence. Yoshimitsu taught various weapons as well as deadly empty hand techniques. It was noted that he was able to kill with single strikes to the body. Dissecting executed criminals and dead enemy soldiers developed these skills. Legend has it that in creating new techniques he is said to have been influenced by observing the movements of a spider trapping its prey. There are still Diato-ryu schools still in existence today. As civil war became more prevalent in Japan, Martial Arts became more organized.There are various ideas on how the more organized schools of Jujitsu were originated. Although many of the hand techniques were developed from Sumo, there is evidence of the influence of Chinese Martial Arts. There is one story that when that Japanese had occupied small areas of China the Samurai integrated Chinese striking techniques. There is also reference to a 13th century Buddhist Monk who taught self-defense techniques known as “Kumi-tachi”, or known as Yawara. The rough translation of Yawara is “to keep the peace” or “peacemaker. Yawara evolved into a system of empty hand techniques. However, the most credited influence comes from the 15th century when a Chinese man came to Japan and taught. Much of what is said about this man is pure speculation, however he made an impact on now what is called Jujitsu. From the 1600’s to the 1800’s nearly 700 different styles (ryu) were prevalent. But the arts fell into decline for various reasons. One such reason is bandits began to use Jujitsu for their own purposes. In 1882 a man by the name of Jigoro Kano intended to correct the reputation of Jujitsu as a deadly art associated with bandits. Kano founded Judo, which is a safe form of Jujitsu without many of the dangerous techniques of Jujitsu. At the end of the 1800’s and the beginning of the 1900’s many Japanese immigrated to the western world. Japanese practitioners began giving exhibitions and challenging famous wrestlers and boxers. Many forms of Jujitsu began to evolve into a more modern art.

Okazaki PictureProfessor Henry Seishiro Okazaki created one such system. Born on January 28th, 1890 in Kakeda, Fukushima Perfecture, Japan, of Samurai descent, Professor Henry Seishiro Okazaki was to become one of the true innovators of Martial Arts.
He moved to Hawaii in 1906 and settled in Hilo, Hawaii. At the age of 19 he was diagnosed as having a lung disease thought to be tuberculosis. He started Judo under Master Yoshimatsu (Kichimatsu) Tanaka at the Shinyu Kai Dojo in Hilo. Whether due to his intense training or a miracle, Professor Okazaki’s lung condition healed. He returned to Japan in 1924 and visited more than 50 martial art schools. Okazaki also studied Namba-Shoshin Ryu, Tenshin-Shinyo Ryu, Yoshin Ryu, Kodokan Judo, Iwaga Ryu, Kosogabe Ryu, Ryukyu Karate Jutsu, Okinawan Kenpo, Kung Fu and American Boxing. He also studied Okugi, secret techniques. He learned 675 techniques and earned a third rank in Judo. Professor Okazaki returned to Hawaii and formed "Danzan Ryu". The school's name was Kodenkan (School in which the elders transmit the tradition). Danzan Ryu Jujitsu is one of the most widely taught systems of self-defense today. Professor Okazaki realized that in order to maintain the traditional values of Martial Arts, he had to teach the resuscitative (Kappo) arts. Hundreds of years ago, there were no ambulances or hospitals to handle injuries incurred in the Dojo. It was the responsibility of the instructor to revive or resuscitate a student hurt during the rigorous training the pursued. To be a truly well rounded Martial Artist you must be able heal as much as you can hurt. Professor Okazaki also studied Health Sciences and Physical Therapy. In 1929 he opened the Nikko Sanatorium of Restoration Massage, thus establishing the Okazaki Seifukujutsu Institute. In 1939, Professor Okazaki established the American Jujitsu Guild. In 1943 the name was changed to the American Jujitsu Institute. Professor Okazaki was the honorary president. Professor Okazaki died on July 12, 1951. The American Jujitsu Institute (AJI) is the original Jujitsu organization established by Professor Okazaki. More than 65 years later the AJI is still in existence and is currently headed by Professor Samuel C. Luke, Judan.

Kufferath PictureSiegfried Kufferath was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1911. He started Jujitsu at the Kodenkan in 1937. In 1944 Professor Kufferath was inducted in to the Army and was honorably discharged in 1946. On February 1948 Kufferath received the title of Shihan as well as many others during the Okugi. In 1949 he was appointed chief instructor after Okazaki had a stroke. After the death of Okazaki in 1951, Professor Kufferath was elected by the AJI board of directors to the title of Professor. In 1957, Professor Kufferath left the AJI and moved to San Jose, California. He served as Chief Instructor at three different schools opened by his students, the Nikko Ju Jitsu School in Mountain View, The Kodenkan in Santa Clara, and The Pacific Coast Academy of Martial Arts in Campbell. He was a member of the World Head of Family Sokeship Council, and was inducted into the Danzan Ryu Hall of Fame and the Jujitsu America Hall of Fame. He was recognized as Grand Master by the Kodenkan Yudanshakai, and also held black belt rank in Judo and Aikido. Professor Kufferath held the rank of Judan in Chinese Kenpo. Professor Kufferath continued to teach Jujitsu until his death in 1999. Professor Tony Janovich (Shihan) is Professor Kufferath's most senior student and is the Chief Instructor of the Kodenkan Jujitsu and Restoration Therapy, Santa Clara California.

Ramon Lono Ancho was born on September 28,1928- Text will be updated shortly