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 Therapy. Below is a diagram of the many martial arts and skills that come together to become Danzan Ryu Jujitsu.
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 right side of the diagram lists some of the many healing aspects of Danzan Ryu Jujitsu. These items are discussed in the Okazaki Restorative Therapy section, but have been include here to demonstrate the completeness of Okazaki’s art. All of these arts have been incorporated into Okazaki’s system in such a way that the student learns a little bit of each system at every rank. More importantly, it is done so that the student is not inundated with the massive amount of knowledge contained within the system. See How We Teach to get an idea of what goes on in a typical class.
Kodenkan Jujitsu is taught in the tradition of senior students helping the junior students. 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 Restorative Therapy 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)