JU-JITSU-DANZAN RYU

Seishiro "Henry" Okazaki - Founder of DanZanRyu Ju-jitsu


Seishiro "Henry" Okazaki
Taken in May,1941at the KoDenKan Dojo, Honolulu, Hawaii. At this time, there were over 6,000 attendance records at the Dojos on Hawaii, Maui, and Oahu.

Okazaki was one of the original Mixed Martial Artists in America.



He even combined various Jujitsu systems with Karate from Okinawa and the kris techniques of the Philippines.
Wo Chung taught Okazaki Mushi-Jutsu, which is the art of boxing with intent to kill, as Okazaki translated it. In 1917, he also studied the Hawaiian secret killing art of Lua under the tutelage of David Kainhee, a native Hawaiian, in Puna.
He also studied western boxing and wrestling, and he learned dirk throwing from a Spaniard. Okazaki incorporated all of these arts into his system.

During his stay in Japan, he mastered some 675 techniques of Jujutsu, all the while improving his own Danzan-Ryu. During this time, he visited the Kodokan and received a black belt in Judo from Prof. Jigoro Kano.

 In September of 1922, a heavyweight American boxing champion named K.O. Morris visited the islands and began to challenge Judo and other martial arts. His claim was that his boxing was superior to any Japanese fighting art. When the challenge was answered in the Hilo arena by several Japanese martial artists, they were defeated by Morris, causing them to lose face. According to Kufferath, Okazaki then challenged Morris to a match. Okazaki reportedly suffered a broken nose in the first round. He then retaliated with a reverse arm lock which broke Morris' arm and caused him to faint from the pain. Okazaki later said, "I enhanced the reputation of Japanese Jujutsu by defeating him with much splendor." Okazaki received a gold watch from the Japanese community for restoring its honor.

You may also recall the KoDenKan Dojo produced two MMA fighters who have had fair success, Ed Newalu and Harris Sarmiento.

On Oahu he opened the Nikko Restoration Sanitorium. People came in droves to the Sanitorium with so-called incurable nerve disorders, including President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
President Roosevelt offered Okazaki a job at the White House as his private therapist. Okazaki, declined.

Okazaki was one of the first teachers to break from tradition and teach Japanese martial arts to non-Japanese. In fact, it is reported that in 1922, Okazaki taught Judo to two students, Dr. Baldwin of Hilo and Chief Fatoio of Samoa.

Ironically, it was during the war that Okazaki helped to developed the U.S. Armys field manual on hand-to-hand fighting (FM 21150) and also taught many servicemen the art of Jujutsu.

Okazaki believed that eveyone should have the opportunity to learn Jujutsu, regardless of their heritage. His first class in Honolulu consisted of six students: his son Hachiro, Kiyoshi Kawashima, Benjamin Marks, George Harbottle, William Simao and Y.S. Kim. In 1932, Richard Rickerts, Curly Friedman, Charles Wagner, Harold McLean, Bob Glover and Tantro Muggey enrolled in the Kodenkan.


Okazaki felt that his was the most comprehensive form of Jujutsu because it took what he believed were the optimum approaches to self-defense and combined them into one school. He was also an avid promoter of sport Judo and Sumo in Hawaii.

Founded and guided by Prof. Henry Seishiro Okazaki in 1939, the American Jujitsu Institute (AJI) is the oldest martial arts organization in the United States.

Whats interesting to note is that while he was enrolled at the Tanaka Shinyukai Dojo in Hilo, he learned and mastered many forms of Jujitsu for the first time.
Hilo is where he first started learning Jujitsu and committed himself to taking it serious.

It's only ironic that Hilo is also the home of Jiu-Jitsu and MMA champion, BJ Penn.



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1938-Okazaki-Portrait
The founder of American Jujitsu, the Kodenkan and the American Jujitsu Institute of Hawaii. Seishiro "Henry" Okazaki came to Hawaii in 1906 when he was 16 years old.


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Okazaki at 18
In 1906, Seishiro moved from Japan to the big island of Hawaii and settled in Hilo. In 1909, he was examined by a doctor who diagnosed Seishiro with incurable tuberculosis.


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Henry Okazaki - Starts his training
"With courage borne out of desperation, I went to Master Yoshimatsu Tanaka." At that time (1910),Tanaka was teaching Jujutsu at his Shinyukai dojo in Hilo and in Okazaki's words, "started to practice Jujutsu in earnest and in defiance of death."


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Okazaki and Sasae Sensei
Whether or not it was due to his frantic devotion to Jujutsu, Okazaki's tuberculosis healed and he developed a strong, iron-like body. He believed that he owed his life to Jujutsu and devoted the rest of it to the teaching and promotion of the art.


Tanaka Shinyukai Dojo Hilo

While in Hilo, Okazaki mastered various Jujutsu techniques being taught at the Yoshin, Iwaga and Kosogabe Ryu schools. He then combined these systems with Karate from Okinawa and the kris techniques of the Philippines to form the Danzan Ryu school.



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In Hilo1924
Wo Chung taught Okazaki Mushi-Jutsu, which is the art of boxing with intent to kill, as Okazaki translated it. In 1917, he also studied the Hawaiian secret killing art of Lua under the tutelage of David Kainhee, a native Hawaiian, in Puna.




Okazaki In Hilo Dojo
 Here's another photo of the Hilo Jujitsu dojo, in the 1920's. Okazaki is the big man, standing to the right.



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Okazaki and Hiroshima 1924
During his stay in Japan, he mastered some 675 techniques of Jujutsu, all the while improving his own Danzan-Ryu. During this time, he visited the Kodokan and received a black belt in Judo from Prof. Jigoro Kano.



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Okazaki at Maui Dojo
He returned from Japan in February 1925 and started to teach his Jujutsu on the island of Maui. In 1929, Okazaki moved to Honolulu on the island of Oahu. Roosevelt offered Okazaki a job at the White House as his private therapist. Okazaki, declined.



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Okazaki Teaching In Maui1925
Okazaki was one of the first teachers to break from tradition and teach Japanese martial arts to non-Japanese. In fact, it is reported that in 1922, Okazaki taught Judo to two students, Dr. Baldwin of Hilo and Chief Fatoio of Samoa.













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