Henry Seishiro Okazaki, Dan Zan Ryu Jujitsu – Founder
Professor Henry Seishiro Okazaki founder of the DZR system was born to the samurai class on January 28, 1890 and migrated to Hawaiian Islands to work in the sugar cane fields at the age of 16 when he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. It was then that he began studying the martial arts against his doctors orders. Through the vigorous training system of Jujitsu, Okazaki cured his physical condition and dedicated his life to Judo-Jujitsu and later the healing arts of Kappo and Seifukujitsu.
During 1927-1928 Professor Okazaki developed a complete, integrated martial arts system, Dan Zan Ryu Jujitsu. This system was developed using elements of Okinawan Karate, Chinese Kung-Fu, Hawaiian Lua, Filipino knife fighting, boxing and wrestling. In 1924 Professor Okazaki toured Japan visiting over 50 schools where he studyied Shibukawa-ryu, Yoshin-ryu, and Namba-Shoshin-ryu systems of Jui Jitsu. During that trip The professor mastered 675 different techniques and forms, making special study of Kappo and Seifukujitsu (restorative massage), becoming not just a master fighter, but equally as important a master healer. Later Professor Okazaki met Pete Baron, a prominent masseur in Swedish massage. They began a friendship where Mr. Baron taught the professor business management skills and Swedish Massage in exchange for Ju Jitsu lessons. In these times martial arts were considered secrets, only to be passed on to students of Japanese ancestry, and it was Mr. Baron that convinced Professor Okazaki to teach any worthy American, regardless of national origin. It is through this culturally diverse training that Ju jitsu was propagated throughout the United States. Professor Okazaki continued to teach Ju jitsu until his death in 1951. On may 21, 1958 the American Judo Jujitsu Federation (AJJF) was formed. Long time student Professor Ray Law established the Oakland Judo School in 1939, and followed shortly by Professor Bud Estes (Chico, California), Professor Richard Rickerts and Professor John Cahill. Others taught over the years, and are dedicated to perpetuating their interpretation of his system.
The following article relates the eventful life of Professor Okazaki. It was published in the Spring 1996 issue of The Kiai Echo: Notes On Master Okazaki And The Origins Of Danzan Ryu
Republished by permission from www.highsierrajujitsu.com. Thank you Sensei Frank Ferris.