Hakko Denshin Ryu History

Although Hakko Ryu Jujutsu was founded in 1941, it inherits a century-old legacy of classical bujutsu (warrior arts) used by the samurai of feudal Japan. Hakko Ryu founder Ryuho Okuyama (1901-1987) (pictured) and his son Nidai Soke Ryuho (Toshio) Okuyama come from a long line of prominent bushi (warriors), the Genji clan. As a student of Hakko Ryu, you can trace the origins of your art as far back as the 8th Century A.D.

Although there are sketchy references to martial art techniques dating as far back as 23 B.C., the first generally acknowledged was the Japanese grappling system that was developed by Prince Teijun Fujiwara, 6th son of Japan’s 56th Emperor Seiwa Fujiwara (850-880 AD.). The techniques were inherited by Teijun’s son, Tsunemoto, who was given the name Minamoto. His descendants are known as the Seiwa Genji and his aikijutsu techniques were kept as a secret family art. With them, the Minamoto clan rose to become the most powerful warriors in all of Japan in only four generations.


Ryuho Okuyama, whose ancestors were members of the Genji Samurai Clan, studied under the last of the great Bushi instructors –Sokaku Takeda, founder of Daito-Ryu Aikijujitsu. The techniques he developed after training with Takeda closely resemble those ancient combat techniques of the Genji Samurai. In 1941, Ryuho Okuyama founded Hakko Ryu Jujutsu.

In 1957, Soke Michael J. LaMonica was invited to Okuyama’s home to live with him as an uchideshi (special disciple). Upon completion of his studies, he was awarded the certificate and Makimono (hand scroll) of Menkyu Shihan (Master Instructor License). In 1979, at the invitation of Mr. Okuyama, Mike returned to Japan to complete the most advanced training given in Hakko Ryu, and was awarded the Kaiden (deepest mysteries) and San Dai Kichu (three great pillars) Makimono.

Upon returning to the United States, he continued teaching at his dojo in Ohio. In 1994, a new student joined –Scott Evans. For the past 20 years, Menkyo Kaiden Shihan Evans progressed through the ranks and opened Koyama Dojo with the endorsement of Soke LaMonica in 2004.

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