logo   t

Hakkoryu Jujutsu and Police Tactics

Many are familiar with the select styles of aiki which are used and sometimes emphasized in various unarmed police tactic programs.  However, prior to their incorporation into these programs, there was one style of JuJutsu which was widely taught to law-enforcement personnel in both Japan and the United States.  That style was Hakkoryu JuJutsu.

Hakkoryu JuJutsu is of relatively recent origin, having been formally founded and named as a distinct style on June 1, 1941, by Okuyama Ryuhu. Okuyama sensei was an experienced martial artist, having studied various JuJutsu ryu, as well as having studied and instructed SoJutsu, KenJutsu, KyuJutsu, JoJutsu, and Shuriken-Jutsu.  While there is some dispute over exact dates and exact rank, Okuyama studied and taught Daito-Ryu AikiJuJutsu, a complete JuJutsu system with an emphasis on joint techniques.  These joint techniques included restraints, come-alongs, and takedowns.  "Throws" in Hakkoryu resemble those seen in Aikido rather than other Japanese JuJutsu ryu or Judo.  While the style does employ strikes and kicks, they are few and select, and are not the emphasis of the style.  Taisabaki is seen in many of the techniques, reflecting the ryu's Daito-Ryu roots.  Arresting techniques in Hakkoryu are called osae. While law-enforcement officers were not taught the complete system, but rather, what amounted to a short course, many police stations had their own dojo offering continued and advanced study.


How does Hakkoryu compare to Taiho-Jutsu?  If course to course were compared, Taiho-Jutsu seems to be more well-rounded.  There are more kicks taught in Taiho-Jutsu, as well as more specific defenses for specific attacks.  As is the case with many JuJutsu styles, using the principles of the ryu as well as the vast combinations JuJutsu traditionally teaches, there is, in general, less specificity and more general techniques taught in the Hakkoryu course.  There is no sport or competition in Hakkoryu.

In terms of law-enforcement today, Hakkoryu is almost non-existent.  Hakkoryu's founder believed in the importance and usefulness of Hakkoryu to law-enforcement of all types, and as such, promoted the style and encouraged senior members to teach it.  Following Okuyama sensei's death in 1987, his son assumed the leadership of Hakkoryu, and implemented numerous policy changes.  Among those changes was the discontinuing and prohibiting of Hakkoryu to be taught to law-enforcement (or any individual or group not formally and officially a member of the Hombu).  This (and other policy changes) ultimately resulted in a breakaway group of high-ranking sensei in Japan, Europe, and the U.S. (calling themselves Hakkoryu-Densho), stating they were teaching in the style/manner of the ryu's founder, and opening their dojos to law-enforcement.  Despite this group, this writer does not know of any departments currently teaching Hakkoryu as the police tactics course, although there are certainly individuals who are studying and teaching in private dojos. 

Return to Table of Contents