Secret Nidan Techniques of Hakkoryu Jujutsu

Click Here to Enlarge
Author: Dennis G. Palumbo
Pub: 1987 by Paladin Press
Pages: 130
Ranking:Two Star Rating
Out of Print: Check Price Now!


This book, and it's companion, Secrets of Hakkoryu Jujutsu, form a good introduction to Hakkoryu Jujutsu. Although there are plenty of B/W photos, these two books won't be the place to learn any techniques... these two books are far better as an introduction than as a reference book.


            Introduction .................... 1
 Chapter 1  Principles of Self-Defense ...... 9
 Chapter 2  Walking Exercises .............. 23
 Chapter 3  Nidan-Gi Waza .................. 49
 Chapter 4  Origins and Applications of
            Hakkoryu Waza ................. 103
 Appendix   Glossary ...................... 127



Welcome to the world of Hakkoryu jujutsu. Hakkoryu jujutsu is a Japanese martial art which utilizes bending of human joints to subdue attackers. The name Hakkoryu means "School of Eight Lights" in keeping with Dai Soke Okyuama's belief that the color spectrum as we know it is made up of nine bands of light. The eighth band, a very weak but still extant color, a shade of red, remains in the background and receives its power from the ninth color, purple. Since one of the underlying principles and philosophies of Hakkoryu jujutsu is that the practitioner remain calm, unobtrusive, and "in the background" of situations - using his skills only as a last resort to protect himself, loved ones, or others - this term aptly identifies one of the basic tenets of training in Hakkoryu jujutsu.

This book on nidan techniques, or the second level of training in Hakkoryu jujutsu, describes more advanced tactics than those of the book entitled The Secrets of Hakkoryu Jujutsu: Shodan Tactics. The techniques of nidan build directly upon the techniques of shodan, and the first book should definitely be referred to before beginning or continuing to study from this volume. As in the first book, in which there were specific principles which were basic to mastery of shodan tactics or waza, the group of principles presented here are specifically dedicated to nidan level waza. The primary principles of nidan waza are the following: nidan wrist bend; matsuba dori (pine-needle break); konoha gaeshi (turning of the leaf): maki komi (wrapping technique); aya dori (woven-art technique); and shuto jime (sword-hand lock principle).

You will notice that many of the techniques in this book have similar names, as is the procedure with Hakkoryu. However, each technique is itself different, based on the level of application. For example, a shodan ude osae dori (sleeve grab defense) of the shodan level is performed quite differ-ently in the nidan level, even though it has the same name for the basic waza. Keep this point in mind, so as not to confuse yourself in practice.

At the nidan level, Dai Soke Okuyama (the founder of Hakkoryu) defines the skill level of the practitioner as: ... a student who is capable of practicing more freely with a partner in order to discover the sense of combat and the different aspects of immediate defense. He is capable of applying all the basic techniques at normal speed. This is the level of [the] technician, who is no longer just a student.

As such, the student has the increased responsibility of ensuring that his or her practice partner is not injured during training. The techniques of nidan are in many cases easier to execute than in shodan, and they are in most cases even more painful than those of shodan. Therefore execute extreme care while practicing these nidan-level techniques so as not to inadvertently injure your partner.

The major key to nidan waza, both in execution and reception, is to relax as much as possible. When applying the techniques, one must avoid the tendency to tighten up the muscles of the arms and shoulders when performing the techniques, and must concentrate his mind on the tanden. When performing the exercises in seiza, remember always to keep from upsetting your own balance while defending against the attacks of kake.

In addition to the new techniques of nidan, you will also be introduced to eight nidan walking-exercise sets designed to prepare the student to defend against attacks from the rear, kicks, and close or surprise attacks to the upper body. These exercises are illustrated in "bunkai" application (i.e., with a partner) in order to more fully demonstrate their application and use.

Many of the techniques will also be illustrated in their "street application" outside of the dojo. so as to present them in an arena of practical reference and possible application if the need arises.

Remember to practice slowly and diligently, paying close attention to your actions. Realize full well that many of these techniques, if used too forcefully or in the wrong hands for the wrong reasons, can cause very serious pain, and, in some cases, permanent damage to an assailant. If you keep these points in mind while practicing, you will soon develop the confidence to know you need not react violently to every threatening situation that might present itself. You will learn to keep your composure, responding only when you feel it is absolutely necessary, and then doing so with power, control, and efficiency.

When you have devoted the time necessary to the study and mastery of nidan level techniques (waza), you deserve to know what you can expect of yourself. In the study of nidan, it is imperative that the student learn to relax and begin to develop the quiet confidence of his abilities. By learning to relax during practice, the student will soon be able to increase his or her threshold of pain tolerance. Techniques which may have been extremely painful during the learning of shodan should be much more easily tolerated with less discomfort and as a result of studying nidan. The student will learn to absorb the pain of various locks and binds and shrug off the resultant pain. By learning to breathe properly (i.e., exhaling strongly from the tanden at the first sign of pain from a lock), and relaxing by actually attempting to bend the joint being locked in the same direction, the student will be well on the way to mastering most situations he might find himself encountering. In time, this will transfer to the student's attitude of overall self-defense awareness. He will learn to relax more quickly so that, when faced with a potentially threatening situation, his response is more natural, spontaneous, and effective.

More specifically, the student will learn:
The extremely versatile principle and technique of shihonage
The powerful applications of konoha gaeshi
The excruciating pain of the nidan wrist locks and control pins
The deceptively effective applications of the maki komi principle
The pressure point pin of te kagami
The painful, disabling thumb break technique of matsuba dori
The one-hand defensive locks and escapes of shuto jime
Basic defense against two attackers
Defense against rear attacks and grabs in street-fighting situations
Defenses against front kicks
Defense against the up-close sucker punch attack.

Additionally, the student will be prepared to defend against the barroom idiot looking to pick a fight for nothing. You'll learn how to defend against attacks while sitting in a chair; defenses against the chest grabs and strikes; defense against attacks in close quarters; and defense from pulling attacks, such as theft of your briefcase or purse while walking. All these things and more can be accomplished when you take the time to master nidan tactics.

Historically, the techniques of nidan are some of the most painful in the style of Hakkoryu Jujutsu. They place great stress and pain on the joints of the wrists, elbows, and shoulders. Without much additional pressure, a controlling tech-nique can easily be turned into an extremely destructive technique. It is only in life-threatening situations, however, that the Hakkoryu practitioner is morally justified in taking his techniques to this extreme. In the overwhelming majority of situations in which the student might find himself, the basic controls and submissions of Hakkoryu will more than suffice to nullify the danger of the situation and render the assailant helpless.

In the olden days of karate on Okinawa, Japan, many of the masters required the new students to literally break their knuckles in the first few days of training to develop calcium deposits when the knuckles healed. The new students would then rebreak their knuckles to enhance the result, creating over a period of time a seiken (forefist) of almost solid calcium deposits, with the first two knuckles being virtually welded together, able to deliver a devastating strike with a single blow.

The techniques of old jujutsu were in some instances just as inhumane. It was not uncommon for new students, or shoshinsha, to be initiated into the dojo the first day or night in class by being the uke, or fall guy, for the senior student or instructor. The uke would be bounced off the tatami or wooden floor like a ball, and techniques would be applied to him that would either break or severely damage the wrists, arms, and ligaments of the joints. Much of this initiation was done to weed out the serious student from the casual observer. Many times, the only reason it was done was because the senior students and instructors had each experienced the initiation, and this was the way they passed it on to the new students. If you couldn't take it, you would leave. And if you survived and still wanted to learn, it was just a preview of what the training would be like. Fortunately, those days have passed, and that hard-core attitude is rarely seen in legitimate dojos today.

I remember the evening I took my black belt examination in Shudokan Karate in Fussa City, Japan. The exam was, as expected, quite thorough and demanding, but I felt that I had done well that Friday evening, and though rather tired and a little bruised from the sparring, etc., I felt quite good about the results. After the examination, the presentation of awards was set for the following Friday evening. When I showed up that next Friday with the two other individuals who had also tested the previous week, my sensei introduced me to a visitor from Tokyo, the head of the Shudokan school who had come for the presentation. As the ceremonies progressed, it was finally time to receive my black belt. I assumed, correctly, that I would receive my belt from my sensei. However, I then received another belt from the dojo headmaster, Toshio Hanaue - my senior sensei - and the confusion began. To top it off, the visitor from Tokyo called me up and presented me with a third black belt, I was honored, confused, curious, and mystified.

The implications of what had occurred didn't strike me until the end of the presentation, when Sensei said that the new black belts should be sure to come to class the next evening, Saturday, with their new belts on. Which belt did I dare wear to class? Were I to wear the belt my instructor gave me, I would be causing great embarrassment to the senior instructor who had also given me a belt. If I wore the belt of my senior instructor, I would be slighting the head of the system who had traveled from Tokyo for the presentation and also presented me with a belt - let alone my own instructor who, as a sixth dan black belt, was now on the bottom of the totem pole. If I wore the belt of the visitor from Tokyo, I would be causing my senior instructor to lose face by not wearing his belt. What to do? I won't reveal my solution to the dilemma; rather, I leave the mystery to the reader to try to figure out what he or she might have done in this situation.

After arriving at the dojo on Saturday evening, and while changing into my uniform, I noticed a few new faces among the black belts who I had not seen before. I also noticed that there were no mudansha (individuals below the rank of black belt) in the changing room. I figured they may have already moved into the dojo and were warming up. To my surprise, when I and the other two new yudansha (black belts) entered the dojo to get ready for practice, there were no colored belts in the dojo - only black belts, twelve of them not counting we three new ones. After a few minutes of warm-ups and stretching, the senior instructor said that tonight would be a night to "honor" the new black belts in class, and that we would have the honor of sparring against each of the other black belts present, starting with the lowest ranking - a nidan - and working up to the senior ranking - a shichidan (seventh dan).

Misery. To try to explain the pain and humiliation of fighting so many people, and such varied levels of experience would be moot. By the time we each were able to fight the seventh dan, standing was a painful experience, let alone fighting. Suffice it to say, the shichidan proceeded ceremoniously to wipe the dojo floor with us, easily and thoroughly. It was our initiation into the yudansha ranks, and the experience served to remind us that the shiny new black belt we had just received meant only that we were still only "beginners." It did more than give us some bruises - it made us realize what humble really meant. There's nothing like a good thrashing to bring a new black belt back down to earth. When it was all over, my dojo master, Toshio Hanaue Sensei, came up to each of us, smiled, and said, "Congratulations - and welcome to the dojo." I think it was worth it after all!

At the Hakkoryu Hombu (headquarters) in Japan, the "humility" lesson is somewhat different, especially if you are a gaijin, or foreigner. For new students the training is quite gentle in the application of techniques in order not to cause any unnecessary injury which might discourage the student. At the higher levels, however, when a sandan or yondan (third or fourth degree black belt) comes to the Hombu to train and review his techniques, possibly in preparation for shihan, or master instructor, training, he is expected to have perfected the techniques of his level. Sometimes while practicing and exchanging techniques with one of the senior instructors, should a yudansha do a technique incorrectly, the senior instructor will avoid saying anything to correct him. He will merely ask the student to repeat the same attack that he just made. The instructor will then reapply the technique or waza. But when he applies the technique, it is done perfectly, and somehow his hearing seems to falter momentarily - you are tapping on the mat, yelling "Itai!," trying to get him to stop the pain, and he just doesn't seem to hear you at all. Having thus been shown the correct technique, when you next perform the technique on the instructor, to show him that you understand, it had better be right. If not, he will "courteously" demonstrate it to you once again - with an even greater loss of hearing than the first time. If you haven't caught on after one or two of these demonstrations, you're in deep trouble. As my father used to say, "It's like hitting your head against a brick wall - it feels good when you stop." When you stop trying to prove you know it all, it all works.

There is no malice involved in this type of practice. It's merely a way of showing the student that whatever he's doing can be done even better. It must be true, because it feels so good when the instructor stops!

I hope that these short anecdotes will impress upon you the importance of realizing that no matter how much you know, there is always more you can learn - not only about the style or system you study, but about yourself. Always keep this in mind when you train. Be courteous to your dojo mates. Train hard, sweat, ache, repeat, hurt, and love it. Every time you finish a class or a practice session, you should ask yourself what you learned. If you didn't learn anything, either in technique or about yourself, then you just wasted one-and-a-half or two hours. You could have been out jogging or playing golf instead. Each time you train, you should learn something, or you're wasting your time.


No votes yet