The Untold Story about Okuyama and Hakko Ryu

Okuyama Ryuho founded Hakkō-ryū Jūjutsu (八光流柔術) in 1941. He was a student of Toshimi Matsuda (松田敏美)and a senior to Takeshi Maeda. Toshimi Matsuda was one of the top direct students of Takeda Sokaku (the founder of Daito Ryu). It is important to note that while studying under Matsuda Sensei Okuyama had the opportunity to spend a week with Takeda Sokaku to assist him with a special project. But we can not say that Okuayama was a student of Takeda. So everything that Okuyama knew about Daito Ryu came from Matsuda Sensei. As time progressed Okuyama was allowed to teach. It is not clear what was the highest rank he received from Matsuda Sensei as this was never published publically. However, it was very clear that he was one of his most talented students.

As time passed Okuyama started to teach what was known as Okuyama Den Daito Ryu Jujutsu through his Shidoaki system which he created. At that time he persuaded his friend and junior Maeda Takeshi to support him with the project. During that time Okuyama wrote a scroll and named it Hakko Ryu. This original scroll contained 200 select Waza from Daito Ryu combined with his knowledge of Koho Shiatsu. This scroll was awarded as a form of appreciation to Maeda Sensei. The creation of Hakko Ryu was not well received by Matsuda Sensei. As a result and upon reflection, Maeda decided to return to the main line to further his study of Aiki. Maeda later ended up inheriting all of Matsuda Sensei’s knowledge as his successor.

This story is important because while Maeda Sensei continued to remain faithful to Daito Ryu main line he was also the only one to receive the first and only Hakko Ryu Scroll and knowledge of the newly created system. Today the Renshinkan under the guidance of Takase Sensei continues Matsuda’s line through our Shobukai system. As well as the system Okuyama created under the Shidokai system. We are very fortunate we have the opportunity to learn both systems and pass them to posterity.

Sensei Divantman is one of the Takase Sensei senior students and currently the only student in Canada authorized to teach both systems.