Goshin Kanpō Jūhachi Kajō Hiden
First Ever English Translation of the Table of Contents of
Okuyama’s Self-Defense Methods 18 Lessons Secrets – 1955
by Billy Ristuccia (Draft Version 1.0)
Okuyama (Ryuho) Yoshiji, the founder of Hakko-ryu Jujutsu 八光流柔術 wrote a book about the self-defense applications of principles from his system of Jujutsu. The original title of the book is: Goshin Kanpō Jūhachi Kajō Hiden 護身簡法十八か条秘伝 (Self-Defense Method 18 Lessons Secrets). Okuyama Sensei geared these 18 lessons of self-defense towards the common person. I have four versions of this book. The first version has no illustrations of the 18 self-defense lessons. The second revised edition, published in 1955, now has the lesson illustrations. The third edition of this book with an orange cover published in 1961 has more demonstration photos, and the title of the third edition was changed a little to be: Hakko-ryu Gakki-hen 八光流雅懐編 Goshin (Self-Defense) 18 Tehodoki Lessons 護身18ヶ条手解き. Yet another edition of the book includes a letter from my teacher, Mike Depasquale Sr. written to Okuyama Sensei shown below.
Komin Budo Hiden 皇民武道秘博
The first version of these 18 lessons, titled Komin Budo Hiden 皇民武道秘博 and released in 1945, handwritten by Shodai Soke Okuyama, the founder of Hakko-ryu, was originally created during WWII for the Japanese military to fight against the enemy. The original set of lessons described killing methods Sasshō-waza 殺傷技. These dangerous techniques were removed, and a revised set of 18 lessons for 10 general situations was created and re-released in 1955. This new set of self-defense lessons was intended for the general public to learn how to protect themselves. This new set was intended for people who were outside of the school’s training.
This original manuscript with the original military version of the 18 lessons is very rare to find. Usually you will find one of the three versions mentioned above which are either with or without illustrations or other images. They are all the newer, stripped-down versions of the lessons intended for the general public to learn the basics of self-defense.
Mike Depasquale Sr.'s Letter to Shodai Soke Okuyama
My teacher Mike Depasquale Sr. wrote to Shodai Soke Okuyama on his behalf thanking him for all the kindness that he had extended to him. Both Shihan Naraki Hara and Shihan Junji Saito were his direct teachers of Hakko-ryu Jujutsu in the USA. Okuyama Sensei allowed Mr. Depasquale to test for his Shihan rank outside of Japan. This is one of the first times this was ever allowed by Shodai Soke Okuyama. Normally, you must make an extended trip to Japan to test for the Okuden level of techniques. Mike Depasquale Sr. gifted to Okuyama Sensei both an honorary badge and a nightstick. Okuyama Sensei after receiving this letter from my teacher included it in one of the later editions of his self-defense applications book.
Chapter Themes of the Book
Okuyama Sensei’s 18 Lessons of Self-Defense book is divided into three major chapters, each with its own theme:
- Chapter 1 (The Quintessence of Self-Defense Martial Arts) – In this chapter Okuyama Sensei shares 8 principles on removing violence from society. This is a topic he felt very strongly about and wrote about it often. It was Okuyama Sensei hope that more Police would learn better and teach self-defense to the public. Okuyama Sensei also wished to ban all forms of violent sports martial arts and those arts which focused on killing methods. In this first chapter, Okuyama Sensei also expresses his major tenants of throwing away the excessive use of force and not injuring the attacker needlessly with a show of strength.
- Chapter 2 (18 Lessons Explanation Transmission) – In this chapter Okuyama Sensei describes 10 scenarios of self-defense utilizing his three major tenants of “No Challenge, No Resistance, and No Injury”. Each of these scenarios have a few lesson examples totaling 18 lessons in all. Anyone familiar with the Shodan through Sandan techniques of the school will easily recognize the associated principles (Genkotsu) being utilized in these 18 lessons. Also, anyone trained in Yoshitsune Waza will see the connection between these 18 lessons and the techniques found in the Shodan level of training from Junji Saito and Mike Depasquale Sr.
- Chapter 3 is broken into three sections: First, there are reports from Okuyama Sensei teaching these 18 self-defense lessons to various Police departments in Japan. Next, there are reports from various Shihan who attended Jikiden-kai training events held by Okuyama Sensei. Lastly, there are reports from various Police chiefs on the effeteness of the 18 self-defense lessons they had learned and utilized from Okuyama Sensei.
English Translation of the Table of Contents
I’m providing the first ever English translation of the table of contents using the 1955 edition. These 18 self-defense lessons are an early influence on the formation of the Yoshitsune Waza developed by Junji Saito and Mike Depasquale Sr.
Saito Sensei taught these 18 lessons to Mike Depasquale Sr. which then went on to become the start of the first 14 Kata utilized in the public curriculum of Mike Depasquale Sr’s school in New Jersey.