Hakkō-ryū Hiden Kaisetsu
(Explanation of the Secrets of Hakko-ryu)

English Translation by – Billy Ristuccia

I have begun to translate for the first time into English this very important manuscript produced by Shodai Soke Okuyama Ryuho on the secrets of his Hakko-ryu. This manuscript is broken into four sections where Okuyama Sensei gives an overview explanation of the secret points for each of the main areas of training in this school included in this manuscript. Goshinjutsu, Taihojutsu, Jujutsu, Koho Shiatsu Igaku, and his views of how to train the general public.

  1. Goshin Taiho no Hiden 護身逮捕の秘伝 (Secrets of Self-Defense Arresting)
  2. Hakkō Ryū Jūjutsu 八光流柔術 (Eighth Light System of Self-Defense)
  3. Bunkabito no Jōshiki 文化人の常識 (Common Sense of Cultured People)
  4. Kohō Shiatsu Rinshō Iten 皇法指圧臨床医典 (Imperial Law Finger Pressure Clinical Medical Dictionary)

I will begin my translation with section two of this manuscript, which gives an overview explanation of the essential principles behind the Jujutsu of the school. Okuyama Sensei explains the essential points behind the “Higi” 秘技 secret techniques of Shodan, Nidan, Sandan, Yondan, Godan, Okuden, and Shihan Waza. Okuyama Sensei explains the difference between what makes a Higi 秘技 (secret technique), a Gokui (secret teaching), and Shinpi 神秘 (esoteric mental aspects and deeper mysteries of the school).

One example of a secret technique is Higi Gakun 秘技雅勲. One begins to train this in more detail when you become initiated into the Sandan third degree level of training. This special method of attacking the Keiraku (meridian lines) of the body will remain with you throughout the rest of the training in the system. One can learn to relax, throw away power, take hold of an opponent’s wrist, and put them into a state of excruciating pain with very little effort. The effect on the opponent’s internal organs can be both healing and harmful. The opponent will feel limp in their entire body and begin to sweat, and one’s breath and heart rate will be effected. This is just the beginning of one’s initiation into the usage of this “Gakun” secret technique.

Hakkō-ryū Hiden Kaisetsu
Older Version

Photos and Diagrams from the Manuscript

Section 2 - Jujutsu Overview Translation

Shinpi ni Tsutsumareru
(Shrouded In Mystery)

Hakkō-ryū Hiden no Naiyō o Shōkai Suru

(Introducing the Secret Contents)

Shodan Higi 初段秘技 (First Degree Secret Techniques)

In Hakko-ryu, no matter what school you are from, you will be trained from the Kihon Waza (basic techniques) of the first dan, just like those who know nothing. First, you begin with the experience of giving up your power, immersing yourself, and becoming one with, surrender to, nature (Daishizen 大自然). You will also learn how to sit and stand upright, with the most correct method from a physical and anatomical point of view. While continually in a seated position, you will learn how to use your fingers that can energize your life. The secret to hitting the body without leaving any traces (Atemi no Hiketsu 当て身の秘訣), and an experiment that involves your whole body being suddenly attacked. Develop a state that allows you to smile even when you are faced with your neck being strangled. There are techniques for standing in front of those who attack you, hang on you, and taking them away, and the secret to repelling them with just one finger when someone tries to steal your belongings. Although they are simple techniques, in terms of their effectiveness, they are a bit like secret techniques. Is also comparable. It is strange because not only will you have the dignity of being extremely rational and absolutely effective in your techniques, but your physiognomy becomes beautified, and even your personality shines, giving you a dignity that even thugs and pickpockets cannot approach.

Explanation of Hakko-ryu Jujutsu Shodan Higi

Nidan Higi 二段秘技 (Second Degree Secret Techniques)

Dokuji no Hiden Hongyaku 独自の秘伝本逆 (Characteristics of the Secret Primary Reverse Lock) Here, Hakko-ryu’s primary secret reverse lock, which does not allow any resistance, is taught, but in no time at all, it develops a technique so unique that it causes so much pain that you cannot even scream.

Chūmon Dōri 注文通 (As Your Mind Orders It) For example, an enemy that has grabbed both of your hands may be stuck in place and unable to move, or an enemy that has grabbed your arm or chest may be stuck to you and not able to let go, or you may be able to move the enemy that is holding on to you in all directions, north, south, east, and west, as you order it.
The essence of the scientific martial art of Gyaku Nage 逆投 (reverse throws), making the opponent’s huge body float in the air like a leaf with one hand and crushing anyone who comes at you with a Judo move with just one hand. It will be done.
As described above, if you teach the techniques for 2 to 30 minute session for both Shodan and Nidan, after five or six sessions, you will be able to fully master and use them freely.
Explanation of Hakko-ryu Jujutsu Nidan Higi

Sandan Higi 三段秘技 (Third Degree Secret Techniques)

Higi Gakun 秘技雅勲 (The Secret Technique of Gakun)
In Sandan, another technique is added to the Nidan Hongyaku 二段の木逆 previously learned, and in a few seconds, (Shintaikan 申泰漢) arms become exhausted (worn out). In particular, one is allowed to use the secret technique “Gakun” 雅勲, which is representative of Hakko-ryu. 
This is a technique that can be called the technique of a Seijin 聖人 (saint) or a gentleman and can be used freely while walking or sitting, in which the enemy’s entire body becomes numb just by stroking or sliding (into position) on their wrist. A technique that is unparalleled in the history of Japanese martial arts. Of course, it is not a forceful technique but rather a Kokoro no Mochi 心の持 (mental technique) that can be freely utilized depending on one’s mindset. Gakun has a wide range of applications, from Shiraha Dori 白刃捕 (naked blade capture) such as against short and long swords to Kenjū 拳銃 (handguns) and Kenpo 拳法, etc.
You can fully understand it (Sandan Gakun) in about 7 lessons and use it freely.
NOTE: Sandan Gakun targets the Daichokei, Shochokei, and Sanshokei (large and small intestines and triple heater meridian lines on the top of the wrist.)
Explanation of Hakko-ryu Jujutsu Sandan Higi

Yondan Higi 四段秘技 (Fourth Degree Secret Techniques)

This is a secret technique that appears to be a lightning-fast technique, but even a light use of it can cause Kokyū Konnan 呼吸困難 (Dyspnea – labored breathing, shortness of breath), and is one of the secret of secrets based on Kanpō Ijutsu 漢法医術 (traditional Chinese medicine).
Once the Tsuzumi 鼓 (hourglass-shaped hand drum) is in place, the Gyaku-waza 逆技 (counter techniques) of all other styles become ineffective, and violence is instantly stopped. It is truly a terrifying secret that can be used to restore a life or take life at will (Kasatsujizai 活殺自在).
During the Hakko-ryu Kanda Otamagaike era 田お玉が池時代 (an older location of the Honbu Dojo), this was only passed down to those who were promoted to Shihan, but this has now been lifted and is allowed to those who have completed Sandan.

Also, for those with Kokyū-ki Jaku 呼吸器弱 (weak respiratory system) and Junkan Kikei Jaku 循環器系弱 (weak circulatory system), it is a secret technique for recovering from a hopeless situation. Completely mastered in six or seven sessions.

NOTE: Yondan Gakun and Gyaku Yondan target the Shinkei, Haikei, and Shinpokei (heart, lung, and pericardium meridian lines) on the underneath of the wrist. The angles of holding the wrist to apply Yondan Gakun are similar to holding the Tsuzumi hand drum, which Okuyama Sensei made reference to.
Explanation of Hakko-ryu Jujutsu Yondan Higi

Godan Okuden Shihan-Waza 五段奥伝師範技
(Fifth Degree Secret Transmission Master Techniques)

These techniques are passed down only to those who advance to Shihan. In particular, the techniques of Godan are strange and mysterious, and the last technique is like summoning clouds (Kumo o Yobu 雲を呼ぶ), which is difficult to learn only by kata other than via Kuden 口伝 (oral transmission). Furthermore, in Okuden, there are a series of innumerable changes without form (Senpenmukei 千変無比), such as when your whole body is being tied with rope and within two minutes, only humans can escape from the rope. Using one hand to throw someone who was clinging onto you for three times the normal distances (Mitsuma mo Nagetobashi 三間も投げ飛). While being tied up with Hagai-jime 羽交締, you can throw using Gyaku Nage 逆投. You will learn to use canes and fans to bind people up, making them unable to move. The attacker who comes at you can be thrown without even using your hands or feet with Gyaku Nage. It’s like a Hyakunin Dori 百人捕 (100-man capture) who piles up opponents who come at you from the front, back, left, and right in an instant. Usage of an umbrella, handkerchief, newspaper, etc. to throw the enemy back with Gyaku Nage. Incredible! You will be allowed to learn the Okugi Hiden 奥儀秘伝 (inner mysteries) that will make you feel like you are in Yume-no-Kune 夢の国 (dreamland).

Finally, there is the handing down of medical techniques and resuscitation methods, and then there is the teaching of skills that only the masters should know from the first step (Shodan), which is passed down from generation to generation via Isshisōden 一子相伝 (direct transmission from master to student) of the Shihan Waza 師範技. For the first time, a solemn instructor approval ceremony will be held in front of the shrine.

In the case of Jukuhaku Shūgyō 塾泊修業 (private overnight training), anyone can become an honorable master after 15 or 20 days of direct instruction and will be given the ability to provide instruction anywhere in the country on the same day.

KUDEN 口伝 (oral transmission): Once you are taught the secret principles of Itte no Hi 一手の秘 and Itten no Hi 一点の秘 and other Shihan level principles, you are then shown how to apply them to all of the previous level techniques you have learned. So you revisit the techniques of Shodan through Yondan and receive direct transmission by the Soke in one-on-one Shihan training sessions.

Explanation of Hakko-ryu Jujutsu Godan Okuden Shihangi

Shinpi ni Tsutsumareru Shihan no Waza
(A Master's Techniques Shrouded In Mystery)

NOTE: In this section that explains the Shinpi 神秘 (mysteries), Okuyama Sensei states: You must use your Shinteki Sayō 心的作用 (Mental Effects), otherwise known as Kokoro no Hachō 心の波長 (Wavelengths of Your Heart), to penetrate into the opponent’s body. And you can do this at various depths of penetration during both Jujutsu techniques and during Koho Shiatsu treatments. So you must revisit the techniques of Shodan, Nidan, and Sandan and be taught how to apply this “mental wavelength”.

As a skilled teacher of the Hakkō-ryu, in order to receive the Genshuku Inka 厳粛允可 (solemn certification), one must not only receive the Higi Sōden 秘義相伝 (secret technique transmission of the art), but also train in the Shihan Waza in a private course from Shodan to Sandan, learning to apply the secret principles and Kuden 口伝 (oral transmissions) of Shihan Waza to the previous forms one has already learned.
In terms of the forms, Shihan Waza are not different from previously learned techniques, but they require a great deal of metaphysical, so-called Shinteki Sayō 心的作用 (mental effects).
When you are sitting down or standing up and your wrists are touched, the great power of performing Nage-hi 投飛 (throwing them flying), forward, backward, left, or right can be said to be a feat of formless Shinteki Sayō 心的作用 (mental effects).
Also, by the mere mental action of a Ichinen 一念 (single thought) of a rice paddy, one’s wrist can seem to weigh as much as a bale of rice, and with that strong mental influence, your Genkotsu 拳骨 (clenched fist) that hits their head or Suigetsu 水落 (solar plexus) becomes extremely painful. Therefore, if you can do this, it will be easier to receive the cutting edge of the Bokuto (wooden sword) at the Mōchō 盲腸 (cecum).
It becomes possible for me to send my Shinteki Sayō 心的作用 (mental effects), or, in other words, the Kokoro no Hachō 心の波長 (wavelengths of my mind), into the thug’s body inch by inch, and of course they are not allowed to even stand up, let alone assault me, and collapse to the ground.
When it comes to our Daihyō-waza 代表技 (signature move), “Gakun”, it (Shinteki Sayō) is much easier than learning techniques, and yet it produces immeasurable power. Here, of course, a strong expression of the Shinteki Sayō (mental effect) is most required.
The pursuit of a mysterious Higi 秘技 (secret technique) like this cannot be achieved through mere training in kata. Hakko-ryu is not a form of Saiminjutsu 催眠術 (hypnosis), nor is it Sajutsu 詐術 (the art of swindling) that attempts to deceive the opponent into believing that it can be used to one’s advantage.
When one’s life is in danger, self-defense loses its meaning unless it is immediately effective. Especially between teacher and student, in order to be a teacher for life, it is absolutely necessary to master the phenomena that cannot be perceived, that is, the metaphysical Shihan Waza. Although it is only a matter of a week’s time to pass down the Shihan Waza, every time I send a Shihan into the world, I feel as if my life has been separated from his, and my body and soul are exhausted.

If it were not accompanied by practical skills, it might not be necessary to feel that one’s life would be cut short. At the same time, it is considered impossible to fully cultivate talented teachers. In order to cultivate and inspire as many peaceful people as possible throughout the world through Hakko-ryu, I must devote myself to the activities of my alter-ego, the “Hakko-ryu Shihan.” For this reason, I earnestly aspire to the birth of a teacher, and I do not stop longing for the dawn. This is why those who remember their homeland and care for the happiness of mankind cannot help but cry out to come.

The Shinpi 神秘 "Mysteries" of Shihan Waza 師範技

Kenkō Chōju no Hiketsu 健康長寿の秘訣
(The Secret to a Long and Healthy Life)

Hakkō-ryū teaches you to abandon the strength of your shoulders and arms, no matter what technique you use. In fact, if you don’t give up, you will not only be incapable of winning or surviving through violence, but also because your Tanden 丹田 will not be active.
The Tanden is the place of life, and energy, sincerity, and all the mysteries of the path actually originate from here. The path to training Tanden is not based on medical techniques, equipment, or Seiza-ho, but only on the essence of Japanese martial arts, Hakkō-ryu. Therefore, Hakkō-ryu training is useful for preventing all kinds of diseases.
They say that premature aging begins in the joints. Training loosens the stiffness of those joints, passively stimulates the expansion and contraction of the muscles of the whole body, and immediately relieves blood pressure, gastrointestinal disorders, etc. In addition, the sharp, instantaneous sensation of pain in each technique energizes and stimulates all internal organs, reinforcing health and becoming the secret to longevity.
Also, by mastering Hakkō-ryu, all types of neuroses will be restored, and those who are short-tempered and violent will calm down and become more gentle. The timid person becomes courageous as if they were born again, and no matter how foolish they may be, they become clear-headed. A person who is indecisive will have the power to decide, like cutting off a demon’s sword, and no matter how they use it, they will develop an indescribable vitality. They also value courtesy and make their family business flourish, and no matter how sickly or unfortunate they are, they are sure to become strong and happy.
NOTE: Tanden 丹田 for most, gets referred to as one’s energetic center a small distance below your navel. However, there are multiple Tanden (lower, middle, and upper), each with its own term, that are part of a circuit (orbit) of energy that travels around in a loop in the body. So specifically here, Okuyama Sensei is making reference to the development of one’s Seika Tanden 臍下丹田.
Kenkō Chōju no Hiketsu 健康長寿の秘訣
(The Secret to a Long and Healthy Life)
Tanden 丹田 Orbit Cycle

Mokuji 目次 - Table of Contents

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