The Kodenkan Judo of Master Okazaki

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Overview to Kodenkan Judo and Jujitsu

The Esoteric Instructions - Outline

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Dan Zan Ryu is based upon the Oriental philosophy of "Perfection of Character".

A.) Sutemi vs. Munen Musow

1.) The system begins with Sutemi and "ends" with Munen Musow.

a.) Sutemi is based upon two words; Sute - to abandon; and Mi - body. Together they mean to abandon the mind / body.

b.) Munen Musow are comprised of the prefix Mu, which is to negate. Nen means mind; Sow means body / posture. The meaning then is "without thoughts / without posture".

2.) Sutemi and Munen Musow are Conceptual Equivalents.

3.) Munen Musow is the Buddhist concept for freedom from all extraneous forces and is the basic state for entering enlightenment. It is also equivalent to Mushin.

B.) The Yudansha Arts are primarily Arts of Spiritual Growth (within the Oriental framework of thought).

1.) The precursor to the "Shin" Arts is Kiai No Maki.

a.) It is the only list before the Okuden to be called a scroll - the same as the "Shin" lists.

b.) The list stresses both external (Kiai) and internal (Aiki) energy. When one inhales, one is breathing in a portion of the Cosmic Energy (Ki), and when one exhales, one is releasing a portion of one's Ki. The action of inhaling and exhaling is called Rhythm.

c.) Ki is the animating force of Shin. It needs to be developed in parallel; otherwise the Spirit will not grow.

2.) Ki is the basis for understanding the Yudansha lists.

a.) Timing of Kiai and Aiki is paramount to proper execution of the Arts.

b.) An understanding of basic Rhythm is a prerequisite to correct execution.

c.) Maintaining a Positive Spirit enhances and augments one's Ki.

3.) The Kiai list according to the Mokuroku is titled Kiai No Maki; Ku Den. This may be translated as follows:

a.) The Scroll of Kiai; Oral Tradition.

b.) The Scroll of Kiai according to the Oral Tradition.

C.) What is this "Oral Tradition".

1.) It is the tradition which accompanied each scroll and spoke to the meaning or hidden teaching to be found.

2.) It is Buddhist in nature, but borrows extensively from Taoism.

3.) It is the tradition that cultivation of a Way begins with negating Self.

D.) Meaning of the Yudansha lists.

1.) Shinin - Spiritual Rhythm or Rhythm of the Spirit. Shinyo – Yang Spirit. Shinjin - Spirit Man (True Man).

a.) All begin with the Prefix Shin denoting Spirit.

b.) Spirit is the conceptual equivalent to Character.

1.) Master Okazaki stated that training in the Martial Arts leads to Perfection of Character.

2.) The Spirit Man = True Man of Taoist Literature. It is a person who is of Perfect Character – someone who is in harmony with Heaven, Earth and Man.

2.) After providing the name of the scroll to be practiced, Prof. Estes would then have the class do the related ceremonial bow. He then introduced each list with a brief talk as to the meaning of the scroll (Oral Tradition).

a.) Kiai No Maki is the scroll where one learns the proper use of Kiai without which success in the advanced Arts is impossible.

b.) Shinin is the scroll where one is to learn to get in Rhythm with the movements of one's partner; to blend and flow with these movements; and at the right time execute the technique. As Shin~Ki, this Rhythm of the Spirit can be expressed as Rhythm of breathing.

c.) Shinyo is the scroll where one is told it is imperative to maintain silence while practicing these Arts. This is also called Meditation in Activity.

d.) Shinjin is the scroll of the "Great Man" (Spirit Man, “Christ-like” Man, True Man).

e.) After the introduction to each scroll beginning with Kiai No Maki, Prof. Estes urged his students to take this new teaching and apply it to all the Arts learned to that point in time and to all future Arts.

E.) The Esoteric Principles state that "within movement there is stillness and within stillness there is movement."

1.) This is believed to be from the following quote: "The stillness in stillness is not the real stillness; only when there is stillness in movement can the spiritual rhythm appear which pervades heaven and earth."

a.) Another way of saying the above is: "The stillness in meditation is not the real stillness; only when there is meditation in movement can the spiritual rhythm appear which pervades heaven and earth."

b.) Still another way: "The quietude in repose is not real meditation; only when there is Shinyo in activity can the Shinin appear which pervades heaven and earth."

2). Shinyo is equivalent to that attitude and posture one adopts in the performance of Kata - Meditating in Activity.

3). Shinin is the perfect execution of technique where Uke has no fore knowledge of the defense.

a.) It is being in tune with one's breathing and with the breathing of one's partner / opponent.

b.) It is the ability to take advantage of one's partner / opponent's breathing.

c.) One is weakest while inhaling and strongest while exhaling; to feel one's partner / opponent breathing and take advantage of his weakness is Shinin.

F.) Shinjin does not properly belong to the central system that begins with Sutemi and ends properly with Munen Musow of Shinyo.

1.) The founders of the AJ&JF stressed that Shinjin is a list which is set aside - to be taught to only a very few individuals. Rank is not a guarantee that one will be taught this list.

2.) Qualities of character for learning this list were emphasized as a precondition for consideration; that is they might become candidates to learning; however, there was no guarantee.

a.) Individuals must be trustworthy, dedicated, and undeceiving.

b.) Individuals must be of good moral character; integrity beyond reproach.

c.) Individuals must demonstrate a certain quality recognized only by the Masters prior to being taught.

3.) Individuals of suspect character were not to be taught these Arts under any circumstance.

4.) Conclusion - only those individuals who demonstrate the qualities of Shinjin may be taught.

G.) Possible errors / interpolations.

1.) Shinyo is not superior to Shinin.

a.) For perfecting one's technique, understanding that "stillness in movement" is prerequisite for perfect execution. That is Shinyo is necessary for Shinin.

2.) The "secrets" are not the lists.

a.) Being in repose while flowing with the movements of one's partner / opponent is the secret to success in the Martial Arts.

b.) This secret can be applied to all activity, not just Judo or the Martial Arts.

c.) This is the secret spoken of as: "Emptying the self, one enters into the realm of dispassion and openheartedness, and for the first time is able to comprehend the secret art of benefiting both oneself and others in perfect harmony."

H.) Areas consistent with Oriental philosophy.

1.) Only bits and pieces of the underlying principles concerning success were taught at any time.

2.) Much was left to the student to work / play with in learning, thus there would by many "little" enlightenments along the path of study.

3.) Only when the student needed help after much struggle would one of the "little" secrets to execution be taught.

4.) It is understood that a student absorbs only a little that is given, therefore it is necessary to give only a "little" more.

5.) Exposition of the system was left for the disciples. They would be the inheritors of the system and to them the full meaning would be taught.

a.) No guarantees that it would be fully absorbed; therefore there must be several disciples to teach.

b.) No guarantees that it would be fully propagated in any case.

c.) Exposition is the oral transmission, the hidden meanings to the Arts.

I.) Shinyo in not an "advanced" list. The student is matured / developed / advanced. Shinyo is comprised of both techniques and mnemonics. The mnemonics are identified as follows:

1.) Sennin Gake means both "Wizard on a precipice" and "To defeat a gang".

a.) The Sennin is one who has attained Mushin consciousness and then separates himself from society.

b.) Because of this advanced state of spiritual development, the Sennin is capable of defeating a gang as if they were but one opponent; because to the Sennin they are but as one.

2.) Ryuko means "Dragon fighting Tiger". Dragon is a metaphor for all the good qualities one may possess, while Tiger is all the negative qualities. Thus, to defeat the Tiger is to recognize all those positive qualities inherent within oneself and propel them to the forefront (or to achieve balance between the two).

3.) Tori Nirami / Kiai Tori are Arts that further develop one's Ki (Vital Energy).

a.) Only with years of training in learning proper breathing, postureand concentration can development of Ki be furthered.

b.) Proper Tori Nirami is not possible without Mushin consciousness, but provides one additional technique for overcoming the final hurdle of throwing away "that last thought".

4.) Senryu Tome is comprised of both techniques and oral tradition. It properly means "To anticipate and stop aggression." (Senryu = martial tactics; Tome = stop).

a.) The techniques are those one has already mastered, such as pivots, parries, etc. The Art is often taught as kicks; however, these too are taught much earlier.

b.) Senryu (defensive tactics) occur at the moment that one's opponent thinks of attacking and before the opponent is able to execute the attack. This interval is called "Suki".

1.) Due to the development of breathing / posture / concentration / Ki one has attained a level of discernment to recognize these Sukis.

2.) Having learned to blend with one's opponent; having mastered Kiai; having mastered Aiki; one is able to thwart the actions of an opponent as if by "sleigh of hand"; that is often times without any physical confrontation occurring. This is called mastery over others.

5.) Munen Musow means to be free of thoughts / without “posture”.

a.) This is equal to Mushin consciousness.

b.) Without thoughts / without “posture” refer to that stage of development where an opponent tries to attack and one is not there. A spontaneous pivot - and the opponent's energy is wasted.

c.) It also refers to that mental state where one freely moves in defense without hesitation. One just does-!

d.) This is the prerequisite for Enlightenment, or attainment of the True Spirit. This is called mastery over self.


1990, 2002, 2009 David A. Scheid, All Rights Reserved

Prepared by: David A. Scheid