Judo is a modern martial art created in Japan in 1882 by Jigoro Kano. Judo is based on the principles of Jujutsu and has three basic categories of techniques; throwing techniques, grappling techniques, and striking techniques. Central to Kano’s vision for judo were the principles of seiryoku zenyo (maximum efficiency, minimum effort) and jita kyoei (mutual welfare and benefit). He was convinced that the practice of judo techniques that conformed to these ideals was a route to self-improvement and the betterment of society in general.
In Judo, developing one’s technique through contest is a hallmark of each student’s journey. In a judo contest, the object is to either throw or takedown one’s opponent, immobilize or otherwise subdue one’s opponent. While Kano was not opposed to Judo being taught as a sport, Kano was primarily interested in the physical development of students as it related to their ability to translate these physical lessons to all aspects of their life. As such, the vast majority of Kano’s time spent teaching judo and in his writings were on society at large, the development of moral character and the benefit of judo study to both of them.
Hapkido is a dynamic and also eclectic Korean martial art. It is a form of self-defense that employs throwing, joint-locks, chokes and immobilization techniques, as well as kicks, punches, and other striking attacks. Hapkido is most often translated as “the way of coordinating energy,” “the way of coordinated power,” or “the way of harmony.”
Hapkido is a relatively modern martial art which developed in Korea after the Japanese occupation, and is the most misunderstood of the martial arts. While Choi Yong-Sul is credited with being the “Founder” of Hapkido, several martial arts masters brought together training from Aikijujitsu, Aikido, Judo and ChungDoKwan TaeKwonDo to form the all inclusive art. These practitioners were responsible for both adding diversity and depth to the techniques of Hapkido, as well as introducing the art to Seoul.
Although Hapkido incorporates striking, the focus of the art is to control violent behavior by subduing the aggressor through arm bars and locks. Because of this approach, Hapkido is the preferred defense tactics of military and police professionals as well as any job requiring the possibility of dealing with physical threats and confrontation. While not difficult to learn, Hapkido contains a complex set of offensive and defensive movements.
Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba and derives mainly from the martial art of Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu. Considered the non-violent martial art of Japan, Aikido is a magnificent art that is awe inspiring for students as well as spectators.
Ueshiba’s goal when forming Aikido was to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury. As such, Aikido’s focus is unbalancing an opponent, where he can either be thrown or controlled with a joint lock or pin. Aikido also includes the use of weapons such as the sword, staff and knife. While Aikido has very little striking, it is an effective defensive system utilizing circular movements flexibility, active footwork, balance and timing.
The focus of Aikido training is the student’s awareness of their internal strength, movement, balance and centering of the breath under stressful situations. Students are also trained to understand the meaning of working together as well as to learn to focus. Students who train seriously in Aikido see improvement in their personal and professional lives and in their physical conditioning as well as develop an enhanced self-confidence.
TaeKwonDo is the most practiced martial art in the world and the national sport of South Korea. TaeKwonDo is a linear, hard-style Korean martial art which emphasizes punching, kicking and blocking techniques combined with mental focus, self-discipline and integrity. In Korean, tae means “to strike or break with foot”; kwon means to “strike or break with fist”; and do means “way”, “method” or “path.” Thus TaeKwonDo may be loosely translated as “the way of the hand and the foot.”
There are two main branches of TaeKwonDo development. “Traditional TaeKwonDo” typically refers to the martial art as it was established in the 1950’s and 1960’s in the South Korean military, and in various civilian organizations, including schools and universities. “Sport TaeKwonDo” has developed in the decades since the 1950’s and has a different focus especially in terms of its emphasis on speed and competition. TaeKwonDo has officially been an Olympic Sport since 2000.
At Pacific Rim students train in the Chung Do Kwan style of TaeKwonDo. Chung Do Kwan is a traditional style of TaeKwonDo and the most highly regarded style in Korea. Chung Do Kwan concentrates more on self-defense applications that with competition oriented techniques.
At Pacific Rim Martial Arts Academy, we teach Sosuishi-ryu Jujutsu. Sosuishi-ryu is famous for its close combat techniques and has been in existence for more than 350 years, making it one of the oldest remaining hereditary-ryu in Japan. The history of SJJK began in 1532 in a small town of Okayama, and was developed based on five principles of self-defense. The techniques are both simple and complicated and require years of dedication to learn.
Sosuishi-ryu has a rich connection with Kodokan Judo. The 15th inheritor, Shitama Shusaku attained an 8th Dan in Kodokan Judo and insisted that his students attain a black belt in judo before being permitted to study Jujutsu. This was done in order for the students to prove their loyalty and dedication before they were allowed to learn the deadly art of Sosuishi-ryu Jujutsu Kai.
The 48 katas of Sosuishi-ryu Jujutsu Kai are the last remaining link to the history of Sosuishiryu. Advance sword training required the learning of the Sosuishi-ryu Jujutsu sword katas. Because the study of kata requires both physical and mental discipline, the kata is the student’s path to becoming a complete, true martial artist.