In recent years there have been many students of Danzan Ryu researching the history and teachings of Master Henry Okazaki. Many questions about his teaching and life have gone unanswered and will probably never be fully uncovered. Master Okazaki taught different special classes to his different black belt students at different times during the 1930s and 1940s. We will probably never completely know who was taught and what was taught in these special classes.
Not all of his black belt students received the exact same training. Master Okazaki took this opportunity to test out his arts and work the bugs out before they were taught to general classes. We need to remember that during these years the curriculum of Danzan Ryu was a work-in-progress. What Master Okazaki taught in the 1930s was not totally the same as what he taught in the 1940s and, if he were alive today, I'm sure it would be even more different.
Another example of an 'unofficial list' is the arts of Bokendo. During the 1930s Master Okazaki taught his arts of Bokendo to John Cahill, Sonny Chang, Markham Spencer and Bill Montero. Even though these arts are very combat effective they take a considerable amount of practice time to learn and perfect. It was too time consuming for Master Okazaki to teach Bokendo and jujitsu/judo so it was never entered into the general curriculum of his dojo. Professor Montero revived his Bokendo training in the 1960s and it became a part of the Pacific Judo Academy curriculum. It appears that the others who were taught Bokendo by Master Okazaki never passed these arts on. Brian Fitzgerald, Vincent Holck, Greg Braze and I were taught all of the Danzan Ryu Bokendo arts by Professor Montero. Bokendo is not part of the kata curriculum of any Danzan Ryu organization. As with Nage No Kata II, Shime No Kata II and Oku No Kata II, there is no official list or documentation of Bokendo being taught. Does this mean these arts were never studied and taught by Master Okazaki? Professor Montero did not make up the arts he passed on to his students and he ALWAYS gave credit for these arts to his sensei, Master Okazaki.
The standardization of kata is necessary for the validation of rank promotions and for every sensei and Danzan Ryu organization to evaluate the progress of students and to preserve the ryu according to their own interpretation of kata as passed on to them by their sensei. Many of the different black belts that were taught by Master Okazaki received a different spin or variation of many of the Danzan Ryu arts. They all are valid and should not be dismissed as not being the 'official' arts of the ryu. I encourage all students of Danzan Ryu to keep an open mind and to learn every art, kata and variation they can find.
I visited Professor Montero at his home in Colorado Springs four days prior to his passing. While there I made a promise to my sensei that I would do my best to pass on to others what he had taught to me and in the spirit and love in which it was given to me.
The arts that were given to me are mine to give to others. The arts that were given to me are not for sale at any price. The arts that were given to me are not intended for those who would abuse or misuse them. All I ask of anyone whom I teach is that you train hard with an open mind and an open heart.
To understand, respect and accept each other is part of the spirit of Ohana.
Robert McKean Hachidan – Pacific Jujitsu Alliance Hachidan – Kilohana Martial Arts Association Godan – American Judo & Jujitsu Federation Yodan – Kodenkan Yudanshakai Sandan – American Jujitsu Institute
This list is an intermediate level list as is the 'basic board' of Oku No Kata. The arts in Oku No Kata II continue the sprit of the basic board as they combine different arts and principles of self defense. Oku No Kata II seems to blend and flow into Shinin No Maki.
Shime No Kata II as taught by Professor Montero
Kesa Jime Hiza Gatame Okuri Eri Jime Kata Ha Jime Sode Tori Jime Yama Kobushi Yoko Kesa Jime Ushiro Kesa Jime Ashi Kibisu Gatame Ryote Ashi Jime Ushiro Osaegami Jime Kawazu Wakare Kubi Shiho Gatame Juji Gatame 'B' Kote Jime 'B' Ryote Hadaka Jime 'A' Ryote Hadaka Jime 'B' Hadari Waki Gatame Migi Waki Gatame Yoko Ude Garami Ago Oshi Mizu Guruma Hiza Otoshi Ushiro Sankaku Gatame Tatsumaki Jime 'B'
Shime No Kata II
The 'basic board' of Shime No Kata includes a number of Kodokan Judo Shime Waza arts and combative jujitsu arts. As with Nage No Kata, Shime No Kata is a foundation list of the Danzan Ryu system. Shime No Kata Il is a continuation of Shime No Kata. Arts like Juji Gatame 'B,' Kote Jime 'B,' Tatsumaki Jime 'B,' Ushiro Sankaku Gatame and Kubi Shiho Gatame expand on the same arts as taught on the basic board of Shime No Kata. Other arts such as Okuri Eri Jime and Kata Ha Jime come from Kodokan Judo.
Nage No Kata II as taught by Professor Montero
O Soto Gari Tai Otoshi Uki Goshi Koshi Guruma Ude Seoi Nage Sukui Nage Kata Guruma 'A' Kata Guruma 'B' Morote Tai Otoshi Morote Kote Seoi Nage Ushiro Goshi Nage Kote Katsugi Nage Tora Tai Otoshi Ashi Guruma Momiji Tsurikomi Goshi Yama Arashi 'B' Hiza Gake Ushiro Koho Otoshi Soto Ashi Gaka O Uchi Gari
Nage No Kata II
The 'basic board' of Nage No Kata is a foundation list of the Danzan Ryu system. Master Okazaki's exposure to Kodokan Judo can be seen in this list. Arts such as O Goshi, Seoi Nage, Harai Goshi, Hane Goshi, Makikomi, Tomoe Nage and others are almost identical to the basic throws of Kodokan Judo. Each art on the basic board of Nage No Kata emphasizes a different principal of balance, leverage, position and execution of technique. This basic list only scratches the surface of the many different throwing arts of judo and jujitsu. One would find it hard to believe that Master Okazaki would only leave us with 20 throwing arts. It can be argued that this is where Nage No Kata II comes in, a continuation of the basic board.
Like the basic board, there are a number of basic Kodokan Judo throws in Nage No Kata II. This include O Soto Gari, Tai Otoshi, Sukui Nage, Hiza Gake and O Uchi Gari. It is interesting that Nage No Kata ends with Yama Arashi being the only art on the list that is taken from a striking attack. The rest of the throws are taken from a static kata position. I'm sure this is because the basic principles must be learned before they are applied to an aggressive striking attack. Why is Yama Arashi the last art on the basic board? Is it the transition art from Nage No Kata to Nage No Kata II? Some of the throwing arts in Nage No Kata II are also taken from a static kata position but most are taken from an aggressive strike or grab. It can be argued that Nage No Kata II is a continuation of throwing arts that complement those of the basic board of Nage No Kata and includes additional basic throwing principles (kata) and throws from aggressive attacks.
The origin and existence of these lists has been somewhat controversial as no official list or documentation of these lists has ever been found. Nage No Kata II, Shime No Kata II and Oku No Kata II are recognized and taught as a part of the standard curriculum of the Pacific Jujitsu Alliance, an organization dedicated to preserving and passing on the Danzan Ryu Jujitsu arts as taught by Professor Montero. Nage No Kata II, Shime No Kata II and Oku No Kata II are not part of the kata curriculum of the American Judo & Jujitsu Federation or any other Danzan Ryu organization. It has never been my intention, or the intention of my students, to force these arts onto other Kodenkan/Danzan Ryu organizations, but only to make them available to those who wish to learn them in the spirit in which they were taught by Professor Montero.
I will now explain how I obtained these lists and how their origin was explained to me by Professor Montero:
Professor Montero began his study of judo in Waipahu, Hawaii in the early 1930s. In 1935 he began his study of Danzan Ryu Jujitsu which lasted until he relocated to the mainland in 1948.
In 1974 I became a student at the Pacific Judo Academy in San Jose, California under Professor Montero. My training in the arts of Kodenkan/Danzan Ryu under Professor Montero's supervision lasted until his passing in 1992. During brown and black belt classes in 1978 and 1979 I was introduced to a number of arts that were later revealed to me as being 'Nage No Kata II' and 'Shime No Kata II'.
According to Professor Montero, Master Okazaki had begun to work toward expanding his system to include additional arts to the 'basic boards' that were already standardized and were being taught to his students. The plan was to have a continuation list for each of the basic boards. During the early and mid 1940s Professor Montero had been invited to a number of special classes by Master Okazaki in which these arts were practiced and finalized. During this time many of these additional arts were introduced and practiced in regular dojo classes but were not referred to as 'official' arts of the ryu. When Master Okazaki became ill, he was forced to abandon further work on standardizing and presenting these continued boards. In 1984 Professor Montero gave me the lists of Nage No Kata II and Shime No Kata II that he had obtained from his training with Master Okazaki. The names of these arts were matched up, by Professor Montero, to the arts that I had been taught in 1978 and 1979.
My good friend and jujitsu mentor, Bob Krull, had been a student of Professor Montero during the 1950s and early 1960s. It was not until after the passing of Professor Montero that Bob and I compared our notebooks and discussed what had been taught to us by Professor Montero. I found that Bob also had the same Nage No Kata II and Shime No Kata II that I had but he also had a list named Oku No Kata II which I did not have. Bob explained to me that he was told basically the same story about the continuation of the basic boards by Professor Montero as I was told but while Nage No Kata II and Shime No Kata II had been completed, Oku No Kata II was an unfinished list that contained only 23 arts instead of 25 like the basic board of Oku No Kata. Bob taught me, and a select number of my black belts, the arts of Oku No Kata II as he had learned them from Professor Montero. After Bob Krull's passing in 2004, I was given custody of his Kodenkan/Danzan Ryu Jujitsu notebooks.
In the mid 1990's, I began to teach the arts of "Nage No Kata II", "Shime No Kata II" and "Oku No Kata II" as they had been shown to me by my sensei, Professor William L. Montero, Sr. I have taught these arts/lists to my students and other students of Danzan Ryu Jujitsu who desire to learn them.