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Kodenkan Yudanshakai

History of the Kodenkan Yudanshakai

In Hawaii, 1949, a young man was presented his "Danzan Ryu Mokuroku" (teacher's scroll) of Danzan-ryu Jujutsu by his first teacher of the martial arts, Professor Henry Seishiro Okazaki. The young man was directed to perpetuate the teachings of Professor Okazaki. That young man was Joseph Holck.

Joe Holck came to Tucson in 1964 at the request of his brother, Roy A. Holck; second degree black belt in Jujutsu, to continue the Jujutsu school (Kodenkan of Tucson) founded by Roy Holck in 1962. The arts of Judo and Karate were already well established as sports in the Tucson Valley. Roy Holck felt that Jujutsu, as taught to him by his brother, had something more to offer than the medals and trophies earned in competition and combative sports.

Danzan-ryu as translated and interpreted by Joseph Holck means in a deeper sense "steps to greater heights." The system teaches the student to think beyond the achievement of higher ranks in the martial arts. Instead, the student learns to develop and grow throughout the steps in life itself.

To quote Professor Okazaki, the founder of Danzan-ryu Jujutsu, "The fundamental principle acquired through the practice of Jujutsu has been elevated to a finer moral concept, the way to gentleness. It may well be said then that the primary objective of practicing Jujutsu is perfection of character. Danzan-ryu Jujutsu teaches the student the importance of one's religion, earth and nature, love of parents and family, respect for teachers and to live in harmony with society.” These concepts have been introduced to thousands of students, both children and adults, since the Kodenkan of Tucson was established in 1962.

The original school grew into an organization, also founded by Joseph Holck and his family in 1967, and is known as the Kodenkan Yudanshakai, "School of the Ancient Tradition Black Belt Society". Today, the Kodenkan Yudanshakai has well over 100 black belts promoting the concepts of Professor Okazaki throughout the United States.

In 1994, Joseph Holck Dai Shihan retired from active teaching and appointed his son, Vinson, to oversee the running of the organization.  In 2012, the Kodenkan Yudanshakai promoted Vinson Holck to the rank of 10th Dan, and invested him with the title of Dai-Shihan.

In March of 2013, the Kodenkan Yudanshakai was incorporated  as a 501.3.c non-profit, governed by a  Board of Directors.  The Boards primary function is to support the dojos and Instructors of the organization in their mission to perpetuate the esoteric principles of Professor Okazaki and the traditions of the KDK. 

Originally, the principles of Professor Okazaki were taught through Danzan-ryu Jujutsu.  Joseph Holck Dai Shihan felt that these principles could be perpetuated in other martial arts as well. Today, almost 70 years after he received his "Danzan Ryu Mokuroku", the principles of Professor Okazaki are also taught in Shorin Ryu Karatedo, Matsuno Ryu Goshinjitsu, Matsuno Kajukenbo Kai, Praying Mantis Boxing Kung Fu, Batto-Do, Kodenkan Bokkendo and Shukokai Karate by instructors who believe as Dai Shihan Holck did, that the development of a contributing member of society is more important than any trophy or championship.


Affiliate organizations

The Kodenkan Yudanshakai holds affiliate relationships with the following martial arts organizations:


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