As a new student, you will begin learning a set of 21 waza or traditional forms. These waza are learned and practiced in two person partner groups. All waza are based on ancient Takeda Clan Samurai defenses. Our founder, Ryuho Okuyama, adapted the lethal unarmed combat techniques into humane but effective self-defense techniques. We use several wrist-locks to inflict sufficient pain and control of an attacker. Waza helps students refine their technique to be able to perform them on much larger attackers with a minimum use of energy.
By isolating the techniques with traditional waza, students can perfect these wrist-locks for use in henka (street self-defense situations). All students begin by studying the 21 waza associated with the 1st degree black belt requirements. By gaining increased mastery of these waza in addition to a repertoire of henka, the student will achieve belt promotions up to and including the rank of Shodan (1st degree black belt). After receiving the rank of Shodan, a new set of waza must be learned and mastered for the next rank.
Since all the techniques in Hakko Denshin Ryu are based on natural, easy to learn body movements, it is possible for a new student to progress quickly through the ranks with adequate practice. This enables all students to learn to defend themselves against much larger opponents with relatively few sessions on the mat.