Shoden - Beginning Teachings

Printed with permission from Professor Dennis Estes who attributes the source of these principles to his teachers.

    • Yawara - Techniques of Gentleness  

    Yawara can be translated many different ways, but its primary translation is "soft." Yawara was also an older name for Jujitsu. Our Yawara list consists of twenty techniques using principles of pry, leverage, fulcrum; and more esoteric applications such as circular motion, blending into aggression, etc.. This list has its roots in a style of Aikijitsu known as Daito Ryu Aikijitsu. Today it stands alone as a list because Okazaki took these original types of techniques and organized then into his own particular progression and corresponding meaning. It is said that Jujitsu begins and ends with Yawara. Well, this is very true, and for a lot of reasons. One of the more obvious is that it teaches you anatomical knowledge which is an absolute must in Jujitsu. Yawara also proves that knowledge or technique will win out against strength. Knowing how to apply a lock and also to release that hold again is an absolute must in Jujitsu. Yawara, as it is given to you, is just a fundamental list. The variations thereof are somewhere in the thousands. Aikido is also a system of completely composed of Yawara. If you can master the list of Yawara, you've mastered half of DanZan Ryu Jujitsu. The other half consists of Nage No Kata; and in combining the two lists, you actually have a complete system of Jujitsu. As for "Ki", this list bears out the theory that internal strength is superior and that proper application of natural motion will release the energy that exists inside of you. Therefore, we can say that Yawara develops Ki.

    • Nage Te - Throwing Techniques 

    THROW-WITH-FORM or Throwing Forms--meaning forms of doing throws in their  proper sequence and effect. This is the way Master Okazaki introduced and taught basic throwing techniques. It is important to remember Kata is the formal way to announce this list. You may call the arts wazas or techniques. Okazaki taught them in a formal manner to orient you properly. As you gain control, you begin to understand the principles and actions behind these arts. Also, Okazaki's system is an internal system in that he wished you to investigate your mind, feelings, and intent as you do these arts. In this way we discipline our body and mind. Therefore, we can say this list introduces the important concepts of self-control. Study these thoughts and feelings each and every time you do Jujitsu wazas.

    • Shime Te - Constriction Techniques 

    Okazaki designed the boards so you went from pins to chokes to arm bars (Oku). In these arts you must learn to use your whole body. Your legs and arms, hips back, even toes must be used cohesively. You must apply your strength in the form of relaxation which means you must not concentrate it. Rather you must distribute it according to the action taken against you, or the attack you're mounting. Apply your strength "rhythmically." This is the attitude learned in this board. This means being able to move continuously to prevent the opponent from getting loose. You must move freely so you will be able to use your motion, balance, leverage to your greatest advantage. Some pins require tensing. You must tense in your lower abdomen for power. If you feel you are not in a strong position in your attempt for a hold or when in one, remain steadfast and calm as a new opening will show. If your opponent had you in a pin, attack his weak points and use ALL parts of your body: elbows, hips, toes, fingers, etc.. Conserve energy! Don't be wasteful in your movements. Be patient and trust your technical knowledge. Don't force openings. This is contrary to the principle of "ju." But also know when to strike! Again, it is most important to be able to shift from technique to technique. Only when you can do this will you be able to understand Shime and some of the subtler moves of Jujitsu. 

    • Yonenbu no Kata - Children's Forms

                    Need to add material for this section and also the lists in sub pages