Danzan Ryu and Hawaiian Lua

Makalakumu

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Living in Hawaii, I may have the unique opportunity to train in Hawaiian Lua...that is if I could actually find a teacher. I came across this article posted on a jujutsu dojo website.

http://www.pixi.com/~mcjitsu/okazaki/article03.html


Upon first hearing that Professor Okazaki incorporated Hawaiian Lua into his system, I have been trying to find out where the lua was hidden, which techniques were of Hawaiian origin, and why these lua techniques were kept so secret. No one seemed to know where the lua was among the hundreds of techniques contained within the system Professor Okazaki called Danzan Ryu. For more than thirty years, I sought answers to these questions by searching libraries across the country and within various Hawaiian island communities. It seemed as though Hawaii, itself, had lost the mysterious art of lua, or possibly that someone or group had painstakingly combed through the public archives and removed all traces of this ancient art.

After personally interviewing several of Okazaki's former students, talking to many older generation Hawaiians, and following several leads, I was able to make contact with a lua group in the summer of 1995. A time and place was set, and I prepared to meet with these warriors who practice the ancient way of bone breaking. Acutely aware of my own limitations, I was somewhat apprehensive about our first meeting. In retrospect, my friends had voiced a sense of fear based on stories they had heard about lua. As I followed the 'olohe-lua (instructor) to a private location at the base of a rugged mountain range, foremost in my mind were stories told to me by the old Hawaiians. One tale described of how the haole (foreigner) would be invited to participate in a lua training session with an established lua group, only to discover that he would actually be the object upon which the haumana (lua disciple) would practice. Following the life and death battle, the conquered victim's bones would be "bundled" after which he would be eaten alive!

Here are the techniques that are claimed to be part of the Hawaiian art of bone breaking system.

It is believed that Professor Henry Okazaki, father of American jujitsu, learned lua in 1917 from an old Hawaiian kumu (instructor) named David Kainhee in the Puna district of Hawaii, and mastered 46 lua 'ai (bone breaking techniques). When Professor Okazaki learned lua, he undoubtedly took an oath of secrecy for it was kapu (forbidden) to reveal those techniques to anyone who did not have Hawaiian blood. This may explain why Professor Okazaki's former students could not identify specific lua found within his system. By masking the lua and not revealing it to his students, Professor Okazaki upheld his oath to his Hawaiian instructor.
It is said that Professor Okazaki became Hawaii's foremost exponent of both jiujitsu and lua during his time. He recognized the tremendous significance of Hawaiian lua and so incorporated it into his system of self defense. The lua techniques hidden within Danzan Ryu include:

  • ryote hazushi
  • yubi toi
  • katate tori
  • ryote tori
  • ryoeri tori
  • akushu kote tori
  • kubi nuki shime
  • hadaka shime ichi
  • osaegami jime
  • shidare fuji jime
  • mizukuguri
  • komiri
  • shigarami
  • tora katsugi
  • hiki otoshi
  • kin katsugi
  • hon gyaku san
  • genkotsu ude tori ichi
  • kesa nage
  • ashi shigarami
  • gyaku hayanada
  • hizaori nage
  • ebi shime
  • ushiro ebi shime
  • ushiro nage
  • kesa koroshi
  • tataki komi
  • tsukikomi dome
  • obi otoshi
  • tsurigane otoshi
  • tawara gaeshi
  • selected techniques from Shingin No Make
Accomplished Hawaiian lua artists of today readily recognize the lua contained within Professor Okazaki's techniques as listed above. It should be noted, however, that ever though the above techniques were acknowledged as lua, many of them exist within the Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Indonesian, and Mayasian systems as well. After all, katate tori is not unique to only Japanese jujitsu. It is evident that Professor Okazaki highly esteemed Hawaiian lua and I believe his system pays silent tribute to those Hawaiian warriors who developed and perfected this extraordinary art. I also believe that every student of Okazaki's system should be aware of his martial arts heritage and gratefully acknowledge both Japanese jujitsu and Hawaiian lua. To those individuals who shared the spirit of kokua with Professor Okazaki in years past, and to those who shared and helped me find the truth, I owe a debt of gratitude and a sincere mahalo.


Thoughts?
 

emiliozapata

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in early mma therewas an event call WCC, one of the competitors was named Bitonio and fought Bart Vale. He was purported to be a Kapu Kuialua artist, his instructor used to have ads in BlackBelt Magazine. Lua is out there, I guess it's just a matter of finding an instructor.
 

hkdharmon

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Go to this link and call these dojos. They might know some lua instructors. At the AJJF convention last year, I took a Lua seminar, so I know they are there, but I did not get the contact info.
If the throw a spear at you, BTW, do not run away and scream. They will have no respect for you. :)
http://www.ajjf.org/AJJF/dojos/dojoList.php#HI
 

Kembudo-Kai Kempoka

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Sig Kufferath was one of Okazaki's top students, and a major influence in introducing DZR to the mainland. He kept company with some Olohe lua. A couple of his successors have started an organization, dedicated to DZR first, then secondly to the preservation and propagation of Hawaiian arts, including Kenpo, Kempo, Lua, etc. (link at bottom).

I have trained up to kuumu lua in one org, and found it to nothing like what I learned in another course. I have seen many lua manipulations embedded in the Parker kenpo system, and have it on good authority that he gleaned lua from a couple sources, as well as from what was embedded in the DZR contributions to kenpo (William KS Chow, Parkers instructor, was presumably a 5th degree black under Okazaki).

As for differences/similarities, there are only so many directions something can be moved in. Of course things will look alike.

D.

http://www.kilohana.org/
 
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Makalakumu

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http://www.pixi.com/~mcjitsu/

This is the place that I'm checking out tomorrow. I have some familiarity with DZR so I would feel comfortable here. I'd like to see if they bring an actual lua instructor in sometimes.

Connections through the ohana. They sound like they have a good hui up there.
 
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Makalakumu

Makalakumu

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Good links. It makes you think about what "back in the day" looked like and that's really not a pretty picture. I'm glad that I can practice the use of these weapons as recreation and not have to go into battle with them and get torn up.

Even the empty hand lua techniques, if they are the techniques shown in the DZR curriculum, are nasty. You'd really need to be a in a pickle before you could do something like that otherwise you could be doing time afterward.

Does lua incorporate wrestling or some form of sub grappling?
 

Kembudo-Kai Kempoka

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Good links. It makes you think about what "back in the day" looked like and that's really not a pretty picture. I'm glad that I can practice the use of these weapons as recreation and not have to go into battle with them and get torn up.

Even the empty hand lua techniques, if they are the techniques shown in the DZR curriculum, are nasty. You'd really need to be a in a pickle before you could do something like that otherwise you could be doing time afterward.

Does lua incorporate wrestling or some form of sub grappling?

As a system proper, no. However, many lua practitioners have taken to Judo in the earlier days, and BJJ more recently as complementary mediums to gain practice with position recognition. In some lineages, there are wrestling drills, practices to setup, but not sub. Has to do with the relative finality of a lua sub...joints start rolling out of place, etc.

Gotta picture a bunch of grizzled old pukes, lacking a way to spar, but with some very cool weapons to practice with. The along comes escrima, gives them a way to use their stuff in a toned down manner. Or lacking a way to drill resistance training to holds; then along comes judo first, then BJJ. Depending on the instructor and the lineage, some welcome the changes and opportunities, some consider it a horrible watering down of their traditions and "advocate firmly" against it, excommunicating and disavowing all practitioners who mix.

King Kamehameha was a lua wiz. So to many in the indeginous rights movement and culture, something he did shouldoughta be passed down in pristine form. Trouble is, practice in the islands has become so infused by so many sources for such a long time, it's hard to say what "true" lua is, or was.

Emilio pointed out an old "lua" challenger in an MMA matchup, early-mid '90's. I remember watching the guy in the prefight...what he was doing was not lua. Not in any form I had ever seen it before. He was doing Muay Thai kickboxing, running hills, showing ground and pound from mount position while his trainer held the focus mitts for him. He may have trained in lua, but that wasn't it they were showing.
 
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Makalakumu

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Dave - with all of the mixing, how can you tell a real lua lineage from a fake one?
 

Kembudo-Kai Kempoka

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Dave - with all of the mixing, how can you tell a real lua lineage from a fake one?

I've been tied up by some top notch Silat guys. Which feels very much like Lua, and very different from jujutsu or chin na.

Lua lockups have a distinct feel of attacking multiple joints at the same time...feels like if you sneeze, you'll break in about 5 places.

If someone taps out of a katate dori ich, all I have to do is let go. There's more entwining in the lua entanglements...once they submit, we both have to unwind from the position with ease and caution, or something may snap. Simply releasing my grip ain't enough to let them gather themselves and walk away. Little tricky to get to at times, but the entries will feel a lot like basic jujutsu entries (as if you're heading for a katate dori), but will end differently (halfway to the katate dori tap, switch here, twist there, put your foot over there, and viola! You have him bordering on breaks at the neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist, knee and ankle, while completely off-balanced and afraid to move!).

The feeling IN the controls, and the careful maneuvering it takes to get out of them...very distinct. Wether they do it with a large wooden spork, a club with a length of cord attached, or their bare hands...feels much the same once you're in it. Hosed. Only used a lua maneuver one time, and released as soon as I felt the guys elbow start to disarticulate. Kinduva oogy feeling, and more than a little unnerving. I think of Lua like I think of nuclear arsenals...good to have, but best left for drastic measures.

In many lua techs, the lockup is one part. Striking the guy "thusly tied up with his own limbs", or throwing him to the ground, provides the impetus for exploding the stretched or compressed joints. Twist here, tuck there, brace this against that, then hit 'em. The hit or throw is the last little stretch that disarticulates the joints and long bones. And when you're the practice dummy, you'll feel it.

If they have you set up for one that requires a throw, your primitive animal brain will communicate with your jujittie edumacated mind just long enough to realize the amount of damage you'd take from a throw or release, and the singular thought, "Please...in the name of all that's holy, don't drop me" crosses your mind over and over like a Hindu mantra. If the technique involves the super-spork or one of the other weapons, you won't need an education...you think you're cruising along fine, until staring at a big fork right in front of your eyes, with no free hands to parry, block, check, whatever; and no lower body degrees of freedom to move away with. Again, "hosed" crosses the mind. That, and a healthy respect for the last thing many a losing Hawaiian warrior saw just before the lights went out.

One elementary drill had someone in something that looked a little like ikkajo. Instead of kneeling on the back of the upper arm & elbow, however, you braceed your foot against it, while the other shin was interwoven with the shoulder and neck. You know the ripping up motion used to break a thin branch for firewood? Both arms pull to center chest, while the length of wood is fulcrumed under the bracing foot-on-the-ground? The joints were arranged so there was prior tension on the wrist (in a locked position), the elbow (hyper-extended), and the shoulder & neck. The arms didn't rip up, as much as the foot stomped downwards on the back of the elbow (which was elevated approx 8 inches from the ground), effectively breaking everything in the chain that had tension on it. Great stuff, but not for the feint of heart.

Hope that helps.
 
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Makalakumu

Makalakumu

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Thanks for the information. We'll see how it all goes. First class was tonight. Some interesting changes to Yawara, but nothing that I could pick out as Lua.
 

punisher73

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in early mma therewas an event call WCC, one of the competitors was named Bitonio and fought Bart Vale. He was purported to be a Kapu Kuialua artist, his instructor used to have ads in BlackBelt Magazine. Lua is out there, I guess it's just a matter of finding an instructor.

There was also a Kuialua person in UFC 6, John Matua that fought against Tank Abbott. It ended up as a highlight reel because Tank knocked him out so fast in the beginning and Matua's body went rigid. I remember them really hyping that fight and the "art of bone breaking".


Link for the fight
 
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b.monki

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i lived in california all my life and being hawaiian and california being littered with hawaiians its easy to find a school in california and know theres some schools in arizona but i think its more of a west coast thing... easy to find a school in the islands... i always wanted to learn it and learn how to fight with those wooden paddles with the shark teeth and that whole mysterious folding of the human body, lua is known as the "bone breaking art" they would trick people in old days into going to the schools and then practice there human body folding technique (forgot the name of the technique) where they would break certain bones in certain spots to literally fold the human body for intimidation factor during wars with other tribes and invaders... i read it in an okazaki biography online... supposedly he was scared as hell into going to the school to learn for that reason but took a chance anyway...
 
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