Since 1978 Jujitsu America has been an innovative leader within not only jujitsu, but also the entire martial arts community. The founding of Jujitsu America began with the belief that martial arts should be dynamic, fluid, changing and evolving with the times, while always preserving the integrity of the arts and honoring the rich traditions of the past.
The founders of Jujitsu America envisioned an organization that would bring martial artists from diverse backgrounds together, providing each with an opportunity to share, learn, develop, try new ideas, expand, and grow as martial artists and as people.
Kodenkan Jujitsu has always been the core art of Jujitsu America. It is the foundation upon which the founders and members of Jujitsu America have built and continue to develop the organization, and the forum through which these people have shared their ideas and knowledge in a wide variety of martial arts. As a comprehensive and diverse art, Kodenkan Jujitsu is unique. It allows the practitioner to develop a broad range of skills in several complementary areas including throwing, grappling, constrictions, joint-locking, punching, kicking, striking, nerve techniques, weaponry, restorative massage, and resuscitation. In addition, there are mental and meditative aspects of the art, plus the philosophical base as defined by the founder, Professor Henry Seishiro Okazaki, in his Esoteric Principles of Judo. Each practitioner can focus in any preferred areas and further develop those skills, or simply enhance other areas that need attention in order to become better and more well-rounded martial artists. Because of this diverse nature, it is natural for practitioners of Kodenkan Jujitsu to train in other arts, in order to bring more concentration to the particular discipline of interest. In fact, it was in this spirit that Professor Okazaki originally trained in an extensive array of martial arts, styles, and schools in order to develop, select, and refine those techniques that he felt were especially strong and would contribute to his beloved art. Throughout his career, Professor Okazaki continued to develop his techniques, as well, always looking for improvement.
Within Kodenkan Jujitsu are two central principles represented by Hawaiian terms: "Ohana" and "Kokua." Ohana, meaning family, is especially important to note because when training in these potentially lethal arts we each have a responsibility to ourselves and to each other to look out and exercise care for one another, as members of a family. Kokua, meaning to share, is a fundamental concept that within the training each student shares his or her knowledge with the others. In this manner, all will improve.
For all these reasons, while Kodenkan Jujitsu is the core art of Jujitsu America, the organization is proud to embrace the teachings of an expansive base of martial arts. Jujitsu America members come representing a variety of arts including several styles of jujitsu, judo, karate, aikido, kajukenbo, kenpo, kung fu, tae kwon do, hapkido, escrima, and others. Jujitsu America is an organization dedicated to preserving the rich traditions of the arts practiced by its members, while also being keenly focused on developing methods to improve and expand the scope and effectiveness of its members as more complete martial artists and, more importantly, as better people because of the lessons learned through the process of training.
We extend the hand of friendship to other organizations which continue to nurture and cultivate Kodenkan Jujitsu and other Jujitsu systems, as well as to all who practice martial arts with an open mind, a humble spirit, and a peaceful heart.
Jujitsu America's humble beginnings came about in 1978, under the direction of Professor Wally Jay. The name Jujitsu America was coined by Professor Willy Cahill.
The organization was founded by Professor Wally Jay, Professor Willy Cahill, Professor John Chow-Hoon, and Professor Carl Beaver.
The initial founding members were (in alphebetical order): Rudy Aguilar, Prof. Carl Beaver, Walter Burgo, Prof. Willy Cahill, Prof. John Chow-Hoon, Mickey Davenport, Prof. Lee Eichelberger, Ted Gong, Jack Inouye, Prof. Wally Jay, Jim Limbert, Derrick Lee, Robert Lindstrom, Boyd Low, James Muro, Jim Neito, James Powers, and Stuart Williams.