Shodan Basic Waza

The Shodan Basic Waza is a series of 21 techniques that are done as a co-operative effort between Uke (attacker) and Tore (defender). The purpose of doing the waza is to teach a foundation for which students can build upon as they advance in skill. The old saying: “You have to learn how to walk before you can learn to run…” provides similar logic.

The first 8 techniques in the waza are done with both partners in suware (kneeling) while facing each other. This helps students focus primarily on hand movements. Later, in techniques 9 & 10, students progress to han-tachi (half-standing). A little lower body movement is incorporated. Finally, the last 11 techniques are done from a standing position. Many of the standing techniques are the same as techniques done from suware, only now students practice incorporating feet movement, body rotation and weight transfer as well as hand movements.

It is important to keep in mind that these techniques are not self defense techniques. The waza is practiced in order to fine tune grips and movements so that they are more effective when defending in the street.

The Seven Basic Shodan Principles Are:

  • Hakko Dori (Escaping)
  • Atemi (Striking)
  • Te Kagami (“Hand Mirror” Technique)
  • Osae Dori (Shodan Wrist Bend)
  • Ni Ho Nage (Two Way Throw)
  • Nage (Throwing)
  • Otoshi (Throwing- Using the body as a fulcrum)

These techniques are the foundation of Hakko Denshin Ryu. When Soke Okuyama developed and taught his system, he trained only with the Waza. Although,”henka” or “variations” were practiced, the focus was, and still is today, on these techniques. Soke LaMonica, seeing the value of these techniques, added variation to the waza by incorporating all his other training and applying the principles in the waza to modern day self defenses. This has resulted in a very diverse art. Students must apply the waza to defenses of their choice. There are no “required” techniques to grade for any level. What you must demonstrate is knowledge of the principles of Hakko Denshin Ryu, not a series of predetermined techniques.

Hakko Denshin Ryu Ju Jutsu is a very traditional Japanese Martial Art. Unlike various other North American styles, Hakko Denshin Ryu Ju Jutsu has different and distinct syllabuses for every Black Belt (Dan) level. It is not a matter of being harder and faster, or how long you have been around (time in grade). It is truly defined by a whole new set of criteria for each level. Beyond the four Dan ranks, titles are awarded. One must be invited to learn these special and secret teachings, after showing the Head Instructor and Soke LaMonica that they are of good character and worthy of both learning and passing the art on.

  • Nidan – Second Level
  • Sandan – Third Level
  • Yondan – Forth Level
  • Shihan – Master Rank
  • Kaiden – Deepest Mysteries

Go to » Ranking System