Hakkoryu Kenshinkan Dojo

5072The Hakkoryu Kenshinkan Dojo is a privately owned and operated martial arts school located in Clinton Township, Michigan, USA. The school offers private and semi-private instruction in Hakkoryu, a relatively modern but classically based Japanese Jujutsu and its Koho Shiatsu method of acupressure.

While active since the early 1990’s in various locations in Michigan USA, the school was formally established as a registered Hakkoryu dojo (license #48033) with the Hombu Dojo in Omiya, Japan on August 13th, 2011. It remains active and in good standing today.

The instructor is Menkyo Kaiden Sandaikichu Shihan Devon Smith who began his study of Hakkoryu in 1979 under Menkyo Kaiden Sandaikichu Shihan Garner Train.

“Kenshinkan” 健心館 can be translated as meaning “strong/healthy/robust + heart/mind/spirit + house” reflecting Hakkoryu’s goal of giving one the means to improve oneself as well as one’s self-defense skills.

For new students the study of Hakkoryu may seem like a new approach, whether they have been exposed to or trained in other modern martial arts or not, but in fact it is an old one that yields results.

Training one-on-one utilizing the methods of movement (kata) prescribed by Hakkoryu begins in seiza, or the formal sitting position. Isolating the lower body in this way forces a reliance on posture, balance and mental focus in order to internalize the techniques physically. Practice in the sitting position helps to strip away much of the power and strength people incorrectly try to use, which Hakkoryu teaches should be abandoned. The goal is to enhance one’s own internal awareness, posture and balance. In other words, making each technique effective from the sitting position should translate to even better results when standing, which is what comes next and includes new input from the teacher.

Once a student has grasped the essence of a technique, he or she is guided in how its principle may be applied in a variety of different situations. The aim is not to make a student proficient in hundreds of techniques, but rather a few. The principles of those few may then serve in the many different situations they may encounter in life.

While some may find it surprising, atemi or striking techniques are abundant within the Hakkoryu curriculum and are taught from the beginning. Methods of striking include metsubushi (eye closer) and ipponken (one point fist) often being directed toward an aggressor’s keiraku (meridians). See the Koho Shiatsu page for more information.