Understanding the history of Okuyama Ryu Aiki Ju Jutsu requires going back to the eighth century. The first known Japanese defense system was developed by Prince Teijun Fujiwara and handed over to his son Tsunemoto, who was named Minamoto. His descendants – Seiwa Genji kept the techniques secret as a family art.


The famous Seiwa Genji was General Yoshimitsu Shinra Saburo Minamoto, who carried out the autopsy, acquired the knowledge he used to improve the art of atemi (strokes into vital points) and kansetsu (levers for joints). He lived at Daito’s court, which is why this Aikijutsu style became known as Daito Ryu.


The techniques were kept secret and known only to family members. Minamoto gave his knowledge to his son Yoshimitsu Yoshikiyu, who moved to the district called Takeda. His family stayed in the Takeda district from the 16th century until around 1868. From the place of residence, the family gained a name and from then on it was known as the Takeda family.


In 1858 Sokaku Takeda Minamoto Masayoshi was born. He became a man who introduced the family’s traditions into the 20th century. Around of year 1878 Sokaku obtained permission to teach from the four most recognized schools of sword and spear and he met experienced 18 traditional Japanese martial arts.


In 1898, at the age of 40, Sokaku received supremacy over the family martial art – Daito Ryu. He traveled around Japan teaching Daito Ryu the intellectual elite of Japan. He became the most famous instructor north of Tokyo.


Daito Ryu is still taught in Japan by Kondo Katsuyuki, the heir of the son of Sokaku’s son, Takeda Tokimune.


Sensei Okuyama Yoshinaru (Ryuho) studied martial arts with Sokaku Takeda. He also studied traditional eastern medicine (Chinese Yin / Yang theory, acupuncture, acupressure, massage). As a curiosity it can be said that he also studied “western” medicine. At the same time he explored other styles such as ken jutsu, iai do, jutsu and spear and chain fighting techniques.


In 1936, Okuyama received the master degree of Daito Ryu and began learning the secret techniques of the Sokaku school. He finished it after 2 years of work.

On July 1, 1941 Shiba Tenso Jinja (the Shinto temple), Okuyama conducted Hakko Ryu Kaiso Hokokusai (a ceremony to declare Shinto deities a Hakko Ryu Ju Jutsu). In 1945, Okuyama leaves Tokyo and moves to the Yamagata district. After the war, he settled in the city of Omiya and founded Hombu Dojo, which exists to this day and it is run by his son.


In the 1970s, Hakko’s School went to France and there was a quick boom. In 1979, Okuyama Ryuho student Thierry Riesser became the official and sole representative of Hakko Ryu Ju Jutsu w Europie. Three years later, he received the family name of Okuyama Shizan from Okuyama Ryuho, thus becoming an official member of the family.


In 1986, Thierry Riesser received the sixth dan of the Okuyama School.


Shodai Soke Okuyama Ryuho died in 1987. His son Toshio Okuyama was his heir (according to tradition).

From that moment, there are many changes in it.
In 1992, Okuyama Shizan (Thierry Riesser), wanting to continue the teaching line of Okuyama Ryuho, detaches himself from Hombu Dojo in Japan, creating in accordance with his right to use the family name  Okuyama Ryu School.


According to the tradition initiated by Soke Okuyama Ryuho, students learned simultaneously in three areas, which created each other a coherent and comprehensive method of development allowing to learn not only the martial art but also the art of healing.
– Yawara – martial art, ju jutsu
– Koho Goshin Taiso – a system of 12 items that activate energy flow in the body
– Koho Shiatsu – koho (imperial), shi (finger), atsu (touch) – a method of treatment using pressure exercised by the thumbs


The transition to the next level on master levels required proficiency in all of the above areas. Each of them also balanced and supplemented the next ones. To date, the parallel practice of Yawara and Koho Shiatsu is recommended, which thanks to Zenon Liszkiewicz (Doshu Sensei after the death of Okuyama Shizan in 2010) is taught from 2009 in Krakow.