The Hawaiin Connection

Tim's Discussion Board: Martial Arts - Miscellaneous: The Hawaiin Connection
   By jason on Thursday, July 20, 2006 - 11:00 am: Edit Post

Anyone with relevant info- would you please share? This is a great book idea by the way but who has time to write a book?

The Hawaiian Connection:

History has often repeated itself many times over in through the ages. The Europeans that migrated from Britain and other European nations during the late 1500’s and early 1600’s sailed on ships to the newfound land that was to become America. Along with those Europeans seeking freedom from religious and political oppression were many individuals looking to avoid judicial and criminal repercussions by fleeing to the new land.
Approximately 300 years later the same events happened in America just before WW1 and continuing through to WW2. Hawaii was the main avenue for these new peoples from different parts of Asia. Some were seeking freedom others were seeking work and still others were avoiding criminal offenses.
Hawaii, the island, was a large internment camp for many years and the inhabitants of these camps had no guarantee of living through the experience. Many different Asian races were present and many individuals from traditions of Martial Arts that were secretive and relatively unknown to the outside world began to share freely amongst themselves.
Practitioners of the native Hawaiian martial art Lua mixed with different peoples as there were many native Hawaiians that were in these camps as well. Lua is an ancient Hawaiian martial art. It is a complete art and teaches not only bone breaking techniques but bone setting techniques as well. The yin and yang relationship (Mercury and Sulphur in the Western World) is present with the destructive techniques of hand to hand combat mixed with the health and life preservation techniques of Kahuna medicine. Lua encompassed everything from strategy for larger forces and movement of troops bearing long range arms to very sophisticated short range weapons and techniques of hand to hand combat. MokoMoko or “street fighting” which emphasized “Dirty” fighting techniques that were designed for actual warfare was taught and included very intricate knowledge of the human anatomy and psychology.
Lua has many bone breaking and bone setting techniques and the degree to which it mixed with the founder of Danzan-ryu’s Jujitsu is not known. {If anyone has info on this please contribute!}
To quote Prof. Henry Seishiro Okazaki from the online web page at
“Generally, it means "Hawaiian style". The individual Japanese terms are: Tan/Dan, which means "sandalwood"; San/Zan means "mountain" and Ryu means "stream", "sect" or "cult". Taken together, Danzan is the term that Chinese people use for Hawaii. (In Mandarin, it is pronounced T'an Shan. Hawaii is also sometimes called, T'an Heung Shan, which means "sandalwood scented mountains".) Danzan-Ryu Jujutsu founder Prof. Henry Seishiro Okazaki named his system in this way to honor his Chinese martial arts teacher, Wo Chung.”
Kenpo was also represented in Hawaii by one James Masayoshi Mitose. To quote 8th degree Black Belt Gary Ronemus in his article featured online at
“When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Mitose was residing in Honolulu and had to come to grips with the fact that he was Japanese by birth, but American by citizenship. Thus, one day he asked his students "You are strong believers in Kenpo and Buddha. If the Kenpo founder, Buddha came to attack and conquer your country with soldiers, what would you do? Would you take up arms to defend your country? Or would you assist Buddha in his design?" (Mitose, 1980). While there were many varied answers from his students Mitose replied that: "This is our country so it is our duty to defend and protect it and in the presence of God we are right. So naturally, we must fight against the founder Buddha. We should take the invaders prisoner and make them realize the wrong they have attempted to do. This is the way of the true Kenpo man and this is the Kenpo man's duty." (Mitose, 1980). Mitose went on to open the Official Self-Defense Club where he trained fellow servicemen and civilians and began to expound the merits of his Japanese Kenpo. He hoped that one day Kenpo would become Americanized.”
Master Mititose had influence upon William K.S. Chow and this influence extended onto Edmund K. Parker’s style of Kenpo. {If anyone has more information of this PLEAE contribute!}.
In addition to these arts which had influence or were influenced by Hawaii and its cultural practices and beliefs many well known martial artists traveled through the Hawaii at various times.
One example is the late Grand Master of San Soo Kung Fu Jimmy H. Woo. There are many others to be sure! If any has further information they would like to share regarding Hawaii and its influence on the martial arts world would you Please share!

Links for futher reading:

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