About the Westside Dojo
The Westside Dojo
at the Collins & Katz Family YMCA
Professor William G. Randle, Judan
Classes are held at the Collins & Katz Family YMCA, in the
Professor William G. Randle Room (Studio 221)
1466 S Westgate Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90025
The Westside Dojo meets Tuesdays and Thursdays
from 8:00pm to 10:00 pm
The ultimate goal of Danzan Ryu Jujitsu is the perfection of character via the refinement of physical skills as practiced for decades. One cannot exist without the other. The Danzan system places great importance on mental attitude and strives to develop qualities such as respect, loyalty, and humility. Students must continually strive to perfect themselves and train both mind and body to act as one. As a basis for further instruction of these arts, students must always show their instructors and fellow classmates that they are worthy to receive the knowledge. The physical and moral expectations of the Jujitsu program at the Westside Dojo are of the highest standards. All students are expected to incorporate these standards into their own personal philosophy.
Professor William G. Randle, Judan
(10th degree blackbelt)
Professor Michael Salter
Professor Jack Mauck
Hachidan (8th degree blackbelt)
Professor Randy Katz
Shichidan (7th degree blackbelt)
Professor Barry Posner
Professor Thabiti Sabahive (on loan to North Carolina)
Rokudan (6th degree blackbelt)
Professor Ed Shatzen
Professor Justin Kocher
Professor Robert Rainey
Godan (5th degree blackbelt)
Sensei Bryan Latner
Sensei Kevin Frand
Sensei Ian Hladun
Sandan (3rd degree blackbelt)
Sensei Victor Vaile
Nidan (2nd degree blackbelt)
Sensei James Coyne
Sensei Sergio Antoniuk
Shodan (1st degree blackbelt)
Classes are ongoing, and students of any level are welcome to join us at any time.
About Danzan Ryu Jujitsu
At the WESTSIDE Family YMCA we practice the Danzan Ryu system of Jujitsu. The Danzan Ryu was founded and developed by Professor Okazaki (1890-1951) in the 1920s and was taught at his dojo, the Kodenkan (meaning "school of ancient tradition") in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Henry S. Okazaki was born in Honshu, Japan and moved to Hawaii with his family when he was sixteen. Suffering from a lung disorder, Professor Okazaki first studied Judo in an effort to regain his failing health. In addition to mastering Yoshin, Iwaga and Kosogabe Jujitsu, he studied Okinawan Karate, Chinese Gung Fu, Philippine knife play, Hawaiian Lua, as well as American boxing and wrestling. In 1924, Professor Okazaki toured Japan and visited more than 50 dojos, acquiring 675 different kinds of techniques or forms. He also made a special study of Kappo (first aid) and Seifukujitsu (restorative massage), because he recognized the virtue and morality of healing or reversing the effects of disabling arts by restorative treatment.
Following his return from Japan, Professor Okazaki gradually developed and refined (from all of the systems he had studied) a single system which he named Danzan Ryu. Danzan is translated as "Sandalwood Mountain" and is the Chinese name for Hawaii. Professor Okazaki's system embodies the spirit of the Hawaiian word Kokua (to cooperate or help one another), which means that the system's arts are passed down from the advanced students to the beginning students. This is different from most other martial arts, where the sensei (head instructor) does all of the teaching. The second significant difference is that the Danzan Ryu Jujitsu system was open to ANYONE. This was unheard of in Professor Okazaki's time, as martial arts were taught only to and in the Asian cultures. Professor Okazaki believed in the American philosophy of equal opportunity.
Professor Okazaki's system came to the mainland in the 1930s. Professor Raymond L. Law (1899-1969) opened Law's Judo and Jujitsu School in Oakland, California, in 1938. He was followed shortly by Professor Bud Estes (1909-1981) with the Chico Judo Academy, Professor Richard Rickerts (1906-1990) of the American Judo and Jujitsu Federation, and Professor John Cahill (1907-1962) and the Cahill Judo School. All of these Jujitsu pioneers are now deceased, but they have left a legacy that now reaches into most of the United States, continuing to fulfill Professor Okazaki's dream of having his system taught in every state of the Union.
William G. Randle, Judan (10th degree Black Belt), a student of Professor Raymond L. Law and currently sensei at the WestsideFamily YMCA Dojo, was instrumental in bringing Danzan Ryu to Southern California. After two years of teaching a neighborhood program out of a garage, he started the Jujitsu program at the Santa Monica YMCA in 1959. Professor Randle promoted his first black belts, Michael A. Chubb and James A. Marcinkus (deceased), in the early 1960s. In 1972, he brought Jujitsu to the newly opened Westside Family YMCA, where it continued until the move of the YMCA in 2018 to the new Collins & Katz facility in West Los Angeles, where it remains a cornerstone of YMCA programming today.
The Esoteric Principles of
Danzan Ryu Jujitsu
In 1948 Professor Okazaki invited some of his top-level instructors to attend a special class wherein he passed on his techniques. At the end of this series of classes, he presented to each of the graduates a detailed scroll that contained, in addition to the arts, brief commentaries on Judo and on life. These thoughts were compiled by William S. Morris into one document that is now known as the Esoteric Principles. This document contains tenets of a philosophy that reaches far beyond the walls of a dojo and are applicable to a fully open and giving life. These principles will yield new insights and new meanings with each reading, and will continue to be applicable for many, many years.
Since the fundamental principle acquired through the practice of Jujitsu has been elevated to a finer moral concept called Judo, "The Way of Gentleness," it may well be said that the primary objective of practicing Judo is perfection of character. And to perfect one's character one must be grateful for the abundant blessings of Heaven, Earth, and Nature, as well as for the great love of parents; one must realize his enormous debt to teachers and be ever mindful of his obligations to the general public.
As a member of a family, one's first duty is to be filial to parents, to be helpful and harmonious with one's wife or husband, and to be affectionate to brothers and sisters, so that the family may be a sound, successful, and harmonious unit of the community.
As a member of a nation one must be grateful for the protection which one derives as a citizen; one must guard against self-interest and foster a spirit of social service. One must be discreet in action, yet hold courage in high regard, and strive to cultivate manliness. One must be gentle, modest, polite, and resourceful; never eccentric, but striving always to practice moderation in all things. One must realize that these qualities constitute the secret of the practice of Judo.
Anyone who practices Judo should neither be afraid of the strong nor despise the weak; nor should he act contrary to the strength of his enemy because of the art he has acquired. For example, when a boat is set afloat on water, one man's strength is sufficient to move the boat back and forth. This is only possible because the boat floats; for if, on the other hand, the boat is placed on dry land, the same man's strength is scarcely sufficient to move it. It is necessary, therefore, that the weak should learn this fact with regard to the strong.
The forms and techniques should be remembered as the basic art of Judo. One should never use these arts against anyone without sufficient justification. Therefore, refrain from arrogance and do not despise a small enemy or a weak opponent. Every student of Judo should realize that honesty is the foundation of all virtues. Kindness is the secret of business prosperity. Amiability is the essence of success. Working pleasantly is the mother of health. Strenuous effort and diligence conquer adverse circumstances. Simplicity, fortitude, and manliness are the keys to joy and gladness; and service to humanity is the fountain of mutual existence and common prosperity.
As aptly expressed in the poem "The boughs that bear most hang lowest," one should never forget the virtue of modesty as one attains proficiency in the art of Judo. Do not disdain nor regard lightly either literary or military art; each is important and deserves equal cultivation and respect. Within constant motion and change there is tranquility; and within tranquility, there is motion and change.
Remember always parental love and one's enormous indebtedness to teachers. Be grateful for the protection of Heaven and Earth. Be a good leader to younger men. To lead younger men well will, in the long run, mean to attain proficiency in the skill of Judo.
Like a drawing in India ink of the whispering of wind in the pines, the secrets of Judo can only be suggested. Only through personal experience can one comprehend the mystic ecstasy of such secrets. It is said of Jujitsu that it would require ten years of practice to win victory over one's self and twenty years to win victory over others.
Whatever the trials or dangers, even "Hell under the upraised sword," remain calm and remember the doctrine imparted to you by your teacher.
A noted verse reads: "For the lotus flower to fall is to rise to the surface."
Only by cultivating a receptive state of mind, without preconceived ideas or thoughts, can one master the secret art of reacting spontaneously and naturally without hesitation and without purposeless resistance.
These are the secrets of Kodenkan into which I have had the honor to initiate you.
Henry Seishiro Okazaki
Master (Danzan Ryu)
Director of the Kodenkan
Note: This is based on a translation of Professor Estes' mokuroku from 1939