Master Scott Gray
Fourth Degree Black Belt, Yodan
Master Gray began studying Kodenkan Jiu-Jitsu under Professor Alex Limbaugh in 1995. He quickly fell in love with the comprehensive, self-defense martial art. It fit him perfectly. Making time to train five to six days a week, he knew this was something he wanted to do for the rest of his life.
In 1997 he began instructing children's and adult classes, as well as assisting Professor Limbaugh in women’s self-defense and rape prevention courses. During these years Master Gray had the opportunity to travel extensively, including Hawaii, the birthplace of Kodenkan Jiu-Jitsu, where he instructed and attended classes.
On October 10th, 1999 he earned his Black Belt under Professor Limbaugh and as of July 29th, 2006 he holds the rank of 4th degree Senior Master Black Belt. Master Gray opened his own school in the Avondale/Riverside area on November 1st, 2004. When Professor Limbaugh retired from active teaching he turned over his school to Master Gray in October 2007.
Professor Alex S. Limbaugh
Ninth Degree Black Belt, Kudan
Director, Hawaiian Jiu-Jitsu System Inc.
Professor Alex S. Limbaugh was born November 25, 1959 in Jacksonville, Florida to Patsy Ann (Suber) Limbaugh and Instructor Black Belt, Stephen A. Limbaugh. As a young child Professor Limbaugh watched his father and uncles, Black Belt Robert Presley and Professor Donald Cox practice in the back yard of their home on the lakeshore. Many evenings were also spent sitting ringside at the full contact fights where the men proved the proficiency of their art.
Professor Limbaugh began his formal training at Bill Beach’s Judo Academy on May 17, 1968. It was on this day that he received his very first junior rank after the early years of instruction from his family. Training at the dojo was a much-loved experience for the young Alex Limbaugh. In addition to his classes at Professor Beach’s school, he attended classes at the Northside Christian Church Judo Club run by his father and uncle.
The Limbaugh family moved to the Jacksonville Beaches area in 1972 and established the Oceanside Martial Arts Academy (OMA). The classes were taught at Atlantic Beach Elementary School through the Duval County School System Community Education Program. Enthusiasm for the martial arts drove Alex to spend four or five nights each week working out. Evenings not spent at OMA or Professor Beach’s dojo were invested in classes at Professor Jimmy Graham Ortega Church Jiu Jitsu Club and assisting Master Barry Pierce at the Duval County and St. John’s County Police Training Facilities teaching police tactics and riot control.
When Professor Donald Cox and Sensei Stephen Limbaugh were temporarily transferred out of town for work in 1976, responsibility of OMA as well as Terry Parker High School Jiu Jitsu Club was given to the 16 years old Ikkyu, Alex Limbaugh. After a year of running these clubs separately, he combined the two under the OMA name and moved classes to Fletcher Junior High School. He became Sensei Alex Limbaugh in 1977 and continued to instruct his classes through the local Community School Program. Oceanside Martial Arts relocated to its present location in 1990 at 60 West 8th Street in Atlantic Beach, Florida.
Professor Limbaugh established the United Schools of Kodenkan to maintain accurate records of all rank certificates and to permit his graduate instructors to identify their own schools with the main dojo without causing any confusion between the main dojo and branch schools. All rank promotions are documented by certification numbers and stamped seals for all levels. All ranks are authorized and recognized by the Hawaiian Jiu-Jitsu System, Inc.
Alex Limbaugh’s School of Kodenkan Jiu-Jitsu is the official, International Training Headquarters of the Hawaiian Jiu-Jitsu System, Inc. and hosts many professors, senseis, students and representatives of other martial art’s systems and styles.
Professor Limbaugh has trained in Kodokan Judo, American Boxing (ring fighting Amateur bouts), freestyle wrestling, LeDret Muay Thai from Kru Kevin Jacobs, Gracie Jiu Jitsu (Blue belt from Royce Gracie June ,1995. Years later, continued his training under Victor Huber, most recent rank, Purple belt, two stripe, July of 2007), Tang Soo Do Karate (earning his Shodan) under Master Jack Elmore, Practical Weapons Training and the National Rifle Association Personal Protection Course. Professor Limbaugh’s martial art’s tactical offensive and defensive street fighting, grappling and weapons training continues today. Continuously stressed in his teaching is the importance of skill developed through rigorous training, the ability to adapt to the situation at hand, and the willingness to use whatever means necessary to survive in combat.
Professor Limbaugh was promoted to Hachidan (8th degree black belt) and appointed as the Director of the Hawaiian Jiu-Jitsu System, Inc. (HJS) by Professor Bill Beach on September 3rd, 2000. On July 29th 2006, Professor Limbaugh was promoted to the rank of Kudan (9th degree black belt) and given the title of Shihan. He serves with the desire to carry on the tradition of the HJS and the Okazaki Kodenkan Judo and Jiu Jitsu System, and to expand across our great nation to achieve the goal of having Kodenkan Jiu-Jitsu school in each state as set by Master Henry Okazaki.
Professor Limbaugh retired from the martial arts in October of 2007 due to injury.
Professor Bill Beach
Tenth Degree Black Belt, Grand Master
Founder of the Hawaiian Jiu-Jitsu System Inc.
Bill Beach was born December 15, 1928 in a small timber and farming town of Baxley, Georgia, U.S.A.
The family moved several times and settled in Jacksonville, Florida in 1940. As youth, he studied boxing and wrestling at the Jacksonville Police and Firemen’s Athletic Club in Jacksonville.
Professor Beach entered the Navy in 1949 and while stationed in Alameda, California began martial arts training under Professor Ray L. Law in Oakland, California at Law’s American Judo and Jiu-Jitsu Gymnasium.
Professor Law was a disciple of Professor Henry Seishiro Okazaki, founder of the Kodenkan Judo and Jiu Jitsu System, and the first person to open a full time Okazaki Kodenkan Judo and Jiu-Jitsu school on the United States mainland.
During his tour of duty Professor Beach was a member of the N.A.S. Lakehurst, New Jersey Navy Boxing team and the N.A.S. Alameda, California Navy Wrestling and Football Teams.
Professor Beach was transferred to Hickham Air Force Base in Honolulu, Hawaii and through the courtesy of Professor Richard S. Takamoto, a friend of Professor Law, the son-in-law and student of Professor Okazaki, was able to continue with his martial arts training in wonderful Hawaiian environment and under the most gracious Takamoto (Okazaki) family influence.
Professor Beach continued his training throughout the Pacific region and when transferred to a new assignment, his first project would be to search for any martial arts activities to attend, regardless of the location, class, style or system, and if none were available, he would organize a group and conduct classes in the Okazaki Kodenkan Judo and Jiu-Jitsu System.
He returned to the United States after the Korean War and continued studies Florida, Georgia, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and California under various instructors’ styles and systems.
In 1954 he organized the first Judo and Jiu Jitsu Club at the Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Florida, and in 1955 the first martial arts club at the Central YMCA in Jacksonville, Florida. Professor Beach also married his current wife Lillie Wilson in 1955.
Professor Beach rented a small store in 1958 and opened the first licensed commercial martial art school in the Southeast. He reunited with his first instructor, Professor Ray L. Law, a charter member of the newly incorporated American Judo and Jiu Jitsu Federation and continues his studies, development and advancement. He was appointed the Southeastern Regional Director by the American Judo and Jiu Jitsu Federation in 1960, and to the Board of Directors in 1962.
Upon successful participation in the Cuban Airlift as a member of the Naval Air Reserve, Professor Beach was able to complete construction of his own school and December 7, 1961 moved his temporary school into permanent facilities in Jacksonville and began aggressive pioneering of the martial arts in the southeastern region of the United States.
Professor Beach’s interest in law enforcement tactics was motivated by the large number of law enforcement and corrections officers who came to his academy for training, and the large number of agencies who contracted his services.
He published his first copyright Police Training Manual Official Police Methods in 1966 and it received world wide distribution.
In 1966 he conducted the first freestyle Jiu-Jitsu tournament, proving that the deadly art of Jiu Jitsu could be used in a competitive setting when properly applied and supervised.
He was certified by the newly established Florida Police Standards Council in 1967 as an instructor in Police Defensive Tactics, authorized to instruct in law enforcement and correctional institutions.
In 1968, Professor Beach organized the Kodenkan Karate Association in eight states on the mainland.
In 1971 Professor Beach was selected over many martial arts schools, law enforcement training facilities and organizations world wide to train and certify the police defensive tactics instructor for the city of Indianapolis, Indiana under the guidelines governing federal grants as administered by the United States Department of Law Enforcement Administration.
In 1971 Professor Beach consolidated all of the activities of the Kodenkan Karate Association and those of the Southeastern Region of the American Judo and Jiu Jitsu Federation, including additional states in which above activities existed at the same time, and incorporated the “Hawaiian Jiu Jitsu System, Inc.” with national headquarters located in Jacksonville, Florida.
Bill Beach’s Hawaiian Jiu-Jitsu System was recognized in 1979 by the Amateur Athletic Union of the United States. The Okazaki Kodenkan Judo and Jiu Jitsu System were placed on the same level of recognition as any other sport or martial art in the United States.
Professor Beach retired from the position of safety officer with the Department of Public Utilities, City of Jacksonville, Florida in 1994 and is presently conducting special training clinics in the Okazaki Kodenkan Judo and Jiu-Jitsu System.
He is also active in the development of special programs documenting historical facts for the Hawaiian Jiu-Jitsu System, Inc., as well as programs for law enforcement and correctional personnel in Defensive Tactics, Submission and Control, Loss Prevention, Risk Management and related sciences.
Professor Beach is the founder and currently serves as the technical director of the Hawaiian Jiu-Jitsu System, Inc. and holds the following grades and titles:
- Professor, Judan - Tenth Degree Black Belt The Hawaiian Jiu Jitsu System, Inc.
- Professor, Judan, - Tenth Degree Black Belt Kodenkan Honbu - Costa Rica
- Professor, Judan - Tenth Degree Black Belt KiyoJute Ryu Kai
- Hanshi - Grand Master KiyoJute Ryu Kai
- Judan-Hanshi - Tenth Degree Black Belt Shosin Ryu Yudanshakai
- Professor, Godan - Fifth Degree Black Belt Tan Soo Do Karate
- Member - Danzan Ryu Hall of Fame
Bill Beach’s Hawaiian Jiu-Jitsu System, Inc. is the third oldest, continuously active Okazaki Kodenkan Judo, Jiu Jitsu and Karate organization in the United States, and is recognized world wide.
Bill Beach’s Academy was licensed June 15th, 1959. The Hawaiian Jiu-Jitsu System was incorporated February 1st, 1971.
Professor Henry S. Okazaki
Father of American Jiu-Jitsu
Founder of the Okazaki Judo and Jit-Jitsu System
By: William S. Morris
Overlooked today and almost forgotten is the name of Henry Seishiro Okazaki, founder of the American Jiu Jitsu Institute of Hawaii, who deserves more then any other the fame of being the first to teach Jiu-Jitsu to any American without the distinction of race, color or creed.
Even though his distinctive contribution to the introduction and development of Judo and Jiu-Jitsu in the United States has been slighted or ignored in the published histories of the martial arts, his system - the Kodenkan - remains the most widely taught system of self-defense Jiu-Jitsu in the country today.
His influence on American professional wrestling has been far more extensive than is generally recognized; his innovations in methods of instruction are widely imitated, and his system of kappos and restoration massage is conceded to be the most complete and effective system of its kind.
The reason for the curious silence on the subject Master Okazaki seems to stem from the postwar ascendancy of the Kodokan Judo Institute of Japan, which has progressively absorbed or drawn into its sphere of influence most, but not all, of the older Jiu Jitsu schools.
In England the names of Yukio Tani (1899), S.K. Uyenshi (1900), and G. Koizumi (1906), are still known and honored. In France Mikonosuke Kawaishi is credited with having founded a distinctive system of Judo and Jiu Jitsu adapted to the French temperament.
Both the French and the British Jiu-Jitsu systems allied themselves with the Kodokan in the early 1920's for purposes of accreditation and black belt degree registration and consequently adapted the sports Judo curriculum.
The American Jiu-Jitsu Institute, however, remained autonomous from its beginning, although Master Okazaki acknowledged, following the visit of Master Kano to his school in Honolulu, that ". . . what was formerly learned through the practice of Jiu-Jitsu has now been reduced to a fine moral principle called Judo - ‘the way of gentleness’.”
Although he subsequently renamed his school the American Judo and Jiu-Jitsu Institute, Okazaki’s use of the word Judo indicated he felt it stood for a moral principle rather than a particular school (Ryugi).
Born in Fukushima Prefecture on the island of Honshu, Japan, January 28, 1890, Henry Okazaki came to Hawaii in 1906, when he was 16 years old. Informed by a doctor that he was suffering from a lung disease, Henry Okazaki took up Jiu-Jitsu under Master Kichimatsu Tanaka at the Shinyu-Dai Dojo in an effort to regain his health.
He devoted himself to the martial arts, practicing relentlessly six nights a week, and in the course of time completely recovered. Believing that his life and superb health were due entirely to the practice of Jiu-Jitsu, he was determined to dedicate the rest of his life to its practice and propagation.
During the following years, Master Okazaki studied under various masters in Hilo, Hawaii, and mastered the Yoshin, Iwaga, and Kosogabe schools of Jiu Jitsu. At the same time, he acquired the art of Ryukyuan boxing (Karate) from a Japanese man from Okinawa Prefecture, the technique of Filipino knife play from a Filipino, the art of throwing a dirk from a Spaniard, the ancient and forbidden deadly art of Lua from a Hawaiian, and the Chinese art of Kung Fu From Master Wo Chong, a 78-year-old Chinese man from Kohala.
He did not restrict himself exclusively to oriental martial arts but studied American boxing and wrestling with a view to adapting Jiu-Jitsu to American styles of fighting.
In 1921, Okazaki accepted a challenge from a heavyweight professional boxer, K.O. Morris, who claimed to have toured Japan and defeated Judo and Jiu-Jitsu men with boxing. Okazaki threw the challenger and broke his arm, decisively defeating his opponent, although sustaining himself a broken nose in the process. This victory did much to enhance the reputation of Jiu-Jitsu in the islands and abroad.
In 1924 Okazaki toured Japan and studied Shibukawa-ryu, Yoshin-ryu and Namba-Shoshin-ryu systems of Jiu-Jitsu. At the Kodokan he was awarded a rank of 3rd Degree (Sandan) Black Belt.
While in Japan, he visited more than fifty dojos, mastered 675 different kinds of techniques or forms, and made a special study of kappo and sehukujitsu (restorative massage). Gradually he evolved a system of self defense Jiu-Jitsu comprising courses for men, women, and children, and including methods of defense against the knife, sword, club, gun, and bayonet.
For a time following his return from Japan, Okazaki taught Jiu-Jitsu on Maui, testing and improving his system; then, in 1930, he moved to Honolulu and opened the Nikko Sanatorium of Restoration Massage. Although an acknowledged master masseur, Okazaki lacked business experience and might have failed but for Pete Baron a prominent masseur and physical culturist in the islands, who taught him how to operate a massage sanatorium commercially and trained him in Swedish massage techniques. In appreciation, Okazaki offered to teach Baron Jiu-Jitsu.
At the Time, both Judo and Jiu-Jitsu were regarded as secrets to be passed on only to those of Japanese ancestry, and non-Japanese encountered almost as many obstacles in learning Judo and Jiu-Jitsu as, until recently, non-Chinese did in learning about Kung-Fu.
Baron urges Okazaki to throw open Jiu-Jitsu instruction to any worthy American regardless of national origin and to train disciples who would introduce Jiu Jitsu throughout the United States.
Recognizing the merit of this suggestion, Okazaki agreed and classes began. The first class had only three students who practiced break falls on a concrete floor. Realizing that these Spartan conditions discouraged new students, Okazaki procured thirty mats.
His classes attracted so many students that in 1936 he built a gym In Honolulu, which he called the Hawaiian Jiu-Jitsu Guild. The name subsequently underwent several changes before finally becoming the American Jiu-Jitsu Institute of Hawaii, but literally thousands of students have studied there.
Okazaki called the system he evolved Kodenkan, which he declared embodied the spirit if the Hawaiian word kokua - “to cooperate, or to help one another.” By helping to teach the junior students under the supervision of the school head, the senior student not only increased their own knowledge and improved their own techniques, but also quickly became trained instructors of the courses they mastered.
The system is remarkably simple and ingenious. After strenuous warm-up exercises, the beginner first practices break falls. The falling techniques resemble those of Aikido more than those of sport Judo, because the emphasis was, then as now, on self-defense rather than sport. To alleviate the tedium of Sutemi practice, the beginner is taught twenty self-defense hand arts called Yawara. Essentially, these arts resemble the basic escapes and wrist flexes of Daitoryu Aikijutsu, from which they were originally adapted.
After learning to fall safely, the beginner is taught Nage no Kata – 20 throws, Shime no Kata– 25 submission arts, and Oku no Kata– 25 combination arts. These katas constitute his basic instruction in Judo and are the rudiments of massage and Lomi-Lomi (a Hawaiian massage using the feet). Women may elect to pursue a special course in ladies’ Yawara.
As he progresses to senior brown belt rank, the student begins studying the first of the black belt Jiu-Jitsu arts, Shinin no Maki; and when he attained black belt rank, he is taught kappo and restoration massage; the knife, club, and gun defense arts; and the special police arts.
His instruction in the higher black belt arts continues gradually up to the fifth rank and includes two series of secret Jiu Jitsu arts: Shinyo no Maki and Shingin No Maki, as well as Kappo Sappo (cure or kill), for all the ancient Jiu-Jitsu systems, the Okazaki system provides a system of restoration for every deadly art, and the two are taught concurrently.
Thus Judo and Jiu-Jitsu were combined into a working art and taught simultaneously.
In spite of opposition from members of his own race, Okazaki persevered, and his system of teaching spread throughout the island. Wrestlers on the tour dropped in to observe and remained to study techniques, and consequently the term Sutemi for break fall still survives among American professional wrestlers as do many of the more spectacular throws and mat pins drawn from the advanced katas
Okazaki became widely known and respected in the islands, not merely as a teacher of Jiu-Jitsu, but as a physical therapist. On one occasion he was called upon to treat President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who suffered from insomnia during a state visit to Honolulu.
In the early 30s, Okazaki achieved a brief literary fame when one of his students wrote a science fiction story for the Amazing Stories Quarterly in which one of the characters was based on the professor himself.
Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Okazaki was twice arrested and interned, but his American friends and students quickly came to his rescue and affected his release. The Hawaiian Jiu-Jitsu Institute was thrown open to servicemen stationed in the island, and many studied there.
The influence of his teachings was felt directly and indirectly. Even a casual perusal of Field Manual 21-150, Unarmed Defense for the American Soldier, June 30, 1942, reveals that the official basis for self-defense instruction in the U.S. Armed forces during World War II was the Okazaki Jiu-Jitsu System, just as subsequent official changes in the manual reflect the growing postwar influence of the Kodokan Judo Institute of Japan.
Master Okazaki died in 1951. His fight to overcome a lung disease 45 years earlier had been the opening round in a successful effort to open the door to Judo for thousands of American who owe their participation in the martial arts to his work.
It is a great debt.