History of the American Jujitsu Institute

by Rawlin Blake

The American Jujitsu Institute, or AJI, is the official organization of the Okazaki system of Jujitsu. It is charged with setting rank requirements, monitoring individual school performance, maintaining national and international correspondence, and providing both technical clinics and competitive events among the several member schools.

The AJI is the oldest martial arts organization in the United States; it was founded by Professor Henry Seishiro Okazaki in 1939 as the American Jujitsu Guild, with Charles Wagner as president. The name was changed to the American Jujitsu Institute in 1943. The AJI was incorporated on July 29, 1947 in the Territory of Hawaii, and a new constitution was drawn. It's president at the time was Dr. A.M. Glover and Professor Okazaki was the vice-president. Charter members included Professors Jack Wheat, William Ah Moo and Wally Jay. The officers at the time are listed on official documents as:

Source: AJI Manual

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Hombu was closed by the authorities. William Ah Moo succeeded in convincing the military authorities to allow training to continue and the Hombu was reopened. During the same period, Professor Okazaki was interned twice.

The AJI's current president is Professor Samuel C. Luke. The Vice-President of the Jujitsu Division is Professor Daniel Saragosa and the Vice-President of the Karate Division is Professor Charlie Lee.

Today, the American Jujitsu Institute is the oldest organization representing the Okazaki system of Jujitsu (Danzan Ryu Jujitsu) in America. Its members and member schools extend from the Islands in the Pacific to the Atlantic seaboard, from Central America to Alaska. And, it is still growing!

This page maintained by George Arrington.

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