The American Judo and Jujitsu Federation remembers and honors its ohana who have passed.
Read more about their lives and contributions
Danzan Ryu Founder
Additional Honored Ohana
Have an update, additional information or new entry? Contact us at gro.fjja@ohceiaik.
Danzan Ryu Founder
Professor Henry Seishiro Okazaki
Henry S. Okazaki was born in Japan on January 28, 1890. He moved to Hawaii as a teenager and, at the age of 16, learned he had tuberculosis. Through hard training in the martial arts, Okazaki recovered completely and vowed to dedicate his life to propagating Jujitsu and Judo. During the years 1927-28 Okazaki developed a complete, integrated martial arts system: Danzan Ryu Jujitsu.
Professor John Cahill
Born just after the turn of the twentieth century in Hawaii, John K. Cahill was active in sports at a very early age. Around 1934, when he was 27 years old, John joined Master Okazaki’s classes at the Kodenkan in Honolulu, Hawaii. Read more
Professor Francis Merlin “Bud” Estes
This article is entitled “Uncle Bud,” and not “Professor Estes” as he was known to anyone reading this, because I am his nephew, Burl Estes, and that is how I knew him. Tenth Degree Black Belt Francis Merlin Estes was, and always will be, simply Uncle Bud to me. Read more
Professor Ray L. Law
Ray and Marie Law touched the hearts and minds of many thousands of people in the 30 years they actively taught Kodenkan Danzan Ryu Jujitsu in Oakland, California. Read more
Professor Richard Rickerts
Richard (Dick) Peter Rickerts was born in Petaluma, California, on July 18, 1906. He joined the Coast Guard and was stationed in Hawaii where, in 1929, he met and began to study with Master Okazaki. Read more
The four most recent memorials are show below. Link here to view all memorials for AJJF Professors.
Memories of Professor Carr – by Jeff Hansen
I met Professor Jane Carr in 1997. I was allowed to train with her by my sensei. He told me to call her and ask for permission to come to class as I was a new green belt. I was traveling to Redding as a salesperson for fire protection materials and...read more
Memories of Professor Jane Carr from an Interview with Professor Don Cross
This remembrance was drawn from an interview with Professor Don Cross by Katie Murphy Stevens in October 2022. My earliest recollection of Jane Carr was working out with her at black belt classes in Chico, California. This would have...read more
Professor Carr’s Tournaments – by Professor Scott Redden
I was asked if I would like to write something in remembrance of Professor Carr. I knew I did, although I was afraid it would drag on and get confusing. How do I tell nearly forty years of stories and not get off track? I decided to focus on one...read more
Remembering Professor Jane Carr – by Professor Delina Fuchs
I was fortunate enough to meet Professor Jane Carr as a little girl in the 70’s, and even then, I could tell that she was an incredible martial artist! I remember looking up to her in awe, and in seeing that kind of exceptional skill in a woman...read more
Additional Honored Ohana
The four most recent memorials are show below. Link here to view all memorials for additional honored ohana.
John Gussman Passes
John Gussman Coach John Gussman began the study of Kodokan judo in 1962 with Frank Hubbard Sensei in Dearborn, MI. He competed on a national level until 1978. Since that time, he has coached and trained judo competitors on the national and...read more
Memorial in Honor of Sensei Jess Green – by Sensei Conor Witham
The AJJF lost one of their most beloved yudanshas this year. Most of you know him because he was a 50 Year Club inductee at the last convention and was always teaching the AJJF youth at camps and conventions. I’m talking about my Sensei, Jess...read more
A Tribute to Skip Maxfield
A Tribute to Skip Maxfield By Sean Hummer The AJJF has lost one of our Ohana, Sensei Skip Maxfield of the Nibukikan dojo in Chico, CA. He left us Saturday, May 1st at approximately 2pm. To those of you who never had the good fortune to meet him...read more
The Passing of Professor Jerome (Jerry) Kunzman Sr. – by Jerry and Jerold Kunzman
It’s with great sadness that we share news of the passing of Professor Jerome (Jerry) Kunzman Sr. on the morning of Oct 12, 2018 from a ruptured aorta. The ER team at the hospital was extraordinary. We are so grateful, they put in a 110% effort to...read more