Professor Joe Holck

Professor Joe Holck received his Black Belt from Prof. Sig Kufferath and his Instructor’s scroll from Professor Okazaki.  He is a 10th dan through the American Jujitsu Institute and Shoshin Ryu Yudanshakai.  He is co-founder of Kodenkan Yudanshakai ofTucson, Arizona.  In addition, Prof Holck is credited as a co-creator of the Kajukenbo self-defense system.

In the early 1930s, young Joe Holck ditched his Japanese language class, walked into a dojo at the local Honwangji Temple, and asked the Japanese Judo sensei if he could learn. Because he was of mixed Japanese and Hawaiian descent, he was turned away. His friends told him of a Japanese “judo” teacher who taught everyone. With the help of his friends, he located the dojo and asked the teacher if he could learn. Professor Henry Seishiro Okazaki accepted him as a student.

When theUnited States got involved in World War II, Professor Holck joined the service and had to stop studying jujitsu. He returned home from Europe and continued his study of Danzan Ryu under Professor Sigfried Kufferath.  In 1949 he was promoted and received his Kaidensho Mokuroku from Professor Okazaki.

Professor Holck co-founded Hawaii’s Kajukenbo system along with Peter Choo, Adriano Emperado, George Chang, and Frank Ordenez. His contribution to the Kajukenbo system was the introduction of judo and Danzan Ryu Jujitsu techniques.  Professor Holck named the new system Kajukenbo.

Professor Holck moved to Arizonain 1964 and helped his brother, Shihan Roy A.V. Holck, establish the first jujitsu school, the Kodenkan of Tuscon, in the state of Arizona. In 1967 Professor Joe Holck founded the Kodenkan Yudanshakai.

Professor Holck rose to the rank of Colonel in the U.S. Army.  After he retired from the service, he remained in Tuscon, Arizona.

He passed away on November 6, 2011, at 7:45 a.m. in Tucson, Arizona.

1988 Tucson. Professor William Randle receives a Promotion from Professor Joe Holck