History  |  Training  |  Soke


Hojutsu, the art of gunnery, began its development in Japan in the early 1500’s.  Matchlock firearms were first imported by the Portuguese; after the Battle of Nagashino in 1575, where peasants with firearms defeated classical Samurai; firearms were embraced by some warriors.  Hojutsu is defined as  “bujutsu” or “koryu budo”- Old Tradition arts, arts established prior to 1868.  The term ryu refers to the “school” or “style” of the art.  I have taken the liberty of changing “gunnery” to shooting to reflect the art’s use of individual weapons.  The ancient martial training systems and protocol remain unchanged.

In Hojutsu-Ryu, we begin training with the handgun; the handgun is the king of personal defense, given its portability and concealability.  We progress to the revolver, shotgun, carbine (“assault rifle”), precision rifle, and submachine gun.   We include empty hands, sticks of all kinds, and edged weapons into the art.  We practice kata using firearms and the other tools listed above, with the intent that a true master of the art should prevail in a fight from flat on his back to 300 meters away.

Hojutsu-Ryu is one of the very few lethal martial arts that is combat-proven in today’s world. In addition to Soke, nine Hojutsu-ka (practitioners) have won lethal gunfights; all are law enforcement officers, serving from Nevada to Alaska. Two used carbines, two used shotguns, the rest used service pistols, and shots ranged from one to eight. 95.6% accuracy was documented, all officers were uninjured, and all suspects died. Additionally, one black belt credits Hojutsu training and mindset for his safe return from combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.


                Training takes place at dojos and firing ranges around the country.  There are currently dojos in Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada, and Texas; contact Soke Hall for information.

                Students are taught the Modern Technique of shooting as developed by Col. Jeff Cooper.  Students are also taught kata, weapon retention, empty hand techniques and  reigi (protocol) inside the dojo setting.  Firearms training has been divided into ten “kyu”, or levels, taking the student from novice to black belt ranks.

                Students with no firearms training may consider attending one of the major schools in the country that teach the Modern Technique (emphasize that you wish to train in the Weaver Stance).  These schools include American Small Arms Academy, Gunsite, Front Sight, and Thunder Ranch.  Local dojos may arrange for soke or a senior black belt to travel to your area for a seminar.

A 3 day Hojutsu seminar is $250 per person, depending on location.

ABOUT SOKE           

Soke Hall center Black gi

Soke Hall has been shooting for almost 50 years and has been a student of firearms combatives for 35 years.  He has over 25 years of military and police experience, with a strong emphasis on SWAT. He has also studied traditional arts for 25 years, holding ranks 3rd to 10th Dan in five arts.  He is an NRA Distinguished Master, one of 25 Handgun Combat Masters in the world, and a law enforcement Master Instructor.  He is a retired Alaska State Trooper lieutenant who spent nineteen years on the pistol team and 12 years on the SWAT team; he has used the techniques he teaches in combat. Soke travels across the U.S. and teaches nationally for several professional training associations. He has published numerous articles and has written several training manuals. He is an NRA certified instructor in handgun, shotgun, submachine gun, carbine, and precision rifle.

                Soke Hall shot competitively for many years and studied many styles and techniques in developing Hojutsu-Ryu, after finding the military and police training inadequate.  However, Soke’s focus on shooting is to survive lethal encounters.  While some styles of shooting may do well in competition, soke prefers what is proven in real combat.  Additionally, there should be commonality in all training- the way we fight with empty hands should flow to sticks to knives to handguns, long guns, and back to empty hands. In Hojutsu-Ryu, we believe that “He is Best who trains in the Severest school”- we train hard so we can fight easy.

                Soke Hall was inducted into the U.S. Martial Arts Hall of Fame in 2005 and into the Universal Martial Arts Hall of Fame in 2007. He was named Grandmaster, promoted to 10th dan, and named “soke”, or founder, of the art of Hojutsu-Ryu.

                Soke Hall is currently training for the Four Weapon Combat Master test, and to become the second ever to pass the Handgun Combat Master test with a revolver.    Top

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