History | Training
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
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
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
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
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.
History | Training