Hakkoryu Ken-Nin Dojo head instructor John Cole was born in California and raised in Texas. After graduation from University of Texas in Austin and working for several years in the Austin music business, he moved to back to Los Angeles where he began his study of Hakkoryu Jujutsu with Kaiden Shihan Ralph Verde in late 1994.
At the end of 1999, as a Hakkoryu Nidan he moved back to Austin again and began looking for local training partners while commuting back to Los Angeles in an effort to continue his Hakkoryu Jujutsu training.
After much time spent looking for local training partners while simultaneously studying Aikido, Kung Fu, Tai Chi, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu he opened the Hakkoryu Ken-Nin Dojo in the summer of 2002 after finding a couple of students interested in learning Hakkoryu.
In 2005 after 10 years of training, he was invited to visit to the Hakkoryu Hombu Dojo in Omiya, Japan where he studied directly under Nidai Soke Ryuho Okuyama and was subsequently awarded the rank of Shihan in Hakkoryu Jujutsu.
In October of 2008, he travelled to the Hakkoryu Hawaii Branch Dojo in Oahu, Hawaii where he was introduced to the higher arts of Kaiden and Sandaikichu by Nidai Soke Ryuho Okuyama and was awarded the rank of Hakkoryu Kaiden Shihan Sandaikichu.
In August of 2014, he was one of a few who received a unique and unusual honor from Nidai Soke Okuyama, a certificate bestowing nanadan (7th degree) reserved for those who have demonstrated exemplary dedication and hard work over the years toward the support of Hakkoryu.
John remains active as a student of the martial arts, constantly working to deepen his understanding of Hakkoryu Jujutsu and Koho Shiatsu. He is also a student of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu where he is a blue belt and of Pekiti Tirsia Kali where he holds the rank of Lakan Isa.
For more information on Hakkoryu, please visit the official Hakkoryu Jujutsu website.