Hepi Ryu Bojutsu

The Serpent School




Hepi Ryu means snake or serpent school. The snake or serpent is symbolic of the school’s techniques. Using the weapons of the Ryu to entangle and entrap the attacker many times with multiple locks to various parts of the body. In the advanced levels of training the practitioner uses a unique style of Jujutsu (unarmed combat), which is inspired by their Bojutsu training.


There are traditionally six major types of Ryu in Japan. One of which is called Soryu (Inherited School). This kind of school was taught and passed from father to son. If there was no family heir to continue the bloodline, the current Soke could then go outside of the family. Junji Saito’s family was a Samurai family and he was authorized to wear the top knot, which was a sign of a legitimate Samurai. Junji Saito was the last remaining member of his family and head of its secret Hepi Ryu Bojutsu tradition. As he had no family member to inherit his teachings he passed them on to his top student, Mike DePasquale Sr.

The Weapons Of Hepi Ryu

The weapons training in Hepi Ryu consists of a Hanbo (3 foot stick), Cane, Tanbo (Nightsticks), and Yubi Bo (finger sticks). Training begins with Hanbojutsu and leads into the Cane. After one is proficient in the unique striking, blocking and grappling methods associated with these weapons one moves into the smaller weapons of the Ryu, the Tanbo and Yubi Bo. There are five levels of training from Shodan to Godan in this system. Each Dan grade has its associated weapon and fundamentals to be mastered. The Cane is a specialty of the Ryu that is only introduced at the Godan level of training, and is not taught to everyone.



(Hepi Ryu On-Guard Postures)


Hepi Ryu Bo Kata

   Shodan Bo Kata

Introduction to fundamental striking methods

   Nidan Bo Kata

Introduction to fundamental grappling methods

   Sandan Bo Kata

Introduction to power swinging striking methods

   Yondan Bo Kata

Introduction to close quarter striking methods

   Godan Bo Kata

Introduction to the Cane and secret methods of the Ryu

   Bo Kumite

Bo on Bo sparring methods, one per Dan grade

   Tanbo Kata

Methods for the use of the Nightstick and Tong

   Yubi Bo Kata

Methods for the use of hand held sticks

   Hepi Ryu Jujutsu

Natural application of Jujutsu based on Bojutsu



(Mike DePasquale Sr. Performing Hepi Ryu Shodan Bo Kata)



(Mike DePasquale Sr. Performing Bo Kumite)



(Shodan Bo Kata - Example Of Defense Against A Lapel Grab)



(Godan Bo Kata - Example Of Defense Against A Rear Bear Hug)
Mrs. De Pasquale demonstrating this technique here.

These techniques courtesy of Michael De Pasquale Jr.'s Women's Guide to Self Defense 1980 - Simon & Shuster

Ryu Menu

Yoshitsune Waza

Hakko Ryu

Sekiguchi Ryu

Kito Ryu

Sosuishitsu Ryu

Jigen Ryu

Hepi Ryu

Goshindo Kenpo