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 Biography of John Clodig, 

Chief Instructor and Director 
of Yanagi Hara Ryu


John Clodig began his study of the martial arts in 1957 as a student of Judo. 

As a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Engineering, John served two tours of duty in the Republic of Viet Nam with responsibilities both on shore and offshore.  During that time, John studied martial arts with a detachment of Korean Naval Commandos, attaining the level of Black Belt in Korean Karate.

 Upon returning to the United States, John began his study of Yanagi Ryu Aiki Jujitsu under Don Angier and also attended the Kali workouts conducted in Dan Inosanto’s garage.  During this period, John attended law school at The University of San Diego, graduating with a Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1974.

 From 1974 to 1980, John was a guest instructor at Bob Duggan’s Aspen Academy of the Martial Arts.

 In 1980, John received his teaching certificate and title of Renshi in Yanagi Ryu and opened Yanagi Ryu of San Diego. 

From 1984-1985, John attended private classes with Rorian, Ricson and Royce Gracie.

 John currently is:

·        The director and chief instructor of Yanagi Hara Ryu

·        A practicing member of the Bar in California and Illinois

·        Director of Key Moves, a safety consultant company dedicated to improving human movement in employee work tasks

·        Retired from the naval reserve at the rank of Commander

A Brief History of Yanagi Hara Ryu


 Daito Ryu Aiki-jujutsu is a well-known Japanese combat art with a 1,000-year history of development.  It has survived this long because of its acknowledged effectiveness in combat. Consequently, it has had numerous progeny – some well known like Aikido and other lesser known like Yanagi Ryu.

 Yanagi Ryu is derivative from the family system of the legendary Yoshida Kotaro. The martial virtues of Yoshida Kotaro have been extolled by many.  While some say that Yoshida Kotaro considered himself primarily as a Daito Ryu instructor, his family system specialized in small circle/in-fighting movements.

 As narrated by Donald J. Angier, Yoshida Kotaro’s son Kenji, came to the United States, was interred during World War II at Treasure Island, settled in Upstate New York, taught the Yoshida family system to teenager Angier, and ultimately passed his art to Angier by giving him the name of Sansuburo.

 John B. Clodig began instruction with Don Angier in February 1970 and received a teaching certificate and title of Renshi in August 1980.  Since then, John Clodig has continuously taught students, including other senior martial arts teachers.

 In recent times, Don Angier exercised his prerogative and made a major organizational and structural change to his system.  This publicly announced change freed John Clodig to pursue his own mission.

 To reflect the above change and new mission emphasis required John Clodig to also change the organizational name he has instructed students under since 1980- Yanagi Ryu of San Diego. 

John Clodig’s curriculum is now known as Yanagi Hara Ryu.  This change reflects respect for both tradition and innovation.

 Yanagi Hara Ryu will continue with the same structure of techniques that John received from Angier, including the traditional Samurai weapons arts.  However, Yanagi Hara Ryu will also include John Clodig’s preference for emphasizing different principles of physics and geometry, and different sequences of movements to achieve more effective results in modern combat while reducing the learning curve for students.

 Yanagi Hara Ryu’s goal is to keep the traditional/classical art viable by increasing its ability to compliment modern eclectic styles of combat.  Our emphasis is on understanding principles of movement well enough to apply the essence of classical techniques within modern methods of combat.  Further emphasis is given to inserting principles into everyday movement, thus reducing the dependence upon athletics in martial practice.


 This seminar focuses on using Yanagi Hara Ryu Aiki Jujutsu principles of movement to enhance the martial strategies, tactics and techniques used by executive protection professionals. The curriculum will focus on providing a graduated response with emphasis on minimizing the risk of civil litigation.  The curriculum encompasses a wide range of movement from out-positioning an aggressor, to arresting and escorting an opponent, to executing disabling and lethal techniques.  Yanagi Hara Ryu’s teaching emphasis will be focused on how to use scientific principles that enhance every day movement instead of sole reliance upon athletic ability. The course will be geared for both the beginner as well as the advanced martial artist.

 In this course we will explore:

 Â·        Body positioning and leg work that assist in blocking, jostling and clearing a path for your client in a crowded arena or when an unwitting person blocks the path of the protection detail

 Â·        How to pivot a client during an evacuation without muscling him or her.

 Â·        How to neutralize unwanted touching and inappropriate handshaking when the client is in a public venue.

 Â·        How to escort unwanted people from a public arena without causing undue commotion

 Â·        Counters to common mugs/attacks in

 o       Restricted spaces

o       One-on-one protective situations

o       Diamond formations

 Â·        Effective counters to aggressive striking/ slashing opponents

 Â·        Learn how your own punch can be an effortless throw.

 Â·        Easy methods for those who are gun-shy about the throwing arts


  • How to de-escalate an incident

  • How to manipulate/change the public perception of an incident in real time

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Copyright © 1996, Bob Duggan
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