Professor Russell Coelho

Professor Russell Coelho was born and raised on the windward side of Oahu in Rural Koolaupoko. Koolau was an area between Kailua/Lanikai and the city of Waimanalo. Professor was born and raised in a Juvenile Delinquent home at the base of Mt. Olomana and part of the Koolau Mountain range that splits the Island in half. His father was Operations Superintendent of Koolau Boys Home and across the road was Kawailoa Girls Home, more commonly known by the locals as the “Bad Boys and Bad Girls Home”.

At 8 years old he began Judo training with Sensei Tony Gonzales at St Anthony’s Dojo Kailua. He trained until he left St Anthony’s Elementary and went to St Louis High School in Kaimuki. Professor had a rough start not only at Koolau but at St Louis. He played football on the Koolau team and met his match. Tired of getting “beat up” he talked to Sensei Libert O’Sullivan about joining his McCully dojo at age 13.  Sensei made no promises that Mr. Coelho would be able to defend myself with his instruction. He did ensure that he would continue his Judo tournaments learn Dan Zan Ryu Jujitsu and study Karate and with total dedication to the Arts he would be stronger in mind and body. He joined a Waimanalo Hawaiian group that lived on Homestead land. Ohana was all they talked about some weapons had no names some did. They like to talk about “Smash Face Fighting”. His Father and he would go on Sunday’s to Paddle and to enjoy the Waimanalo/ Koolau Hawaiian way of “SFF”. Paddled for Lanikai Canoe Club, from 11and under until 17 and under. His Father paddled with a group that loved to Paddle and loved to fight. Koolau Boys Home made him proud of his heritage, proud of his Ohana and friends, and proud of the Arts. Some of his best friends went from Koolau direct to Oahu Prison, sad as that was Professor learned the value of life at an early age.

He moved to the mainland in 1960 and began his training under Professor Sig Kufferath.  At Los Altos Aiki Jitsu dojo in Los Alto CA. In 1965 Nikko Jujitsu & View Aiki Kai was established by Professor Kufferath, Fermin Urmeneta, Bob Nadeau and Kyoshi.  He studied under Koichi Tohei Sensei for many years, Prof. Bill Montero Sr. & others.  However, the teachings of Prof. Kufferath had more meaning then anyone who taught him or he trained with.  Professor Kufferath is missed more than any words that can be spoken.  Professor Coelho gave the final eulogy at Punchbowl.  It was at that moment when he was interned that he realized a major part of the system had died with Professor Kufferath.

Professor holds rank in Jujitsu, Judo, and Aikido and has studied many Martial Arts styles throughout the country and in Taiwan.


Granted Professor and 8th Dan by Professor James Muro under the Chow Hoon System

Kufferath family requested Kyoshi take Professor’s seat, as a “representative” for the Dan Zan Ryu within World Head of Family Sokeship council. WHFSC is headed up by Grandmaster Frank Sanchez, who in the 60’s was a dojo mate of Professor’s.

Master’s Hall of Fame, Hawaii Martial Arts Hall of Fame, WHFSC Hall of Fame.

LAPD Gang Intervention program Hui Hale Mana, Las Vegas Metro Police and instructs other agencies within the US.

-Professor Russell Coelho