Photo of Gary Lescak
Martial Arts Academy
The form is the art, but the art is not the form.

Principal Instructor / Director

Gary Lescak began his study of martial arts and massage in 1967. As part of learning Dan Zan Ryu ju-jitsu, he has studied the Okazaki style of traditional Japanese deep-tissue, Restorative Massage Therapy as part of the broader Seifhukujitsu program of instruction which also includes resuscitation techniques (Kappo), stretching / alignment techniques, specific massage regimens for specific ailments, bone setting (Sekkotsu), and Lomi-Lomi (Hawaiian massage). Gary holds the title of Professor which, by definition, indicates a complete knowledge of the entire system (ryu) as well as the ability to teach its contents. He is also a certified Okazaki style Restoration Therapy Senior Advanced Instructor, 1997, from the Kodenkan International Martial Arts Inc. of Costa Rica.

Gary has done substantial graduate work in martial arts theory and practice; his main academic areas of expertise are history and philosophy of martial arts. Gary has over 44 years experience doing a variety of martial arts; he specializes in Ju-Jutsu and Chinese boxing. He has taught specialized police combatives, knife fighting, stick fighting, psychiatric and geriatric patient restraint, self-defense for the elderly, and teaches professionally, full-time, at his school. A more detailed biography follows.


Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Gerontology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, (1983). Master of Arts (M.A.) in Social Sciences, University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana, Illinois (1981).

Master of Science (M.S.) in Leisure Studies, University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana, Illinois (1980). Department of Asian Studies, University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana, Illinois (1977-78).

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Modern Languages, The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina (1974).

Military Experience

Gary was commissioned as a Lieutenant (R.A.) in 1974. While still at The Citadel, he attended U.S. Army Airborne School (1972), Jumpmaster School (1972), and Ranger School (1973). While on active duty as an infantry officer in West Germany, he also attended the German Army Einzelkaempfer Lehrgang (Ranger School, 1974). In addition to his regular duties, Gary taught a jujitsu and massage class, was in charge of training the Post Karate Club, and taught specialized combatives to military police officers.

Martial Arts / Massage Background

Gary has studied Ju-Jutsu since 1967. He began his study of the Kodenkan-Dan Zan Ryu ju-jutsu system in 1968 with Professor Patrick Browne (7th Dan) of the Chicago, Illinois based Suburban Kodenkai of the American Judo and Ju-Jitsu Federation. He has also studied with Professor Ramon Ancho (10th Dan), original Okazaki student and senior instructor of the Kodenkan Hombu, Costa Rica; and Professor Bill Beach (10th Dan), founder of The Hawaiian Jiu-Jitsu System.

Gary has formed clubs and taught since 1971 wherever he has lived; he currently owns and operates the Martial Arts Academy, Metter, Georgia, where he teaches professionally, full time. He currently holds the rank of Schichidan (7th Dan) and title of Professor. He serves as the Executive Director of The Hawaiian Jiu-Jitsu System, Inc., a national organization dedicated to preserving the Okazaki legacy.

In addition to Ju-Jutsu, Gary has practiced Chinese boxing since 1977 when he began his study with Grandmaster George Ling Hu with whom he continues to study. He has also studied Phillipino stick and blade fighting (Serrada Eskrima) with Master Instructor Phil Stoecklin; Thai boxing (Muay Thai) with Chai Sirisute; and combat weapons throwing with international champion John Bailey.

Additional Experience

Gary has worked on a county hospital psychiatric unit and taught (and practiced) patient restraint. He has taught martial arts to orphans and emotionally/behaviorally disturbed adolescents at a children's group home. He has been responsible for security at a multi-million dollar plantation.

Continuing Education

Gary’s studies are ongoing; he currently continues his studies with Grandmaster George Ling Hu.


Kill or Cure: The Martial Art / Healing Art Connection; in Massage and Bodywork magazine, April, 2004.
Produced and directed “The Kodenkan – Dan Zan Ryu Jujitsu” video series.
Other works are in progress.

Business Experience

Gary has owned and operated the very successful Power of Touch Massage, Inc. since 1999 in Metter, Ga. He specializes in medical massage and has helped clients with a wide range of problems; some of his successes include helping people with fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, sciatica, chronic neck and back pain, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc.

He is the owner of The Martial Arts Academy, Inc.

The Martial Arts Academy, Inc. School of Massage teaches the first and only State Licensing Board “Recognized” Massage Therapy Educational Program in the Okazaki Style of Restorative Massage Therapy in the United States.

Martial Arts Academy, Inc. is approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) as a continuing education Approved Provider (#450522-07).

Professional Organizations

Executive Director, The Hawaiian Jiu-Jitsu System, Inc.
Professional member, Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP).
Licensed Massage Therapist, State of Georgia
Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapist, State of North Carolina.

References or more information available upon request; also see Martial Arts Academy

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