Hirakawa Ryu is a Gendai Ryu (new school), formed in 1982 by Hirakawa Kotaro in order to bypass difficulties encountered when training an American student in a very traditional Koryu Ryu (old school). While the school as an entity is new, the traditions and principles we follow are largely no different from those of the ryu Hirakawa Sensei trained in all of his life.

The colors of Hirakawa Ryu are mist gray and dark blue. They represent mist on the morning water that obscures, softens and shadows all things be they vital or without consequence; and deep water in the morning which reveals itself but nothing within it.

The Hirakawa Ryu mon or crest is an image of Japanese water reeds, ripples on the shoreline and an elongated reflection of the moon on the water. The philosophy and strategies of Hirakawa Ryu are based upon the concept of powerful, flowing water that is also calm and smooth. The hidden power of such a body of water can easily rise up to destroy and then subside back into deceptive calmness in a single moment.