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16.15) Kajukenbo


This article is from the Martial Arts FAQ, by Matthew Weigel faq@idempot.net with numerous contributions by others.

16.15) Kajukenbo

(Contributors: Peter Jason Ward - ironmarshal+@CMU.EDU,
Todd D. Ellner - tellner@cs.pdx.edu)


An eclectic martial art that is a blend of Karate, Judo, Kempo, and
Boxing, from which arts it takes its name.


Kajukenbo was synthesized in the Palomas settlements of Hawaii during
the years 1949-1952. Five practitioners of their respective martial
arts developed Kajukenbo to complement each others styles to allow
effective fighting at all ranges and speeds. The last living founder
of Kajukenbo is Sijo Adriano D. Emperado who practiced kempo and
escrima. (Other founders are P.Y.Y. Choo, Frank Ordonez, J. Holck,
and Professor C. Chang). It was decided that kempo would be the
scafolding around which Kajukenbo was built. The arts drawn upon to
found Kajukenbo are Tang soo do, judo, ju-jitsu, kempo, and chu'an fa
gung fu (Chinese boxing); hence the name Ka-ju-kem-bo (Tang Soo Do was
shortened as a form of karate, even though that is technically

To test the effectiveness of their origional techniques the five
founders would get into fights around the Palomas settlements (the
worst slum in Hawaii at the time). If the technique succeeded
consistently in streetfighting it was kept as part of the system.
> From these field test came Kajukenbo's Quins (known as the Palomas
sets (forms or kata)), Natural laws (self-defense), Tricks
(close-quarters fighting), and grab arts (escapes).


Kajukenbo concentrates on being an effective art at all ranges of
fighting, kicking -> Punching -> Trapping -> Grappling. While many
schools of karate and Korean martial arts concentrate on kata,
Kajukenbo stresses the self-defence movements over the relatively
fewer forms in the art. The reasoning behind this is that a
practitioner must be capable of defending himself in streetfighting
situations before turning inward to perfect the 'art' of Kajukenbo.
At higher levels there is meditative and chi training, but the author
cannot comment further at his level of experience.

Kajukenbo stresses the following-up of techniques based on an
opponents reactions and not stopping with just one hit. The reasoning
is that while one should strive to end a fight with the fewest
techniques nessesary, it is important to know how an opponent will
respond to attacks, and how best to take advantage of his reactions.
A major ethical point behind my instruction was, "If he starts the
fight, you decide when the fight is over."


The training is physically intense and very demanding. Exercise is a
part of the class structure to insure that practitioners will be
physically capable of defending themselves outside of the dojo. The
warm-up and callistenics typically last 1/3 of the class period.
Emphasis is placed on bag work (kick, punching, elbows, and knees) as
well as sparring and grappling (contact with control). After a certain
amount of time training, students begin to throw real punches at each
other and their partner is expected to react appropriately or face the
consequences. Learning to absorb and soften an impact is also a major
facet of training. Quins (kata) are performed to fine-tune a person's
movements while working with partners for self defense teaches a
student how to manipulate an opponent and follow up on his reactions.


Kajukenpo, formed in 1970 by Algene Caraulia, and headquartered in
Cleveland, Ohio (from Anthony Schaaf < adschaaf@mtu.edu> ).

Kenpo Karate is considered to be a sub-style of Kajukenbo (see

eparate entry on Kenpo) and is very close to "the original"

Tum Pai, created in part by Sifu Al Dacascos, is adminstered by Sifu
Jon Loren, and incorporates more of the soft, internal Chinese arts.

Kajukenbo Chuan Fa was created by Dela Cruz and Professor Emperado and
has been taken over by Leonard Endrizzi and Bill Owens. It includes
more Chinese martial arts than Kenpo Karate and is softer but no less

Wun Hop Kuen Do is the newest sub-style - the personal expression of
Sifu Dacascos, containing the original syllabus but with more Chinese
and Filipino influence.


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