Kajukenbo/Kajukembo

Discussion in 'Kajukenbo' started by MJS, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm interested in hearing more about Kajukembo. What are the major differences, if any, between the spelling of the two? What led to the creation of Kajukembo?

    Looking forward to hearing from Prof. Bishop, Danjo and anyone else that can provide some insight. :)

    Mike
     
  2. John Bishop

    John Bishop Master Black Belt

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    There's really no major technical differences between "Kajukenbo and Kajukembo. At a time in the 70's Don Nahoolewa and Richard Peralta formed there own Kajukenbo organization.
    Since Kajukenbo is a trademarked name, it was decided that they would adopt the name Kajukembo. Technique wise they teach the sets and forms from the "Original Method".
    There are several organizations in Kajukenbo; "Kajukenbo Self Defense Institute" (Emperado's original association), "Kajukenbo Association of America", "American Kajukembo Association", "Kajukenbo Ohana Association", "Kajukenbo National Federation", etc.
    All of these organizations get along and recognize Adriano Emperado as the head of Kajukenbo. And many practitioners may belong to 2 or 3 organizations.
     
  3. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    Just as with kenpo I have seen some major differences and variation.
    Sean
     
  4. John Bishop

    John Bishop Master Black Belt

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    Yes there are some pretty major differences between the different branches of Kajukenbo. But the only difference between the "Original Method" of Kajukenbo and Kajukembo is political affiliation and spelling.
     
  5. Sifu Chambers

    Sifu Chambers Yellow Belt

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  6. Wo Fat

    Wo Fat Purple Belt

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    Personally--and this is not meant as an attack on anyone--I'm still not seeing the logic in creating a new name and new "system" if the techniques, lineage, history, etc. were all the same.

    Ron B.
     
  7. Sifu Chambers

    Sifu Chambers Yellow Belt

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    I understand the confusion and I do not see it as an attack. Let me explain to the best of my knowledge. All affiliations of Kajukenbo/Kajukembo go back to Sijo Emperado. Thus Sijo Emperado being the root and foundation of Kajukenbo. Sijo wanted all Kaju schools to have a basic foundation to build on and that foundation is what makes Kajukenbo. Sijo also wanted Kajukenbo to grow, not in quantity, but quality. He understood that for a martial art to evolve that the martial art instructor has need to evolve also. When a student learns Kaju , he or she has to 1st learn and be able to apply the basic foundation, concepts, principles and techniques of Kaju. After they are proficient in these areas and can apply them on the street if needed, then they may be tested for a black belt. It is after black belt that the student really starts to understand his or her own self as a martial artist, thus the saying that true martial art learning starts after black belt. It is this learning that brings the Kaju black belt to self discovery of what he or she feels is his or her strong points are as well as developing their personal beliefs on what they, themselves can do to improve themselves as a martial artist. Yes, they are still guided and taught by their instructor. Most times the student chooses to stay directly under his instructor life long. Other times the student has to move away due to life's experiances and employment. It is this self discovery and training under his instructor that the individual student grows through implimenting other arts, cocepts and philosophies into his or her own Kajukenbo training. Kajukenbo's foundation is 5 arts consisting of Karate, Judo, Ju Jitsu, Kenpo, and chinese boxing. A Kaju black belt may descide to take up any other martial art style that they feel would benefit from and add it to their personal self defense tool box. Once they have done this and understand and can teach the techniques and concepts as well as being able to blend it with their own Kaju training then that is how they evolve as a martial artist and thus also Kajukenbo evolves as a martial art. It is this evolution of expression that the Kajukenbo martial artist can now teach and blend for his or her students. This makes every Kaju school unique, but they are all the same, because they have the same foundation and basic Kajukenbo techniques, drills and concepts. Most stuents stay directly under their instructor. Others have to move away for life's experiances and employment. When this happens, the Kajukenbo instructor will usally get permission to teach from their immediate instructor. When they do get their instructors blessing to do so then they may eventually get permission to teach their own interpitation of Kaju through implimenting and blending the other arts learned to the Kajukenbo foundation. This is usually only allowed after recieving their insrtuctors blessing to do so to protect the integrity of Kajukenbo and alot of times the chief instructor will also recieve the blessing to name his or her verion of Kaju being taught. The way I understand it... When an teacher gets a blessing from his instructor he can call his version of Kaju and use the word method, for example... I teach Kajukembo the Knight method, in which I recieved my instructors blessing to do so. GM Don Nahoolewa and GM Richard Peralta recieved a blessing from Sijo himself to call there version of Kaju.....KajukeMbo. Which can also be said that they are a Kajukembo system. I hope this helps.
     
  8. Wo Fat

    Wo Fat Purple Belt

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    Thank you, Sifu.
     
  9. Todd Reiner

    Todd Reiner Yellow Belt

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    This was the best explanation I've seen, and this same question has been asked many times before on other forums. The answer is... not much. YES to the eye, different than a Kaju guy, things look different when watching you tube. Look at the Techs and the same thing happens. Block/Strike, hit, hit some more, into a smooth transition judo/jitsu style takedown, and hit some more on the ground, cover (the attacker that is inoperative) to look for more guests to play with. Basic jack the dude up and look for more buddies.

    The name change was based on demographics of the times as well as other things. Regardless the Kajuke(M)bo family out of Texas has never in my knowledge been regarded as not Kajukenbo in my book by anyone that matters.

    There are some questions of who may or may not be Kaju in recent times but not from the splits out of the 60s and 70s, to my knowledge, specifically the (m) group of Peralta and Nahoolewa. These two were/are definately Kajukenbo to the core.
     
  10. Burt Vickers

    Burt Vickers White Belt

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    Interesting Reply's to this thread,
    Oddly enough there is proof that Sijo Emperado at one time used the letter M in the naming of K A J U K E M B O. Sifu Al Dacascos and one of Sifu Al's students Pat Regan have confirmed this. If WE are ever going to unify as a family, we must quit the segregation of groups or clans of our SYSTEM.
    Just because there is a Letter change doesn't mean the groups are not teaching a traditional method. Kajukembo - Kajukenbo –KenKaBo - Chan FA - Tum PAI - WHKD and others represent a common thread. All The Groups are Representation of the Teachings of our Founder SIJO A. D. Emperado. We should not point fingers and separate our brothers and sisters. Kajukenbo –in All Forms is an “Eclectic System”.
    I heard Sijo Say” Share your knowledge –get to know one other – because we are a family” and remember no man can stand alone without the support of others.
    There has been too much emphasis on what’s “ Traditional “ – Sijo wanted his system to flourish and grow, I think some of us should take a step back and think about that.
    Sigung Burt Vickers
    Kajukembo Self Defense Systems
    “ EMPERADO – REYES – PERALTA”
     
  11. Pat Regan

    Pat Regan White Belt

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    Well, to clarify that point: I can’t say Emperado ever actually used the term Kajukembo to describe his own system; and actually, as far as I know, he always operated under the banner of Kajukenbo.

    My understanding is that Kajukembo evolved as a branch of Kajukenbo amongst a group of martial artists practicing in Hawaii before Al Dacascos moved to California; he was involved (if not instrumental) in its creation; and this was done with Professor Emperado’s blessing.

    Al Dacascos was using the term Kajukembo when I first met him in California; and the photos of Emperado in Hawaii wearing Chinese togs with an emblem (made and provided by Dacascos) that apparently says Kajukembo were taken during late 1966 when Al visited Sijo seeking his approval for a new style: Ch’uan Fa Gung Fu.

    But Emperado saw Ch’uan Fa as the wave of the future, and sent Dacascos back to California with instructions to unite the existing mainland schools in that art under Kajukenbo. Then, the rocker patch worn by the members of Al’s School of Chinese Kempo specified Kajukenbo over the octagon Ch’uan Fa Gung Fu patch.

    And a few months later, in August 1967, after considerable negotiation between schools, a modified version of Al’s octagon patch (including the word Kajukenbo) was accepted as the logo of the newly-formed KAA.

    So: Kajukembo existed in Hawaii before Al came to California, and he used it when he first arrived on the mainland; he discontinued using the term Kajukembo after returning from his visit with Emperado in Hawaii; but apparently others (perhaps stemming from the earlier Hawaii group?) continued on as Kajukembo, and still use the name today.

    In any event, both are part of the same tree: rooted in the creativity of Emperado, Ordonez, Choo, Holck, and Chang. Whatever you call it, we are all practitioners of The Art; and our similarities greatly outnumber our differences.

    IMOHO, there really shouldn't be any discord over this. We're all part of the same brotherhood.

    Hope this helps.

    VBR,

    Pat
     
  12. Pat Regan

    Pat Regan White Belt

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    One other point I might have added:

    In our early history training at the Cherryland Hall School of Chinese Kempo back in the 60's, Al explained the difference between Kajukenbo and Kajukembo. Basically, the former was based on Kenpo Karate, while the latter focused more on Chinese Kempo.

    The difference? As I was taught: Chinese Kempo was the earlier art, and in the language of that country Kempo meant "China's Fist".

    When martial artists carried Kempo to Okinawa, it caught on there and (like all arts progressing from one group or culture to another) went through a metamorphasis. Having thus engendered their own style, the Okinawans naturally wanted to differentiate it from a name that payed tribute to China. So, they called their art "Kenpo", which in their language means "Fist Way" or "Way of the Fist."

    In terms of technique: Okinawan Kenpo might be described as a bit more "hard style" and "external" than Chinese Kempo, which was comparitively more "soft style" and "internal", and has a little different "flow" to it.

    Moving into the 20th Century: because the aforementioned (in my previous post) branch of martial artists in Hawaii was influenced more by Chinese Kempo than Okinawan Kenpo, they altered the name of their style slightly from Kajukenbo to Kajukembo, with Adriano Emperado's knowledge and consent.

    Does that mean that all modern Kajukembo is more Kempo-oriented than Kajukenbo? Maybe, but not necessarily.

    The Art has gone through changes over the past 50 years. Some of the instructors teaching it today might choose to favor Kenpo, and that's fine. We all use what works for us.

    All I'm saying is: when the branch originated, it was due to the influence of Chinese Kempo upon Kajukenbo. Whether that trend continues today is an individual choice of each particular school and instructor operating under that banner.

    Again, I hope this helps.

    VBR,

    Pat
     
  13. Wo Fat

    Wo Fat Purple Belt

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    Recent events seem to have made this topic relevant again. As I understand it, a few high ranking gentlemen in Kajukembo were promoted to red/gold belt. It did spark some debate; much of which has to do with the significance and meaning of a red/gold belt in the Kajukenbo/Kajukembo system.

    Our art is today, for the most part, a "my own house" system. Meaning, what I do in my own house is my own business. Personally, I can't judge. But I do have a question or two:

    Respectfully, is there still no difference between Kajukenbo and Kajukembo, given the recent promotions to red/gold belt? Or is Kajukembo now an official separate Branch?
     
  14. MaxRob

    MaxRob Orange Belt

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    Question on Kajukembo ?
    The original version thought by Sijo Adriano Directo Emperado included direct contact and pain tolerance and control
    His famous teaching ,if one is afraid of pain they would be defeated the first time they were hit, I firmly subscribe to this, and back in University in the early 70's one of our teachers had this Philosophy, in street fighting self defense.
    If you are in life threatening combat in the street or otherwise, pain resistance/ tolerance and conditioning comes in very handy.If we have also a High genetic pain threshold it is an extra bonus.
    many do not expect one to overcome a painful blow high or low, and that is the strength of pain conditioning
    Question is does this old school teaching,still apply to modern Kajukenbo?
    or has this magnificent art lost a limb, because of legalities etc etc?
    God bless the Soul of Adriano Emperado one of the Greatest Grand Masters of Martial Arts, I wish I had met him.
     
  15. DennisBreene

    DennisBreene 3rd Black Belt

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    An interesting question; as is the entire discussion. My original Grand Master studied under Master Emperado and when he transferred to Korea was given permission to study another art. He ultimately advanced in Tang Soo Do and taught under that styles banner. When I started around 1970, he referred to Kajukenbo (no spelling specified at the time) as a hard Chinese style and readily admitted that the lines blurred in our school as to specific techniques. I have come to recognize that much of our self defense and one step sparring training was heavily influenced by Kajukenbo. Masters Emperado and Hwang Kee both seemed to emphasize the philosophy that growth of their art entailed inevitable change as subsequent students internalized and adapted what they had learned. (Hwang Kee likened it to water trickling down multiple paths). The information in this thread had illuminated much of the roots in my own training. Thank you all for the insights. And as to the pain and strength; I recall it being a significant component of our training but nothing like what my Master described from his Kajukenbo days (he described having to crawl to the curb where his wife picked him up in their car).
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  16. kuniggety

    kuniggety 2nd Black Belt

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    I will be moving to Hawaii in a few months. I am a BJJ practitioner and plan on continuing studying BJJ. I have fond memories of training in karate as a kid and wanted a similar experience for my boys/something I can do with them. While researching Kenpo, which I had believed was big in/came from Hawaii, I see a lot of the schools have Kenpo/Kempo in their name but teach Kajukenbo when I look at their sites. Is there anyone really versed in this that can explain it or point to a good resource that breaks this all down? Maybe I should just do Goju ryu or shotokan karate but it sounds interesting.
     

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