Creation of a New Fighting System
Kajukenbo was born from the streets of Oahu, Hawaii, in 1947 in a part of town known as the Palamas Settlement. This was considered the bad part of town, where brawls, stabbings, and muggings were the daily norm. Five young men, who were no strangers to this way of life and were experts in their respective fighting styles, collaborated to form a new fighting system that can defend against any street scenario. Sijo Adriano Emperado, founder of this new fighing system, contributed the hard hitting style of Kenpo. Clarence Chang’s contribution was Chinese boxing, also known as Gung-Fu. Peter Choo’s contribution was the empty handed style of Karate and his knowledge of western boxing. Joseph Holck provided the takedown attributes of Judo, while Frank Ordonez provided the joint lock aspects of Jujitsu. After many long months of training and numerous street trials, a new fighting system began to emerge, where Kenpo was at the core to which everything else was formed around. These five men, who later would form the Black Belt Society, named this new fighting system Kajukenbo.
Ka – Karate “empty hand”
Ju – Judo/Jujitsu “gentle way” and “yielding martial art”
Ken – Kenpo “law of the fist”
Bo – Gung-Fu (Chinese boxing) “skillful” or “hard work”