History > Who's Who in Kajukenbo

Sr Grandmaster Emil Bautista under KSDI.#317

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John Bishop:

Conceived on October 06th, 1938 at Alameda Ca. a Filipino of Ilocano and Pangasinan descent, a ninth-degree red belt with silver trim under Sijo Adriano D. Emperado, Emil Bautista has celebrated over fifty years of teaching. In recognition of his contribution to the art, he was granted the title of professor 9th degree in Nov. 1993 at Lake Tahoe, NV, then Grand Master title 9th degree at the 50th-anniversary tournament and seminar in June at Las Vegas, NV. in 1999. In July of 2014, he received his Senior Grandmaster by Senior Grandmaster Dechie Emperado in Las Vegas at the age of 75

At 23, Emil Bautista began his journey into the Kajukenbo system in 1961, when he began attending karate classes at the gym taught at Travis Air Force Base, Ca. from the late Aleju Reyes, two of his greats were Don Nahoolewa and Richard Peralta. By 1963 Emil had begun to train in Fairfield Ca. There he found his way to the late Antonio Ramos the man who would teach and later promote him to the rank of student black belt on June 12, 1966, under what was called then the Kajukenbo Self-Defense Institute. He was the third black belt promoted after John Ramos and Calvin Shin. He was then certified to the rank of 7th degree under Antonio Ramos in 1983. Still teaching Ramos concept for 53 years.

After receiving his 1st-degree Black belt in May of 1967 on Broadway St. in Vallejo, Sibak Bautista began to develop students for Ahgung Ramos, and in the early part of 1968, he opened the doors to the Kajukenbo Self-Defense Institute at 974 Benicia Road, Vallejo, Cal. where he still teaches today, the Kajukenbo system, Emperado method, Ramos style, Bautista influence. The school celebrates its 53rd year at the settlement in the same place.

In 1984 Sifu Emil Bautista moved his organization directly under the Kajukenbo founder, Sijo Adriano D. Emperado KSDI. The friendship and respect that followed saw Sifu Bautista up through the rank of Sigung and later Professor-9th degree Red belt with Silver trim in 1993. He received his grandmaster 9th degree in 1999 in Las Vegas from Sijo Emperado, the senior grandmaster in 2014. Only Sijo Emperado himself currently ranks higher with a 10th degree reserved explicitly for the head of the Kajukenbo system.

Also in 1993 Sijo Adriano D. Emperado awarded a certificate stating that Emil Bautista was in charge of the Northern California HeadQuarters of the Kajukenbo Self Defence Institute, sealed, stamp, and sign by Sijo Emperado and Dechi Emperado who is the head administrator of the Kajukenbo Self Defense Institute Incorporated of Hawaii and the mainland

Sr. Grandmaster Bautista was inducted into the Hall of Fame in July of 2003 in Hayward, Ca, and was featured in the July 2004 issue of Inside Kung Fu Magazine and the January 1998 issue of Inside Karate Magazine.

He has two sons in Kajukenbo, Steven Bautista (Sifu) 5th degree and Joseph Bautista (Grandmaster) 9th degree and a grandson (Sibok) 2nd degree, a son Lawrance Bautista in Oregon who teaches grade school and a son Robert Bautista who is a retired navy, three daughters Debra, Theodora and Sandra, seventeen grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, two great,greatgrandchildren

He lives with his lovely wife Betty ann and their little companion Kuai Jiao a long coat Chihuahua in American Canyon, California.

The Kajukenbo lineage: Founder and creator Sijo Adriano D. Emperado-pioneer and teacher Ahgung Antonio Ramos-and always the student Emil Bautista

John Bishop:
How I met GM Bautista.   :)
Sometime around 1990, I was picking up some equipment at Phil Hall's Martial Arts Supply, in Westminster, Ca.   While I was there I heard a man ask Phil if there were any Kajukenbo schools in the area.  I heard Phil say yes, and then he called me over telling GM Bautista that I was a Kajukenbo man.   GM Bautista stuck out his hand and said "Hi I'm Emil Bautista from Vallejo".  We then talked for a awhile, and he told me that he was in the area for business, and just wanted to see if there were any Kajukenbo people in the area he could visit with.
When he had to leave he left me his card and said that he enjoyed our visit, and if I was ever in his area I should come and visit him.
After he left I took a look at his card, and realized that I had been talking with one of the highest ranking practitioners in the Kajukenbo system.  
Since that day I have always been impressed with the humility and friendliness that this man displays toward everyone he meets.            

Mitch Powell:
Emil Bautista received his black belt in 1966 from Ahgung Tony Ramos, making him one of the earliest Kajukenbo black belts promoted outside of Hawaii.

I went to Franklin Junior High School in Vallejo, Calif. in the early 70's when I first heard of Kajukenbo from his nephew and neice Bobby & Mary Wilson and they invited me to visit there dojo on Benica Rd.

I peaked in the window and seen first hand why he is one of the best Kajukenbo Masters around.

Yes Mitch you are absolutely right he is one humble man.


       I met Grandmaster Emil Bautista in Kajukenbo  Back Belt Society Seminar in 1992 Kauai Hawaii at Professor Jaime Basquez home. He is a very humble man and a great friend. My father and I visited his school in 1997 and  passed the night in his dojo. Next day practiced all day sharing the counters techniques  from Tony Ramos that we have.      
      He visited us in February 1998. He saw the Puerto Rico Kajukenbo Associations Groups and stayed a week garthering with Professor Jose "Cherry" Ortega and his son Nataniel. He appeared at channel 4; local television, in a interview about Kajukenbo, it was amaizing. A lot of martial artist came to us for instruction of Kajukenbo.


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