Author Topic: Has Kajukenbo become the new karate?  (Read 6824 times)

Offline Mitch Powell

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Has Kajukenbo become the new karate?
« on: July 28, 2003, 03:00:38 PM »
Kajukenbo in the 1950's was a kenpo-karate system that employed jujitsu and judo techniques with boxing to create a hard-line fighting system based on the "over-kill" concept of self defense.

Kajukenbo's philosophy was "attacker the attacker." The techniques were all about destroying the attacker. A basic system of forms and techniques were put into place to teach this philosophy and allow the students to develop hard-line Kajukenbo skills. Kajukenbo could have stopped there and our system would have been easy to classify.

Sijo Emperado was the primary influence in creating the original method. But Sijo was not done creating. He went on in the later part of the 1950's and early 60's to train with the Chinese Professors and established himself as a well respected gung fu man. So much so, that they awarded him the title of Professor and named him as the advisor for the Choy li fut system.

Kajukenbo grew because of this. Chinese Boxing became a big part of Kajukenbo. The original method was not the only form of Kajukenbo. To go along with the hard style came a hard/soft side of Kajukenbo, and our style began to grow.

But Sijo was not done creating. He went on to form and organize an internal side to Kajukenbo to compliment the hard style and hard/soft styles he already created.

Kajukenbo today is a soft, hard/soft, hard-line system of self defense that focuses on the external and internal aspects of the martial arts. In essence, Kajukenbo has grown to become whatever we as Kajukenboists need it to be.

Whenever someones says, "I practice Kajukenbo," we now must ask, "which kind?" Kajukenbo has evolved and grown to the point now where Kajukenbo has become the new karate.
Powell's MMA Academy (KSDI#549)
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Re:Has Kajukenbo become the new karate?
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2003, 09:28:10 AM »
Professor Powell,
You brought up a lot of interesting points in your posting. I would like to address the point of how widepread Kajukenbo has become. The art has become the new karate in many ways because one can find it almost anywhere. Unfortunately in Kansas, I often get comments like "what's Kajukenbo?" because most martial arts pioneers of Kansas come from an Okinawan-based or Taekwondo background. Thus everyone has heard of their styles. I have been trying to make Kajukenbo a household word in Kansas. My work is cut out for me.
An advantage that folks in a Kajukenbo-dominated area have is easy access to other instructors. I have to squeeze in contact with instructors outside of my school during business trips. (By the way, every Kajukenbo instructor I ran across has been very welcoming and willing to share ideas.) Another difficult aspect is lack of contact with instructors who can promote me in rank. Can you imagine how hard it is to compete with the Taekwondo instructor next door who is already fifth degree and assistants with higher degrees than me? All I can say is that I am thankful Kajukenbo is a highly effective martial art and prospective students who try me and other instructors out tend to choose me.
Mahalo,
Sigung Andrew Evans, KSDI #888
Hokkien Martial Arts, Topeka, KS
http://www.TopekaKarate.com

Offline Mitch Powell

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Re:Has Kajukenbo become the new karate?
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2003, 11:44:23 AM »
Mr. Evans,
I have no doubt in time areas like Kansas will be as populated with Kajukenbo schools as California. As we move back and forth from state to state and attend seminars the word spreads.

As Kajukenbo has grown, one of the downfalls has been consistancy in what is required for belt promotions. In the California area the three main schools of Kajukenbo are the Original Method, the Gaylord Method and the Ramos Method.

The original Method is what Sijo taught. The Gaylord Method is what Charles Gaylord created from what he was taught. The Ramos Method was created by Tony Ramos from what he was taught. Each one is clearly Kajukenbo, but all have their own perspective. There are many other versions of course, but these are the most common in my area.

For the most part those schools have a set standard for what is required for each belt promotion. As an example, in the Original Method the following requirements are usually learned for black belt:
Palama Sets (forms) 1-14
Grab 1-15
Punch 1-21
Knife 1-15
Club 1-13
2 Man 1-8
3 man 1-6
Alphabets A-D

Each version has there own standard, and some techniques very from teacher to teacher. That's where we run into a problem. While it's great to have different flavors to choose from, if you no longer train from your original teacher it may be difficult to find a teacher who can bring you up through the ranks without you having to learn new or different knowledge.

Kajukenbo will become even more widespread when there are books and video tapes available for the primary styles, and forms and techniques begin to stay constant between Methods.

When karate started it experienced much the same thing. There were styles named after certain teachers and styles named after areas where the styles came from. It wasn't until the styles became classified as being certain techniques and forms that they became well known. Shotokan, Goju Ryu, etc.

Kajukenbo has developed to the point where it covers the soft to hard ways, the next step will be books, videos and DVD.

As far as teaching goes and having to compete with higher ranking teachers in your area, Kajukenbo usually holds its own when students are comparing schools. I don't imagine you lose too many students who are serious about training.

As far as your rank goes, I suggest contacting Grandmaster DeChi Emperado or Sijo Emperado and making sure you are afiliated with a Grandmaster or Professor who can further your knowledge and rank.
Powell's MMA Academy (KSDI#549)
Grandmaster Mitch Powell (Emperado Method)
(707) 344-1655  coachmitchpowell@hotmail.com

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Re:Has Kajukenbo become the new karate?
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2003, 01:11:10 PM »
Professor Powell,
Thank you for your response. I am hesistant about altering my curriculum. Once I was blessed by talking with my teacher's teacher teacher. He wanted to test and promote me but we never got together before he passed away. That has forced me to focus on growing horizontally via expansion of my school and studying other arts as opposed to growing vertically via rank. However, I will look into you suggestions. I think I have grown spiritually and mentally since being a lone instructor with only a handful of students.
Although I am nothing compared to the early pioneers who left Hawaii and opened schools in the mainland with minimal support, I sometimes feel I can relate to their struggles. One benefit I have over those pioneers is the ability to get great advice from folks such as yourself.
Mahalo,
Sigung Andrew Evans, KSDI #888
Hokkien Martial Arts, Topeka, KS
http://www.TopekaKarate.com

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Re:Has Kajukenbo become the new karate?
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2003, 01:16:18 PM »
I would like to return to the heart of the original posting and title of this discussion.

Depite the wide availability of Kajukenbo in places like the West Coast, it is not becoming the new karate. Far from it! My little story will demonstrate this...

One of my students who studied an Okinawan martial art asked if there was a video or book I could recommend to give him a better sense of the forms and self-defense combinations I teach. I said no.

The student appeared confused and mention the various Kajukenbo and Kenpo/Kempo titles available.
He mentioned how his previous karate had videos and books. I happen to have a copy of a book on my school's shelf about the forms of his previous Okinawan karate. The style was highly standardized and had hundreds of schools across the world following the forms in the book to a T.

I smiled and said, "A Kajukenbo/Chinese Kempo form found here in is not going to be exactly the same as what you would see in California. We are not McDonald's. If you want your Kansas hamburger to taste the same anywhere else, go to McDonald's."

Respectfully submitted,
Sigung Andrew Evans, KSDI #888
Hokkien Martial Arts, Topeka, KS
http://www.TopekaKarate.com

Offline Mitch Powell

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Re:Has Kajukenbo become the new karate?
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2003, 12:34:01 AM »
Karate developed into many different styles, but in the beginning it was a catch all for anything Japanese, Okinawian or Korean.

Kajukenbo has developed to the point where it has hard, hard/soft, and soft styles within its system. It has become a catch all for everything from the Original hardline kenpo-karate to Ch'uan Fa, to Won Hop Kuen Do, to Tum Pai, and Fi-Kuen, the new method that GM Ted Sotelo teaches.

There was a time when Kajukenbo was just one way. It has since grown into many different ways. The next step for Kajukenbo's worldwide growth is for the teachers to make good training videos and write good books.

Once that has been done, schools can use the material to check their techniques, forms, etc. Like Goju Ryu, Shotokan, Tang Soo Do, etc. Once everything was categorized those styles grew. There were other styles that were better, but the material was never published and just died out with the teachers.

I believe Kajukenbo is at that step of growth, where it can completely take off if the techniques and forms that make up the individual methods within the system are available to everyone.

Kajukenbo has come a long way in 50 years. I think we will see a hugh boom. I just read an article in Black Belt Magazine about two months ago where the Military (USMC) has come up with a new close quarter combat method for their troops.

They found out that if they combined kenpo-karate, jujitsu, judo and boxing they could create an excellent method of combat fighting. Sijo figured that out more than 50 years ago!

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sigungjoe

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Re:Has Kajukenbo become the new karate?
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2003, 07:44:16 PM »
Actually Prof. Mitch, Fi Kuen has been around for many years. In fact, I have heard some of the old timers say that Fi Kuen looks exactly how Joe and Adriano Emperado looked when they faught. GM Ted says that the Fi Kuen is a tribute to those two warriors. The thing that I like most about Fi Kuen is  that you can take any technique and with the proper theory turn it a bit so that it becomes the lightning hands, or the rapid fire strikes. GM ted says that when he teaches Fi Kuen, he doesnt start you on something new, rather he see's himself as a painter that is just adding some touch up to your already made work of art. There are 5 or 6 people that are instructors in the Fi Kuen, but currently only GM Ted and myself are teaching it.

TODD

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Re:Has Kajukenbo become the new karate?
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2003, 12:02:11 AM »
I started training under my father while living in Oregon.  One thing led to another and I ended
up in San Jose, CA.  I wanted to continue with my training so my mother found a Kajukenbo
school.  My first and only class went fine until the class was asked to perform kata #1.  I was
the highest ranking (purple) among the other children and noticed I was alone.  The rest of
the class was performing something I'd never seen.  Kata #1?  I was very confused but finished my kata to
the best of my ability.  When everyone was done I was being starred at.  The sifu took my aside
and obviousely seeing how distraught I was told me it was ok.  He asked my linage so I told him...
Reiner, Palomo, and he stopped me at Phil Palomo.  He explained that what I was taught was
different and put me with another instructor.  I never went back.  Not because I felt this style
was inferior but because I wanted to continue where I left off.  My point being that I agree that
Kajukenbo has evolved.  And reading the posts on this web site I am thoroughly impressed.
Although not the same style each branch appears to have the same "basics".  My school bought the
Kajukenbo tapes.  Not to change or learn from but to "jog the memory".  And yes my school has
acquired students from other schools as well.  Its amazing the response Kajukenbo gets in a
dominately Tae-kwon-do tournament :P  I would have to disagree that a Kajukenbo class
is different in California than perhaps Kansas or the Mid west or East Coast in general.  Master
Forbach's video tapes(Panther) is where I come with this statement.  Many years went by and I
learned the same Kajukenbo thats on that tape.  Our Black Belt requirements are the same as
posted earlier.  

Offline Mitch Powell

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Re:Has Kajukenbo become the new karate?
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2003, 12:31:19 PM »
Sigung Joe,
You're right! Fi Kuen is not new to Kajukenbo, although some practicioners are not aware of it yet. The fast whipping palm heel strike movements are very obvious in the Alphabet Techniques, which are from the 1950's.

GM Sotelo gave me a personal demonstration of Fi Kuen's effectiveness at our school a while back. Let me say it here--I could not strike him! GM Sotelo used only Fi-Kuen hand movements and was untouchable. The quickness and effectiveness of his strikes also allowed him to turn on his offense whenever he wanted too.

Fi Kuen is very impressive. For anyone who has not experienced Fi-Kuen, I suggest contacting GM Sotelo or Sigung Joe Solis.

Adding to me earlier post, this is another example of how Kajukenbo has grown. Looking at a Fi Kuen practicioner one might think they are watching a highly skilled gung fu man.

 
Powell's MMA Academy (KSDI#549)
Grandmaster Mitch Powell (Emperado Method)
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Offline Mitch Powell

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Re:Has Kajukenbo become the new karate?
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2003, 12:48:01 PM »
Todd,
Since we have different methods in Kajukenbo, it can be difficult when you change locations to find someone who teaches the method you're trained in.

Someone trained in the Original Method is not going to have all the same knowledge as someone taught the Ramos Method or Gaylor Method. There are many, many similarities, but enough differences to confuse the hell out of you!

It sounds like the person you trained from recognized your method was differnet from what they were teaching and provided you with a place to train that followed what you were initially taught.

I respect that teacher a lot for knowing the difference and for allowing you the opportunity to train under another teacher.

I have learned both the Orignal Method and the Ramos Method and teach both, but if a student came to me from the Gaylord Method, I would have to refer them to someone qualified to teach that Method. I don't think a student should have to start over. There are just too many good Gaylord Method teachers out there.

One of the keys to Kajukenbo's success is for us to ackowledge the talents of other teachers and refer the students to the location where we think the student will excell the most and stay in the system.

 
Powell's MMA Academy (KSDI#549)
Grandmaster Mitch Powell (Emperado Method)
(707) 344-1655  coachmitchpowell@hotmail.com

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Re:Has Kajukenbo become the new karate?
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2003, 03:43:14 PM »
Mr. Todd Reiner,

From my experience, the Kata #1 I teach in Kansas based on Godin's lineage is different from the other methods I've encountered. However, I acknowledge that the basics between the different lineages are similar enough to still be called Kajukenbo. I appreciate these differences because it encourages the art to grow (more forms and Katas) while keeping its strong building blocks (basics).

The way classes are run are very similar no matter where you are because students will work their butts off. I apologize if anything I said appears to suggest otherwise. Kajukenbo practitioners have some of the hardest and tough training methods I have ever seen.

Also, I agree with Professor Mitch that it is good to point a student in the right direction if s/he is from a different method. I don’t believe a student should have to start over. If a student starts over because of choice or necessity (no other instructors nearby), I will do everything I can to make sure the student advances quicker than someone who never had Kajukenbo experience. I believe the similarities between our methods allow for easy conversions/sharing.

Respectfully,
Sigung Andrew Evans, KSDI #888
Hokkien Martial Arts, Topeka, KS
http://www.TopekaKarate.com

TODD

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Re:Has Kajukenbo become the new karate?
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2003, 07:30:21 PM »
I was getting at on my last post was Kajukenbo origional style should be the same where-ever one might go.  Same as Kajukenbo in any other method.  If
I train in the Ramos style in Florida and then California yes there may be some minor differences but I should still be able to recognize and adapt.  By no means is there any reason to apologize.  Theres nothing said that I took any offense to.  Just putting in personal experience with different methods.  Is there any future plans on any of the other methods of putting a demo tape out?  I'm a little isolated in Minnesota.  After all these years i don't see Kajukenbo getting commercialized.  Perhaps a little but not like Tae-Kwon-Do

TODD

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Re:Has Kajukenbo become the new karate?
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2003, 08:08:22 PM »
I like the idea that the future of Kajukenbo may be held in published books and video.  This reason being to standardize.  One thing I always admired was the hard style of training.  This training has made Kajukenbo unique compared to the more "popular" arts out there.  I fear that this widespread publicity and popularity that books and video create may in fact hurt our beloved system.  I like tae-Kwon-Do as this example.  From what I do know of this style the "traditional" art is very admirable from what I'd seen.  But when I look around I see 2 year if not less black belts, many of which are children(9 to 12).  What happened?  I assume an explosion in popularity and many people seeing quick and easy money.  "I can teach students to kick and spar, promote every 2 months, and make nothing but money."  

sigungjoe

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Re:Has Kajukenbo become the new karate?
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2003, 08:43:14 PM »
Prof Mitch,
Thank you for the compliment on the Fi Kuen. Sorry we wont be able to go to GM Emos anniversary, but we will be at the Yosimite seminar in Sept. if you want to do more Fi Kuen. Also I am planning a 3 day seminar featuring GM Ted Sotelo. This should be around Feb. Depends on if Sijo is free at that time, and besides, I have to Let GM Sotelo know too. (hehe). But, if anyone is interested, email me and let me know