Author Topic: Original Kajukenbo  (Read 2889 times)

Offline Ghost Rider

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Original Kajukenbo
« on: December 21, 2011, 12:39:43 AM »
If we say original kajukenbo, what date would we attach?
I am thinking that would have to be somewhere in the early 50’s
Any thoughts
« Last Edit: December 21, 2011, 12:43:19 AM by Ghost Rider »
Greg Harper
senior instructor, Gumataotao Kajukenbo
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Sijo Emperado's personal body guard

Offline Sleddog

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Re: Original Kajukenbo
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2011, 06:34:59 AM »
Historically I would have to agree.
Black Belt Society was 1947 - 1949.
Korean War was 1950 - 1953.
Marino Tiwanak (First BB under Sijo, 1955) was training with Sijo from 1947 - 1956.
The Korean War took Joe Holck, Peter Choo, & George Chang away from Hawaii.
Black Belt Society named Sijo as instructor in charge (after 1949)
Sijo promoted to 5th degree by James Mitose 1952.
Kajukenbo named coined by Joe Holck, 195?.
Kajukenbo name registered in Hawaii 1960.
Kajukenbo incorporated 1968.

The difficult thing about this is deciding where the R&D on the prototype stopped and R&D on the "Method" continued.

You could argue that Kajukenbo started the first day that AD Emperado took up the martial arts. That, however, is a bit of a stretch. Imperative to the development was the training with the other contributors from other martial philosophies. Otherwise it would have stayed just another variation on the Kenpo methods that descended from Professor Chow. The dispersal of most of the original founders in 1950 would have forced Sijo to evaluate it's value and effectiveness independently. Kajukenbo's "rapid" growth at that time shows me that the test results were positive.

That would place it in the early 1950's.

The development of the name later on was quite natural. They didn't set out to develop a new method, they just wanted to develop themselves more. When they saw what they had done they gave it a name.

One side bar. I have always bristled when I read that 5 "masters" got together to create this art. I challenge this. They were not yet masters, in fact none of them had more that a few years training in 1947, and that is probably why it worked. "Masters" have long term investments in their training and are usually part of the organizational structure of their art. This hard won status goes hand in hand with a reluctance to change the status quo.

These guys had a unique perspective of having seen warfare up close during WWII, all those people to practice on in Hawaii and having this training too.

« Last Edit: December 21, 2011, 11:19:00 AM by Sleddog »
Philip Gelinas
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Jun Fan Gung Fu, Kali & Maphilindo Silat (Under Sifu Dan Inosanto Since 1990)
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Offline kcerda

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Re: Original Kajukenbo
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2011, 10:44:35 AM »
Just a suggestion:

Marino Tiwanak left Sijo in 1956, when Woodrow McCandless died. He also has stated  that he started to hear about "kajukenbo" instead of "kenpo karate" after he start his own school that year. McCandless was under Mitose (who promoted Sijo by 1952) at the first place and then merged -as a fellow instructor- his school with Emperado's brothers group, probably cuz he seems the stuff they have was a consistent development of Mitose-Chow material. The passing of McCandless maybe worked as a catalizer to make the Emperado's brothers definitively conscious they were in a different track from Mitose-Chow approach to the art.
This last idea fits with the fact that by the time of his death in 1958, Joe Emperado was working in some forms, and the 7th Pinan remains incomplete since then. Since in Tiwanak kenpo there are no more forms than the original Mitose-Chow Naihanchi Shodan, and not even a clue from kajukenbo pinans, its easy to believe that 1 to 7 Pinans were created between 1956 and 1958. In a traditional mindset, a new martial art needs its own forms... so we could specify that kajukenbo as a different art from Mitose-Chow kenpo started definitively by those years.

As a complementary thought, we can consider the "mourning effect". We are not in a position to know how was the impact of McCandless death in the Emperado's group, but isnt hard to speculate about the impact of Joe Emperado's murder (I havent found information about it, perhaps some of the elder kajukenbo historians have more material about this important issue) in Sijo and the rest of the group. The few testimonies about him said Joe was a great instructor and a skilled kenpoka, this and the circumstances of his death should have been devastating for Sijo and to the rest of the group. So we have two importants passings in a little time, the psychological mourning forces some changes and adaptation in the minds of the ones that remains, and some of this adapations means to broke with the remaining clues of the relationship and start fresh in many aspects of the life. A loss always breaks something that cannot be fixed.  Being a martial artist focused in self defense make this more bitter if ur brother died in a fight. That should makes one to question the training and methods u have been using at that point. So if McCandless passing didnt opened a big fracture in Emperado's kenpo, Joe's murder done this for sure. 
Sifu Kristov Cerda
Half Blood Hawaiian Kenpo - Chile, Southamerica.