Author Topic: What is primary foundation of Kajukenbo in todays world of martail arts?  (Read 11576 times)

Offline Black Kryptonite

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I’ve had the opportunity to train with several different Sifus and Professors of the art of Kajukenbo. The one thing that stands out is the different philosophies and approach to Kajukenbo. 

Some focus more on the standing aspects Karate and Kempo, versus the ground game of Ju-Jitsu. Some  8)focus on American boxing. However, for the most part they over look the aspect of Judo, which is very fundamental to close quarter-combat. Also, some instructors swear by forms and there benefit of muscle memory. Other dismiss them as to ridged causing the student to be stiff and lose creativity in real fighting situations.   

Knowing Kajukenbo is a hybrid martial arts, my question is what is the primary foundation of Kajukenbo? 
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Offline Wado

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Re: What is primary foundation of Kajukenbo in todays world of martail arts?
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2008, 02:01:25 PM »
This doesn't really answer your question, but I like the topic and want to chime in my opinion.

I’ve had the opportunity to train with several different Sifus and Professors of the art of Kajukenbo. The one thing that stands out is the different philosophies and approach to Kajukenbo. 

Some focus more on the standing aspects Karate and Kempo, versus the ground game of Ju-Jitsu. Some  8)focus on American boxing. However, for the most part they over look the aspect of Judo, which is very fundamental to close quarter-combat. Also, some instructors swear by forms and there benefit of muscle memory. Other dismiss them as to ridged causing the student to be stiff and lose creativity in real fighting situations.   

Knowing Kajukenbo is a hybrid martial arts, my question is what is the primary foundation of Kajukenbo? 

I'm not sure what the difference is between a "foundation" and the "primary foundation."  It is hard enough building one good foundation, let alone thinking of it in terms of multiple foundations.  But I just might be reading into your question more than I need to.

The root of marital arts, and Kajukenbo included, is fighting.  Specifically street.  Everything was built from there, tested in real situations enough to know what works, why it works, when it works, and how it works.  However, to systematically approach fighting is not unlike trying to attach a sprinkler to the end of a fire hose while it is running.  It is controlling chaos.

I'm therefore, not so concerned about what is the foundation, but how the foundation is built.  To take a minimalist approach would be to say one needs:

(1) hard sincere training (pushing outside comfort zones and being honest with yourself),
(2) the building of good structure and habits (knowledge and practice of good technique and conditioning opposed to sloppy technique and bad form)
(3) practical application (testing of technique under pressure and gaining of experience using it under fire)
(4) respect and discipline
(5) superior attitude (building of fighting spirit and removal of internal conflicts)
(6) principles (combat tactics and the building blocks of how and why things work)
(7) beginner's mind (always willing to learn new things and improve self)

Now added on top of the above foundation building is tradition, etc.

So a strong foundation in kajukenbo should be made up of what is a strong foundation in any fighting art.  On top of the foundation is built the specializations, experiences, and cross-training that make each person's personal expression of Kajukenbo.
W. Yamauchi
Mateo Kajukenbo
Seattle, Washington

Offline punisher73

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Re: What is primary foundation of Kajukenbo in todays world of martail arts?
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2008, 02:07:10 PM »
I am only an informal student of Kajukenbo, but I will take a stab at it.

I guess another way to ask your question would be, "What is...." or "What should be..."

Every instructor is going to focus on what they are best at and where they are most comfortable.  If they have experience in real life encounters, they will focus on the tools that they used and worked for them.  This will lead you to the differences you see.  What SHOULD be, would be a seamless blending of all the material in Kajukenbo so that the student could adapt and apply all of it's tools.

It's not just Kajukenbo when it comes to forms.  Some people see NO benefit to do them other than as "tradition" and learn them and pass them on a such.  Others will see them for other benefits and instruct their students on the benefits that they think they will get from them.  Again, it just comes down to personal preference with each instructor or how they were taught and shown the material.
Kevin A. Hirakis
SW Michigan

Offline Jason Goldsmith

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Re: What is primary foundation of Kajukenbo in todays world of martail arts?
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2008, 02:13:06 PM »
Sifu Wado's answer is a darn good one, and goes along with my views and what I imagine most Kaju black belts feel as well.

To try and get at your question, though, I assume that by "primary foundation" you mean which of the arts in Kajukenbo serves as our main base.  I would say that for hard style Kaju, it is most likely kenpo, however, someone with more experience in that branch than I would be more qualified to determine that.

In regards to the Wun Hop Kuen Do branch, I would say our main foundations are Kung Fu, Escrima, and Judo, at least when I was learning it.
Sifu Jason Goldsmith
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Offline Mitch Powell

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Re: What is primary foundation of Kajukenbo in todays world of martail arts?
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2008, 04:26:14 PM »
The martial arts world is pretty exciting right now because a lot of the hocus pocus schools are being exposed with the UFC and MMA training that now exists. The cool thing about Kajukenbo is its flexibility. The whole idea of the art is actually just a concept. The idea of blending techniques from karate, judo, jujitsu, kenpo and boxing together when needed to best defend yourself is great. Very few schools have the same techniques or forms but you can still see Kajukenbo when they move because they use this concept. 

Some schools have forgotten their judo side. Others have forgotten their kenpo side, and so forth. Kajukenbo works the best when you possess the ability to blend all of it together.

With that being said, Kajukenbo is a self defense art by nature. Yes, it is brutal, but it is still a self defense art. Fighting and self defense are two very different things and fighting in a ring is much, much different than fighting in the street. For those reasons, I teach the original method of Kajukenbo (e.g. grabs, punch, knife, club, two-man, three-man, Alphabet, and Palama sets) as our method of self defense and the basics of MMA (e.g. boxing, kick boxing, standing and ground grappling) as our method of fighting. I also focus on street fighting concepts over ring concepts. I don't like teaching students to be successful in a ring when I know that what they are learning won't translate to the street. Having worked in law enforcement for 20 years helps a lot because I know what the street has to offer.

At the end of the training, the teacher has to have taught the student how to protect themselves and the student has to be able to do what is taught. If that doesn't happen, it's all a bunch of ..................!


 
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Offline KajuJKDFighter

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Re: What is primary foundation of Kajukenbo in todays world of martail arts?
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2008, 04:57:36 PM »
Though I use many arts to get were I'm going, Kaju for the toughness, JKD theories, boxing for the contact, Thai/Savate for the leg destructions, varied grappling arts to control, break, submit or strike...the key is surviving a street fight.  Ring fighting is great fun and we train in drills for the cage or ring...I make sure students understand wining the street fight is much better then prize money or a title.  A joke at my school is you wanna go for the title...which means bang it out and see who wins...eye, pokes, ear pops, groin hits head butts, even an elbow down from 12 to 6 can all be used, Win and go home and relax......
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Offline Ron Baker

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Re: What is primary foundation of Kajukenbo in todays world of martail arts?
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2008, 05:07:01 PM »
Perhaps the only problem with giving Kajukenbo a "foundation", means that one is rooted to that foundation.

As you indicated, Karate (and styles like TKD, Wushu -- even Hung Gar) function on foundations of stand-up combat.  Alter their foundations, and they become dysfunctional.  A statue knocked off its foundation is no longer art; it's a pile of rubble.  But, a man in combat with no known foundation is flexible and able to adapt to attacks and defend accordingly.  

To me, the essence of Kajukenbo is not a rigid foundation.  It's the endless pursuit of the skill that lets you adapt to nearly all combat situations.

I’ve had the opportunity to train with several different Sifus and Professors of the art of Kajukenbo. The one thing that stands out is the different philosophies and approach to Kajukenbo. 

Some focus more on the standing aspects Karate and Kempo, versus the ground game of Ju-Jitsu. Some  8)focus on American boxing. However, for the most part they over look the aspect of Judo, which is very fundamental to close quarter-combat. Also, some instructors swear by forms and there benefit of muscle memory. Other dismiss them as to ridged causing the student to be stiff and lose creativity in real fighting situations.   

Knowing Kajukenbo is a hybrid martial arts, my question is what is the primary foundation of Kajukenbo? 
« Last Edit: November 20, 2008, 08:13:54 AM by backfist »
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Offline KajuJKDFighter

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Offline John Bishop

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Re: What is primary foundation of Kajukenbo in todays world of martail arts?
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2008, 06:29:16 PM »
I really don't have a problem saying that the foundation that Kajukenbo is built on is kenpo.  But that the foundation is used to create a flexible art that prepares one to fight in all ranges. 
The reason I say this is because I think most of us would first off, try to attack or defend in an stand up position.  The flexibility and strength of the system (if trained properly) is the ability to also defend/fight in close range, or on the ground. 
Kajukenbo sets no limits or restrictions of the number of tools one has at their disposal.  No one should tell you that we don't grapple on the ground.  We do if we have to.  And it's each instructor's responsibility to make sure students are prepared to counter a grappler.  No one will tell you that punching and moving like a boxer is not "martial arts".  If taught properly, there's so many excellent self defense options for the students.  And in a one on one situation the Kajukenbo student should never feel he/she is at a disadvantage, because the attacker is a boxer, kicker, grappler, whatever.
I look at the Kajukenbo practitioner like the triathlete.  The triathlete races by bicycle, swimming, and running.  Which would be their foundation, running, biking, or swimming?  They may have started their athletic career as one or the other, but now probably try to be excellent at all three. 
   
       
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Offline KajuJKDFighter

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Re: What is primary foundation of Kajukenbo in todays world of martail arts?
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2008, 07:31:45 PM »
Pentathletes?
GM John E Bono DC
9th Degree Grand Master Gaylord Method Kajukenbo
Full Instructor-Hartsell's Jeet Kune Do Grappling Assoc
Chief Instructor Bono's Jeet Kune Do/Kajukenbo
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Re: What is primary foundation of Kajukenbo in todays world of martail arts?
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2008, 11:01:07 PM »
(IMHO)  In order to know the "Primary" foundation of Kajukenbo, we must study the Primary founder all the way to the root/beginning of his training.  Professor Bishop has done a very fine job of taking that information and putting it into his book for us and future generations to study. 

Sijo and the Co-founders of our art focussed on developing a true MMA that has stood the test of time and its practitioners represent the "Primary Foundation" by learning to seamlessly transition from one style (Hard/Soft) to another subconsciously, efficiently and effortlessly.

Respectfully,
Dean

 

Offline Mitch Powell

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Re: What is primary foundation of Kajukenbo in todays world of martail arts?
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2008, 09:42:43 AM »
Even with all of the training that we do and whatever foundation we call our primary, I'd bet more fights have been won in and out of the ring over the history of time by a punch to the face (usually the mouth) than by any other means!

Most karate-based schools don't teach boxing and it's probably the best self defense and fighting art you could ever train in. The key to adding anything to Kajukenbo is to use just the basics--like Sijo did when he put the art together. He didn't try to teach all of kenpo or all of jujitsu. He taught the techniques that he felt were the most effective and the most practical from each art.

I see schools that have added hugh curriculums of grappling or boxing or kicking boxing, almost to the point where the student is learning like five completely different fighting arts. That is just too much. You spend all of your time trying to remember the moves and never perfect anything. I added only a handfull of techniques from boxing, kick boxing and grappling to my Kajukenbo--what I feel are the most effective and practical and constanly made sure my students used the Kajukenbo philosophy of blending it all together. If the student learns they can go from grappling to striking and vice versus at any point, then they understand Kajukenbo.
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Offline sifutimg

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Re: What is primary foundation of Kajukenbo in todays world of martail arts?
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2008, 01:53:37 PM »
Kajukenbo to me comes across in two terms.  I tell my students what Kajukenbo means to me is Freedom & Adaptability.  The Freedom to explore other methods, concepts, principles, techniques, and foundations (like how Kajukenbo was created) to create the ability to adapt to whatever is being presented to you in the street/cage/ring.  As mentioned in this thread Kajukenbo was created to survive in the street plain and simple.  Look though at all the wonderful and amazing practitioners that have come out of this Beautiful art of ours.  What I am so proud of and very much appreciate is that when I have a question about anything relating to techniques or principles about surviving in the street I don't have to go anywhere else but to find my answer among my Kajukenbo brothers and sisters.  So one could say foundationally Kajukenbo is built on truth as isn't that what we all seek as it relates to the truth about surviving in the street, surviving a cage match, surviving a boxing or kick boxing match, or even surviving a simple tournament.  It's all here and it's great!

Just my 2cents,
Tim
Grandmaster Tim Gagnier
Student of Great Grandmaster Charles Gaylord & Grandmaster Sid Lopez
Chief Instructor Pacific Wind Kajukenbo
Student Forever
Yamhill, Oregon

Offline Danjo

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Re: What is primary foundation of Kajukenbo in todays world of martail arts?
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2008, 07:11:51 PM »
Wow, these are excellent posts!

I totally agree with Prof. Powell's take on keeping it basic and effective when it comes to technique. Perfecting the basics and understanding the blending concepts are the key.

It goes without saying that I agree with Prof. Bishop ;)
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Offline Mitch Powell

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Re: What is primary foundation of Kajukenbo in todays world of martail arts?
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2008, 09:15:54 AM »
Tim,

I'm really feeling what you said about Kajukenbo being the "Truth." That is really the difference between the ring and the street. The minute I read your post I could hear my son Matt's voice when he tells our students that lean toward ring fighting, "While you're doing that, I'm going to poke you in the eyes, punch you in the throat, slap you in the groin, whatever it takes, so you better knock me out because I'm gonna F......you up!" Those are the moments in training when everyone gets on the same page and understands why we train. It ain't about winning any trophy. It's about survival!

Mitch

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