Author Topic: The Influence of Jujitsu and Judo on the Early Development of Kajukenbo Part 3  (Read 1824 times)

Offline Mitch Powell

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The Influence of Jujitsu and Judo on the Early Development of Kajukenbo
By Mitch Powell (Part 3)


Bing Fai Lau was born in China on September 23, 1906. In 1919, Lau relocated to Hawaii. In the 1930s, Lau began training in Danzan-ryu jujitsu at Okazaki’s Kodenkan. His primary teachers were James “Sonny” Chang and Charles “Charlie” Wagner. In the 1940s, Lau began instructing at the Kaheka Lane dojo. In 1941, Lau was promoted to shodan (1st degree). Lau received his nidan (2nd degree) and his Mokuroku (Instructor scrolls) in 1942 (McKean, 2015). The honor was presented to him by Okazaki. The scrolls were signed by Sonny Chang. One of Lau’s students who later became Lau’s assistant at the Kaheka Lane dojo was Sam S. Luke. (, 2012). 


Sam S. Luke aka Sam Luke Sr., was born in Hawaii in 1914. He began training at Okazaki’s Kodenkan dojo in 1941 but stopped after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In 1943, Luke resumed his Danzan-ryu training under Bing Fai Lau. In 1947, Luke received his shodan (1st degree) and in 1948, Luke became Lau’s assistant at the Kaheka Lane dojo replacing Sig Kufferath (Stanley, 2007). Luke is the person responsible for teaching Danzan-ryu jujitsu to Ordonez and Choo (


Ordonez and Choo trained at the Kaheka Lane dojo in Danzan-ryu jujitsu under Sam S. Luke. ( In addition, Choo also trained with Luke’s son, Sam Jr. at the Kaheka Lane dojo where Luke Sr. taught classes (Bishop, 1992A). 


The following is the jujitsu lineage of Kajukenbo founder Joseph Holck:
•   Yoshimatsu Tanaka taught Yoshin-ryu jujitsu to Henry Okazaki
•   Okazaki used Yoshin-ryu jujitsu, Iwage-ryu jujitsu, and Kosogabe-ryu jujitsu in the development of Danzan-ryu jujitsu
•   Okazaki taught Danzan-ryu jujitsu to Sig Kufferath and Joseph Holck
•   Kufferath taught Danzan-ryu jujitsu to Holck (Although Holck received training in Danzan-ryu under Okazaki, Kufferath became Holck’s primary teacher upon Holck’s return to Hawaii in 1947).


The following brief biographies provide some background on Holck and his primary jujitsu teacher Sig Kufferath. Like Ordonez and Choo, Holck’s jujitsu lineage runs through Okazaki to Tanaka. Since those biographies are already listed I did not list them again.


Siegfried “Sig” Kufferath began training in Danzan-ryu jujitsu under Okazaki in 1937 at the Kodenkan dojo. Okazaki promoted Kufferath to shodan in 1941, and in 1942, Okazaki presented Kufferath with his Mokuroku (Instructor scrolls). In 1943, Kufferath graduated from Okazaki’s Nikko Restoration Sanatorium Seifuku Jitsu course. In the mid-1940s, Kufferath became an assistant instructor for Bing Fai Lau at the Kaheka Lane dojo. In 1945, Kufferath was presented with his sandan (3rd degree) by the American Jujitsu Association. The document was signed by Okazaki. In 1947, Kufferath became a director for the American Jujitsu Institute (McKean, 2015). Also in that same year, Joseph Holck returned from military duty and resumed training in Danzan-ryu under Kufferath (Bishop, 2008F). In 1948, Kufferath completed a special black belt class conducted by Okazaki. In 1949, Kufferath received his yodan (4th degree) promotion from Okazaki (McKean, 2015).


Joseph Holck was born Joichi Matsuno on March 28, 1927 (, 2016). He began training in Danzan-ryu jujitsu under Okazaki at the Kodenkan dojo in 1938, at about eleven years of age (Bishop, 2008F). In 1945, Holck entered the U.S. Army (, 2016D). During basic training Holck’s skills were noticed and he became a hand-to-hand combat instructor. After basic training Holck was then stationed in Germany as a hand-to-hand combat instructor for the 9th infantry. Upon returning to Hawaii in 1947, Holck resumed Danzan-ryu jujitsu training under Kufferath. In 1948, Holck began training in judo under Professor T. Inouye (Bishop 2008F). In 1949, Holck received his Mokuroku (Instructor scrolls) from Okazaki (McKean, 2015).


The following is the jujitsu lineage of Kajukenbo founder Adriano Emperado:
•   Professor James Mitose taught kempo-jujitsu to William Chow
•   Chow changed the name of the art from kempo-jujitsu to kenpo-karate and taught Adriano Emperado

The following brief biographies provide some background on Emperado, his teacher Chow, and Chow’s teacher Mitose.


Masayoshi “James” Mitose was born December 30, 1916 on the island of Hawaii (Relf, 2011). Two months shy of his fourth birthday, Mitose traveled to Japan on the ship Shinyo Maru with his sister Kimie, who was not much older (, 2016A). They headed off to the port of Nagasaki from Honolulu. In 1937, at the age of 20, Mitose sailed back to Hawaii on the Tatsuta Maru from Kumamoto, Japan (, 2016B). Numerous sources state while living in Japan, Mitose was trained in his family’s martial art called Kosho-ryu. The facts behind this and, if indeed that did occur, the extent of what Mitose was taught will forever be debated. What is known is that in 1942, Mitose began teaching kempo ju-jitsu to Thomas Young, William Chow, and a few other students in the garage of his home. Prior to Mitose opening a commercial school in 1946 called the “Official Self Defense Club,” Young and Chow were both promoted to black belt (Bishop, 2003). Young was promoted first and then Chow. Mitose taught martial arts at the school until 1953, at which time he left Oahu and turned the school over to Young (Bishop, 2004).

Continued on part 4...
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