Author Topic: The Influence of Jujitsu and Judo on the Early Development of Kajukenbo Part 5  (Read 1105 times)

Offline Mitch Powell

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The Influence of Jujitsu and Judo on the Early Development of Kajukenbo
By Mitch Powell (Part 5)


The grappling art of judo was created in 1882 by Jigoro Kano when he combined his knowledge of Tenshin (Tenjin) Shinyo-ryu jujitsu, Kito-ryu jujitsu, and other combat related fighting methods. The evolution of judo from jujitsu is unique in that Kano didn’t just combine techniques from various arts to create a new art like many before him. Kano actually continued to use techniques from jujitsu to create judo but implemented a new philosophical approach toward training with an emphasis on self development. In analyzing the term jujitsu it contains two parts. The first is “Ju,” which can be translated as flexibility. The second part is “Jitsu,” which can be translated as technique. Combined, the focus of jujitsu is on the perfection of one’s technique. When Kano created judo he replaced the term “Jitsu” with the term “Do,” which can be translated as “Path or Way.” In doing so, Kano moved the emphasis off the perfection of technique and placed it upon the perfection of self, which could be accomplished by following the way or path. He then established the Kodokan, which can be translated as “a place to teach the path.”(

Kano became very concerned about society and the human condition. He believed the study of judo could improve the nature of people by allowing them to learn about mutual trust and mutual assistance required when practicing the art with another person or competing against an opponent in sport-based judo completion. Kano felt by showing the competitor respect and gratitude the judo practitioner would grow as a person, making society a better place. Kano was quoted as saying, “One should not strive for one’s own gain, but for mutual gain.” Ultimately, Kano hoped judo would assist people in the development of both their physical prowess and their mental capabilities (Development, JT_, 2012).

In creating judo, Kano eliminated some of the most dangerous techniques found in traditional jujitsu (Noha, 2013). He also created a standardized curriculum that contains techniques defined by categories, such as: Throwing techniques (Nage-waza), Standing techniques (Tachi-waza), Sacrifice techniques (Sutemi-waza) and Grappling techniques (Katame-waza). Kano further broke down those categories to contain specific sets of techniques within each category, such as: Hand (Te), Foot (Ashi), and Hip (Koshi) techniques or waza under Standing techniques, and Pinning (Osaekomi), Choking (Shime), and Joint Lock (Kansetsu) techniques or waza under Grappling techniques. By removing some of the most dangerous techniques and creating a standardized curriculum Kano established a future for judo in the area of competition. So much so that judo became an Olympic sport in 1964, increasing its popularity around the world (, 2016).


Ordonez, Choo, Holck, and Emperado have recorded judo backgrounds up to or through the collaboration period. While there is no record of Chang having a recorded background in judo we know from our review of Chang’s jujitsu background that he did complete army basic training prior to the collaboration period, as did the other founders, and hand-to-hand training in the army during that time period included basic judo throws, chokes, and takedowns (Quitney, 2012).

The following is a detailed review of the known judo lineages of Kajukenbo founders Ordonez, Choo, Holck, and Emperado;

The judo lineage for Kajukenbo founders Holck, Ordonez, Choo, and Emperado is as follows:
•   Okazaki obtained a black belt in judo from judo founder Jigoro Kano
•   Okazaki used judo in the creation of Danzan-ryu jujitsu
•   Holck, Ordonez, and Choo trained in Danzan-ryu jujitsu
•   Holck also trained in judo under Inouye
•   Emperado trained in judo under Taneo
•   All judo leads back to Kano


The following brief biography is to provide some background on Jigoro Kano, the creator of judo, and his relationship to the founders of Kajukenbo:


Jigoro Kano was born in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan on October 28, 1860. In 1877, Kano began training in Tenjin Shinyo-ryu under Hachinosuke Fukuda. Tenjin Shinyo-ryu was created by combining the jujitsu arts of Yoshin-ryu and Shin no Shindo-ryu. While training with Fukuda, Kano began to collect other fighting knowledge from arts like wrestling and sumo and used that knowledge when practicing against other students. In 1879, Fukuda passed away at the age of 52 (Rousseau, 2016). Fukuda’s family was so impressed with Kano they asked him to be Fukuda’s successor, leaving Kano to run the dojo.

Kano then began study under Masatomo Iso, another Tenjin Shinyo-ryu teacher. Applying himself as he always did, Kano became a master instructor and Iso’s assistant. Unfortunately, Iso passed away in 1882, leaving Kano without a teacher once more. Kano carried on training at various jujitsu schools then began training in Kito-ryu under Tsunetoshi Iikubo (Development, JT_, 2012). Initially his teacher would best Kano during randori practice but Kano learned to read his opponent’s motion and developed the ability to break his opponent’s posture. After Kano developed these new skills he became the better man during randori practice, leaving his teacher to tell him he had nothing left to teach Kano. In 1882, Kano combined his years of study into a new art he called judo “The gentle way” and opened the Kodokan judo dojo in Tokyo. Kano died on May 4, 1938 of pneumonia (Rousseau, 2016).

Continued on part 6...
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