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KAJUKENBO was synthesized in the Palama settlements of Hawaii during the years 1949-1952. Five practitioners of their respective martial arts developed KAJUKENBO to complement each other's styles to allow effective fighting at all ranges and speeds. The man credited with the founding of KAJUKENBO is Sijo Adriano D. Emperado who practiced Kenpo, and Chu'an Fa Gung Fu (Chinese boxing); hence the name KA-JU-KEN-BO (Tang Soo Do was shortened as a form of Karate).

To test the effectiveness of their original techniques the five founders would get into fights around the Palamas settlements (the worst slum in Hawaii at the time). If the technique succeeded consistently in street fighting it was kept as part of the system. From these field test came KAJUKENBO's Pinions (known as the Palamas sets (forms or kata), Natural laws (art of self-defense), Tricks (art of close-quarters fighting), and Grab Arts (art of escaping from a grab), and Punching Attacks (art of defending from a singular to multiple punches).

KAJUKENBO concentrates on being an effective art at all ranges of fighting ( Kicking, Punching, Trapping and Grappling). While many schools of Chinese, Japanese and Korean martial arts concentrate on Katas, KAJUKENBO stresses the self-defense movements over the relatively fewer forms in the art. The reasoning behind this is that a practitioner must be capable of defending himself in street fighting situations before turning inward to perfect the 'art' of KAJUKENBO. At higher levels there is even meditative and chi training.

KAJUKENBO stresses the following-up of techniques based on an opponent's reactions and not stopping with just one hit. The reasoning is that while one should strive to end a fight with the fewest techniques necessary, it is important to know how an opponent will respond to attacks, and how best to take advantage of his reactions.


The five original founding members were:

1. Peter Choo -- Tang Soo Do Karate

2. Frank Ordonez -- Kodenkan Jujitsu

3. Joe Holck -- Kodokan Judo

4. Adriano D. Emperado -- Chinese Kenpo and Escrima

5. Clarence Chang -- Northen and Southern Sil ­ Lum Gung Fu




KABAROAN (Sir Baron Art) "the best of Filipino Arnis" according to Black Belt Magazine (May 1990), is probably the most systematic and complete escrima system of fighting art with hand - held weapons (armas de mano).

This is propagated and practiced by Grand Master Ramiro Estalilla, Jr., World War II survivor in Cotabato, Mindanao, Philippines.

Apo (Grand Master) Ramiro Estalilla, teaches the martial art of KABAROAN in the content of Philippine history and culture with the definite purpose -- to humanize the art, civilize the artist, and refine the system.

Estallia teaches the art of his father and his grandfather. "When I was six or seven, I used to watch my father (Ramiro Estalilla Sr.) teaching estogue (Filipino fencing). My father once told me an art form will die if it is not taught. That was the reason my father taught Kabaroan, also known as Panagigam (weaponry)."

RamiroJr. didn't start his formal training until 1944. During World War II, his interest was heightened for learning simply for the defense of his village. Estalilla's first studies of escrima were with his father and with his Uncle Bernardo, a great Escrimador of his time, in Zamboanga. After formally studying with his uncle, he went back to his father in Mindanao. Only then did he begin to train in the Kabaroan method of his grandfather.

Grand Master Ramiro Estalilla states the fighting arts were preserved and passed down in folk dance forms and martial art dances. KABAROAN consists of 3 subsystems: Compuesta (two-handed double weapon), Sencilla (one-handed single weapon), and Bambolia (two-handed single weapon). The art also includes Defenses, Ethics, Exercises, Disarms, and Strikes.

The arts of the Philippines date back before Marco Polo visited the Islands in the 1300's. The Filipino arts are known by many names such as Kali, Arnis, Excrima, Kabaroan, Largo Mano, and Dalan Ti Armas. The Philippines are composed of approximately 7,200 islands, with a total land area of about two thirds of California. It is divided into three main regions - Luzon (northern), Visayas (central), and Mindanao (southern) with over 100 identifiable dialects spoken. The many tribes naturally accounts for the numerous styles or systems of fighting arts with hand weapons.

The popularity of Kali, Escrima, and Arnis in the world of martial arts has led many earnest fans and practitioners to think that Kaboroan is one style or system offered by the Phillipines. Ramiro teaches that no matter how they are seen, they are all one and the same art with varying emphases and differing techniques. "Therefore I use them all synonymously and interchangeably," says Ramiro. "Some terms are older than others and some have other ways or methods of execution. but they all fall under the general category of Armasan (weaponry)."

No claim is made that Kaboroan is better than other martial arts. Ramiro believes that Kabaroan holds some excellent winning techniques for those willing to learn something new. Many techiniques easily complement many other fighting arts. There are so many options and counter-moves that the lessons to be learned from Kabaroan seem inexhaustible.

If you are interested in learning more about the Kabaroan - Excrima System, Apo Estalilla can be contacted through Sifu Willis.





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