The KAJUKENBO Association of America (KAA) was originated in 1967 by notable KAJUKENBO Masters, Aleju Reyes, Joe Halbuna, Tony Ramos, Charles Gaylord and Al Dacascos. The original organization existed until the early 1970's. At that time, most of the original members decided to develop the KAA. In 1980, Professor Gaylord, with the advice of his top active Black Belts, decided to once again develop the KAA into a strong and united organization. The KAA Board of Directors decided to add the “ Gaylord’ s Method” to the original KAA patch (original design is by Al Dacascos) since the KAA now represented the schools directly under Grandmaster Gaylord, all of the KAA Chief Instructors are directly under Grandmaster Gaylord and teach his method of KAJUKENBO. The purpose of the K.A.A. is to preserve and promote the art of KAJUKENBO “ Gaylord’ s Method” . For more information about the K.A.A. please contact either myself, Sigung Jimmy Willis or Sifu Mark Gerry.
Great men of Kajukenbo
The founder of the KAJUKENBO Self - Defense Institute of Hawaii, was born in Honolulu in 1926. Sijo Emperado is a master of Escrima Jujitsu, and various Kenpo forms. In addition, he has studied Okinawan Karate, Chinese Kung Fu, Hawaiian Lua, American Boxing and Wrestling, as well as such weapons as the staff, club and knife. During World War II, Sijo Emperado was attached to the First Filipino Infantry Regiment as a Medical Corpman, during which time he received awards and citations for his military accomplishments. Sijo Emperado received much of his martial arts training from Sijo K.S. Chow and Sijo James Mitosi. In 1947 he was part of the "Black Belt Society" that developed the art form currently known as KAJUKENBO. The title of Sijo was given to Sijo Emperado by Sijo Lum and Sijo Wong of the Chinese Physical Cultural Society of Hawaii and Master Ho Gau of Hong Kong to represent Choi Li Fat Ga. He was elected to the Black Belt Hall of Fame in 1991. Presently Sijo holds the highest title in KAJUKENBO.
Grandmaster Gaylord has been actively training in the art of Kajukenbo for over 52 years. In 1980. He received his 9 th degree Black Belt from the Kajukenbo founder, Sijo Adriano Emperado.
Grandmaster Gaylord began his training in Hawaii under Kajukenbo Black Belt George (Paul) Seronio. In the early 1960’s he moved to Northern California where he began teaching in San Leandro. He brought to the mainland the effective hard and heavy hitting style of Kajukenbo which he had learned from his instructors. Over the years, has developed his internal and external Martial Arts Skills through practical application training, along with meditation and constant research of “mind over body” studies. His “Ki” or “Chi” demonstrations have of Kajukenbo. The Kajukenbo Association of America ( K.A.A.) calls it “Gaylord’s Method.” In September 1995, the K.A.A. and all of its Black Belts promoted Grandmaster Gaylord to the honorary rank of 10 th degree Black Belt. The K.A.A. believes that this was necessary to ensure the desired level of excellence for their organization. Since then, Sijo Emperado has also recognized him as such. Grandmaster Gaylord has been recognized and inducted into three Martial Arts Hall of Fame. The World Martial Arts Hall of Fame, for “Grandmaster”. July 12 th, 1997. Masters Martial Arts Hall of Fame, for “Life Time Achievement”. July 20 th, 2000. And the North American Martial Arts Hall of Fame, for “Sokeship”. September 16 th, 2000. Grandmaster Gaylord has produced countless quality Black Belts who have become top competitors and instructors both nationally and internationally. To ensure the quality of his instructors, he holds a monthly Black Belt Class, where he teaches over 60 Black Belts who have schools located in the Western United States. He also provides special seminars to those schools which cannot regularly train with him. Grandmaster Gaylord is available for seminars on a very limited basis and can be contacted through SifuWillis, email address: Sifu@Williskempo.com or Sifu Mark Gerry, email address: SifuMarkGerry@aol.com
Elected to the Black Belt Hall of Fame in 1977, he became the first American Kung Fu artist to reach the top ten fighting list in the early seventies, demonstrating that a Kung Fu practitioner could hold his own. From 1967 to 1975, he was a triple threat in competition: forms, weapons and fighting. Grandmaster Al Dacascos is also one of the original founders and members of KAJUKENBO Association Of America ( KAA) from 1967 through the 1970's.
Grandmaster Dacascos is also known for designing the original KAJUKENBO Association Of America ( KAA) patch that we use today. (Those under Grandmaster Gaylord added "Gaylord's Method" on the patch.) Grandmaster Dacascos has also enhanced his style of KAJUKENBO from a defensive system to an offensive system, called "Wun Hop Kuen Do" KAJUKENBO.
Grandmaster Dacascos has been on the cover of over 35 national and international Martial Arts magazines. He has developed many major champions including: Karen Shepard, Eric Lee, Bill Owens, Christian Wulf, Karyn Turner and his own son Mark Dacascos.
Sigung Jimmy Willis