Kajukenbo was founded in 1947 in the Palama Settlement on Oahu, territory of Hawaii. In the late 1940s, the Palama Settlement was a violent area. Due to this environment, five martial artists from varying backgrounds came together with the goal of developing an art that would be practical and effective on the street. These founders sought to develop one style that would complement each of their individual styles and yet allow for effective fighting at a greater variety of ranges and speeds.
The five founding members of Kajukenbo were:
Adriano D. Emmperado– Kara-Ho Kenpo and Escrima
Joseph Holck– Judo and Danzan Ryu Jujitsu
Peter Y.Y. Choo– Tang Soo Do, Shotokan Karate and Boxing
Frank F. Ordonez- Danzan Ryu Jujitsu
George C. Chang- Boxing and Sil Lum Pai Kung Fu
In its conception, the founders followed a simple rule; if a technique worked consistently on the street (or against one another), then it stayed in the system, if it did not, it was discarded. This allowed the style to maintain its self-defense focus, while covering limitations found within each of their traditional styles.
Today Kajukenbo has grown into a worldwide system that lends itself to men, women and children who wish to gain self-confidence, develop greater physical fitness and proficiency, enable themselves to become stronger individuals and prepare to defend themselves should the need arise.