The Original Five

Kajukenbo was founded by the five Black Belt martial artists belonging to Professor Ariano D. Emperado's "Secret Black Belt Society." Each founder contributed a different martial art which is represented by the four syllables in KA JU KEN BO.

KA: Instructor P.Y.Y. Choo contributed Korean Tang Soo Do

JU: Instructor Joe Holck contributed Japanese Kodokan Judo and Hawaiian Danzan Ryu Jiu jitsu

  Instructor Frank Ordonez contributed Japanese Se Kieno Jiu jitsu

KEN: Professor Adriano Emperado contributed Japanese Kenpo, Chinese Chuan Fa, and Okinawan Karate

BO: Professor C. Chang contributed Chinese Sil Lum Pai Gung Fu

When the Korean War began, Holck, Choo, Ordonez, and Chang were drafted into military service. Professor Emperado remained in Hawaii.

Professor Adriano D. Emperado

Professor Adrian D. Emperado, founder of the "Kajukenbo Self-Defense Institute of Hawaii," was born to Filipino-Hawaiian parents in the Palama Settlement of Honolulu, Hawaii on June 16, 1926.

He was taught American Boxing and Escrima by his family and Judo by Sensei Tano. When he was 20 years old, he began the study of Kenpo from Professor William K.S. Chow and from Chow's instructor, Professor James M. Mitose. Professor Emperado was Chow's first Black Belt.

When Chow opened his own school, he took Emperado with him. This was done with Mitose's approval. Emperado taught classes for Chow at night, and in the daytime began secretly meeting with other martial artists to exchange information and ideas with the purpose of developing the "Ultimate Fighting Art." This was a unique exchange of information between men of different cultural backgrounds. They called themselves "The Secret Black Belt Society" and Emperado was the leader.

In 1950, Professor Emperado received the rank of 5th degree Black Belt from Professor Chow and Professor Mitose. In 1951, he attended "Instructors Advance Training" taught by Professor Mitose at "The Official Self-Defense Club" located at the gym on Emma Street and at Mitose's home. He was awarded his "instructors Certificate" by Professor Mitose in 1952.

He is a Master of Escrima, Jiu jitsu and various forms of Kenpo attaining proficiency by practicing diligently six days per week. He also studied Okinawan Karate, Hawaiian Lua, American Wrestling, and Chinese Gung Fu. Professor Emperado studied various Gung Fu Systems. He studied under Professor Lau Ben of the Choy Li Fut system and Professor Wong of the Northern Shao Lin system.

Professor Emperado also studied Kappo and Sehuku-Jutsu, forms of restorative massage, as he believed not only in the power of martial arts to injure, but in the need for the ability to reverse its effects.

The title of "Professor" was given to Professor Emperado by Professor Lum, Professor Kumfu, Professor Wong, and Professor Lau King of the Chinese Physical Society of Hawaii. Professor Emperado was also awarded a certificate by Grand Master Ho Gau of Hong Kong, appointing him as advisor and representative of the Choy Li Fut System in Hawaii.

Through the years, Professor Emperado has to his credit the training of thousands of men, women, and children in self defense though the practical application of martial arts.

He has taught Armed Forces personnel and the Honolulu Police Department and Vice Squad. With all his success, he remains a humble and dedicated man whose chief aim for the martial arts is to build strong, honorable, and dedicated students.