Sport versus street fighting… How it evolved


In late 19th-century and early 20th century “Martial Arts” in Japan and China actually took the “martial” very literally. They actually fought to the death with knives, swords, and even empty-handed, and even though in the Western world at that time there were firearms that took the place of the swords that was so prevalent in the eastern world, however there was still a lot of fist fighting, and even knife fighting, so learning how to actually fight was a very important skill to have even in the old west days.  The point is that the training they did back at their martial arts dojos, would actually be used in real life regularly, so the techniques had to be effective, practical and efficient, because how they trained in the dojo would reflect how they fought in the street, and back then if they did not fight effectively and efficiently they would end up losing, and since there were no referees, eight counts, or tapping out, losing would usually mean dying.


Because of its proximity to, and disproportionately high population of Asians, Hawaii always had a large portion of its population training in martial arts. I never did a survey, but I would be willing to bet a lot of money that per capita Hawaii has the best martial artists and streetfighters in the country.  Now let’s fast-forward to circa 1945 the rugged streets of Honolulu Hawaii. The island was being flooded with the white military men, and the locals were not too happy about this, so a group of very skilled, and very tough martial artists got together, combined there different arts ranging from grappling arts such as judo and jujitsu, and striking arts such as Kenpo and boxing, and started a new Street fighting, and defense system called KaJuKenBo (Ka-Karate, Ju-Judo & jujitsu, Ken-Kenpo, Bo-boxing).  They would train at different parks, and recreation centers, but they would put their fighting art to the test downtown Honolulu, usually against military men who would  usually end up on the losing end of a street fight with a local who had been trained in KaJuKenBo.


Now let’s fast-forward to the mid to 20th century to present.  We have a different society now. If two boys get into a schoolyard fight, instead of the teacher breaking it up and sending them back to class, the fight will be broken up, and both boys will be suspended from school and investigated as terrorists.  If a bully is beating up an innocent student, and the student has the audacity to even try to defend himself, the zero tolerance policy we’ll dictate that by defending himself the innocent student is just as guilty as the bully who started the fight. Now if you add adults to this equation it gets even more litigious. You can actually go to jail, or get civilly sued for defending your life, or your family’s life.  Schoolyard fights, and street fights are much less frequent because of this, and because no one knows who is carrying a gun or knife.  I am not saying that street violence, and assaults are any less frequent, but mutual combat between two consenting adults is practically a thing of the past.  Because of the above-mentioned, martial arts schools have taken to teaching fancier, more flamboyant techniques to attract students both young and old. The good thing is that those flashy and flamboyant techniques look really cool, the problem is that they are completely ineffective in a real life fight, and since mutual street fights, and even schoolyard fights are so infrequent now, nobody contested techniques they were learning in the dojo, so the instructors would just tell their students that these crazy techniques would be effective in the street, and the students would just believe them and practice these techniques over and over and over again, talk about a waste of time and energy.


And that’s where the UFC comes into play. There were so many myths about a lot of these fancy and flamboyant martial arts techniques that these instructors would teach to their students and tell them they can disable any attacker with one spinning whipping crane’s beak strike, or disarm and defeat any would-be attacker with the whipping tail of a dragon strike. People believed these silly techniques for a few decades, but then the UFC came along and it showed what techniques will work, and which techniques will not work, now the days of the silly little ineffective yet cute techniques are gone, because though a UFC fight isn’t quite the same as the life or death street fight, it’s the closest thing that we can practice and test without actually getting killed, arrested, or sued.


Now since I started with KaJuKenBo… I’ve been in many street altercations, then I put what worked into a system I called it Hawaiian Kempo, from there I trained some of the best combat sports athletes in the world including UFC, K1, and Boxing champions, and though those are sports, and not street, almost all of the techniques that will knock out your opponent in the ring or the cage Will not count your opponent in the street. I have modified many of our techniques to make them all street effective and now I have taken my system, Hawaiian Kempo, full circle, and I’m ready to train everyone to be safe on the street…. Ultimate Self Defense