Hawaiian Shaolin Kempo

Golden Leopard Kempo logo

The art of Karazenpo Go Shinjutsu – Hawaiian Shaolin Kempo was founded by Grandmaster Sonny Gascon, one of the early practitioners of Kajukenbo and the Filipino Martial Arts in Hawaii under Sijo Emperado. It’s a fluid style of adaptability and street smarts, yet still traditional and practical.

The Black Belt Society that developed Kajukenbo was heavily influenced by the work of Kempo through the teachings of Great Grandmaster Mitose. From Great Grandmaster Mitose’s book, Kempo is defined as:

  • Striking – with your hand, punching, (open or closed hand), or any part of the arm (elbows, wrist and forearms).
  • Kicking – with foot, leg, or knee.
  • Felling – knocking an opponent off his feet by throwing, tripping, pulling, pushing, shoving or scooping.
  • Grappling – having control of your opponent, by either wrestling, holding, breaking, locking bones, or joints against a nerve center, thereby directing your opponent by delivering excruciating and incapacitating pain.

The Palama Set (also known as Monkey Dances) are the backbone of this system. These kata are very well balanced, incorporating the mind, body and spirit into one. The Karazenpo theory of fighting is based on circularity, speed, conditioning and developing strong internal energy, tendons and ligaments. This is the formula for developing a superior fighter.

The Kaimuki Set is the sister set to the Palama Kata. Developed to compliment and build upon the foundations of earlier kata, these kata continue to work on speed, conditioning and developing internal energy, tendons and ligaments. They are also known as 1 Kata, 2 Kata and so on. These were extra kata added to the Palama set by GM Gascon and later grouped together.

The Wahiawa Set (also known as the Cat kata or Pinan 3, 4 and 5) is taught as well. These represent influence of Prof. Cerio and his form of Kenpo. These are an extension of the Kempo Pinan.

The Shaolin Set (such as Nengli, Swift Tiger, Five Dragons Face the Four Winds, Branches of the Falling Pine, etc.) is taught at the Black Belt level, showcasing the Shaolin and Chinese Boxing qualities of our art as passed down from Kung Fu masters. Many of these advanced kata develop solid balance, flow, and “fa jing”.

Other Martial Arts Taught

We also teach an expanded curriculum that reintegrates various elements of other arts back into the style. Kajukenbo was developed from karate, jujitsu, kempo, and chinese kung fu. Our curriculum reintegrates these ancestral elements as distinct phases of Black Belt training. Headmaster Bagnas has studied these arts and feels that there must be a concerted focus on this material to better understand the Art in its totality.

Golden Leopard Kobudo – the ancient art of Okinawan weapon arts. Utilizing farming tools as weapons teaches the student how to adapt any item into a valuable weapon. The ability to control weapons like the bo staff, oar, or nunchuku enhance the skills of the student. Training requires padded weapons and padded helmet at additional costs.

Students will learn drills and kata in the following traditional weapons:

  1. Eku (oar)
  2. Rokushaku Bo (6 ft staff)
  3. Yonshaku Bo (4 ft staff)
  4. Nunchaku (flail)
  5. Manji Sai (twisted fork)
  6. Sai (trident fork)
  7. Tonfa (nightstick)
  8. Suruchin (whip rope)
  9. Tekko (brass knuckles)
  10. Ticchu (small knuckle stick)
  11. Rochin and Tinbe (short spear and shield)
  12. Kuwa (hoe)
  13. Nunti (twisted fork spear)
  14. Bokken (wood practice sword)
  15. Naginata (bladed polearm)
  16. Throwing Knife
  17. Yawara (pocket stick)

Golden Leopard Tai Chi (Tai Chi, Pa Kua and Hsing Yi Chuan) – these internal arts from Wu Dang Taoist Temples represent the best in chi development and martial prowess. No other training can produce the powerful legs and waist control like the internal arts. Through slow, methodical practice, the student gains incredible flow, powerful spins and impeccable stances. Training requires modern uniform and shoes.