Kajukenbo is an eclectic martial art that was developed in the Paloma settlements of Hawaii during the years 1947-1949. Five practitioners of different martial arts disciplines developed Kajukenbo to complement each others' styles to allow effective fighting at all ranges and speeds. The man credited with the founding of Kajukenbo is Sijo Adriano D. Emperado who practiced Kenpo and Escrima. It was decided that Kenpo would be the foundation upon which Kajukenbo was to be built. The arts drawn upon to found Kajukenbo are Karate, Judo, Ju-jitsu, Kempo, and Chu'an Fa Gung Fu (Chinese boxing); hence the name Ka-ju-ken-bo.
To test the effectiveness of their original techniques the five founders would get into fights around the Palomas settlements (the worst slum in Hawaii at the time). If the technique succeeded consistently in street fighting it was kept as part of the system. From these field test came Kajukenbo's Quins (known as the Palomas sets (forms or kata)), Natural laws (self-defense), Tricks (close-quarters fighting), and grab arts (escapes).
Kajukenbo concentrates on being an effective art at all ranges of fighting: Kicking, Punching, Trapping and Grappling. While many schools of karate and Korean martial arts concentrate on kata, Kajukenbo stresses the self-defence movements over the relatively fewer forms in the art. The reasoning behind this is that a practitioner must be capable of defending himself in street fighting situations before turning inward to perfect the 'art' of Kajukenbo.
The K.S.D.I. (Kajukenbo Self Defense Institute of Hawaii, Inc.) is the main organization headed by Sijo (founder) Adriano D. Emperado. KSDI in Hawaii is headed by his son, Professor Clarence Luna Emperado. Sigung John Lianos of the Embrun Family Karate Club is affiliated with K.S.D.I Inc. Hawaii and follows the Emperado Method of Kajukenbo.