Karazenpo: the Confusing History

Discussion in 'Kenpo' started by DAnjo, Jan 7, 2007.

  1. James Kovacich

    James Kovacich RENEGADE

    Thank guys. John, I knew you would know. You'd be surprised how many Changs in Hawaii and I met more Changs from Hawaii that were not Chinese.
  2. John Bishop

    John Bishop Valued Member

    Many of the Chinese sir names are pretty common for Koreans also. Lee, Chang, Chung, and others. Peter Choo was of Korean descent. And Choo also could be a Chinese sir name.
    I guess it all depends on who settled or conquered who. Look at all the Filipinos with Spanish sir names.
  3. James Kovacich

    James Kovacich RENEGADE

    My aunts and uncles (I'm their 1st cousin once removed) in Hawaii are 1/2 Korean and 1/2 Spanish. They have Spanish first names and the last name of Chang and their kids after marriage are Hawaiian too. Pretty much typical of Hawaii today. I'm going back in June to take my Mom (her side of the family).

    I crossed Palama St. several times but didn't know what to look for, so I didn't it. Wheres the Palama Settlement? Is it still there?
  4. John Bishop

    John Bishop Valued Member

    It's still there. It's now part of the Honolulu City Recreation department.
    810 N. Vineyard Boulevard, Honolulu
  5. James Kovacich

    James Kovacich RENEGADE

    Thanx buddy. Just looked at the map. I was so close! Luckily I have another chance. Thanx again.
  6. John Bishop

    John Bishop Valued Member

    Being a old Kaju guy, your going to get a real feeling of nostalgia when your there.
  7. BGile

    BGile Banned Banned

    Walter Godin

    Hi akja,
    I read that Walter Godin's school is still in the Palama area. Will you be stopping by there and checking out what they have to say about the history of the art from their perspective?

    Regards, Gary
  8. James Kovacich

    James Kovacich RENEGADE

    It's none of my buisness to question someone about "their" art. My Kempo is in name only. It's more JKD but it if we were to define JKD, it isn't that either.

    I would never walk into a school with the possibilty of disrespecting them.
    Heres one of Walters top students if someone wants to ask him.
  9. BGile

    BGile Banned Banned


    I did not figure you were going to go in and disrespect them, if someone will not converse and does not want to go there, that is fine.

    But to have the chance and not ask a few questions of a place that has been in the area for so long is missing the boat IMHO.

    Must be a lot of skeletons in the closet that I am not privy to??? :Angel:

    Regards, Gary
  10. James Kovacich

    James Kovacich RENEGADE

    Who's missing the boat? I gave you the email of his top student. In 2002 Walter promoted his top student to 10th degree, thats Grandmaster status, and left the impression that he was "passing the torch." Who better to ask? You like doing these things. Go for it.
  11. BGile

    BGile Banned Banned


    I was not sure about the e-mail. I guess that is to let me know you are in the know? But now I will check it out since you made it clearer, thanks for the e-mail.

    Will you be attending the Chow Memorial on Feb 3 in San Francisco?

    Regards, Gary
  12. BGile

    BGile Banned Banned

    Hi akja,
    Got in touch with Pitmasta. Had a good conversation for a few minutes will call back when not so busy (he gave me a number to contact).

    Thanks again.

  13. KGS BBS

    KGS BBS Valued Member

    From Joe Shuras: I was just informed of this above post submitted by Bruce Corrigan. Let me tell you a little something about Bruce. I was greatful and appreciative when Bruce invited my wife Kathy and I to a private gathering at his Virginia Beach school back in 1994, for it was Sijo Gascon's first trip to a mainland school in 30 years. He was accompanied by Prof. Walter L. N. Godin. A truly memorable event and although I will always remember this, it pales in comparison to another event in my life.

    My wife Kathy was seriously burned in an industrial accident. I was with her when she was transferred from the E.R. of the Milford/Whitinsville Regional Hospital to the University of Massachusetts Medical Center - Burn Unit in Worcester where I spent many days and nights. Bruce Corrigan immediately got in touch with me when he heard and offered to send his black belts, if I needed them, on a rotational basis, to keep our school going until Kathy was out of the woods. (Thank God she made a full recovery but she does have some scarring as a grim reminder) Do any of you know how far it is from Virginia to Massachusetts??? This I will never, ever forget as long as I live, ever!!! So I guess everyone knows the kind of man I believe Bruce Corrigan to be, it goes without saying........

    Out of respect to him, I will go by his post and no longer partake in any dispute as such. I also agree that sometimes when I honestly attempt to report the history as told to me by highly respected sources (verbally) or even with information I have read from excellent sources, I find myself alterring & revising or deleting and correcting, in a serious attempt to get at the truth. As Bruce said, most was not written and memories fade after 50 years, so there is no doubt that verbal history does change with time. It was Bruce Corrigan who first encouraged me to think outside the box and not to believe everything that is written or said or jammed down our throats over time, even if it does come from impeccable sources OR even from those that were there. Any veteran police officer will confirm that eyewitnesses don't always make the case and this is fact! I'm sure that anyone who has delved into the history of their art has taken the same 'roller coaster' ride. This is why if you go to my website you will read this disclaimer on my history page:


    Hello, I have attempted to compile a concise but accurate history of our American (Shaolin) Kempo Karate lineage and development from it's birth to the current time. However, this is not an easy task and I've done the best I could. There may be some revisions in the future as more information is either confirmed, disproved or made available. I would like you to refer to an excerpt below I took from the book: SHORIN-RYU Okinawan Karate Question and Answer Book by William Cummins & Robert Scaglione-30th Anniversary Edition-page 21. I think this sums it up and pertains to all the martial arts in general, every style, system and lineage.-Prof. Joe Shuras

    Some Thoughts About History

    The history of karate is cloaked in mystery as is all history, with different dates, facts, reasons, names, times and places. This holds true especially in karate as it was only passed on by word of mouth and was not recorded because originally the practitioners were sworn to secrecy.

    Consequently, there are no known records, books or drawings from these early times. We cannot refer to documents but we must satisfy ourselves with the folk tales and myths of our predecessors.

    With respect to all, Professor Joe Shuras-Massachusetts State Director of the Karazenpo Go Shinjutsu Black Belt Society
  14. KGS BBS

    KGS BBS Valued Member

    The Pitmaster, yes, John "The Train" Hackleman (A legend in the UFC), he runs "The Pit" and is the teacher and trainer of UFC Champion Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell. Wasn't Hackleman a black belt under Martin Buel who was a black belt under Prof. Walter Godin? - Joe
  15. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    Hackleman lists his lineage on his website like this:

    Prof. Chow - Sijo Emperado - Prof. Godin - Prof. Hackleman. (Buel is not listed)


    He says it's based on Kajukenbo and other arts:

    "Q. What is Hawaiian Kempo?
    A. Hawaiian Kempo is a blend of KaJuKenBo, Boxing, Kickboxing, Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling, and Extreme Fitness ala CrossFit/CrossPit (Anaerobic, Aerobic, Plyometric, Strength training, Calisthenics)."

    He has his students recite the Kajukenbo Prayer after class.

    "Q. If The Pit has no religious affiliation, then why is there a prayer?
    A. Reciting the "KaJuKenBo prayer" has been a part of our system since 1947, and it is recited as a way to feel closeness with our KaJuKenBo forefathers, and peers, and a way to meditate after a hard training session."
    (same link as above)

    Godin trained many great martial artists over his life time. He was awarded his 10th degree and professorship by Prof. W.K.S. Chow. He was also the teacher of Prof. Eugene Sedeno who on his webpage refers to him as his first "Kajukenbo teacher."


    (The picture of Prof. Godin has his signature on it declaring himself the "Founder of Karazenpo" so it's a bit odd that Gascon leaves him out of the history eh?)
  16. KGS BBS

    KGS BBS Valued Member

    It's funny, I had to go to my own website, something I wrote myself to confirm, lol:

    On December 16, 1973, Chow promoted Godin to the rank of Professor. Professor Godin trained lots of martial arts icons including Martin Buell, John "The Train" Hackleman (teacher/ trainer/coach of Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell), Eugene Sedeño, Delilah Godin, Bill Takeuchi and David Tavares. Professor Godin continued to teach and operate the only standing school in the Palamas Settlement until his passing on August 7, 2001.

    As far as the Gascon/Godin controversy, all I can say here is that in 1994 in Virginia (as I posted above) he was introduced to us as the co-founder of KGS BBS. I have the original Karazenpo Go Shinjutsu patches I was given back then and the kanji written on the patches lists both names, Gascon & Godin. Later, newer patches were made and the kanji was changed to "Victor Gascon". I spoke to Sonny Gas about this and he provided me with a full explanation for the change of which I am satisfied with but not at liberty to speak about on a public forum nor do I wish to.

    As Bruce Corrigan stated and I quote: "I have my differences with Sijo Gascon, but no one can dispute his formation of what we call Karazenpo. So saying anything about his authenticity is total nonsense. Karazenpo is his, and he can do or say whatever he likes – because Sonny fears no one."

    This is all I have to say on the matter - Joe
  17. BGile

    BGile Banned Banned

    Good stuff from all, thanks...

    When I talked to the "PitMasta" I was blown away by who I was talking to. Hmmmm Picks up his own phone and said Hi. LOL...Well he did give me the number, and we will talk more. I am planning on going to his location after the Chow memorial.

    I believe now is a good time for infromation to surface. But like many issues somethings are left un-said and some are said by others and the rumors fly.

    With Dan in the inner circle he knows and want's it brought forward by me or someother that is not controlled by the politics of the day LOL.

    Sorry, now is not the time for me to be involved other then trying to discover why Dan wants to stir.

    Why did Bullshido fail to carry the ball? Apparantly to hot to handle, LOL

    Sort of like a court room if it is not brought out in the court it is not discussed. But if it is brought out, then everyone is free game. :eek:

    So why is Walter so popular now, and not even mentioned in the new book by John Bishop??? See above sentence. :woo:

    Regards, Gary
  18. John Bishop

    John Bishop Valued Member

    Walter Godin's always been popular. He had a reputation as a top instructor that overshadowed any mistakes he had made in his life.
    He may not be mentioned in the text of my book, since there is not room for the hundreds of notable people worthy of mention. But he is pictured in my book twice (second edition).
    The reason he is not pictured in the "Who's Who" chapter of Grandmasters and Professors is because his "Professor" rank came from William Chow in Kempo, not Kajukenbo.
  19. BGile

    BGile Banned Banned

    John, That helps clear it up some.

    When will the second edition be available? I have read the first edition and even the handbook from Frank Bianchi.
    Original Multiple Martial Art, good sub-title.

    ***Kajukenbo is NOT a; "if you can afford it, we will award it" system.***

    I really like your new signature. Boy, it is very pointed, yet subtle. The punch that knocks you out ;)

    Last edited: Jan 29, 2007
  20. John Bishop

    John Bishop Valued Member

    Second edition is available now on Ebay and my website. There are no additions to the written content, only 3 more pages of photos (650 total).

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