Kajukenbo is an American hybrid martial art. It was founded in 1947 in the Palama Settlement on Oahu, Hawaii. In the late 1940s, the Palama Settlement was a violent area. Due to this environment, five martial artists from varying backgrounds came together with the goal of developing an art that would be practical and effective on the street, each with a different specialty, and its name (Kajukenbo) comes from the various arts from which its style is derived:

Peter Young Yil Choo — Tang Soo Do Korean KArate and Boxing
Joseph Holck — JUdo and Danzan Ryu JUjutsu
Adriano Directo Emperado — KENpo (Kosho Ryu) and Eskrima
Frank F. Ordonez — Danzan Ryu Jujutsu
Clarence Chang — Sil-Lum Pai Kung Fu (also known as Chinese BOxing)

In its conception, the founders followed a simple rule, if a technique worked consistently on the street (or against one another), then it stayed in the system, if it did not, it was discarded. This allowed the style to maintain its self-defense focus, while covering limitations found within each of their traditional arts.

Kajukenbo training incorporates a blend of striking, kicking, throwing, takedowns, joint locks and weapon disarmament.

Today, Kajukenbo is practiced all over the world in many different branches. In contrast to many traditional martial arts, students are not required to mimic their teacher, but are encouraged to develop their own “expression” of the art.

 On the left: 4 of the founders of Kajukenbo, including Sijo Adriano Emperado. On the right: Sijo Emperado with Sigung Tomás Encinoso


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My name is Carlos Navarro and I started training martial arts when I was little. I practiced Aikido for several years. Later I got captivated by other forms of combat and I trained Full Contact, Kick Boxing and Thai Boxing.

For several years I trained Capoeira and gymnastics which helped me be more aware about body movement, and the importance of flexibility.

I started practicing Kajukenbo and Filipino Martial Arts in 1998 from my master Tomás Encinoso Armas, and I haven’t stopped since then. I try my best to keep learning from other masters and other martial arts to enrich my Kajukenbo. Two of the arts that have contributed to my growth greatly are Balintawak Arnis Cuentada and Doce Pares (World Concept).

I personally believe that there is no such thing as “better martial art” or “most effective method”. Each system can bring you benefits and can help you develop some skills. And to me that flexibility and constant curiosity to find what is useful is the true meaning of Kajukenbo.

I’m currently practicing in New York City. If you are curious or just want to practice with us you can email me at kajukenbonyc@gmail.com


Hi everyone. I decided to create this section for those of you who are at home. This is open and free for everyone who just want to come and train. I will be covering several topics and hopefully this will help you pass this time with a little bit more joy. I will post the videos regularly. The first part will be dedicated to the basics and the second part will be dedicated to exercises.

I would like to thank all my students for helping me grow as a teacher and to my teachers for sharing your knowledge with me. 

Lastly, if you want to start learning my curriculum, I also have an online platform where you can go through the belts, step by step. I currently have white belt, yellow belt, orange belt and purple belt requirements and another section dedicated to deep dives and seminars. This is a separate and paid platform. If you want to start with the curriculum, please  click here to go directly to my ONLINE PLATFORM

The Basics

This section is composed of 4 videos. These four videos are dedicated to the basic strikes and blocks. These are step by step tutorials and not workouts. The next section will be dedicated to exercises and will have less explanations and it would be more of a workout.

I would recommend people to dedicate some time to the basics before moving to the exercises. Going directly to the exercises section could be overwhelming if you don´t know what the angles of attack are or how to block them.






This section will be dedicated to exercises.  I like teaching by using building blocks. I will start by teaching you some easy skills and I will continue adding other skills that you can add to your arsenal. Please feel free to go back to the basic section and re-watch the videos, every time you need it.

















Here you can see some of my Zoom Classes. Each class will be dedicated to a few concepts. The color of the dot on top of the cover represents the level of that lesson (for example: yellow is for yellow belt)

Basic Coordination

The first group of classes are dedicated to the development of basic coordination. It´s important for us to start moving without obsessing about each element. We will dedicate extra classes at a later time to perfect the mechanics.

First Class

Basic Coordination. In this class we talk about Basic parrying, parrying with counter punching and finalize with a combination with parrying, counter punching and kicking. 

The objective of this class is to focus on coordination and not necessarily on perfecting the strikes. We will dedicate future classes to each individual strikes and kicks.

Second Class

In this class, we cover basic shields and we will add to what we learned in the last class (simple parrying, parrying with strike, and parrying with strikes and kicks at the same time). 

As we saw before, the goal of this class is to focus on coordination and not on perfecting the strikes. We will dedicate future classes to each individual strikes and kicks.

Third Class

In this class we will take a look at the double shield, and we will combine it with the simple parrying and with parrying and striking at the same time. We will also take a look at the head movement.

Like in the other lessons, the important thing here is to start moving our bodies and coordinating and not to focus excessively on each strike. We will dig deeper into proper mechanics for each one of them in future classes.

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Fourth Class

In this lesson, we will focus on learning how to defend against punches to the body (basic shields) and how to perform basic punches (jab, cross and the beginning of the hooks)

As we saw on the other classes, the objective of this class is to focus on coordination. The difference in this case is that the we are starting to look at proper mechanics for punches, but this is only an intro to punching.

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Fifth Class

In this class we will take a look at basic punches. We will not only cover punches from boxing: jab, cross, hook, uppercut; but we will also make an intro to hammer fists: upwards, downwards, frontwards, 45 degree hammers and side to side hammers.

Like in the other lessons, it is important to start building up proper mechanics, so speed should not be a concern right now. We will pay attention to our body movements and how to generate power from the spot.

 Sigung Tomás Encinoso with Sifu Carlos Navarro


As a self defense system, kajukenbo not only focuses on empty hand concepts. We pay close attention to the use of weapons (sticks, knives, improvised weapons), always from a self defense point of view.

The following are a compilation of very short clips where I show some techniques. Most of them just reflect some moves. I hope you enjoy them!

Empty Hands

Empty hands refers to any work where the defendant does not use any type of weapon (even if the attacker may use one) In Kajukenbo, the concept “empty hands” includes throws, punches, kicks, blocks, locks…

One of the key issues in Kajukenbo is to identify and distinguish the different distances you may find in a confrontation, as well as training coordination, timing…

Here is a short video showing some empty hands moves.

Improvised Weapons

Improvised Weapons is the use of everyday objects as self defense tools. Although it might help you develop more confidence in your techniques, a work of caution is needed. Improvised weapons are not a substitute for your training but a complement of it.

Here is a short video of some uses of improvised weapons.


This is a very complicated but necessary part of any martial art training. In it we try to show the use of knife for self defense purposes. We also try to show the reality of different scenarios to make the student more mindful about the danger of having an altercation with a knife, whether the other person is carrying one or we are the ones carrying. It´s also important to have an understanding about  what constitutes self defense from a legal point of view. We cannot stress this enough.

Here is a short video of some knife moves. Keep in mind that some of this training is oriented to military personnel and law enforcement.  


Arnis, also known as Kali or Eskrima, is the national sport and martial art of the Philippines. The 3 terms are interchangeable terms for the traditional martial arts of the Philippines (“Filipino Martial Arts”, or FMA) that emphasize weapon-based fighting with sticks, knives, bladed weapons, and various improvised weapons as well as “open hand” or techniques without weapons.

Venancio “Anciong” Bacon was born into in Carcar Cebu on October 15, 1912, during a turbulent time. Bacon would become one of the most important and influential eskrimadors in history through the development and testing of his own personal style of eskrima which we now call Balintawak.

Bacon’s style was a direct reflection of his training but also his stature. At 5′ 2″ and 120 pounds he was not a man who relied on strength or size to overwhelm his opponents.

Grand Master Bobby Taboada was raised in Cebu City, Philippines, a thriving martial arts culture and the birthplace of Balintawak. After studying karate, boxing, and other fighting arts, GM Taboada was introduced to the Balintawak school founded by the Great Grand Master Venancio “Anciong” Bacon, headed at the time by Grand Masters Teofilo Velez and Jose Villasin. GM Taboada was trained in the “old school” ways of stick fighting, enduring physical abuse and constant live stick training with the masters.

I started practicing Balintawak under my Kajukenbo instructor Sigung Tomas Encinoso Armas, in the Canary Islands (Spain). When I move to the United States I started teaching Kajukenbo and sharing with my students what I remembered from Balintawak. I was very fortunate to be accepted and personally trained by Bobby Taboada himself.

In October 2018 I obtained my level 6, also known as “Completion of the Art” in Balintawak.

To know more about Balintawak Cuentada here in NYC  you can go to our other website www.balintawaknyc.com or click here. 

Tomás Encinoso with Sifu Carlos Navarro, claudette delacerna and grandmasters nick elizar and bobby taboada


Do you want to practice Kajukenbo but live far from a Dojo? Do you want to start your own training group? 

I have launched the platform with an introductory section, the three first levels and a section dedicated to seminars and deep dive.

In the introductory section, composed of 14 videos, you will learn (among other things) basic footwork, how to roll, basic history of Kajukenbo, levels, intro to our program, etc.

The first level (Yellow Belt Requirements) is dedicated to striking in long and medium range. Composed of 22 videos, in this section you will learn basic punches, basic kicks, defense against kicks and punches, targets, combinations, etc.

The second level section (Orange Belt Requirements) is dedicated to striking in medium to short range. Composed of 21 videos, in this section  you will learn how to elbow, how to knee, how to defend against elbows and knees, combinations of elbows and punches, etc.

The third level section (Purple Belt Requirements) is dedicated to standing grappling. Composed of 21 videos, in this section you will learn basic throws from judo, jiu jitsu, grappling and filipino martial arts, elbow controls, shoulder controls, wrist controls, etc.

I have also added a section for seminars and Deep Dive. In it, you will see techniques out of seminars or classes, in which I give you a different perspective about the skills you learn on your requirements, or I will show you different techniques or elements that are not going to be part of the curriculum. Specific training. From knife training, improvised weapons to stick fighting and empty hands training. More content will be added to this section regularly.

More content related to levels (level requirements) will be added soon. 

This program is the same program I´m currently using to teach my students here in NYC.

I´m very excited to start this journey with you. Hope you enjoy it.


If you are interested in training, please email me at kajukenbonyc@gmail.com 

Please, stay safe.


If you like what you see and you want to know more please don’t hesitate to contact me. You can email me at: kajukenbonyc@gmail.com

I hope to hear from you soon.