PROFESSOR WALTER L.N. GODIN, 1937-2001
Following is a letter from Professor Eugene Sedeño, Sifu Michael Cataline's teacher, on the death of Professor Walter L.N. Godin:
On August 7, 2001 Professor Walter L.N. Godin passed away in Hawaii. Professor Godin was my first and long-time Kajukenbo teacher in Kaimuki and I will miss him.
Walter Leo Niakala Godin
March 21, 1937 to August 7, 2001
Born and raised on Richard Lane in the rough and tough town known as Kalihi, he had to fight almost every day, because he was going to the private school known as Kamehemeha and not Kalakaua. Godin's father, a Frenchman, taught him the art of Savate (French style kick boxing) at a young age. Godin, being the kid from Kalihi that he was, figured that his father was trying to teach him something that he had already learned in the streets. It was known as "shoe job".
In 1949, at the age of 12, his dad enrolled him in Judo to study under instructor "Rubber Man" Migami. In the 50's, Godin enrolled himself in the Kajukenbo Self-Defense Institute and began his Kenpo Training under Professor Adriano D. Emperado and his brother Joe Emperado. In the 60's, he flew to Los Angeles to teach martial arts with his brother-in-law Victor "Sonny" Gascon. Together, they founded Karazenpo-Go-Shinjutsu, which is presently taught worldwide.
He also spent some time in the Johnson Islands and trained every day for a year and a half with his very good friend "Brother" Abe Kamahoahoa. Increasing his personal knowledge of Martial Arts, he learned the deadly art of Lua from his friend Abe. Lua is a Hawaiian Martial Art that was designed for only one thing, total destruction. It was used only in Hawaiian war fighting and can cause loss of limbs, permanent crippling, mutilation, or disfigurement of the body. Brother Abe told Godin that he was not allowed to teach his art of Lua to anyone but his Ohana.
In the 70's, Aikido black belts Elaine and Shige Kurosawa introduced Godin to the Aikido Master, Koichi Tohei sensei, who then taught Godin the art of "Ki", which originates in the lower abdomen, Seika-no-itten, and Misogi, a breathing method.
Walter L.N. Godin, the founder of Keiki Martial Arts of Hawaii and Godin's School of Self Defense, went back to his roots by teaching at Palama Settlement, where he still was running and teaching classes at the time of his death. The Palama Settlement is where Sijo Adriano D. Emperado introduced the brutally effective Kajukenbo system in 1950 to the public in a "closed door" training program. The training that took place there is legendary.
In 1973, on December 16th, Grand Master William K.S. Chow handed down his Professorship with a 10th degree diploma and his blessings to Godin with Professor Frank Ordonez to witness this event. Godin was working on publishing a book on his life with Joe Emperado, "The Untold Story".