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Sijo Emperado Interview - Part 3

Author Topic: Sijo Emperado Interview - Part 3  (Read 7578 times)

Offline John Bishop

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Sijo Emperado Interview - Part 3
« on: December 06, 2002, 03:49:10 PM »
CN: What type of work did you do?

EMPERADO: I worked various jobs for Pan American Airlines for 10 years, and then I went into law enforcement.

CN: You were a policeman?

EMPERADO: Yes, in 1962 I became a harbor policeman for the Hawaii Department of Transportation. Then in 1974 Al Dacascos called me and told me that he was doing well in Colorado and that it was a good opportunity for karate instructors. So I quit and moved to Colorado. When I got there I couldn't believe what was happening. There was fighting between a lot of the karate schools. Not just fighting, people were getting their cars blown up, their houses shot up, it was bad. Plus it was cold, not at all like Hawaii, I didn't like it at all. I only stayed there for about a year because I knew that I only had 2 years if I wanted to be re-instated with the State of Hawaii. I returned to Hawaii and in 1976 I was re-instated with the harbor patrol. I soon transferred to the Attorney General's Office where I served as a guard to the Governor. Then in 1977 I resigned to take a position as head of security for a large complex called the Kukui Plaza. I worked there until I had a heart attack in 1982.
CN: You have talked about your childhood training and kenpo training with William Chow. Have you trained in other systems?

EMPERADO: In my 30s I expanded my Escrima training with my step father Alfredo Peralta. He taught me a method using the single stick. We would take a 2X4, cut it arm length and taper down a handle at one end. We trained with this to build powerful wrists and forearms. After training with the 2X4 you could make a rattan stick go like lightning.

CN: Was Alfredo Peralta a well known escrima man?

EMPERADO: Oh yes. You see in the 40s and 50s they would have full contact escrima matches at the civic auditorium in Honolulu. Alfredo was beating everybody there until the gaming commission shut em down. Also, in Kauai, Alfredo fought Floro Villabrille. He won that match against Villabrille and left him with a scar above his eye.

CN: Kajukenbo has a lot of kung fu elements, did you also train in kung fu?

EMPERADO: Yes, in my 30s I also trained in various forms of kung fu under , Professor Wong, and Professor Lau. It was several years later that these Professors and the Hawaii Chinese Physical Culture Association awarded me the title of Professor, 10th degree. I was also awarded a certificate by Grandmaster Ho Gau of Hong Kong appointing me as an advisor and representative of the "Choy Li Fut" system. This certificate was signed by Grandmaster Ho Gau, Professor Cheuk Tse and the directors of the Hawaii Chinese Physical Culture Association.

CN: Isn't it true that you also received a instructors certificate from James Mitose?

EMPERADO: Yes, I went to Mitose for instructors training and later received a instructors certificate, but I place little value in it because I later found out that Mitose sold high ranks to some people while he was in Hawaii. Also I always considered Professor Chow to be my instructor.

CN: Mitose was a controversial figure who spent the last years of his life in prison. Can you tell us something about the Mitose you knew in Hawaii?

EMPERADO: When Mitose taught Kenpo Jujitsu he always emphasized his religious philosophy. He dressed as a minister, carried rosary beads, and chanted like a Buddhist. He always stressed that you were never to use kenpo, even for self defense. His workout was that of traditional Japanese karate. We did makiwara training, some jujitsu takedowns and throws, and worked on developing the one punch kill. We also had one kata; the Naihanchi kata.

CN: What did Mitose call his art and who did he learn it from?

EMPERADO: Mitose called his art Kenpo Jujitsu. He told us that he had learned it from Choki Motobu. I never heard the term "Kosho Ryu Kenpo" until he went to prison and some other instructors visited him and got master certificates in Kosho Ryu. I also never heard from him the story about the Kosho family temple.

CN: So Mitose was a highly peaceful and spiritual man?

EMPERADO: Not really. You see in 1953 Professor Mitose paid a unannounced visit to my Palama Settlement school. He brought Dr. Arthur Keave and Masaichi Oshiro with him. He asked if they could demonstrate some techniques to my students. So I said ok, and Oshiro proceeded to demonstrate the Naihanchi kata. I then consented to demonstrate some of our Kajukenbo techniques. When all was done Mitose told me that me that I should call my system Kenpo Jujitsu since he considered it to be rooted in his system. I told him that I couldn't because there were 5 creators who contributed their arts to the system. He then became enraged and threatened to come back the next day with a samurai sword and kill me. Me and some of my students waited for his return, but he never showed. The next thing I heard he had gone to California. Years later I heard that he was in prison for having a student kill an old man.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »
John Bishop  8th Degree-Original Method 
Under Grandmaster Gary Forbach
K.S.D.I. # 478, FMAA


"You watch, once I'm gone, all the snakes will start popping their heads up!"  Sijo Emperado