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Dirty Fighting with Greg Harper



Down in Visalia every afternoon you will find Greg Harper, Kajukenbo Grand Master, teaching his students a win at any cost; style of fighting. Kajukenbo is known as a dirty style of fighting and was created in 1947 in Oahu, Hawaii as a form of self-defense against local crime and drunken Navy sailors who would pick fights with the locals. Kajukenbo is said to be the original American Mixed Martial Arts combining many different styles of fighting into one. The name itself describes the various martial arts, "ka" ("karate"), "ju" ("judo"/"jujutsu"), "ken" ("kenpo"), "bo" (Chinese Boxing Kung Fu). Kajukenbo focuses on quick, hard striking to all of the body's vital points with high impact throws that is usually followed with several methods of limb-breaking.




I have to admit, I have been to many different traditional Martial Arts Schools, the kind that our parents grew up with, and always saw them as good and educational but never anything that I could apply in the real world. When I first heard of Kajukenbo in 2003 I immediately placed it in the same category. Then a friend of mine, a black belt in Kajukenbo, Art Peraza took me thru a very basic Kajukenbo workout and a good breakdown of what this martial art really was about. All I have to say is “it was crazy” and in no way should this be remotely classified as your parents martial arts because of the different techniques, the various ways and simplicity of breaking a mans limb and the approach on how to win at any cost. BloodyMayhem was able to see Greg Harper and his two students, training to fight in the cage, for about an hour at the Kajupit in Visalia and after seeing them in action I can hardly wait to these guys apply Kajukenbo to the world of cage fighting. Like any true instructor, Greg Harper is making sure his fighters, Anthony Torres and Stuart Medeiros, will be ready for the cage. “I train these guys 6 days a week; I want to make sure they are ready when they step into the cage. Anthony will be ready in 3 months and Stuart in 6. When they are ready not only is my name tied to them but we are a family and I want them to be prepared.” On this day I saw part of their “light” workout and it was very intense, hopefully these next few months go by really quick as I would like to see these guys in action.

Like any martial art, Kajukenbo has its own techniques of fighting and self-defense. Every martial art is different and I believe not one should be considered better than the other as each flourishes in its own environment, rather a combination of all martial arts should be studied and learned in order to improve. Kajukenbo attempts this by combining different forms of martial arts into one and teaching its students how to apply it in the real world. Unlike other arts, Kajukenbo encourages its students to use what they have learned and continue to build on it, whether it’s furthering there knowledge of Kajukenbo or creating their own style of Kajukenbo by adding other arts to it.

Many people might think Kajukenbo is not in MMA but they are mistaken. Fighters like Chuck Liddell and George St. Pierre are taught by Kajukenbo Black Belts. “Every fighter needs to build a base of every art, wrestling, boxing, jiu-jitsu, kenpo, karate and just about anything else that is available. Not everyone's trainer knows how to put these things together, that’s where a “Kaji” guy comes in and shows the fighter how to combine and apply all of these arts and use them to fight,” says Harper. In a cage or on the street, Kajukenbo is a mixed martial art that should be taken seriously.

Kajupit is Grand Master Greg Harper, Kajukenbo's "PITBULL". Sijo A.D. Emperado's personal bodyguard for the last 14 years and the highest ranking student under the late GM Larry "Gumo" Gumataotao. GM Gumataotao, was the last student to learn directly from the legendary Sijo Emperado (Kajukenbo's God Father). Gumo was taken all the way from colored belt ranking through to a high level Black Belt during his lifetime. Kajupit (aka) GM Harper received his instruction directly from "Gumo", while under the watchful eye of Sijo Emperado. Greg Harper a ninth degree black belt has over 20 years experience in Kajukenbo and was recently selected to appear on the Discovery Channel’s show “Fight Quest” as one of the Kajukenbo instructors. On the show, Greg had to train one of the shows stars for a week in the art of Kajukenbo and prepare him for a fight at the end of the training.Greg Harper a ninth degree black belt has over 20 years experience in Kajukenbo and was recently selected to appear on the Discovery Channel’s show “Fight Quest” as one of the Kajukenbo instructors. On the show, Greg had to train one of the shows stars for a week in the art of Kajukenbo and prepare him for a fight at the end of the training.

If anyone is interested in Kajukenbo you can contact Grand Master Greg Harper (KajuPit, Visalia, CA) at 559.739.8630, located in Visalia CA or Sifu Art Peraza 559.801.9488 (The Dungeon, 951 F Street, Fresno CA).

BloodyMayhem.com would like to thank Greg Harper for his time and cooperation and Art Peraza for making this possible.

Article by Daniel Gil
Photos by Mike Padilla




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