What We Teach
Kajukenbo Self Defense and Competition Karate! – Established in 1947 in Hawaii, Kajukenbo is the first American-born martial arts style. Originally intended as a rough, street-effective self-defense style, Kajukenbo was created by a team of five masters of several different styles, including Karate, Kenpo, Judo, Jiu Jitsu, Kung Fu, and Boxing, sharing their knowledge together to create a solid, well-rounded self-defense style that was prepared for anything, be it stand-up combat or attacks on the ground, or anything in between. In addition to being created as a realistic self-defense style geared toward protection in real-world situations, Kajukenbo is a style of constant growth, changing and evolving continuously over time just as knowledge and understanding of combat has evolved around the world.
In keeping with the roots of our style, the first and most important focus at Matthews is self-defense. Students will learn to protect themselves in a variety of situations, everything from learning to stay in control when pushed or grabbed to defending from punches or kicks. Our modern curriculum combines techniques and strategies from styles all over the world, including boxing, kickboxing, judo, jiu jitsu, karate, kenpo, and more, creating a system that is effective in all of the most common types of fight situations.
But, self-defense isn’t always about fighting. Our philosophy is that protection starts with unshakeable self-esteem and effective verbal conflict resolution. Particularly for younger students, these qualities are invaluable for living a happy, confident life. With bullying of all types on the rise, we place special emphasis on teaching young students to speak up for themselves loudly and clearly, and defuse conflict before it becomes violent. Our program is aimed and building Black Belts who are not only capable of defending themselves physically, but more importantly are emotionally strong, possessed of high self-esteem, and are confident enough to speak assertively and take on new challenges without fear.
All work and no play makes for a dull training day – which is why our program also incorporates fun options such as performance weapons and forms, grappling, stunt-style self-defense, sparring, and competition! Students will learn the basics of all these during their regular training, and are encouraged to further pursue whichever subjects they enjoy most. For those with dreams of competition, students will have the opportunity to test their skills at local events or even at the national level!