“Kajukenbo is the first of its kind of all origins in mixed martial arts.  Prior to its known existence in 1947, the history of Kajukenbo began when the USA was in war with Japan.  Before it became worldly known as Kajukenbo in the 1960’s, we called it Kenpo Karate.”  – MSgt. Tony Lasit, U.S. Air Force, Ret., Veteran of WWII, Korea, Vietnam and Founder of the U.S. Kajukenbo Association.

Much like the U.S. Armed Forces military servicemen that trained in Combat Judo during WWI and WWII, Kajukenbo was designed to disarm, disable and destroy an opponent with fierce proficiency. From its beginnings, Kajukenbo was an eclectic and adaptive self-defense oriented fighting method. Its sole purpose…..SELF DEFENSE.

The dynamics of this hybrid self-defense system speaks for itself. Kajukenbo is known for its in – close rapid fire striking. One of its concepts, double tapping, is striking with the same hand 2 or more times consecutively while generating the same power as you would if you were throwing alternating punches in combination. Boxers will double and triple up on their jabs. Professional boxer Roy Jones Jr. was famous for throwing multiple hooks with the same hand with blistering speed and power. 

Another example of double tapping is blocking or parrying and then striking with the same hand. This requires sound body mechanics, footwork, positioning of the body; everything working on different planes of motion in unison generating torque in the execution of each technique. 

1.) From a fighting position your opponent throws a round house punch. 2.) Shuffle in and in a thrusting motion strike the opponents incoming arm with the boney area of the outside of your right forearm. 3.) Without rechambering or drawing your right arm back Immediately follow up with a straight punch.

Boxing utilizes an athletic performance model that weighs heavily on mindful repetition of 4 punches used in different combinations in conjunction with footwork and proximity management. One of the things we always do is put punching, kicking and throwing techniques together in workable combinations and Drill them. These combinations range from simple to complex. Various footwork methods are also used when entering in for the throws. In the following combination drill we work a step and pivot method into a throw, Ippon Seoi Nage. In other drills we incorporate a split step entry and a back step entry. The split step and back step entries allow one to execute throws from different angles.


The purpose of the following drill is to instill proper body mechanics, positioning, body rotation, footwork, balance maintenance (yours), off-balancing the opponent, as well as speed and quickness transitioning from strikes into a throw.

It is recommended that you concentrate on the transitions from one strike to the next steps 1-6 After getting proficient with body mechanics and footwork in steps 1-6 then add steps 7-9.  


1.) From a right foot forward fighting position push off the rear foot and shuffle in stepping your right foot forward toward the twelve o’clock position as your left foot moves up.  2.) The feet turn counter clockwise toward nine o’clock, the knees bend and your hips drop as you execute a hammer fist strike to the opponent’s groin or abdomen.  3.) Immediately bring your right elbow straight upward striking the opponent under the chin as you straighten your legs slightly. 


4.) Pivot on both feet clockwise toward twelve o’clock and strike the side of your opponent’s neck with the boney area of the inside of your forearm.  5.) Immediately execute a right punch as your feet shift position. Your right foot shuffles back and pivots counter-clockwise as the left foot moves forward toward the direction of the ten o’clock position.  Follow through with the punch by turning your hand over.  6.) Push off the left foot and step forward with the right foot (toes should be pointing toward the twelve o’clock position). Strike your opponent’s right shoulder with a left heel of palm strike and grab his clothing at the area struck. This strike should be hard enough to disrupt his posture and rock him back on his heels.

Note: The heel of palm strike targeting the pocket of the shoulder disrupts the opponent’s posture and rocks him back onto his heels. Notice the opponent is rocked back on the heel of his left foot and his lead foot is off the ground.


7.) With a short quick jerk with the left hand, pull the opponent into you. This should rock him to his front and off of his heels. Simultaneously step your right foot straight to the inside of his right foot.  8.) Pivot on your right foot counter – clockwise and bring your left foot back between your opponent’s feet. Simultaneously pull the opponent forward and bring your right arm up under his right arm. Pinch his right bicep between your right bicep and forearm.

Note: The toes of both of your feet should be in line with the toes of his right foot. Your knees should be bent and your axis forward. Your belt line should be a few inches lower than your opponent’s beltline. Your opponent should be up on his toes, his balance broken forward.

9.) Straighten your legs and bend at the waist popping your hips up and lifting him into the air (this is an explosive movement). Keeping your grip on the opponent, bring your left elbow downward, twisting your upper body toward your left hip to finish the throw. 

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“COMBAT JUDO TO KAJUKENBO: The Evolution of Martial Arts Systems in the Military 1943-1970 is a great book. The detailed examination of the period manuals with Barron’s modern photographs and explanations is great. I can’t think of another such combination of history and practical H2H. An instant classic!” – Lance Gatling

“I have read a lot of martial art books I own a lot of martial art books sometimes when you read them you may find one or two good techniques overall in the Book but in this one combat judo to Kajukenbo Every one of the techniques are combat oriented I have to say out of my 37 years in the martial arts this is one of the best books that I’ve ever read and I recommend it to all styles not just to judo or Kajukenbo But all styles Shepard sensei is one of the best instructors out there in my book on this subject if you haven’t got his books yet order them they’re well worth it!” – Marty Millsap 6th Dan


“Barron Shepherd’s new book,Combat Judo to Kajukenbo”, is a tough as nails book. Barron is a hardcore dude, he’s skilled and disciplined at what he does. You can see that with this book, everything is well thought out (instructional photos, layout, text) and I can’t think of a better person to teach the stuff.” – Bob Sabet

“Combat Judo to Kajukenbo is the latest book from Barron Shepherd. Barron’s in-depth martial arts training (4th Dan Judo, 7th Dan Kajukenbo and certified boxing trainer and coach, amongst others) shows in his ability to describe in simple terms the techniques in this book. While he takes the liberty of expanding and revising the curriculum of the Restricted Judo course, it is done in a logical and concise manner.”– Cris Andersen

Email from Col. George Bristol USMC Ret. and developer of the US Marine Corps Martial Art Program (MCMAO) in regards to Combat Judo to Kajukenbo.         


“Barron Shepherd’s second book Combat Judo to Kajukenbo takes the momentum of Real Combat Judo and delivers to an even higher and broader level.  Combat Judo to Kajukenbo is as inspiring as it is informative. There is a lot of information in this book, but it is well presented in bite-size chunks. There is a clearly thought-out learning sequence where each set of techniques builds on from the one before. For the judoka, there are huge learning opportunities to broaden their skills, particularly within the detailed sections on boxing, striking, blocking, and knife work. These are areas we are often least familiar with and possibly avoid due to simply not knowing how. What Barron presents gives us the opportunity to rectify this gap. The drill sections provided are therefore very useful for practice and later application.

The chapter on Dirty Judo is intriguing in itself and flows perfectly from the previous chapter, The Science of Hitting Someone with the Planet. Dirty Judo brings together many of the methods in the early sections of the book and takes it up another notch to deliver a full-on combat system – Dirty Judo and Dirty Boxing. The merging of these systems into one is the book’s masterstroke. 

Kajukenbo is introduced in the final chapter and is a system I was largely unfamiliar with. It has an interesting history and combines the most effective self-defense techniques from Shotokan Karate, Judo, Kenpo, and boxing (‘Kajukenbo’ is the acronym of each). This chapter could be a book in itself and left me wishing there was a club nearby I could join!

Barron has again shared his extensive knowledge of a historically fascinating, effective, and legitimate combat system so it can live on through our own training. This is a gift worth the sweat and application required. The key message is in the foreword by Robert Sabet and introduction by Barron – train, drill, experiment, and make it your own, don’t merely copy as a set of techniques.”  – Jeff Simpson PhD, The Combat Lab, New Zealand