Kajukenbo Co-Founder "Uncle" Frank Ordonez

Uncle Frank was born February 15, 1927 in Puunene, Maui, HI. During his teens he studied Jujitsu from Sam Luke Sr. an instructor from the Kodenkan Jujitsu of Prof. Okasaki in Honolulu, HI.



This is where he met Joe Mitsuno Holck. After witnessing the bombing of Pearl Harbor from his home, Uncle Frank enlisted in the U.S. Army. While stationed at Ft Shafter in Honolulu, Uncle Frank was on the Army Boxing team with Peter Choo under the training of Thomas Toyama.




Uncle Frank invited Peter Choo to cross train with him and Joe Holck in Jujitsu and with Thomas Young in Kenpo.



This laid the foundation for Kajukenbo. In 1947, while living in Halawa Housing, Uncle Frank invited his child hood friend and God Brother Adriano Emperado, a student of Kenpo Prof. Chow, to come train with Joe Holck and Peter Choo in the abandoned Barracks adjacent to his home. Peter Choo invited his friend George Chang, a kung fu man, to come and train as well.



These 5 Kajukenbo Founders called themselves the Black Belt Society. They continued to train and develop Kajukenbo until 1949.



At the onslaught of the Korean War, Joe Holck, Peter Choo, and George Chang would be called away to service. Uncle Frank was honorably discharged and was starting a career with the FAA. The Black Belt Society then agreed to place Adriano Emperado in charge to carry on their legacy. Uncle Frank continued to help teach at the Palama and Wahiawa Branch schools along with Joe Emperado starting in 1950.



In the later 1950's Uncle Frank was transferred to the island of Kwajalein where he continued to teach and authored the Kajukenbo Prayer. Around that time Joe Holck came up with name Kajukenbo.



In 1960, the Kajukenbo name was registered by Adriano Emperado with the State of Hawaii. In 1968, Uncle Frank drew up the papers for incorporation of the Kajukenbo Self Defense Institute. KSDI Board Members Uncle Frank, along with Ben Kekumu, Philip Doseo, Marino Tiwanak, and Robert Kawakami named Adriano Emperado Professor of KSDI with the rank of 10th Degree. Sometime after, the other founders of Kajukenbo were acknowledged as 10th Degree Co-Founders of Kajukenbo.



Uncle Frank continues to mentor and advise senior members of Kajukenbo. On February 15, 2008, a select few promoted by Uncle Frank formed the Ordonez Kajukenbo Ohana to Honor Uncle Frank's Legacy.



Many Early pictures courtesy of Uncle Frank Ordonez. Those not showing him were taken by him personally.