Victor 'Sonny' Gascon
Victor Gascon was born on March 6, 1933 as the fifth of nine children to Bernabe and Trinidad Gascon, who had immigrated to
Hawaii from the Philippines in 1926. He is considered by some as the man that brought Shaolin Kempo to the mainland.
In 1945, Sijo Gascon began to study Judo. His instructors were Kamakudo and Sensei Higami. In 1948, he was
introduced to a different style of fighting by one of his neighbors, John Leoning ? Master Te from the original Kung Fu movie.
Here began Gascon?s amazing journey with Kempo. He continued his study until 1952, with Professor Adriano Emperado as his
teacher. In the 2004 interview with Professor Geary, Sijo Gascon stated that he has always considered John Leoning to be his
instructor. He also mentioned his opportunity to train with Great Grandmaster Nuuhiwa, founder of Kaito Gakko.
In 1952, Gascon joined the United States Air Force. He was first sent to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio,
Texas for basic training, and then to Fort Belvoir, Virginia to attend the Heavy Equipment Mechanical Training School. During
this time in Virginia, Gascon shared his martial arts knowledge with a few students. Although not often noted, this was a
very significant time as it marks the introduction of Kenpo to the east coast of mainland U.S.A. After this training was completed,
Gascon was sent to Suwon, Korea, with the 51st Fighting Squadron. Whilst in Korea, he learned many of the principles of Korean
and Chinese martial arts.
In 1953, Gascon came home to Hawaii and was stationed at Hickam Air Force Base, Honolulu. This move enabled
him to recommence workouts with Johnny Leoning and Julio Blaquera.
After completing his duties with the Air Force, Gascon moved to Los Angeles, California with the intention
of taking automotive and auto-body training courses in 1956. In 1957, Johnny Leoning and Joe Blaquera visited Gascon in Los
Angeles, liked it and stayed. Johnny opened a Kajukenbo school in Los Angeles. Gascon opened a school in Burbank in 1958.
In 1960, after a dispute regarding naming rights and perceived owed franchise payments, Gascon split from
the Kajukenbo organization and the political associations thereof. He removed the Kajukenbo patch and replaced it with the
patch created to represent a new beginning ? a combination of well-established basics with additional techniques and training
methods ? the patch of Karazenpo Go Shinjutsu.