Everything a mixed martial artist requires is caged within the instruction of a Hawaiian martial art form known as Kajukenbo, an approach to fighting that blends striking, kicking, throwing, takedowns, joint locks, and weapon disarmament.
Although no guns or knives are allowed into a sanctioned MMA fistfight, the versatile style of Brandon “Little Beast” Laroco (3-1) allows him to disable masses of either bantamweight or featherweight destruction in an electrifying manner. Currently under contract to compete at Dragon House 28 on March 24, 2018, Laroco will showcase his crowd-friendly skill set opposite the undefeated John Cardenas (2-0) at 145-pounds.
Students of Kajukenbo are encouraged to develop their own expression of the all-encompassing martial art. While visiting Episode 125 of the @norcalfightmma Podcast (link here), Laroco described the line between himself and Kajukenbo has blurred into one deadly organism. “All the flashy kicks, all the karate stances; yeah, it comes from Combat Fitness,” he sourced his success. “They’re based off of Kajukenbo…My style just got absorbed by the Kajukenbo.”
After nearly a decade on the mats at Combat Fitness-Rapacon’s Martial Arts, this bright prospect from the Bay Area has proven he’s equipped for anything thrown his way; for instance, all Laroco’s wins were either by knockout or submission, and the only loss on his record forced his opponent to drag him the entire fifteen-minutes. Laroco dissected the parts of Kajukenbo, which are reflected in the name itself, “What Kajunkenbo is, if you really go back, is what they call: the first traditional mixed martial art. The ka means Karate; the ju means Judo and Jiu-Jitsu; the ken means Kenpo; and then, the bo means Chinese Boxing or Kung Fu, so it pretty much grabbed a bunch of traditional martial arts around the world.”
At a freshly minted twenty-three years-of-age—in an era of the sport where flapping your mouthpiece boosts you up the ranks, rather than simply biting down on it—it’s refreshing to be reminded that MMA still has a healthy dose of martial artist coursing through its veins.