Perfect Fit gets up close and personal with one dude you wouldn’t want to mess with! Reshmi Revi interviews Ahmed Abu-Marzouq…

One of the best ways to diversify your training is to take up a martial art. Many athletes from all kinds of sports participate in boxing, kickboxing and jujitsu – to name but a few –  in order to switch up their training, get a shredded physique and gain a ton of knowledge and street smarts in defending themselves.

Ahmed Abu-Marzouq

The 30-year-old pilot holds a 3rd Degree Black Belt in Kajukenbo as well as a 4th Degree Black Belt in Russian Sambo. As the Head Instructor and owner of Kajukenbo Ohana Kuwait (KOK), Abu-Marzouq certainly knows his stuff.

Please Tell Us About Your Life In Martial Arts

I started when I was eight years old with Judo, before becoming a student of Kajukenbo in 2002. I trained under the tutelage of my late instructor, Sifu Ahmed Zakariah Hussein, for eight years. Then I met Grand Master Robert New, who took me under his wing and showed me the real world of Kajukenbo. I travelled to Hawaii in 2012 and trained there every day for almost a month before being tested in front of a panel of the six most respected Grand Masters in Hawaii.

With over 12 years training in Kajukenbo and with God’s blessing, I became the first Arab from Kuwait to be trained and tested in Hawaii. Then as Grand Master New’s Representative and with the backing of the other Hawaiian Grand Masters, I opened KOK in Salmiyah.

I now hold the rank of 3rd Degree Black Belt in Kajukenbo, 4th Degree Black Belt in Russian Sambo and I became the World All Styles Championship (WAC) Kuwait president in March 2014. I also hold the position of Head of Kuwait for the WAC National Team of Martial Arts.

What is the history of Kajukenbo?

Kajukenbo is a hybrid martial art system, founded in 1947 at the Palama Settlement on Oahu Island, Hawaii. It’s the first MMA in the world, dubbed the Hawaiian Original Mean Martial Art (OMMA). It was developed by a group calling themselves the Black Belt Society, which consisted of black belts from various martial arts backgrounds who met up, trained and learned from one another. This was the beginning of an evolutionary, adaptive style designed to combine the most useful aspects of the arts. In the late 1940s, the Palama Settlement was a violent area and fistfights or stabbings were commonplace. From this environment, the founders of Kajukenbo wanted to develop an art that could be readily useful on the street. As they trained and fought in and around Palama Settlement, the founders of Kajukenbo quickly gained a reputation as formidable street fighters. In 1950, Adriano Emperado, along with his brother Joe Emperado, began teaching the new art in an open class. They called the school Kajukenbo Self Defense Institute (KSDI).

There are five men credited as the founders of Kajukenbo, and it is from their respective arts that Kajukenbo draws its name:

KA – Karate

JU – Judo and Ju-Jitsu 

KEN – Kenpo 

BO – Chinese Boxing/Kung Fu

Tell us about your Dojo in Kuwait – Kajukenbo Ohana Kuwait (KOK).

We have competed twice in the WAC. First was in Portugal in March 2014 where we took three medals: one gold, one silver and one bronze in a knockdown division for men. Then this March we won nine medals: five gold, three silver and one bronze, all in the MMA Division and BJJ Division shared between the KOK Dojo and two other Brazilian Jiujitsu Dojos in Kuwait called GFTeam and JJ Academy.

Please Tell us a bit more about the moves you showed in today’s shoot.

In the event of multiple attackers, I would suggest going for the groin shot, knife defence (if your assailant is armed), high kick block, punch block and attack. The great thing about Kajukenbo is that it makes you ready to fight against multiple attackers, defence against knives, sticks and more by applying the Rush Kenpo techniques and the dirty fighting techniques that are pure street self defence.

Can anyone pick up Kajukenbo? 

Yes. It’s for everyone.

What’s the most challenging aspect of  your martial art?

Kajukenbo is all about making a positive source for everyone. It’s about how we can affect people in a good way that will ultimately enrich lives. Kajukenbo teaches us how to be more respectful, humble, honest, patient and strong.

What do you like most about Kajukenbo? 

It makes you a better person in every way.

What makes Kajukenbo different from all the other martial arts? 

Kajukenbo was born from the reality of the street. It’s the perfect art of fighting dirty. Grand Master Robert New always said: “Who said fighting is clean? The street is not fair. There are no rules.”


Instagram: @K_O_Kuwait 

E-mail: [email protected]

Tel: +965 9919 4419


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