Grandmaster Greg Harper – Kajupit MMA
GM Harper started wrestling in junior high school when he was 14 years old. He started training in Kenpo a year later and continued until he went into the Navy in 1975. In 1976, while stationed aboard the USS Enterprise, he started training in Tae Kwon Do, because it was the only thing that was available on the ship. After a short period of time, he lost interest in the TKD training because it was not combative enough. He then started training hand-to hand combat techniques and fighting with a former member of US Naval Special Operations. When he got out of the Navy in 1979, he began training with his cousin, Sifu Millsap, in Wing Chun. In 1985, he met his teacher Professor Larry Gumataotao. Gumataotao was a Vietnam Vet who served two tours in USMC Force Recon. He was a highly decorated Vet, who knew, first hand, close and raw combat, which he passed on to his students. Professor Gumataotao was Kajukenbo Founder Sijo Emperado’s right-hand man.
GM Harper taught for many years out of his garage, where he did not charge his students to train. It was just hard-core training for those who were dedicated and serious about learning to fight and survive. He became Sijo Emperado’s personal bodyguard, and Sijo would spend many days and hours watching GM Harper teach and train with his students. GM Harper was Sijo’s bodyguard and very close friend for 15 years until Sijo’s death in 2009.
GM Harper starred in Fight Quest, a television show on the Discovery Channel, representing Kajukenbo, the first martial arts created in the US and the first true mixed martial arts. GM Harper is well known and highly respected throughout the world and is requested frequently to visit and teach at other Martial Arts schools and seminars across the globe.
GM Harper was promoted to Grandmaster in 2009, and was the last person promoted to this rank by Sijo Emperado prior to his passing that same year. He currently resides in Visalia, CA where he owner and chief instructor at Harper’s Kajupit Mixed Martial Arts and Fitness. He has several Kajukenbo schools under him including schools in San Jose, CA, Fresno, CA, New Rochelle, NY, and the Canary Islands.
Sifu Paula J Lofgren – Kajupit MMA
Sifu currently holds the rank of 5th Degree Black Belt in Kajukenbo Martial Arts under Grandmaster Greg Harper. At a very early age and began sparring and developed a love for boxing because her father was a professional boxer. It was something they both loved and it was time she enjoyed spending with my father. Later on, she moved on to kickboxing and also practiced different martial arts styles until she moved to a different town and got introduced to Kajukenbo through Grandmaster Andy Torok.
Through 2013, Sifu Lofgren lived in Illinois and studied Kajukenbo, among other forms of martial arts and fighting, at Karate Institute (Kajukenbo), Prairie Aikikai (Aikido), United MMA (Wing Chun, Mixed Martial Arts and Muay Thai), Harding’s Family Martial Arts (Kajukenbo), and Empower Martial Arts and Fitness (Kajukenbo). While living in Illinois, she traveled frequently to attend as many marital arts training seminars and workshops as possible. Sifu then moved to California in 2013, where she trained Kajukenbo – Ramos Method under GM Emil Bautista, and trained a combination of Kajukenbo, boxing, kickboxing and Jiu Jitsu at both Rapacon’s MMA under GM Chris Rapacon and Tribull MMA under Sigung Christian Smith.
She started teaching Kajukenbo at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield with GM Glen Fraticelli until she moved out of the Bay Area in 2015. In November 2014, she was the 4th woman inducted into the USA Savate World Pugilist Hall of Fame. This organization strives to ‘honor and preserve the heritage, records, and achievements of those who excelled in the Pugilistic Combat arts.’
Sifu now lives in Visalia, CA where she trains and teaches at Harper’s Kajupit Mixed Martial Arts and Fitness with Grandmaster Greg Harper. She also judges at many martial arts tournaments, teaches self-defense seminars, and is a guest instructor at various martial arts schools and seminars.
Sibak Lucas – Hastings Self Defense Academy
Sifu Lucas holds the rank of Third Degree Black Belt in Kajukenbo under Sifu Paula Lofgren and Grandmaster Greg Harper out of Kajupit Martial Arts in Visalia, CA. Martial Arts was never something he envisioned as a huge part of his life, but in 2008, Sifu was working with a trainer to get in shape and lose weight, and was introduced to Empower Martial Arts in Yorkville, Illinois. The trainer who was a green belt at Empower Martial Arts brought Lucas first into kickboxing classes and ultimately in to Kajukenbo at Empower Martial Arts under Sigung Rochford. Since then, Sifu steadily progressed through the ranks, learning and growing within the system. After a one-year break, Sifu Lucas came back and pushed hard to prepare himself for the black belt test. In February 2013, Sifu Lucas went in front of seven judges with Brandon Hunt, Max Koester and Brian Flippi and demonstrated his skills to receive his First Dan ranking and the title of Sibak. After moving to Hastings in June of 2014, Sibak Lucas started working on opening his own school under the guidance of Sigung Rochford and Grandmaster Torok. Upgrading his basement with mats and other equipment, Hastings Self Defense Academy started classed in January 2015. Opening a school focusing on Kajukenbo and Sijo Emperado’s teachings in the Midwest was very important to Sifu Lucas. In April of 2015, Sifu Lucas was accepted to train under a new sensei, Sifu Paula Lofgren who works closely under Grandmaster Greg Harper who was Sijo Emperado’s personal bodyguard. This change solidified the commitment to train the “Original Method” of Kajukenbo while melding in Kajukenpo skillsets to help further produce well-rounded students. This school is the only school in Michigan focused on Sijo teachings. Sifu Lucas furthers his training through learning from adding judo/jujitsu to the curriculum to learn throws and ground techniques, seminars, workshops and focused workouts to help pass along expanded knowledge and skills to all students. Sifu Lucas earned his Second Degree Black belt in December 2015 in California with Grandmaster Harper, Sifu Lofgren and Sigung Webster. April 2016 he moved the school to its own building on Star School Road to further promote and establish the school. Lucas has since earned his Third Degree and title of Sifu in December 2018.