Known to his students as Sifu, or teacher, Guila was inducted in the Kajukenbo discipline for his 35-plus years of martial arts competition and teaching. He has earned the 8th Degree Black Belt, known as Professor in Kajukenbo.
Guila's chosen discipline and its name are derived from karate (ka), jujitsu/judo (ju), kenpo (ken) and Chinese and western boxing (bo) - Kajukenbo. It was the first mixed martial art established in the United States, getting its start in Hawaii back in 1947.
Guila got his start at age 9 in San Francisco in kenpo. At age 17 he moved to Hawaii and trained in the kajukenbo style, retiring as the reigning WKA Full Contact Kickboxing Heavyweight Champion of Hawaii.
Following a "silent" recognition process in which a previous inductee anonymously nominated Guila, the June 2 ceremony took place in Los Angeles, where he was presented with both a belt and diploma.
"While it was an honor to be inducted into the Hall of Fame," Guila stated, "in my personal philosophy, it's not so much what the martial arts can do for me, but what I can do for the community through martial arts."
Guila has taught students from all walks of life and of all ages at his Antioch dojo. He recently began offering his students Tunguska Blast, the formula formerly known as the "Soviet Secret" used by Russian Olympic athletes and others. It helps them with energy, endurance, stamina and a quicker recovery period following their workouts, giving Guila's students an edge in competitions.
In recent years, Guila's students have won a variety of titles in both national and international competitions. His competition team (numbering over 30) captured 304 wins in 2005 and 2006, including 43 grand champion titles, 165 gold medals, 67 silvers and 29 bronzes. Most recently, of his seven students who competed, six brought home first place and the seventh took second. Guila constantly helps his students develop character, including "respect, honesty, integrity, loyalty, self control, focus, confidence and, of course, humility, just to name a few," he said.
Guila runs his academy with the "Aloha Spirit" he acquired living half his life in Hawaii.
For more information, visit www.guilakarate.com or call the dojo at 755-3434.
- Contributed by Allen Payton