Biography: Professor Christopher C. Rapacon, Head Instructor
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Rapacon's Black Belts
(listed in the order received)
What I have learned may die with me, but
what I teach will become immortal... I know
I'm doing something wrong if I can't create
better teachers than myself.
A modest comment when one considers that
this 8th degree black belt excelled as both a
student and teacher of the eclectic martial art
of Kajukenbo for the past 40 years.
As a child, Rapacon was one of the first Filipino-Americans to grow up in the now
culturally diverse city of Vallejo, California. Because of the racist attitudes of others
towards his mixed ethnicity, Rapacon and his older brother Bennie promptly learned
how to protect themselves on the streets with the help of their father, Benny
Rapacon. Like most 1st generation Filipino migrant workers of his time, his father
was an avid boxing enthusiast who taught his sons the sweet science of boxing.
"I'll tell you something else about my father. When my mother left, he raised me and
my brother all by himself. Mind you, this was at a time when being a single father of
two Filipino mestizos was not popular. But he never complained about being stuck
with two kids. Although strict and unable to understand the cultural gap we had, he
still made us feel like we were wanted and loved - he really stuck with us."
As he grew older, his love for one-on-one contact sports grew. While training with a
good friend in Kempo-Karate, Rapacon also excelled in wrestling at Vallejo high
school and was surprisingly offered a spot to compete in the World Wrestling
Championships at New Delhi, India. When an injury he received fighting in a martial
arts tournament sidelined his wrestling career, his coach was furious.
“I hurt my ankle at a karate tournament one day and my wrestling coach told me to
quit Karate or I was off the team. So I gave up wrestling.”
It was when he began training in Kajukenbo where Rapacon finally found his niche.
As he learned about confidence and respect, the Kajukenbo workouts he received
were so tough that Rapacon also had to learn how to raise his threshold for pain.
Aching joints and muscles aside, his ultra-hard training eventually paid off.