Senior Grandmaster Alan Reyes, a Ninth-degree black belt and longtime Vacaville resident who taught self-defense to native martial arts college students for many years, died Dec. 11 on the age of 70.
Born in Hawaii on Oct. 10, 1949, Reyes spent the majority of his life instructing and preserving the kajukenbo system, a hybrid type of martial arts began in Hawaii within the ’40s which blends the kinds of karate, judo, kenpo and boxing and which posits that college students develop their very own expression of the artwork quite than following their teacher.
Reyes’ son, Christopher, stated that Alan’s father, Aleju, was the right-hand man of the system’s founder, Adriano Directo Emperado. In consequence, Alan was entrenched within the type from a really younger age.
“It’s a household custom,” Christopher stated. “I don’t suppose my grandfather gave him a lot of a option to do martial arts, however he devoted his life to it.”
Alan’s household moved to California someday within the late ’50s, with Aleju opening the Suisun Self Protection Institute and Alan’s mom Maria instructing hula and fireplace dancing, which he was additionally a pupil of. After transferring to Fairfield and Vacaville, Aleju started instructing in these areas as effectively.
Upon incomes his black belt on the age of 16, Alan started instructing alongside his father by means of Vacaville’s Parks and Recreation Division. Whether or not on the outdated Quonset hut in Andrews Park or at Three Oaks Neighborhood Middle, Alan taught the kajukenbo methodology to generations of households within the space.
“I can’t think about there’s too many individuals in Vacaville that doesn’t have a member of the family that’s taken martial arts from my household in some unspecified time in the future or one other,” Christopher stated. “They’ve been there without end, and plenty of folks have skilled with them.”
Gina Reyes, Alan’s spouse of 13 years, stated her husband was revered locally.
“We by no means went to dinner, a grocery retailer or anyplace the place any individual didn’t know him,” she stated. “He both taught them or their kids or their grandchildren.”
One in all Alan’s college students was Ed Zickowsi, who later went on to turn into a Ninth-degree black belt professor and Alan’s right-hand man. Zickowski first skilled beneath Aleju till his loss of life in 1977, after which Zickowski started being skilled primarily beneath Alan. One factor that made Alan stand out, Zickowski stated, was his devotion to the unique teachings of kajukenbo.
“He would by no means change something or falter from something,” he stated. “He was, so far as I’m involved, probably the most educated folks within the kajukenbo system when it got here to the exhausting type authentic methodology. You couldn’t ask for a greater teacher.”
Alan additionally served as an Air Pressure sergeant within the Vietnam Warfare, labored as a Suisun Metropolis police officer and have become a loyal grandfather in his later years.
“He beloved taking (his grandchildren) for doughnuts and ice cream and out to dinner each week, generally greater than as soon as per week,” Gina stated. “He was actually a doting grandfather and husband, and effectively really feel blessed that he was in our lives.”
Christopher stated that his father will probably be remembered for his nurturing spirit and dedication to the unique kajukenbo methodology. He additionally stated his father’s instructing had a big effect on him personally. Christopher didn’t put a lot inventory in ranks when coaching beneath his father and informed him as a lot. After testing for his black belt, Christopher acquired a belt that had been part of the household lineage.
“He handed me this black belt that was tattered and torn and simply seemed prefer it was one million years outdated, and he checked out me and stated, ‘Your grandfather wore this belt, and I wore this belt too,’” he stated. “At that second, I noticed it wasn’t about karate and it wasn’t about all this stuff that I considered martial arts. It was a household custom, and it modified my complete perspective of what I used to be doing, and I obtained severe about instructing and imparting information.”
These days, Christopher is continuous the custom by instructing the kajukenbo system to college students in Memphis. As an teacher and father himself, Christopher admires the best way that his father was in a position to work with youngsters and the way they turned extra assured, stronger and extra disciplined because of this.
“It was at all times cool to see that transformation in not solely youngsters however adults as effectively,” he stated.
Zickowski additionally credit Alan with sending him on his life path.
“He made me the individual that I’m at this time along with his teachings and the self-discipline that he had,” he stated.
Gina stated her husband was well-known past Vacaville as effectively, having turn into well-respected by martial arts consultants all through the world.
“All people who met him beloved him,” she stated. “He had lots of tales to inform, and he’s going to be missed.”
Memorial Companies will probably be held at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 10 at Sacramento Valley Nationwide Cemetery, 5810 Halfway Highway, Dixon the place he will probably be commemorated with full army honors. A celebration of life will probably be held at 11:30 a.m. later that day at Ulatis Neighborhood Middle, 1000 Ulatis Drive. A GoFundMe web page was arrange by Gina to help with funeral bills at gofundme.com/f/alan-reyes-celebration-of-life.