Nov. 12, 1935 - Jan 2, 2009

Our Founder Paul Arel, Shihan, created two dynamic martial arts. Kokondo Karate and Jukido Jujitsu, both benefited from his almost sixty years of Martial arts training.

Paul Arel began his Martial Arts journey because he was bullied as a child. This experience created his love of the underdog and compassion to teach thousands of children to defend themselves. He began his training in 1950 as a student of Sudo Sensei a Jujitsu Master from Japan studying in Massachusetts. When Sudo Sensei left to return to Japan, he left the small dojo in the hands of his best student, the new Black Belt Paul Arel.

Paul Arel, Shihan Mr. Arel utilized his training as both cashier and “bouncer” at a store and beer hall. He quickly experienced what worked and what he needed to discard from his training.

Paul Arel joined the Marine Corps. This decision crystallized his sense of Honor and Patriotism, the hallmarks of his life. In the Marines, while stationed in Japan, he absorbed advanced training from Oriental Masters on contract with the US government for both overt and covert purposes. He helped teach and develop the unarmed skills of his fellow Marines.

After his Honorable Discharge, he transitioned to Civilian life stateside by opening one of the first Karate schools in Connecticut. His training with some of the greats in Karate is well documented. His Sensei throughout the 1960s were a “Who’s Who” of US Karate development: Ishin Ryu’s Don Nagle, San Kata’s Ishikawa and Kyokushin’s Mas Oyama. While learning and teaching these dynamic systems of Karate, Mr. Arel continued to teach Jujitsu. Master Arel combined his training with Sudo Sensei and his experience in Judo and Jujitsu while in Japan into the art Jukido Jujitsu.

Modern karate’s continued to move towards Tournaments and away from self-defense. This trend forced Paul Arel, Shihan, to develop the dynamic self-defense oriented style of Karate named Kokondo. Paul Arel believed that the practice of Kata was fundamental to self-defense. His insights into the himitsu (hidden) techniques informed and infused his art. Shihan developed his unique understanding of three exclusive principals, underlying all of his techniques. They are Kuzushi, Shorinji and Jushin. These three Principals allowed Shihan to train and develop these two arts exclusively for the rest of his life.

Paul Arel & Successor Greg Howard
Paul Arel & Successor Greg Howard