In 1961 Emil Bautista began his journey into the Kajukenbo system by attending classes taught on Travis Air Force base by the late Aleju Reyes.
By 1963 Emil had begun to train in Fairfield and found his way to the man who would teach, and later promote him to the rank of Instructor, Anthony "Tony" Ramos.
After receiving his Black belt in May of 1967 Emil began to develop students of his own and in the early part of 1968 he opened the doors to the Kajukenbo Self-Defense Institute at 974 Benicia Road.
Receiving the rank of 4th degree Black belt in the later part of 1969, Emil earned the title of SIFU (Teacher) and began to develop an impressive list of tournament champions including the legendary Bobby Wilson, Woody Sims and Sifu's own son Joseph Bautista.
In 1984 Sifu Emil Bautista moved his organization directly under the Kajukenbo founder Sijo Adriano D. Emperado. The friendship and respect that followed saw Sifu Bautista earn the rank of Sigung and later Professor-9th degree Red/Silver belt.
As Sijo Adriano D. Emperado prepared to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of his Kajukenbo system in 1997, with schools established throughout the world, he chose none other than Professor Emil Bautista and the Kajukenbo Self-Defense Institute of Vallejo to organize and promote this historic event.