Martial Arts Profile: Frank E. Sanchez
Frank E. Sanchez is Guam’s first internationally known grandmaster in the martial arts. He holds a 10th degree Black Belt (commonly held as the highest rank attainable in the martial arts), recognized by over twenty-three martial arts organizations worldwide. His martial art system of San-Jitsu which was formulated in the village of Toto in 1971 has also received international attention in martial arts magazines and seminars as one of the more colorful and brutal systems of Ju-Jitsu practiced today.
Born April 21, 1948 in Tamuning, Guam to Guamanian parents, Francisco C. and Rita R. Sanchez. Sanchez began his martial arts training at the age of 11 in the arts of Judo and Jiu-Jitsu and later studied the arts of Karate and Jing Jow Pai (Eagle Claw Kung-Fu), earning belt rankings in each with a Red Sash in Jing Jow Pai. His most famous instructors include the late Professor Sigfried Kufferath, the appointed Heir of Danzan Ryu Ju-Jitsu and Yushitoshi “Moon” Watanabe, former All Hawaiian Islands Judo Champion. As a successful street fighter in his youth, he also studied boxing which he learned from his father who was a boxer with the US Navy’s Pacific Fleet, as well as wrestling. Incorporating both into his martial art system along with street fighting.
In 1976, he was made an Honorary Ambassador-At-Large for Guam by Guam’s late Governor, the honorable Ricardo J. Bordallo. At that time, Sanchez was a top singer/ recording artist on the Island performing under the name “Frankie” Sanchez and was best known for his recordings entitled “Do You Remember Guam” which he recorded under Johnny Sablan’s Casamiento Album and the single “Guam, Beautiful Island”.
World Head of Family Sokeship Council
Seeking to pursue other interests in the continental US, Sanchez and his family left for in 1982, finally settling down in Jacksonville, Florida where Sanchez formed over time one of the largest organizations of martial arts grandmasters in the world called the “World Head of Family Sokeship Council”. Founded in 1992, the WHFSC now boasts over 150 of the best known names in the martial arts world as members. He was also given title in several worldwide organizations, including the “Hawaii Martial Arts International Society” headquartered in Hawaii as a Senior Advisor; as Ambassador for the “Martial Arts Association – International” in Germany; Board Member of the “International Association of Martial Artists” in New York; and former founding member of Chuck Norris/ Bob Wall’s “World Black Belt” Inc in California. During this time and because of his martial arts accomplishments, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities in June of 1996 from Great Plains Baptist College in South Dakota.
Articles on Sanchez and his San-Jitsu system have appeared in International publications such as “Black Belt”, “Inside Kung-Fu”, “Budo International”, “Inside Karate”, “Karate/ Kung-Fu Illustrated”, the “World of Martial Arts”, “Budo Dojo”, the “Karate Voice”, “Action Martial Arts News”, “Full Contact”, “TaeKwonDo Times”, the “Karate Star” (from India), “Cinturon Negro” (from Spain), “Kampfkunst International” (from Germany), “Combat” (from England), “Pacific Islander” (from Micronesia), “Latte”/ “Guam” Magazines (from Guam), etc. His introductory book on the subject of San-Jitsu entitled “San-Jitsu, the New Devastating Fighting Art of the Marianas; Training Manual of Basic Techs” written in 1976 can be found in the Reference Section of Guam’s libraries, the Pacific Islands Collection of the University of Guam, the Guam Museum; and England’s Cambridge University Micronesian Center; with Sanchez’s picture and biography also appearing in the R.O.S.S. Martial Art Museum in Russia.
A living legend
Sanchez has appeared nationally and internationally on TV and radio and is featured in various videos in Russia, Canada and the US, including the film documentaries; “American Masters and Champions of the Martial Arts” and “The Gateway”.
In demand for personal appearances and seminars all over the world, Sanchez has been inducted into martial art Halls of Fame both nationally and abroad for his work in the arts, garnering “Living Legend” and “Most Distinguished Grandmaster” Awards for his lifetime of service to the martial arts.
Although Sanchez still maintains his home in Toto, he still presently resides with his wife, Mae Ojeda Aflague Sanchez, two sons, Matthew and Davey; and father, Francisco (mother deceased) in Jacksonville, Florida. His son, Matthew Sanchez has a 3rd Degree Black Belt in his art.
By Matthew Aflague Sanchez
For further reading
San-Jitsu.com. “Guam’s First Internationally Recognized Martial Art System.” Last modified 21 June 2018.
WHFSC. “World Head of Family Sokeship Council.” Last modified 1 September 2021.