About Us

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 In 2005, Kuʻialuaopuna established under the guidance, blessing and authority of

ʻŌlohe Lua Kukui Richard Kekumuikawaiokeola Paglinawan,

 ʻŌlohe Lua Moses Elwood Kalauokalani,

and ʻŌlohe Haka Noelani Kanoho Mahoe.

Kuʻialuaopuna emerged in Puna, Hawai‘i, founded by Keani Kaleimamahu, to bring the ancient knowledge of Hawaiʻiʻs warrior arts to Puna. The revitalization of the Hawaiian fighting arts for Kuʻialuaopuna started on the island of Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi in the early 1970ʻs, by ‘Ōlohe Lua Richard Paglinawan, and ʻŌlohe Lua Moses Kalauokalani  The two ʻŌlohe Lua, Richard and Moses, trained under the teachings and guidance of ʻŌlohe Lua Charles William Lu'ukia Kaho Kemoku Kenn (1907-1988), Mary Kawena Pukuʻi (1895 - 1986), and several older Hawaiians who continued the practices of various traditional arts. ​​This extensive, required training included the teaching and understanding of protocols and kapu specified by Native Hawaiian scholar ʻŌlohe Lua Charles Kenn, together with Native Hawaiian genealogy, Hawaiian cultural studies, and the historical genealogical lineage of Pākuʻialua.

 

These select ʻōlohe were proficiently and patiently trained in all the levels of the Hawaiian art of lua fighting techniques and spiritual practices which can be identified as kapu and traced to the Hawaiian Kahuna Orders of Papa KuʻiaLua, Papa Lonomakaihe, and connection to the lineage of Kekūhaupiʻo who learned from his father Kohapiʻolani, a warrior chief of Keʻei, South Kona, Hawai‘i. 

 

Naluahine Kaopua 

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Naluahine Kaopua and Kekahuna his student

Naluahine passed the ancient art of Lua down to Charles W. Kenn, who lived on Kahuna Lane in Mo‘ili‘ili. Kenn’s credentials read as such: “Charles W. Kenn. A Hawaiian-Japanese-German kahuna (expert or priest) born in 1907, Kenn was also a social historian, professor, and author who was highly accomplished in a variety of martial arts, including lua. Kenn also learned lua from several teachers—including two who had trained at a royal lua school established by King Kalākaua in the late 1800s. He also studied with renowned sensei Seishiro “Henry” Okazaki, who had learned lua ai from a Hawaiian practitioner after World War I and incorporated them into his Danzan-Ryu style of jujitsu.

'Ōlohe Lua Charles Kenn

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Charles Kenn revived the art of Lua for all of Hawai‘i. When he was approached by men who wanted to learn the ancient tradition, Kenn initially refused, but eventually agreed to teach a core group of students. After four years of training, he graduated a group of five ‘ōlohe (masters), who have continued teaching select students. Kenn's efforts led to the establishment of two lua pa (schools) in Hawai‘i: Pa Ku‘i-a-Lua and Ku‘i-a-Holo. Ku'ialuaopuna is in the direct lineage of Charles Kenn's teachings, as ‘Ōlohe Kenn taught Richard Likeke Paglinawan, Moses Kalauokalani, Jerry Walker, Mitchell Eli, and Dennis Eli. 

‘Ōlohe Lua Likeke Paglinawan was first to share his mana‘o about Charles Kenn, "He is an expert in the ancient Hawaiian art of lua, or hand-to-hand combat fighting that includes the use of offensive weapons such as spears, shark tooth daggers, and clubs". The lua genealogy of Charles Kenn, can be traced back to two of the five ali‘i who first studied at the royal lua school established by Kalākaua in the late 1800s. This genealogy, this strong kahua, is vital to Paglinawan.

"Lua is a way of life. It is not just to go out and fight," Paglinawan explained, pointing to the distinct set of values and lessons one learns as a student of lua. It is the kuleana, the responsibility of the teacher to pass those greater lessons on to his haumāna. "It takes years of dedication and commitment; it’s hard work over the long haul."

ʻŌlohe Lua Moses Kalauokalani (left)
ʻŌlohe Haʻa Noelani Mahoe (middle)
‘Ōlohe Lua Richard Kekumuikawaiokeola Likeke Paglinawan (right)

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'Ōlohe Moses Kalauokalani and 'Ōlohe Ha'a Noelani Mahoe are still a integral part of Ku'ialuaopuna, they are not currently teaching in person, but are still on our advisory board.

'Ōlohe Lua Kukui Richard Kekumuikawaiokeola Likeke Paglinawan sadly passed away in 2015. He is also still on our advisory board when needed!

Professor Libert O 'Sullivan

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Professor Libert O’Sullivan trained under Professors Bing Fai Lau and Sig Kufferath in the art of Jujitsu, receiving his Black Belt in June of 1949. He also studied Kenpo and Karate under various sensei.
Born in Honolulu and raised on the island of Molokai. In 1957, Sensei O’Sullivan taught students at St. Louis High School and continued working with Professor Kufferath at the Nikko Dojo of Honolulu. In June of 2000, he received his 10″ degree professorship from the Hawaii Kenpo Jujitsu Society. He was also a guest jujitsu professor with Paku'ialua. Liberts training in American jujitsu brought him to the art of Lua while training under professor Henry Seishiro Okazaki. Reportedly, the secret of Lua was broken in 1917, when Henry Seishiro Okazaki learned Lua from a Hawaiian man on the Big Island. Eventually, Okazaki converted the Lua he learned and transferred this into his Danzen Ryu System. Libert studied those same strikes and passed them on to us. Professor Libert has since passed on and is also on our advisory board when needed.

ʻŌlohe Lua Mamane Wong

ʻŌlohe Lua Mamane Wong has been training in lua for over 20 years. He is the first ʻŌlohe to emerge out out of Kuʻialuaopuna. He has trained for many years under ʻŌlohe Richard Paglinawan, ʻŌlohe Moses Kalauokalani, ʻŌlohe Kaleimamahu and ʻŌlohe Haʻa Noelani Mahoe. He has also trained under sensei Libert 'OSillivan in his lua arts of professor Henry Okazaki.

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'Ōlohe Lua Keani Kaleimamahu

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'Ōlohe Lua Keani Kaleimamahu is the founder of Ku'ialuaopuna, which was founded in Puna, Hawai'i. He was a member of Paku'ialua for some years before opening up Ku'ialuaopuna and continues to teach Lua and their traditions to the people of Hawai'i Island. He has haumana or students across the state and has realigned the mission and values of Ku'ialuaopuna to rediscover the indigenous fighting practices of our Pacific Island families. He has also trained under Sensei Libert O'Sullivan for many years learning the Lua strikes passed down from Professor Okazaki.

Vision & Mission

Our Vision is to establish a United Pacific Island Cultural Fighting Arts Organization, which would serve as a repository for indigenous Pacific Island fighting traditions and arts.

Our Mission is to promote and preserve cultural and traditional knowledge for our people throughout the Pacific, through the use and practice of our indigenous fighting arts.

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