In 2005, Kuʻialuaopuna was 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 established in Puna, Hawai‘i, was founded 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 Richard Paglinawan, and Moses Kalauokalani. This extensive, required training included the teaching and understanding of protocols and kapu specified by Native Hawaiian scholar ʻŌlohe Lua Charles William Lu'ukia Kaho Kemoku Kenn, together with Native Hawaiian genealogy, Hawaiian cultural studies, and the historical genealogical lineage of Pākuʻialua. These two also trained under the teachings and guidance of Mary Kawena Pukuʻi, and several older Hawaiians who continued the practices of various traditional arts.
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.
Kekahuna and Olohe Naluahine
Naluahine Kekaaweokaahumanu Ka‘opua was trained in lua from a young age. By his own determination and choice, he attended his first Lua training as a youth. His father approached the ʻōlohe in charge of his sons training and forbade Naluahine to study this art of Lua, as it was unnecessary and of a time past. Naluahine soon joined another pā lua and soon again, his father talked to the ʻōlohe of this other pā and Naluahine was not allowed to train in this second school. Naluahineʻs father, Kaopua came from a lineage of Lua fighters and knew how painful and hard this art was. Eventually, Naluahine persisted and was allowed to continue his training in the ancient style of lua. Naluahine in his older years, passed on his knowledge to Charles Kenn.
Henry Seishiro Okazaki,
Henry Seishiro Okazaki, was born in the town of Kakeda, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, on January 28, 1890. He migrated to Hawaii in 1906 and settled in Hilo, Hawaii. At the age of 19 he was diagnosed as having a lung disease thought to be tuberculosis. As a desperate measure to combat depression, he began his study of Judo under the tutelage of Master Yoshimatsu (Kichimatsu) Tanaka at the Shinyu Kai Dojo in Hilo. The arts fascinated him and eliminated his frustration over his illness. He practiced with all his strength and being. Strangely, his devotion led to a complete recovery from his illness.
Professor Okazaki studied various martial arts, including the Hawaiian fighting art of lua, from a Hawaiian man in Puna, Hawaiʻi.
Professor Okazaki eventually formed an eclectic system which he called "Kodenkan". This system included Judo, Jujitsu, Hawaiian Lua, Okinawan Karate, Chinese Kung Fu, and American Wrestling. Breaking with tradition, Prof. Okazaki taught not only the Japanese, but any and all races.
He gave the name "Danzan Ryu" to his school of Jujitsu, in which Okazaki also incorporated 20 lua strikes he had mastered from the man in Puna, Hawaii. These ʻai or lua strikes were passed down to Professor Libert O ʻ Sullivan.
Luʻukia Kaoho Kemoku Kenn
Charles William Luʻukia Kaoho Kemoku Kenn was born in Honolulu on January 2, 1907. One of the few remaining masters of lua during his time. Kenn was descended from a line of kāhuna. In his writings, Kenn argued passionately for defiance against the Americanization of the Hawaiian people.
Kenn recorded Hawaiian chants from elders, preserving information about the Hawaiian language and cultural traditions. As a young man, he had learned lua from several teachers, such as Naluahine Kaopua of South Kona, as well as two lua practitioners who had trained at a royal lua school established by King Kalakaua. He had also studied with sensei Seishiro Okazaki.
When he was in his late 60ʻs 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. 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 Hawaii: Pa Ku‘i-a-Lua, Ku‘i-a-Holo.
ʻŌlohe Lua Richard Paglinawan
'Ōlohe Lua Kukui Richard Likeke Kekumuikawaiokeola Paglinawan was a student of Charles Kenn, and founder of Pākuʻialua. Richard is a descendant of Kapule, a warrior priest originally from Kohala, Hawai'i, who served in the army of Kalaniopu'u and later, Kamehameha I. Born and raised in Waiahole, Oʻahu, He was trained in many traditional Hawaiian practices from a young age until adult hood, as well as trained in various martial arts. He was a social worker and held many esteemed positions in the State of Hawaii as well as in the community. All for the perpetuation of Hawaiians and their culture. His dedication to promote Lua as a way of life took him and his students all over the Pacific in the promotion of all Indigenous fighting arts and culture. He sadly passed away in 2015. He is also still on our advisory board when needed!
Professor Libert O 'Sullivan
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 Hawai'i. Eventually, Okazaki converted the Lua he learned and transferred these strikes into his Danzen Ryu System. Professor Libert mastered those same strikes and passed them on. Professor Libert has since passed on and is also on our advisory board when needed.
'Ōlohe Moses Kalauokalani ( left) and
'Ōlohe Ha'a Noelani Mahoe ( center) and
ʻŌlohe Lua Kukui Richard Likeke Paglinawan
are still an integral part of Ku'ialuaopuna.
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.
'Ōlohe Lua Keani Kaleimamahu
'Ōlohe Lua Keani Kaleimamahu 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.
Kuʻialuaopuna wants to promote and preserve cultural and traditional knowledge for our people throughout the Pacific, through the use and practice of our indigenous fighting arts.